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."

Links I Love 6/24 - Literacy

Revolutionary Reading: Reading to Change the World - slides from a presentation by Jess Lifshitz

#classroombookaday: Engaging Picture Book Read-Alouds That Support Community & Identity - slides from a presentation by Jillian Heise

"I think as teachers we all say and do things in the course of the day hoping it is in the best interest of our students. I am confident that all of the music teachers I had wanted what they thought was best for me. But they let me know over and over again that I was just not cut out to be a person who sings. Of course, we want students who can read, but we also want students who become lifelong readers. We want students who see themselves as readers and students who cannot imagine a full life without reading. We need to remember that in every single interaction we have with a child."

"In our zeal to be ever so helpful to our struggling readers, we may find ourselves falling into the trap of finding and pointing out the error to the child ourselves.  When the teacher finds the error the focus turns to fixing the error rather than promoting self-monitoring during reading.  Finding the error for the child and showing them how to fix the error will not help to improve the child’s ability to self-monitor.   THE CHILD NEEDS TO FIND THE ERROR!"