Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Thought Provoking Post by Carol Black


"There is something profoundly deadening to a curious, engaged child about the feeling of being watched and measured, or even, some studies suggest, the anticipation of being measured. Sure, some kids seem to dig it. They preen and pose for it, they compete with their friends for it, they want to be better than everybody else. But everybody can’t be better than everybody else, and this business of being constantly scrutinized and compared to others does something insidious to the life of a child. I've seen kids drop what they're doing in an instant when they realize they're being observed in an appraising way. A wall goes up. The lights go out."

Math Resources

I have been keeping a series of open tabs with various math resources that I want to curate and use with my students. I need to clear out some of those tabs so I am going to link those resources here so that I can share them with you and find them later myself.

Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had - A companion website for the book by Tracy Zager

Listening to Children's Thinking

"This approach to assessment is guided by the principle that children bring an intuitive knowledge of mathematics with them to school and that this knowledge should serve as the basis for developing formal mathematics instruction."

Who Talks? "Numberless" Graphs in Grade 2

"What I most was reminded of was how much depth and understanding can come out of just talking about what we see. This is why we spend so much time noticing and wondering (in math and in all subjects). When we slow down and just observe, we make the most sense for ourselves."

Counting Collections: One Nearly-Perfect Answer to Inclusion

"One assumption about heterogeneous pairs like this is that the general education students will help the special education students and not be challenged themselves. (I hear this thought often as my school discusses increasing the amount of inclusion we will do in the future.) Because of the low-floor, high-ceiling nature of the task and the many choices involved, most of the time this does not seem to be a problem. One student deepens her understanding of counting by twos, another gains fluency with counting, others build their understanding of our system of tens, and another works on multiplication. It is really exciting to watch."

Collection of Blog Posts by Kristin Gray - lots of discussion and many ideas here

Counting Collection Lessons and Videos by Teacher Education by Design

More 3-Act Tasks for Elementary School 

Classroom Lessons from Marilyn Burns

Dr. Nicki's Guided Math Blog 

Collection of Math Games Using a Deck of Cards  

Dice Chats - another math routine

 

The Work of Back to School by Chad Everett


"A paint scheme or flexible seating won’t change a student’s life, but a teacher who is committed to respect and creating an equitable environment will.

Know this: your classroom does not have to look like it's pulled from a Pinterest board to make you an effective teacher. You are enough. You don’t have to teach like a pirate, like a champion, or like your hair is on fire to be enough. You do have to commit to showing up for 180 days and doing the work—the work that is not always visible, the work you may never be recognized for doing, the work that is the foundation of all the other work."

Math Perspectives by Brian Bushart

Brian Bushart has shared some of the things he learned while attending the Math Perspectives Leadership Institute led by Kathy Richardson. He has also written a blog post about his thinking now. All of it is worth reading and thinking about. I wanted to save his thinking so I am sharing it here.

“Our standards on the other hand are all about getting answers and going at a pace that is likely too fast for many of our students. We end up with classrooms where many students are just imitating procedures or saying words they do not really understand. How long before these students find themselves in intervention? We blame the students (and they likely blame themselves) and put the burden on teachers down the road to try to build the foundation because we never gave it the time it deserved.”

Monday, June 25, 2018

Links I Love 6/25


Outstanding talk by Dan Meyer about changing the focus of math problems. This is a must watch. Click here for the links to many of Dan Meyer's talks about math. All are worth your time.



Presentation on using precise mathematical language in the classroom. Lots of examples.
 

“You can’t get to the content if the relationship and the social-emotional well-being piece is not being attended to first,” Howard says. “Any time you get into feelings, that’s more complicated to capture. But it’s still as important.”


"What is Social Comprehension, and Do Little Kids Need it?
Sara defines social comprehension as developing “skills and habits to help us comprehend social issues and participate in relevant, transparent conversations.” She points out that this skill is learned, and to me, that means we need to be teaching it from the first day of school in kindergarten. It is more than just having the skills of conversation. Though that is certainly part of it, it is also normalizing difficult conversations and studying the impact of our actions on others so that we may learn better and do better. Little kids are more than capable of talking about big issues when we approach it in a way that feels appropriate and connected to their lives. It will be messy and clumsy at the start, but what isn’t?"



"If we support too little and the student’s follow-up writing attempts are less productive, we can always come back and support more or differently. But if we support too much by telling students specific moves to make in their writing, we rob them of the opportunity to do the thinking work and diminish their writing identity. Over-scaffolding is like a bad haircut. Once you do too much, there is no going back." 

 



Sunday, June 24, 2018

Links I Love 6/24




"In many ways this blog post is not for teachers. It’s for parents. It’s for me. Somehow in my mind I already have it locked down that my boys will go to college. But why is that the only way? Our ideas about our kids can be as damaging as our parenting flaws. Recently my eldest tried out soccer. He didn’t like it. I kept pushing him to get on the field. My pushing made him more and more upset. All of a sudden I thought, “why do I care if he plays soccer?” So we picked dandelions and went home. What I care about is that he learns to join something. It just seems like everyone is playing soccer and sometimes I want my kids to be just like everyone else so they may be insulated from pain, or doubt, or struggle."


"If we respond to our kids' misbehavior instead of reacting, we'll get the results we want. I want to take a little of the pressure off of parenting; each instance is not life or death. We can let our kids struggle a little bit. We can let them fail. In fact, that is the process of childhood when children misbehave. It's not a sign of our failure as parents. It's normal."


"The moms see it as an investment, Mejia-Arauz says: Encourage the messy, incompetent toddler who really wants to do the dishes now, and over time, he'll turn into the competent 7-year-old who still wants to help.
Research supports this hypothesis, says the University of New Hampshire's Andrew Coppens. "Early opportunities to collaborate with parents likely sets off a developmental trajectory that leads to children voluntarily helping and pitching in at home," he says."

"Dear Reader,

If you are a young person — by young person I mean 19 and younger, though young-at-hearters aren't excluded. Nor are older people. Or old people. But I’m speaking primarily to young people. Anyway, if you are a young person, the following are 10 things I’ve been meaning to say to you:"

Links I Love 6/24 Math

"Curiosity about students’ mathematical thinking is at the heart of effective and joyful mathematics teaching. There are four channels via which we can gather information about student thinking: we can look at student work and products, we can observe and listen to students while they work and talk, we can confer with students about their thinking, and we can ask students to reflect on their own learning and share their self-assessments with us. We’ll explore how to open these four channels strategically, so we can gather better, richer, more interesting information about our students and their thinking, even when using curricular materials that don’t prioritize formative assessment."
 

"Routines – Routines are well-understood structures that encourage discourse, sensemaking, and equity in the classroom. A teacher may have many different types of routines in her toolbelt and utilizes them daily.
Lessons – Lessons include any activity that involves transmitting or practicing content knowledge. Lessons can vary from whole class lectures to hands-on manipulative activities.
Problems – Problems are complex tasks, not immediately solvable without further knowhow, research or decoding of the prompt. Problems can take anywhere from one class period to three or four class periods.
Projects – Projects apply mathematical knowhow to an in-depth, authentic experience. A project occurs over the course of two to four weeks. Ideally, projects are outward facing, community based, and/or personally relevant."


"It seems to me that the status quo almost works. If more schools had interventionists who could come in and focus on the needs of the unchallenged, that would be amazing. (Those specialists along with teachers and parents could then decide if a kid would be better off in a different math situation.)"

"While the intent of structuring classrooms according to ability may be to create a pace that is more manageable for students, more often expectations are lowered and the work is overscaffolded. Students learn best when there is a balance of struggle and support. It is important that all students are held to high expectations (the end goals are all the same right?) and that they have opportunities to problem solve through mistakes with guidance such as questioning from the teacher."


 "If you’re not a pre-k, kindergarten, or 1st-grade teacher, you need to find one and give them a hug after watching this video.  They do the work of an army and many times their work goes unnoticed. There’s so much happening in the early years of school, that without this progression of early number and counting, we’d all be out of a job.

Here’s the 5th installment in the Making Sense Series. If you’re looking for other progression videos you can find them here."