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My Town in Numbers

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Is a mathematical project, elaborated by three groups of students of the same age, from schools in Romania, Czech Republic and Netherlands and using the common curriculum content. The project is not limited to one of the branches of Mathematics, but refers to this subject as a whole. The Mathematical support used was diversified, from similarities and proportionality, other notions of geometry, magic squares, laws of motion, units of measure, volumes, message encrypting. The results were displayed on a webpage, but we used the etwinning poral for our primary work. Teachers used a blog for sharing stages of their work and impressions on it, as well as for embedding results that the etwinning portal could not support. The primary idea was discuseed by the Czech and the Romanian teachers.
 

1. Sommario progetto
Sommario: 

The project work was clearly planned from the very beginning. All the partner teams had the same tasks within the project. After comparing the curriculum, we decided on the groups to involve in the project. The first materials were presentations of our towns, schools, teams, including historical aspects of our places. The second one was the contest for the blog. Students created the logo proposals, either drawn by themselves, or using specialized sites or software. The winning logos of the counties competed among in the final phase and the Czech proposal won. Then, we all started proposing Mathematical tasks for our partners, in the order of our schools. As the other teams gave the solution, the proposing team would confirm the correctness, we discussed and compared them both among teachers and n class. December was a special month, all our students created Christmas cards, videos and carols for the other teams.The communication among teachers was constant, both in the blog and by email. The pupils also used the forum. The webpage was created by the Romanian team, with the contribution of all the partners. The students' work was constant, both at proposing tasks and at solving them. They could also use the TwinSpace and many ICT tools, even some web 2.0 tools.

2. Paese (Città / Regione)
Stato: 
Romania
Città: 
Bucharest
3. Nome dell'organizzazione che presenta il progetto
Organizzazione: 
School no. 92
4. Tipo di organizzazione
Scegli tipo: 
Scuola
5. Coordinatore del progetto
Nome e Cognome: 
Irina Vasilescu
E-Mail: 
ivasil63@yahoo.com
6. Website
Il sito web del progetto: 
http://irina.sorinvasilescu.ro
7. Selezionate la categoria di appartenenza del vostro progetto
Youth Education Project. Select Project Users by age: 
Fino a 15 anni
Inserimento dei giovani nel mondo del lavoro: 
NOT Helping youth step in the job market
Creatività e Innovazione sociale: 
Creatività e Innovazione sociale
8. Da quando è funzionante il vostro progetto?
Da: 
17/09/2008
9. Obiettivi ed elementi di innovazione
Please explain the targets and the background of your project: 

The aim of the project in terms of educational activity is to compare how the students would react to this new approach, and maybe to start similar projects in the future. It will also hopefully be a way to diversify our teaching techniques, to bring to life the ideas of constructivist instruction, to use ICT to describe our experiences, as well as for reporting and communication, a way of sharing results and students ideas, to compare our work environment, the different education systems, the curriculum etc..

Come, e con quali mezzi cerca di raggiungere gli obiettivi prefissati: 

The project tried to connect the Maths curriculum to out every-day reality, in order to make Maths a more learner-friendly and less abstract subject. Furthermore, we tried to give it a European dimension by learning as much as possoble about each others' environment and way of life, as well as our different way of teaching and learning Mathematics. The European dimension was mostly given by the comparison and sharing of our environment, as the tasks were mostly connected to our towns and schools. We also presented and compared our schools and our educational systems. The pupils learned a lot about their own place and about other countries and ways of life and they were very pleased both to share the particularities and to enhance the similarities, as well as to communicate with their partners in the TwinSpace forum.

Quali opportunità/problemi affronta: 

Project-teaching and collaborative work are still teaching methods that we are trying to master. The connection to every-day reality gave the Mathematical tasks a  more real aspect and made it a more learner-friendly subject. The visibility of their work for the other teams was very challenging and rewarding for the pupils, as they felt they were doing more than the usual school work. Most of them are using the computer for creative purposes for the first time and they have learned a lot about presentations, photo editing, using the eTwinning tools as well as some Web 2.0 tools. They had never thought that Maths could also mean puzzles, animation, wordclouds, encrypted messages, and all sort of games.

Please explain what is unique or special in your project: 

Both for students and for teachers, the innovative side comes first of all from the cross-curricular aspect of this work and from using many kinds of tools, including media. Many of the tools were very easy to use and the pupils could use them themselves with no difficulty, such as: Photofunia, wordclouds, Dvolver for animation. They will be able to use them in other subjects next year, such as for foreign languages.
The most important aspect of the project was its interactivity, because of the main activity, consisting in proposing and solving problems, and due to the communication using the blog and forum. The fact that the problems were directly tied to our cities has created an atmosphere of mutual knowledge, while finding the solutions and comparing the results have given rise to a spirit of competition very stimulating for the students.
One of biggest qualities of this project has been motivation among the students. They have developed new skills, learned to see knowledge as a complex, as a result of more activities in various domains, as a cross-curricular activity.

10. Risultati
Describe the results of your project as per today: 

 

All the pupils could use the etwinning platform and its tools, as it is very reliable and does not require complicated knowledge, but most of the times they used it to navigate and communicate with the other teams. They could also communicate by email and look for information on the Internet, in the school’s computer room but also at home, as almost all of them have an Internet connection. It was a new and challenging way to use the computers for them, as they had mainly used it for chatting, games and web searching so far.  
      The project blog was a tool of communication between the teams, but also a space for the materials which could not be loaded on TwinSpace due to their format or size.
      An important role in the project’s visibility is played by its website. It was created using Microsoft Frontpage using the materials that have been turned to .pdf format. The site has pages with information about the project, presentations of our cities, schools and classes taking part in the project, the tasks submitted by each of the teams and the partners’ solutions, with Christmas cards, movies and Christmas carols, a link to the blog.
 
web-page: http://irina.sorinvasilescu.ro
blog: http://mytowninnumbers.blogspot.com/
public twinspace: http://my.twinspace.etwinning.net/mytowninnumbers?l=en

 

In che misura risponde ai bisogni degli utenti: 

Most of the pupils have Internet connections at home, but they mostly use the computer for games and chatting, so they find the aspect of research and creativity very challenging. The main advantages of this project from the pupils’ point of view are: motivation, developing new skills, getting to see knowledge as a complex, as a result of more types of activities; the use of computers for research and in a creative way; the value of collaborative work; the development of their English language and communication abilities. As for the teachers, the benefits are: trying another approach to teaching, a more constructive and creative one, using the ICT as a tool for both creativity and communication.
     On the other hand, I improved my competence in the use of ICT tools and I was greatly helped by the participation to the eTwinning LearningLabs, namely in the Creative Use of Media, and I was given once again the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary basis, in a more open and flexible way. It meant a great increase of the expertise and a new approach in teaching, a new methodology.

Quanti utenti interagiscono con il progetto mensilmente e in quale modo: 

The students involved in the project were about 20-30 in each school, but the webpage was used as a dissemination way for other groups of students and teachers in our school.

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto contribuisce a migliorare l'educazione e la formazione dei giovani: 

The project was perfectly integrated in the curriculum.

The most important aspect of the project was its interactivity, because of the main activity, consisting in proposing and solving problems, and due to the communication using the blog and forum. The fact that the problems were directly tied to our cities has created an atmosphere of mutual knowledge, while finding the solutions and comparing the results have given rise to a spirit of competition very stimulating for the students.
One of biggest qualities of this project has been motivation among the students. They have developed new skills, learned to see knowledge as a complex, as a result of more activities in various domains, as a cross-curricular activity.
Teachers tried a new approach on teaching, a more creative, constructive and flexible one, using the ICT as a tool for both creativity and communication. They have also used computers for research and in a creative way, got to value collaborative work and, last but not least, they developed their English language
Descrivete in quale modo il progetto ha ottimizzato la partecipazione di professionisti, ragazzi, giovani o altri soggetti: 

 
Both for students and for teachers, the innovative side comes first of all from the cross-curricular aspect of this work and from using many kinds of tools, including media. Many of the tools were very easy to use and the pupils could use them themselves with no difficulty, such as: Photofunia, wordclouds, Dvolver for animation. They will be able to use them in other subjects next year, such as for foreign languages. The pupils were very enthusiastic about it. This is due to two factors: seeing their own work on the Internet is very rewarding, and secondly, they enjoy this new approach to learning Mathematics and to using the computer. The hands-on, real aspect of the tasks was very motivating too, as well as the interactivity of the project. They have improved their English level and learned to use paper and on-line dictionaries. They enjoyed collaborative work, both in the Romanian team and with their foreign partners. Their cultural horizon broadened considerably.

Descrivete in quale modo il progetto favorisce l'uso delle nuove tecnologie da parte di professionisti, ragazzi e giovani per lo sviluppo culturale e didattico: 

We have used a multitude of ICT tools. The pupils involved in this project were 6th graders (12-13 years old), so I tried to adapt both the work and the way to display the results to their age-group. Therefore, the use of ICT and the tasks had to fit their degree of expertise. That is why I used a lot of tools, besides the TwinSpace, including a blog, a web page and Web 2.0 tools    In addition to presentations in PowerPoint, I have used other types of materials designed to make work tasks more attractive to students. Thus, we have created for them slide-shows, puzzles representing well-known monuments in Bucharest, animations to present solutions of problems, word clouds of the texts of theorems. The latter were easily created by the students, as the applications are very easy to use.  Students have also created the logo proposals, either drawn by themselves, or using specialized sites or software. The webpage is a very good way to display our work and get feedback.

Descrivete i criteri che usate per misurate i risultati raggiunti dal vostro progetto: 

By observing their involvment and assessing the quality and degree of the task solving.

11. Sostenibilità
Indicate la durata complessiva del progetto: 
Da 1 a 3 anni
12. Trasferibilità
Che cosa possono imparare altri soggetti dal vostro progetto: 

The materials, especially those in the web-site and the blog are visible for everyone. The other students and teachers in our school and even the parents can be aware of our work and give us feed-back. Many of them can be used in the following years as auxiliaries for teaching certain topics.  We involved our Physics teacher in some of our activities and therefore we experienced our first trans-curricular classes. On the other hand, the other teachers in the department were also informed and very interested in our tasks.

Siamo disponibili ad aiutare altri soggetti a sviluppare progetti o a migliorare progetti esistenti: 
Siamo disponibili ad aiutare altri soggetti a sviluppare progetti o a migliorare progetti esistenti.
13. Informazioni aggiuntive
Ostacoli: 

The main barrier consisted in the the need to work mainly outside the timetable, due to the very stuffed curriculum, in all our schools. Besides that, we had difficulties in using more computers and a reliable Internet connection at school.

Soluzioni: 

We worked extra time, in our free time, and made efforts to adapt to the material resources at school.

Future plans and wish list: 

To go on with this type of collaboration during the following years.

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