Recently, I spent a day with K-6 teachers exploring the why and how of using math tools in their classrooms.
The “why” is easy! Years of research indicate students gain deeper conceptual understanding when they have teachers who engage in specific instructional practices. The recommendations form NCTM’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics suggest that teachers employ 8 specific instructional practices. They include:
A Problem Solving approach
Children are Active Learners in the classroom
The use of Concrete materials
Cooperative work in small groups
Discussion of ideas
Justification of thinking
Writing in class lessons
The common core state standards were born out of this type of research and the 8 mathematical practices were framed around these ideas and the Strands of Mathematical Proficiency from the National Research Council.
The “How” of using math takes more time. Read more ›
When looking for math activities, information, or new ideas I have a few “core” people I follow.
Here is the short list: Read more ›
Tagged with: Common Core
Most of you know me as the math girl and that is absolutely true, but….before I was the math girl, I was the word girl. I like to joke that I am a word”smith” but it isn’t a joke. I really am. I often introduce myself to new teachers by telling them that my plans for life included becoming a noted children’s book author but (as I point upward) someone up there had a sense of humor and made me a math teacher instead. I usually do that to let them know that even if we don’t start out believing math is our favorite subject, we can get better at it and, in my case, come to find it is our favorite thing to teach. Read more ›
Rigor is a word receiving a lot of attention in regards to the common core state standards. So what does it mean in terms of teaching and learning? The 8 mathematical practices and the college and career readiness standards give us a look at what rigor refers to. Students should be challenged to solve rich, relevant problems that require effort and persistence. Problems should have multiple entry points and multiple solution paths and strategies.(M.P.1) Students should be encouraged to reason, explain, and make sense of their learning. (M.P.2)(M.P.3) Students will demonstrate independence and take responsibility for their own learning. Teachers will need to consider rigor when planning their units and lessons. Concepts should be introduced in contexts that are interesting and motivating to students and students will explore and discover solutions in their own ways. Tasks will build off prior knowledge and will not focus on just one Read more ›