Chapter 1: Response Choice 2

28 Nov 2018 8:21 AM | Anonymous member

Think about the instructional strategies you use most often.

1. Which do you believe are the most effective?

2. What evidence do you have for their impact?


Save these notes so you can see how the evidence in this book supports or challenges your thinking about effective practices.

Comments

  • 29 Nov 2018 7:42 AM | Rachel Johns
    "Conversations" are most impactful. Having students taking part in the discussion, back and forth, between teacher and many students, seems to stay with them longer than a direct lesson. For example, my presenting American Revolution information may or may not stick with students depending on where their thoughts were at the time of instruction. By contrast, if we engage in active learning--either hands-on with a discussion, a situational study (what would a letter say from home at that time), a book discussion, students leave the allotted time still discussion who is a loyalist or even what it would have been like back then. These lingering conversations are my evidence of its impact. As I try more with math, like fully applying a concept to the real world or just discussing how we look at numbers and patterns, I am seeing more side or lingering conversations about it. We encourage memorization of math facts for ease and although it works with some dangling motivations, no one goes away talking about how tough the 8s are to learn. I see a place for both of these, but love to see/hear when students engage each other after class time.
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    • 29 Nov 2018 10:28 AM | Anonymous member
      Rachel, I could not agree with you more! Discussion within the classroom, no matter the subject, is extremely valuable. I love that you made the connection to social studies and how conversations linger beyond the classroom. I think that is great evidence that students are learning and are left wanting to learn even more. In regards to math, having some rich engaging tasks that allow students to share and compare strategies for solving, is one way to increase the classroom discourse. Thanks for sharing!
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    • 29 Nov 2018 1:43 PM | Anonymous member
      I agree as well Rachel! Conversations are crucial! In Kindergarten we practice our speaking and listening skills daily and I think sometimes we forget that this is where a lot of learning takes place- its not on paper but through discussions with peers and adults.
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    • 30 Nov 2018 1:29 PM | Diana OClair
      Class discussion is paramount for student engagement. Students can explain and relate to each other in such varied perspectives. Sometimes I can explain a concept to a student in as many ways as my imagination allows, but another student who might have experienced a similar misconception can hear the shared experience and be able to then clarify in a wonderfully direct way. This is also why worked examples can be so useful.
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    • 26 Dec 2018 3:04 PM | Jenny
      I hear teachers making the connection to what they do in other classes and what they can carry over to the math classroom. I've heard comments such as, "I have students share in reading class, I guess I could do that in math." I think this is wonderful and feel like there are many instructional techniques that can be implemented in math class as they are in other content classes.
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  • 29 Nov 2018 6:32 PM | Anonymous member
    Think about the instructional strategies you use most often.

    1. Which do you believe are the most effective?
    2. What evidence do you have for their impact?

    Save these notes so you can see how the evidence in this book supports or challenges your thinking about effective practices.

    Reading that first chapter was unsettling. I know many of my strategies are not that effective. I know that many of them encourage surface learning. I now see that I need to enrich my own tool box to help my students move into deep learning and transfer learning. I have two changes I intend to make:
    1. Less teacher talk, more student talk.
    2. More whole group Number Talks.
    In each of my three math groups I am going to be sure that every student has a chance to talk. I only have up to 4 students in each group so this really is not a difficult goal. I am going to model use of math language and insist that each math scholar contribute evidence of math thinking. It's a small start but I think it will be a big change.
    Number Talks: I got this idea from our first Dine and Discuss and have started using them at the start of every math class. I teach kids from ages 11-14 so their skill levels vary widely, I have found this is an asset for number talks. I deliberately find problems that can be tackled from a variety of angles and skill levels. I let all students work quietly alone and then do whole group sharing. Finally we do a sharing walk where kids examine the thinking of their peers. A final discussion wraps up the about 20 minute activity.
    I have been using this website for Number Talk problems: http://www.openmiddle.com, but would love to have other recommendations.
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  • 02 Dec 2018 4:14 PM | Anonymous member
    A couple of strategies come to mind:

    1. Distributed practice and assessing.

    Some context: My first of teaching calculus I used a traditional model of a) teach a unit over the course of a few weeks, b) have a big 80-minute test on it, c) hit the material again on the final. The result of this was kids forgetting pretty basic stuff about derivatives because we didn't talk about them much once we got to integration. After reading some research about distributed practice and frequent quizzing, I switched to 20-minute quizzes on a unit, three or more, spread out over a few weeks. I use warm-up problems to review past topics. And I'm designing my own homework problems now, a bit time-consuming at first, but it allows me to include problems from previous learning.

    Evidence of impact: I no longer have students who have forgotten all about the Product Rule - a November topic - in April.


    2. Formative assessment and record keeping
    Some context: After reading the Dylan and Black paper probably every MS student reads (https://www.rdc.udel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/InsideBlackBox.pdf), I was convinced. I started giving problems to the kids that would assess a learning target I'd just taught. When I'm organized about this, I build some time into the class period to go over their responses and boom, I can catch any non-comprehenders right there and give additional instruction. I keep a spreadsheet of the kids and what skills they've demonstrated (or not) - this is handy for when I end up looking at their responses outside of class and need to remember who needs help.

    Evidence of impact: before I started doing the above, I only knew who had learned what based on informal observations of the students. Nowadays - when I do it right - I can guarantee every kid has independently achieved the learning target on the formative assessment.
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    • 03 Dec 2018 10:35 PM | Anonymous member
      Michael,

      Your strategies seem to be very clearly thought out and you are able to see their impact if not immediately then over time.

      I find that spiraling is so important or students will learn the material for the unit, then once that unit it completed, it is forgotten. Continually bringing back prior skills and knowledge helps to ensure the content is not lost.

      When it comes to formative assessment it is great that you are able to building some time during the class period to look at your problems you assigned to get feedback quickly about where students are.
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    • 03 Jan 2019 7:58 PM | Anonymous member
      Michael, I have been working on formative assessment for a few years as well and find I am never satisfied with how I am doing it! One thing I am trying this year is my own record keeping, but also having the students self assess and keep a record fo the skills they are working on. I make target sheets for students to
      1. Explain what the target is/looks like and what mastery looks like
      2. Record evidence that they are meeting the target (usually quizzes or IXL scores)
      3. Rate themselves on comfort level with the topic.

      I love it.. but then again I am always looking to improve it!

      Heidi
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  • 05 Dec 2018 6:17 AM | A
    I use a variety of instructional strategies. I begin each day with a Math Warm Up. Each day of the week is a different warm up outside of math time, at morning meeting. Students know to expect a math routine on the easel and this routine conveys this is a 'math classroom'. It also serves as a formative assessment for me because I can gather information on students prior knowledge, thinking strategies, etc. It is a quick routine, and I will only call on a few students to share their thinking, but by the end of the week lots of students have discussed their strategies.

    I use various activating strategies. I use read-alouds and these can be very engaging because students might do some mental math as we read. I find my higher level thinkers love read-alouds that allow them to use mental math then compare how the author portrayed the problems solved. I can do a quick status of the class and ask with a thumbs up how students' strategies compared to the characters.

    Story Problem solving is another activating strategy I use. We gather in the meeting area and I have a story problem on the easel. Students with a partner can wok together using white boards to solve the story problem. 10 minutes is the time we spend allowing for problem solving and discussion of strategies. I frequently question so students are articulating their thinking and if time allows they are able to show their thinking by writing on easel that serves as a model that i can then use to create an anchor chart.

    I believe all these strategies have an impact on students learning in various ways. They are highly engaging, they allow for students express their thinking and listen to others, and students think they are fun.
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    • 10 Dec 2018 2:22 PM | Anonymous member
      These are some great strategies that are being used. Encouraging mathematical discourse and strategy sharing each day should definitely help student increase their understanding of mathematics. Are there times when you check in on the effectiveness of these strategies to really gauge their impact? What methods do you use to check the impact on student learning.
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      • 11 Dec 2018 8:29 PM | Cynthia Snow
        I have a schedule of individual conferencing so I meet with each student 1x a week to check in and ask questions. On many days I do an exit slip to guage understanding of that day's lesson. On Friday we review work from the week, review vocabulary, create an anchor chart, and do a assessment .
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        • 26 Dec 2018 3:46 PM | Jenny
          I try to conference with students when I hand back assessments and really enjoy the short time with each student. I find that students are able to have an opportunity to share something verbally that they might not otherwise. It feels like a very informative, intense discussion that I love doing and wish I had time to do more often.
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  • 06 Dec 2018 4:34 PM | Sharon Imbert
    On page 18 the authors state "...great teachers need to know the tools of their craft before they can create the most effective lessons. For me this is the primary reason I decided to attend the Dine and Discuss sessions and participate in the book study. I know that I need to know more about the tools of the craft since I am now responsible for coaching teachers who teach math. In many of the rooms I work in teachers often begin with stating the learning target they are working towards and then sharing a mini-lesson that introduces or reinforces the concept that is being introduce in our newly adopted math program- Math in Focus. Students are then pulled into small groups for group work or they work on activities the promote fluency (IXL, Moby Max, flashcards, math games) or independent practice of the concepts being taught/previously learned.

    From what I am observing the small group instruction allows the teacher to highlight key skills/ strategies and to hone in on misconceptions. The fluency activities are helping to build fluency and the independent practice is showing what the student can do without teacher help and is often used as a quick assessment tool for the next day's teaching.

    I am also fortunate that many of the teachers use "exit" slips (verbal or written) to also check on student's understanding that may or may not be used for the next day's grouping of students for small group work depending on the purpose.

    I also feel that the conversation between the teachers and students, and students and students are insightful and can impact learning. However, the conversation must be balanced and students should be doing the majority of the talking with the teacher listening more to gain important insight into the student's processing of the concepts.

    The impact I am noticing from these instructional strategies vary and depends on teacher knowledge, practice and value. I am currently working in two math classes that value student discourse and problem solving. It appears that they are using teacher notes, student work and student thinking to inform their daily instruction.

    For my own learning I am working to implement Math Running Records to see what strategies students are using, using but confusing or haven't yet learned to inform my thinking and then putting together resources to move students from one level to the next. I am also reading Number Talks and hope to share with with the teachers I am working with soon.
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    • 08 Dec 2018 6:32 AM | Cynthia Snow
      I have not heard of math running records. Where might I find out more about this?
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    • 10 Dec 2018 2:27 PM | Anonymous member
      Sharon, It is great to hear that teachers you are working to support students on their individual needs by meeting in small groups. The use of exit slips to help plan for the next day is really taking student needs into account. Number talks is a great way to increase student discourse. I would be interested in hearing more about Math Running records.
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  • 06 Dec 2018 6:49 PM | Anonymous member
    A strategy I have used consistently across subjects and grade levels that has led to student motivation, achievement, and growth is what I call a feedback cycle. It usually starts with the teacher model, then guided practice. During guided practice, the teacher is frequently getting student feedback and input as well as giving feedback to the students. Once students are ready for independent practice, the teacher is monitoring independent work and giving feedback and asking critical questions to build student confidence and provide opportunities for students to communicate how they are solving problems, which then leads to number talks and collaboration/interaction with other students. These conversations lead to deeper learning and lend themselves easily to metacognition.
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    • 10 Dec 2018 2:31 PM | Anonymous member
      Timely feedback can be so powerful for increasing achievement. Linking feedback and self-assessment for learning intentions and success criteria are also a great way to help increase student ownership of their own learning.
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  • 08 Dec 2018 5:03 PM | Kim L.
    Is it too late to join this conversation?? I went to a Dine and Discuss and learned about number talks. I tried it the next day with a simple dividing fractions problem (I teach sixth grade) and was amazed at both the different answers kids came up with (fractions, mixed numbers, decimals, equivalent fractions) and the conversation about which actually answered the question. It was such a great review in a very short time.

    My school uses community building circles, and I found doing a number talk in a circle (so everyone gets a chance to talk) increased participation. I gave them an answer - 10 - and they had to come up with an equation to equal it. I started with a simple number but will make them more challenging as they get used to doing it.

    Time is my biggest obstacle - math class keeps getting shorter every year. I was used to 80 minute periods, then adjusted to 60 minutes, this year I have 45 minutes. It doesn't leave a lot of time to talk, but group work and student presentations of their thinking is my usual way of running class. I still believe strongly that kids learn best by explaining their thinking and working collaboratively, and the book supports that. But I think I'm only going to cover half of the standards I'm supposed to hit. To help students move beyond surface learning, they need time to process and think.

    Another strategy that I have always used is math journals - students solve problems and make notes to use as a reference since we don't have a physical math book. I'm not finding that to be as effective this year and am not using it as often. It's been too passive - kids are gluing or copying information, but not really looking at it. I either need to let this go or find a way to make it more interactive. I'd welcome thoughts!
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    • 10 Dec 2018 2:39 PM | Anonymous member
      Kim, it is never too late to join the conversation. I am glad you have started using number talks. One thing I love about them is that they really are low floor, high ceiling, so everyone can be involved. I love the idea of having students in a circle when doing the number talk. That makes it seem like it would be much more open during sharing than when they are just sitting in a group on the floor.

      I always had the same trouble with math journals. My previous district did not have a physical math book either so I tried to have students keep a math notebook. I feel like they really have to be intentionally used when planning lesson or activities. I thought making them more interactive and including foldable would really make them more engaging to students but I just do not feel I was deliberate enough in my use of them to make them worth while.
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  • 26 Dec 2018 3:01 PM | Jenny Jorgensen
    Hattie indicates that instruction or students attempting the problem first, depends on many aspects of teaching and learning. I like to have students engage in a task and therefore often begin with asking students what they notice and what they wonder about task. They discuss and I chart and then we take a moment and look at what's been generated about the task. Students are usually engaged by this and are ready to begin the task. This process of noticing and wondering helps them, in general, be ready to work on the task. This is evident by their ability to enter the task and at least work for a while prior to asking further questions.
    The "dialogic model" is my preferred style of teaching and seems more in line with the CCSS Math Teaching Practices. I like having students talk in math class, in small groups and as a whole group. Students learn to work together in small groups, through problem solving and practicing justifying their answer to know that they are right or need to do more work. In the table on pg. 25, the importance of "feedback" can't be overlooked. Students need instructive feedback about their work and I need to know where they are having success and where they might need some more work. I gather this through the use of a variety of forms of formative assessment.
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    • 02 Jan 2019 9:59 AM | Anonymous member
      Jenny I totally agree with you. Giving students a task and doing a notice/wonder activity really gets them ready to start the task and definitely builds their engagement and interest.
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  • 01 Jan 2019 3:30 PM | Anonymous member
    I have used "What do you notice, what do you wonder?" at the introduction of a unit. It gives me a chance to see what they may already know and don't know. It frequently gives them a reason to learn new vocabulary and symbols.

    I have also used desmos polygraph as a hook to give the students a reason to learn new vocabulary for the angles formed by parallel lines and a transversal.

    I think these strategies have a greater impact than other strategies that I have used, but not great.

    I have students work in groups, which I know works. I have seen many students help other students learning the current concepts and make sense of problems.
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    • 02 Jan 2019 10:02 AM | Anonymous member
      Renee, I am curious, is there a certain grouping structure that you find works best. How do you know the groups are impactful?
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  • 28 Feb 2019 11:49 PM | Anonymous member
    Instructional strategies
    I have had student do small group discussion with vocabulary words after a lesson using Quizlet live. Each group consists of four student. All four students can see a vocabulary word but each of the 4 students has a few of the vocabulary words as options on their screen for answers. The student have to speak to each other to describe the vocabulary terms in order to be able to answer the questions. If a team gets a question wrong it resets their quiz. The first team to finish wins. I am able to see if there are student that are struggling with the topic. The teams are randomly assigned and there is a shuffle button to quick reassign new groups. This allows for quick rematched and a variety of group combinations. I have seen improved test scores after using quizlet for small group discussions. This has also improved basic math vocabulary in classroom discussions. The kids love the game format.
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    • 11 Mar 2019 3:24 PM | Anonymous member
      Allicia, This is really cool! I have never heard of using Quizlet in this way. It sounds engaging and competitive for students. It is also nice to see that impact that it is having on student learning.
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