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  • Paula Harlin

    July 22, 2020 at 11:34 am

    This past school year I tried to spiral my plans. It was tricky! Students would work on different math strands as bell work (their first task after attendance). I loved that it brought up great conversations and we usually discussed the morning work as part of a number talk later in the morning. However, the tricky part was that if students were unfamiliar with the content presented that day, they would just make their best guess and put very little effort into the task (during bell work, I wasn’t normally available to work one on one with students to help them through the task). I guess it would work better if we ALWAYS spent time afterwards discussing solutions and strategies. But this took too much time. Or perhaps be available to those who need help, by gathering as a small group as needed.

    I think a lot of educators, myself included, find spiraling to be intimidating as we don’t know how to progress through the concepts in a gradual way throughout the year. We also are very accountable to writing report cards and having a grade for each strand, so I think we often feel rushed.

    I do love the idea of spiraling though, and this year I’ll give it another try, perhaps use the Throwback Thursday idea, using 1 day of the week to explore a different strand than we are currently focusing on.