Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine

Chapter 1 & 2 Discussion Prompt

01 Oct 2020 6:09 PM | Anonymous member

In chapter 2, there are 4 challenges associated with setting goals and selecting tasks.  What is a challenge you are facing with setting goals and selecting tasks.


  • Identifying Learning Goals

  • Identifying a doing-mathematics task

  • Ensuring alignment between tasks and goals

  • Launching a task to ensure student access.


Comments

  • 18 Oct 2020 8:39 PM | Kimberly Elkins
    Time is a challenge. I was please to see resources were given in the chapter to find tasks, this makes it a little less overwhelming. I am starting probability in a couple weeks so I am going to try the lunch task with my class.
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    • 07 Nov 2020 12:02 PM | Anonymous member
      I would love to hear how this went for your class! I will be doing probability early December and had the same thought (try the lunch task).
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  • 28 Oct 2020 6:27 PM | Mike Ditzel
    Time is the #1 challenge or excuse. I'm usually in survival mode to meet my basic needs of teaching to survive that class period, day or week. I informally set goals mentally as I prepare a lesson but I have not valued the idea of formally setting goals enough to set aside dedicated time to write them in a well-defined manner.
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  • 28 Oct 2020 9:18 PM | Anonymous
    I think one of the biggest challenges this year with setting goals and selecting tasks is the need to be flexible. I have found that while I have goals and tasks in mind for our in-person classes, that I sometimes have to adapt based on whether or not my students have done their pre-class work using our flipped classroom model. I feel as though this has happened more with the tasks that I have planned for our in-person classes because students are coming to class with various levels of preparation. This then creates a situation where you really have to think about and plan ahead of time tasks that will have multiple entry points so that students can still participate and engage with the mathematics we are investing during that class period.
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  • 29 Oct 2020 3:19 PM | Alisa Libby
    One of the challenges I face is strictly finding the time. I am already working extra hours extra every day and then another 8-10 hours (if I am lucky) on the weekends just to stay afloat for the coming week. I have goals that I have for my students and I am always trying to get them to think on their own but I have not formally sat down and created a hard copy of what those goals are and how I am going to approach it.
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    • 07 Nov 2020 8:49 AM | Anonymous member
      The challenges we are facing this year has put a lot of us in the boat you described - extra hours every day + significant time on the weekends - as you say just to survive in whatever form of in-person/remote/hybrid situation we are currently in.
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  • 29 Oct 2020 3:20 PM | Anonymous member
    The challenge I most often face when setting goals and selecting tasks is returning to them to check if the goals have been achieved. Often times I will put learning goals on the top of my note sheets but rarely will I refer to them throughout the lesson. The tasks that I select will align with the goals, but I find that I will get lost in the lesson without stopping to think or reflect on whether the goals are being met. It's usually after the lesson when I look at their homework do I then see if the students are reaching the goals.

    Another challenge I face is I want to dive into these fun doing-mathematics tasks like the toothpick example but I worry about the time constraints. Especially in the time crunch that plagues this year, I'm not sure if I can spend a whole class on such an activity.
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    • 07 Nov 2020 8:54 AM | Anonymous member
      Time constraints are particularly challenging for me this year as well. Our hybrid system (2 days in person, 2 days independent learning - no teacher interaction, 1 day remote), I don't feel that I have time to spare either. I've been moving my practice to incorporate more applications as a launching pad and finding even that challenging now.
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  • 07 Nov 2020 9:19 AM | Anonymous member
    Over the past 3 years, we've been focusing on Assessment for Learning strategies. One strategy is having clear learning goals. I could say that yes, I have clear learning goals for my lessons and the tasks are aligned. After reading this chapter, I realize that while the goals are "clear", they're really not broad enough (too much focus on what the student will do) - most fall in "Column A". Part of this stems from the what we collectively have identified as "success criteria" for our units.

    Right now, time is my biggest challenge - planning, teaching, assessing - too much to do with too little time. With the end of the trimester looming in a few short weeks, I am thinking about our first unit (probability) of the new trimester.
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