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  • Erin Beaver

    June 19, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    A traditional math lesson also has three parts, in an “I do, We do, You do” pattern, but who is doing the majority of the work? Students tend to watch the teacher do the math and then regurgitate it (some well, others not so well).

    The benefits of the type of lesson presented here are that it is student-centered–they are not watching us do the math and then mimicking. We are not owners of this knowledge–we start the students with noticing and wondering and then allow them to play with the math, stemming from a genuine interest and curiosity. Then allowing students to share their strategies and learn from each other, making connections in their learning. This has the potential to completely overhaul classroom culture!

    I came to teaching math this last year after 20 years of teaching English (dually-certified, though), and it was mathematical innovators like Make Math Moments who inspired me to make the change so that I could teach math differently (better) than it was taught to me. I enjoyed playing with all the ideas from K Pearce & J Orr, P Liljedahl, A Overwijk, D Meyer, G Fletcher, P Harris, S Singh, and J Boaler this year, and I sure had fun. Turns out the kids did too! I had great feedback from students–lots of boosts in confidence and requests that I continue 3-Act Tasks and problem-solving groups with my classes next year. I loved that spending the most time with Noticing and Wondering helped my students who are not (self-reported) as mathematically inclined make observations and be curious about their world–and reinforced that they brought their valuable mathematical selves to the table.

    There is just so much out there that it does become overwhelming to decide what I need to do, but that seems like a good problem to have. I am enrolled here this summer to help me focus and hone in on my practice.