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  • Norbert Larsen

    June 23, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    I love the “low floor, high ceiling” aspect of a lesson like “Chocolate Mania”, and I love the way the lesson gets kids thinking! I also happened to notice that you’re having teachers stand at vertical white boards to solve problems! I picked up “Building Thinking Classrooms” by Peter Liljedahl and I’m reading it this summer alongside your course. I’m super excited to implement a different pedagogy in my class.

    I just started working in a school that uses “Everyday Math” as a program. This is the first school I’ve worked at in some time that follows a program. Prior to this, I’ve been fortunate to work at schools that give teachers the flexibility to create units and lessons pulling from many resources, and I’ve used 3-act tasks, Joe Boaler, Cathy Fosnot etc. and aimed to teach as conceptually as I could using problem-based learning. This past year I taught third grade and really had to follow “Everyday Math” like a script because that is what the 2nd and 4th grade teachers expect. So we did workbook pages! Unfortunately I would hear kids sigh at math class, or declare they didn’t like math. And kids who needed challenge were simply bored. Next year I’m teaching 5th grade and I don’t have to follow “Everyday Math” with fidelity because the 6th grade doesn’t use it anyway. I got permission from my principal to veer off. My biggest concern is successfully preparing the kids for middle school content in a rigorous college prep atmosphere! I’m also concerned that the students I have (and their parents) will have expectations of following the “Everyday Math” program, so I’m wondering how I can marry “Everyday Math” with other pedagogy, and also ensure my pacing keeps up enough to cover all the content necessary and expected. I know kids will be far more engaged if I don’t submit them to completing copious amounts of workbook pages… I want to hear kids saying, “Math class is fun!” again.