MemberJanuary 26, 2020 at 8:29 pm
My goal is to improve my knowledge of math instruction and math practices.
Since the bulk of my training and my work has been in literacy, I feel the need to increase my understanding of math strategies, progressions of learning, and how to best teach all students how to improve their understanding of math concepts. Through my own learning, I hope to help the teachers I work with to reflect on their teaching, and work to increase their own understanding of mathematics.
As I observed teachers working with students during the math block last year, I felt as though we were turning the pages in the math books we were using and did not have a DEEP understanding of the concepts that were being taught. It seems that we were rushing too quickly into the algorithm and not giving enough time to the concrete & pictorial representations. In addition, our students are coming to us with “spotty” math facts. The majority of our students were working within Make 10, Adding 10, & Doubles at the beginning of third grade.
So far, I have read Dr. Nicki Newton’s Math Running Records to get a better handle on how to assess and then provide instructional support for our students to become more flexible, fluent, & efficient in their math facts and I have led a book study using Dr. Nicki Newton’s Math Workshop in Action. Through the book study, we have looked at creating a community of learners (and all that that entails), explored openers, fluency energizers & routines (question of the day, My Friend Tony, Estimation 180, wodb, esti-mysteries, splat, etc.). We looked at the critical areas of learning at each grade level 3-5, according to CCSS, and how to design learning activities for students that will help them to develop fluency while the teacher is working with small groups. Then as we progressed into Nov. & Dec. we began to look at number talks, numberless word problems and we also revisited our work with running records (how to continue to strengthen our students addition/subtraction facts as we begin to move into multiplication and division). This past months learning centered around uncovering misconceptions, and the progression of fractions from gr. 1-5.
I have a group of people that I am following that are helping me to increase my understandings- Dr. Nicki Newton, Anne Elise Record, Christina Tondevold, Graham Fletcher, Steven Kaplinsky, Jo Boaler, as well as several math practitioners on Twitter. I am now adding Making Math Moments that Matter to my list. I look forward to this journey.
Thanks for listening!
P.S. I have purposely left the goal vague. I have a lot on my plate this year and have been concentrating on creating a workshop model in grades 3-5. I hope to clarify as I become more aware of the needs of the teachers I work with and my own understandings as I learn more from this community.