Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine

Chapters 4 & 5

16 Jul 2018 8:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Classroom discussion is shown to have an effect size of 0.82.  What strategies do you use to promote effective class discussions?


Use of metacognitive strategies have an effect size of 0.69.  How often do your students engage in metacognitive strategies?  Do they use any prompts or sentence frames like those on p.121?


How often do you use flexible grouping strategies in your classroom?  How often do you change groups?  How do you decide how to group students for the lesson?

Comments

  • 16 Jul 2018 9:42 AM | Anonymous member
    Class discussion can easily be overtaken by the vocal and confident students in the room. I make it a point at the beginning of the year to call on everyone so the students quickly realize that they are not going to be allowed to hide and not participate. To encourage the students to hold conversations and be able to explain their thought process, I will ask the students to see if they can come up with a solution path that they don't think anyone else will use. They share those solutions in small groups and discuss the similarities of their paths and then share out as a group. This leads to great small group and class discussion. I also will ask "Why?" during our discussions. I end up sounding like a two-year-old sometimes! This helps the class defend their own thought process but also come to be able to explain how others are thinking as well.

    I use some of the same sentence frames listed in Monitoring and Evaluating on p. 121 in my Exit Slips. I value the information that solving something with an exit slip can give but often there is not enough time at the end of a 60 minute period to devote to an entire question. I have pre-printed exit slips that students can mark off the boxes and fill in their thoughts. This supports the development of being able to "talk about" math and how they are doing, and encourage them to explain what is going well or where they see their own struggles.

    I use flexible grouping in my classroom all the time. There is no set time for how often I change groups, it is based on where the students are in the unit. Some units that change is each class, some it is each week, and others it is never needed because the students are able to proceed as a whole group. I often invite groups of students to an after-school study session to help keep them moving toward the completion of the unit so they don't fall too far behind. Those study sessions would be open to all students wanting some extra practice as well but is intended to help those who might be struggling.

    There are other times that I group students for a particular part of the lesson with others who are not in the same place that they are. This can give the struggling student some additional support and student explanation, while given the student on their way to mastery the opportunity to explain the process and thinking behind the material to better understand it themselves and the chance to help their classmates. Sometimes this grouping is all the struggling student needs to succeed, all they need is the chance to work in a small group, or one-on-one, with other students who get it and who can answer questions without having to ask in front of everyone.
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  • 20 Jul 2018 10:11 AM | Anonymous member
    I do not have a classroom anymore, as I am a math coach, so all of these responses are either past practices, practices I use in my small intervention groups, or practices I use with a classroom teacher when in coaching cycles with them.

    1) Classroom discussion is shown to have an effect size of 0.82. What strategies do you use to promote effective class discussions?
    I use number talks, guided questions, cooperative learning question stems and prompts, activities which require partners to discuss strategies such as the RAQ's Activity from the 2nd Formative Assessments text by Cheryl Tobey, and the Feedback Sandwich (same text).


    2) Use of metacognitive strategies have an effect size of 0.69. How often do your students engage in metacognitive strategies? Do they use any prompts or sentence frames like those on p.121?

    I have used KWL charts and vocabulary discussions prior to lessons, and this helped me plan for instruction. I have used check in questions mid lesson, but most often I have used questions like the ones on page 121 at the end of a lesson. I often used Exit Tickets which had reflection questions on them.

    3) How often do you use flexible grouping strategies in your classroom? How often do you change groups? How do you decide how to group students for the lesson?

    Flexible grouping is a practice I used as a classroom teacher, and I encourage teachers to use. Depending on the unit or topic the class is working on , there are students at various levels of readiness and skill. I have always tried to make sure I knew what the learning target was for each small group, and that they knew (the students). This way, we are all aware of the progress that is being made, and when it might be time to join another group or rejoin the class. The timing of group changes varies by student and readiness level, but as a rule I tried to meet with the students farthest from the standard every day.
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  • 22 Jul 2018 9:31 AM | Anonymous member
    Classroom discussion is shown to have an effect size of 0.82. What strategies do you use to promote effective class discussions?

    My high school students participate more in classroom discussions when I break them into smaller groups. I give them a few minutes to think on their own and jot down some thoughts. Timing depends on what the discussion is about. I have them do a quick whip around sharing one thought and then break into whole group discussion. For a larger discussion, like at the end of a task, I assign roles to keep the process moving along. At the end of the year some classes no longer need the roles.


    Use of metacognitive strategies have an effect size of 0.69. How often do your students engage in metacognitive strategies? Do they use any prompts or sentence frames like those on p.121?

    When my students work on tasks they have some reflection questions to fill out that push them to think about their work and their thinking. Before the group work they have private think time where they have to write about what the problem is asking them to do and what strategy they will use. They have to respond to why they chose that strategy and what it was about the problem that made them make that choice. During the group work of the task I have them pause part way through to give students time to reflect on their work. This gives students a little more think time and hopefully prevents the more dominant students from just pushing their ideas through.Whole group discussions at the end often involve many of the prompts from p121.

    How often do you use flexible grouping strategies in your classroom? How often do you change groups? How do you decide how to group students for the lesson?

    My grouping depends on what we are doing. When we work on lengthy tasks I usually use a random grouping app. The students see me doing this and know that they are not put into any "slow" group or "smart" group. There is an expectation that they are all able to contribute. If a group is formed that is not ideal, it is just one day so I don't worry about it. They need to learn to work with everyone. When students are working on practice exercises I pull students together based on similar needs.
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  • 22 Jul 2018 11:54 AM | Anonymous member
    I have been using routines from the Five Practices for Orchestrating Productive Classroom Discussion. Some of these routines dovetail nicely with the strategies discussed in Visible Learning. One that is used very frequently is Anticipating, Monitor, Select, Sequence, Connect requires having students work independently, then with a partner while the teacher is monitoring and keeping track of the different strategies and approaches students are using. The teacher is thinking about which strategies she will share with the group, and in which order so that the discussion develops in a way that will help students develop learning. It also prevents the discussion from going in a way that could derail the learning.

    Thinking about the physical layout of the room can have such a big impact on the effectiveness of a discussion. When kids can't see or hear each other you've got to fix it.

    I love the sentence frames on page 121. I have used some of these, but will add some more to my collection.

    I like to change groups in my room every couple of weeks; more frequently if I see that I've put together some students who just aren't working out.
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  • 24 Jul 2018 10:32 AM | Anonymous member
    Since learners are working on their own individualized learning path, classroom discussions are done more often in a small group, most of the time led by the learning facilitators. We have developed a 'Maniac Monday' routine. We use this time on Monday for learners to work on Freckle to help them fill holes in their mathematical knowledge. I would like to try Number Talks this year during our Maniac Mondays to help increase fluency and to help model discussions so learners can apply these skills when working in small groups without a learning facilitator.

    We have built in reflective questions into our playlists. Learners answer those questions in their journals and review them with their learning facilitators or with a peer. We also use exit tickets to help engage learners in metacognitive strategies.

    We use flexible grouping daily. On Maniac Mondays, learners are usually in their 'home base', or the classroom that they are assigned to on their schedule. The rest of the week we use Flex Time Manager and shuffle learners between 2 sometimes 3 rooms based on either skills they are working on, collaboration groups, random groupings based on silly poll questions, conference time with learning facilitators, etc. Last year we did a pilot group with one 7th grade group (2 classrooms) and one 8th grade group (2 classrooms). It worked out so well that this year most 7th and 8th graders will be in the grouping/regrouping model.
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