Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine

Chapter 1: Making learning visible in mathematics

05 Jul 2018 6:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


Share a quote that is meaningful, engaging, or thought provoking to you. What are some changes you are making in your own math instruction?

Comments

  • 09 Jul 2018 7:08 PM | Anonymous member
    "If students know where they are going and how they'll know when they get there, they are better able to set their own expectations, self-monitor, and predict or self-report their own achievement." (page 35) I am working on creating a system to display the unit targets in the classroom written in student language and then a system of exit slips for students to identify for themselves where they are at the end of each class. Incorporating these two systems will engage students more directly with the path they need to take and where they are in the process.
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    • 17 Jul 2018 10:44 AM | Anonymous member
      This is wonderful!! I have been working with teachers on this for a couple years, and have facilitated a PD session around this! I am big on illustrating these objectives as well because we have many language learners at our school! I have always used these in my classroom, and as a math coach, encourage them in all classrooms at every level! They are SO helpful, and I LOVE the exit slips! Great way to launch into the misconceptions the next day (if needed) or make groupings based on needs in REAL TIME!
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  • 10 Jul 2018 9:56 AM | Anonymous member
    "Remember, it is your students, not the curriculum writers, who direct the learning in your classroom." (page 17)

    Working with another math teacher at our middle school, we have developed a grouping and regrouping technique that allows us to change which classroom a learner is in easily. We have the ability to change daily if we want to. We group based not only on what skills learners are working on but also to help with behaviors, collaboration, etc. When a learner begins a new unit, they take a pretest that is broken up into sections based on specific skills. This way, learners move through the curriculum based on what they need. Our district has also done a lot of work with depth of knowledge and because of this almost every performance indicator, or 'power standard', includes opportunities for learners to work at a 4 level knowledge if that is where they are at.
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  • 10 Jul 2018 11:21 AM | Anonymous member
    "School is a time to apprentice students into the act of becoming their own teachers....In other words, as students' learning becomes visible to them, we want it to become the catalyst for continued learning whether the teacher is present or not." (pg 32)

    In my grade 5 classroom, I am working on getting students to do the above. It has been a struggle until this past year, I had students self report their grades. Many students grasped this concept and worked hard to show concepts were mastered. I heard students share their successes and some shared their possible "redo" of material they admitted they did not understand. It's all about how to get students to be an active participant in their own learning.
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  • 10 Jul 2018 9:51 PM | Anonymous member
    I got on here to add the quote that Sue Townsend beat me to. It is so important to get students to take ownership of their learning. I went back to the book and chose "I promise to learn alongside you." from page 12. Students often see us as people who have all the answers. Instead, if they see us learning new things and seeing math through their eyes we form a learning community.
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  • 15 Jul 2018 7:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    On page 2, the quote that hit me most was "A major problem among many math teachers and students is that they believe they have to be talented or smart to successfully undertake mathematics. But if you review the biographies of great mathematicians, the common denominator is that they knew how to struggle." Students don't like to struggle and many times teachers give too much information that students don't struggle. Struggle should mean to deepen knowledge. When students struggle, they are actually activating parts of the brain that trigger deeper learning.
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    • 20 Jul 2018 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
      I am strategically working in the biographies of mathematicians recommended in Tracy's book through the first month or two of my school year. I hope we can develop a culture of taking on challenges.
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  • 16 Jul 2018 6:29 PM | Anonymous member
    Several quotes that strike me:

    "Forget about prescriptive curricula, scripted lesson plans, and worksheets. Learning isn't linear, it's recursive. Prescriptive curriculum isn't matched to students instructional needs. Sometimes students know more than the curriculum allows for and other times they need a lot of scaffolding and support to develop deep understanding and skills."

    This is so true. In my practice I have been focused on collecting evidence of learning on a daily basis and responding to what the students are showing they know and what they need to know. This means I have to listen to what they say to me and to each other about the math and look at the their errors and determine what is going on.

    Additionally, this bit in the chapter about making errors: "That's a really important mistake. I hope you all heard it!" Students need to be allowed to make mistakes, talk about them and discover where they went wrong. Too often, teachers (myself included) swoop in too soon to give direction or to point out the problem. While it's important to let kids struggle, it's also important to make sure the struggle is at the right level. A little frustration is okay. Too much frustration is counter productive.
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    • 20 Jul 2018 1:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
      Our grade 4 team had a conversation about this last Spring- not "saving" our students. For the fall, our PLC is going to focus on productive struggle. I'm so excited! We will be able to support each other in this- not just at my school, but you and I.
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  • 17 Jul 2018 10:42 AM | Anonymous member
    "A major flaw of highly scripted lessons is that they don't allow teachers to respond with joy to the errors students make." (Pg. 16)

    Just today I was teaching a small group and a boy asked for help with a subtraction problem. He tried to use an open number line, and had made an error in his counting because there were so many jumps. I got really excited because I knew that the place we were all going next was jumping by numbers other than ones, and this helped launch us right into that. He was perplexed about why I was so excited that he made a mistake, and I was able to tell him that mistakes help us grow.
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    • 20 Jul 2018 1:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
      Yay!
      It's so exciting to see what is in books, come to life in our rooms.
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  • 20 Jul 2018 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    "Having never solved this kind of problem before, the students rebelled. Choruses of 'I don't know what they want me to do!' rang out across the classroom." pg. 33

    This is me to a T. I'm always gung-ho to try things, but don't always follow the necessary introduction for kids. I'm so excited to be reading this book so that I can think more about, "Much of teaching is dependent on responding to student data in real time, and each teacher has his or her own strengths and personality that shines through in the best lessons. Great teachers are much like jazz musicians, both deliberately setting the stage and improvising."(pg. 17-18)

    As I go through the book I feel confident that I will learn more about orchestrating my own lessons- and not following just the curriculum - responding to my students and capitalizing on what they bring to the lesson.
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