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Well, now that we’re all teaching remotely, the conversation with Jon and Kyle went a different way. It also went a different way because when I switched away from teaching with a “curiosity path” lens, I realized just how dull it was! It was deadening my students’ enjoyment of math, something I have worked to build all year. It felt efficient to work through examples in the textbook, but, as you’ll hear us talk about, that efficiency seems misleading. The students can mimic the steps, but they have no ownership of the information. It would be really interesting if I had some way of objectively comparing the students I taught preremote learning, where I taught solving equations in a completely handson way, asking them to use manipulatives and tell me what they noticed, create the rules, etc., and the students I taught for 3 weeks of remote learning, which was all textbook. Same material, vastly different approaches. Who can do it more accurately more consistently? Who better understands why they are doing what they are doing? I’ll be watching them in April and May and see if I can tell. I think often it will come down to the individual student–some could fly through the textbook individually and be great. Others need the hands on. But one thing I do know is that when asked, my students will say, to a person, that they feel more confident in math this year and like math better this year. That doesn’t mean they are always doing everything right, but they are moving away from the idea that if they get something wrong it’s because they are “bad at math” and will always be “bad at math.” Math has become a conversation that they feel a part of, and that is HUGE. So I really hope the podcast doesn’t disappoint because it doesn’t answer those original questions. Issues of the moment kind of took over.
I’m still doing Probability as my last unit–gathering all kinds of handson things that can work with remote learning as we speak.