Tag Archives: Book Chat

Goals for Spring Semester #MTBoS12Days Post 4

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Saw Elissa’s tweet and wondered… which lead to this conversation a couple of days ago…


So, what were those SMART goals again?

SMART-goals

So, to take this…  Be intentional with planning formative assessments, develop and focus on vocab with roots-weekly system, and… more open questions in assignments & assessments. Are those measurable?

Elissa’s question – how do you measure intentionality?  Hmmmm.  If its a goal, I should be intentional with it right?  So, how do I measure that?  By asking someone to review my unit plans to ensure that I am including these in them?  By weekly self-accountability?

All of these things are related to my planning – I constantly use formative assessments, they are just not formally documented in my plans as they should be.  How do I know they are actually assessing the desired learning outcome?

At the beginning of each unit, I have a Words Worth Knowing Vocabulary Survey – that I modified from Sarah’s here.  I walk around the room and observe students’ assessments of their knowledge of these terms.  Towards the end of the unit, we revisit and they re-assess, hopefully being familiar and knowing more than they did in the beginning.

Yes, they are exposed to the terms within the unit, but do they have a deeper understanding of the words?  When I taught geometry, I did a lot with the etymology of the words.  I am wondering how I can develop a list of latin/greek roots, etc. relating to our intended vocabulary?  And someone develop a weekly system like my science colleague to help students truly build a foundational understanding.  I started a list just before Christmas Break, but have not spent much more time with this task.

I have included open questions often within a daily task, and tried to include in unit assessments.  But not at the level to truly elicit student thinking and frequency I would like.

The focus of these goals will all be one section of Algebra I.  My other Algebra I class uses the Springboard Curriculum – a completely different order of topics and pacing.


For the Spring 2018 Semester, in my 4th block Algebra I class, I will increase (currently, I do not link them in my plans) my planning of formative assessments for each learning target listed / linked in my unit lesson plans.  Twice per week, I will take time to formally reflect (written) the student work and devise a plan for next steps.   Currently, I only informally reflect / plan next steps, without formal documentation in my plans.  I hope this work will lead to better quality formative assessments that are truly at the level and integrity of the standards.

Over the course of the Spring 2018 Semester, I will develop a list of common Latin / Greek roots as related to our content in Algebra I.  Through the collaboration of my colleague, I will develop and implement a weekly system to help students learn and make connections within the content to the roots, etc.   The list, weekly quiz results and study tools will be documented in lesson plans.  At the end of each month (January – April), I will reflect on our progress, analyze the impact on student learning and adjust, continue.  This list should grow throughout the semester.  List to students, implement study tool, report student progress.

I will revisit Small & Lin’s book More Good Questions for ideas on creating Open Questions.  As part of the formative assessment tools, I will begin to include these on a weekly basis in our lessons – for feedback only and incorporate on every unit assessment (after discussing with my content team teacher).

If I have a sheet in my planner for weekly reflection…  Suggestions?

goals 2018

 

 

Thoughts on #75facts

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As I read SimplifyRadicals #75facts post this morning, it really got me to thinking…about things I do and how I could use “Create the Problem” in my own classroom.

I’ve given students the answer before and asked them to write a scenario that could model the problem.  But reading her refelction and suggestions for modifications helped me realize a couple of ways I could improve the way I’ve done this in the past.

The FACT reminds me of ideas from More Good Questions, Marian Small & Amy Lin.  Give students the answer and they have to come up with the equation/problem.  Example, the slope is 2/3, what are 2 points that could give you this slope?

As suggested in the FACT#11 description, providing students with an open ended task takes their thinking to another level.  Student examples generate whether they know why a computation is performed rather than just knowing a procedure.  But this FACT actually asks them, not to find the computation/problem, but to give a scenario/context where this strategy could be used to solve the problem.

The key, as with many successful strategies, is sharing student ideas.  Not just allowing them to talk about their examples and how their story matches the solution, but the teacher asking the class for feedback on whether it is a match, if not, how could it be changed/made better (pg. 81)?

This reminds me of another FACT I’ve used in class before “2 stars and 1 wish.”  however, when I first saw this a couple of years ago, it was called 2 +’s and a delta…two positives and one thing I’d like to change.  Playing off of My Favorite No, I ask students “What do I know this student understands?  Give me 2 examples of what this student did well.”  By focusing on the correct parts first, especially if I’m using a student’s example (anonymously) – the student can see it wasn’t completely wrong.

Then for the delta (wish), I ask students not to point out the mistake, but to think of a question they could ask the student to help the student realize their mistake.  Sometimes, this is a tough task, depending on the mistake that was made, but by asking a question, students, again, are having to think on a different level.

In several of the Formative Assessment Lessons from the MARS site (Solving Linear Equations in Two Variables) – the lesson format actually allows students in small groups to evaluate different levels of student work.  On a slide in the projector resources for this lesson, Assessing Student Work, students are given these questions to guide their discussions:

You are the teacher and have to assess this work.

Correct the work and write comments on the accuracy and organization of each response.

•What do you like about this student’s work?
•What method did the student use?
Is it clear? Is it accurate?  Is it efficient?
•What errors did the student make?
•How might the work be improved?
My thinking, use the FACT #11 – Create a Problem as an exit slip.  Divide the responses into different levels.  On overhead, share different levels, both correct/incorrect, as well as different approaches, using the above questions as a guide for class discussion.  Then present students with solution(s) and ask them to create a problem.
Thanks to Simplifying Radicals for getting my brain to churning so early this morning!

 

Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction

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Wrapped up our twitter book chat this week over

#lit4math – Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction by Joan M. KenneyEuthecia HancewicLoretta Heuer .

You can read (here) how I am not a fan of writing and words.  Literacy – communication – its all the same, in my opinion;  You can read, write, speak – but its all to share/get information, right?  I do realize the importance of providing students with strategies that will help them succeed, to give them opportunities to write and talk about their thinking can be a key component in their learning to help expand their understanding of certain concepts.  I look at this chance to learn about literacy in math as a way I can learn with my students – to be open that words are my weakness – but by facing my fear – something I struggle with – I can help them realize words are not the enemy either.  I am able to help them learn this “new language” called math and share ways of conquering it !

Though this book did not end as strongly and wow! as it began, it was worth my time.  Chapter 1 really pulled me in, causing me to think about my classroom, questioning some of my strategies and left me craving more!  It showed me how students – who are not as math-minded – can struggle because they view concepts differently.  Chapters 2 and 3 – gave me tools / suggestions of ways I could provide students with opportunities to share – ways I could become more aware of their thinking – and prepare for their struggles.  Through our chats, I was able reflect how I could improve things I am currently doing – but also looking at new ways of viewing mathematical text and ideas (literacy really isn’t a 4-letter word).

The remainder of the book, well, I was diasppointed – but would still recommend at least a skim – because there are some key ideas – but mostly, some great articles/research mentioned you may wish to take a look at as well.

I’ve linked to catalog from Storify of our Twitter Chats – again, some good thoughts – good articles and links.  Also, take a look here, Teaching Statistics Blog offers some reflection with posts from reading the book in 2010.

June 11 – Chapter 1 Mathematics as a Language

June 14 – Chapter 2 Reading in the Mathematics Classroom

June 18 – Chapter 3 Writing in the Mathematics Classrom

June 21 – Chapter 4 Graphic Representation in the Mathematics Classroom

June 25 – Chapter 5 Discourse in Mathematics Classroom

June 28 – Chapter 6 Creating Mathematical Metis

All in all – it really boils down to becoming aware of those struggles students will encounter and being ready to help them bridge past that struggle.  Notice I didn’t say be the bridge – productive struggle is a good thing.  We must give them opportunities to read, write and share – expanding their understanding by listening to other learners.  When they write about their thinking – cognitive demand is much higher.  We must listen to their conversations – not always answering their questions, but providing them with questions that will move their thinking deeper.  When they talk, discuss, even argue over a solution – they have greater opportunities to build connections as opposed to a sit-n-get teacher centered classroom.

My summary:

 ‏@pamjwilson to get students actively engaged, the tchr must 1st be actively engaged- listen, question, be less helpful #lit4math