TIPS4RM is Taking the Stage

Andrea and I were thrilled to hear from several teachers who are taking a leap of faith and moving toward usingĀ  TIPS4RM as their core resource this year. For the past couple of years, Intermediate teachers in the Greater Essex Board have been learning about this resource and using it to supplement their textbook lessons. One issue with that is the difference between the teaching ‘style’ in the two resources.

Textbooks tend to follow a model that is very teacher directed while TIPS uses a more student-centred approach. In our experience, teachers and students found it difficult to flip back and forth between lessons within the same unit. After reflecting on the successes and challenges of using TIPS last year, we thought that perhaps beginning with the student-focused type of lessons in a whole unit would make a better transition for students.

If you are trying TIPS4RM for the first time this year, or just using it in a bigger way, please let us know how it is going by clicking on the ‘comment’ button below. We would love to hear successes but of course we will help you with challenges that come up as well. Teachers, if you are experienced with TIPS4RM, please post your advice for those who are beginning this exciting journey in mathematics. You also might want to check out the new Interactive White Board lessons for TIPS4RM that are available at the Ministry’s MathGAINS website.

Welcome back, everyone, and we hope to hear from you on the blog soon.

8 thoughts on “TIPS4RM is Taking the Stage

  1. Pingback: What’s New from Ontario Edubloggers? « doug – off the record

  2. I’m using the TIPS4RM for the first time this year. I learned about it last year at the New to Intermediate workshop but went on maternity leave shortly after. So far it’s going ok. Some of the kids are resisting the hands on style and just wanting to do the questions the old way. I also find it doesn’t give much practice, so I’ve also been supplementing with some textbook questions.

  3. Hi Laurie,
    Thanks for posting. I agree, it does take time for kids to respond to more inquiry based math like TIPS. Keep plugging away though, they will come around!

    You will notice that when it comes to practice, the TIPS4RM resource often suggests home connections rather than what we traditionally think of as practice questions. This type of homework helps kids see the relevance of the math they are learning about in school. I can understand why kids and parents might feel more comfortable having some textbook practice as well.

    I would love to hear from others who are using this resource. What do you do for practice?

  4. I too have converted over to tips this year. My students are loving it! They really enjoy the games and activities that go along with the learning. I have been supplementing with practice questions from the text (fewer than I normally would assign) to reinforce skills. It’s been working out fine, so far. My issue is having a 50 min. math period, trying to get through the 3 part lesson in that time, and also trying to slot time in for taking up any homework questions. Any suggestions?

  5. Hi everyone,

    I’ve been using TIPS (not exclusively though) for a couple of years now and I can really relate to concerns about the practice questions. I don’t always have time to check for websites that have these questions and often times the work in the text book will be slightly different in some odd way.

    A couple things I’ve done to get around this problem are to:
    1. Have students create 5 or 10 questions of their own and then solve using pics, numbers and words to practice the skill. I remind them to challenge themselves the best they can. This allows for students to work at their own level without getting frustrated.

    2. Use the visit and record strategy to follow up for practice. This obvioulsy can’t be done for homework and may require a little more time – but I’m not big on assigning someone who doesn’t understand a concept, 10 questions to take home and struggle with (perhaps this a different conversation altogether so I’ll keep that box closed).

    3. Follow up with group problem solving using a parallel task.

    4. Use journal writing prompts (which I just have my students do in their workbook) – How are two concepts (multiplying and dividing integers) similar? Different? Explain using numbers pictures and words.

    Hope this helps.

  6. Thanks for the ideas, Michael!

    I’m wondering if anyone out there has done “The Amazing Math Race” with their class from the 1st chapter of TIPS in Grade 8. We were finding that the numbers from the website didn’t match up with the numbers from the solution pages provided. Did we do something wrong?

    Also, we are writing our Chapter 1 Summative Evaluation this Thursday. Does anyone have the solutions for this? It would help me out quite a bit if anyone would be kind enough to share…


  7. I have just come back to teaching Intermediate, so this is the first year that I have used TIPS. Thus far, it’s been going great. I do want to mention one specific problem. My class and I were investigating how to measure the area of trapezoids and decomposing shapes etc. I found the TIPS trapezoid problem about the parking lot. Before giving it to the students I thought I should tackle it first. After a day or so of trying to solve it in a way that would make sense in grade 7, I shared it with my colleagues. They too, were puzzled in terms of how to solve it with gr. 7 in mind. So, my teaching partner and I decided to give the kids a crack at it. For an entire period students in both classes were attempting the problem. They were engaged in solving this together and independently as well as engaging in meaningful ‘math talk’ defending their thinking. Students were even traveling between classes sharing their responses and theories.
    Overall, the students and the teachers got a great deal out of working with that one problem. As teachers, we were afforded the opportunity to really see some engagement in mathematics on the part of the students as well as them accessing and applying previous knowledge. The students desperately wanted to solve the problem/mystery of this question. We did solve the problem in the end, but getting there was such a great experience for all of us.
    I truly think that this speaks to the power of inquiry and its impact on student learning and engagement in mathematics.

  8. Thanks for sharing, Jenn, it sounds like a great experience with the parking lot problem. You made a great point about trying the problems before giving them to the kids. I really like that you brought other teachers on board to try it too. I’m curious if the kids came up with any strategies that the adults did not think of?

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