Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our
community around the world.

  • Elisha's Progress Log

    Posted by Elisha Horbay on July 12, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    End result – teach grade 8 math with a spiraled approach.


    – read Jo Boaler’s Mathematical Mindset: Completed, bloody brilliant 

    – read Making Number Talks Matter: waiting for it to arrive 

    – outline Ontario grade 8 math expectations in a way that spirals: pretty much completed, may need some revision, currently taped and colour coded on my wall – so will need to type up

    – figure out a basic template for weekly assessments and for end of cycle assessment

    – then find tasks to fit with expectations: should be able to use many bookmarked from previous year, but need to organize into new ‘order.’ 

    – first week activities: focus on mindset and expectations for collaboration 

    All said and done by August 23rd. 

    Elisha Horbay replied 3 years ago 3 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Kyle Pearce

    July 20, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Fantastically eager goals for this summer!

    Both books you’ve outlined are great. I found that the Making Number Talks Matter was really helpful for me as a former high school teacher understand why number talks are important as well as how I might go about doing them in my high school classroom.

    As for spiralling, have you referenced the TIS4RM and TIPS4Math scope and sequence as a starting point?
    Love the ambitious goals. Keep us posted!

  • Elisha Horbay

    July 21, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    First – Thank you to you and Jon for creating this platform for math educators to be able to learn, share and grow. It’s fantastic. And for responding to all the posts – so much time and effort, it’s appreciated. 

    Second – goals update: definitely into summer mode (given Ontario doesn’t go back, for most of us, until September 3rd), so I have not done much. I have typed up what was typed to my wall in two formats – one in teacher language and one in student language. The student language one still needs work though. 

    What I have decided for sure – is to allow myself the year to figure this out. There will be days where I may have to give a worksheet, there will be meetings and days where I’m out coaching and I might not be at a place where an appropriate follow up can happen. And that is okay!

    The podcast turned video of Michael’s process was great! I have been on a similar journey, although not as in depth. Although I have my expectations outlined, I don’t feel like I will be able to match a task to all the big ideas now. I am going to plan the first few weeks and then go with what my students need. I’m fortunate to have taught grade 8 math for years so I have a variety of tasks and activities already bookmarked and in binders. Perhaps I should outline them in a document/sheet though for easy reference – another shout out to Michael. 

    I am aware of  TIPS4Math scope and sequence, and say this with reservation, I’m not a fan. I know of many who think it’s great and many who recommend it. Don’t get me wrong – some of the activities are definitely good, but I don’t feel like it’s a true spiral. It’s still in units that can take weeks to get through and leaves integers until the end – when integers needs to be integrated into so many other aspects of the curriculum. Thank you for the recommendation though. 

    This is long – so next steps. Need to work on the student version of the expectations as I definitely plan on putting it into “I can …” statements. Need to come up with at least the first couple weeks of assessments, which will include a reflection component. Need to plan out the first week, which includes explicit learning of collaboration and growth mindset. 

  • Elisha Horbay

    August 14, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    And I haven’t completed any of my next steps. 🙂 But I’ve read a lot and watched a lot/listened to a lot of summits and podcasts. More work to follow.

    • Kyle Pearce

      August 20, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      Hi @ElishaHorbay!

      Both @jon and I are super excited to have you as part of the Academy and the Moment Maker Community! 

      I love how you’re giving yourself the permission to figure this out. You’ve identified a timeline (this year) which is great, but also keep in mind that we’ll never have it “ALL” figured out. As long as you’re setting those attainable and realistic goals, I think you’ll be super thrilled with your progress.

      I think it is also important to reference that worksheets themselves are not bad. I think using them without any intention might not be super helpful, but we don’t want to put ourselves in a situation where we NEVER give any sort of handout/worksheet, because there are MANY great ones out there. So don’t go burn all those books / resources 🙂

      Love how you’re thinking deeply about spiraling and what that might look like / sound like in your classroom. If you’re not a fan of TIPS4Math, that’s totally allowed! 🙂 Always good to have a starting point even if it’s just the order. However, if there are things you’re not liking, then definitely don’t start there. I’m super excited to hear how things pan out over time.

      Enjoy the last couple weeks of summer!

  • Elisha Horbay

    August 24, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Thanks for all the support! It’s one day past my “deadline”…. here’s where I’m at. 

    Still haven’t finished the Number Talks book. Still need to create a template for assessments. But everything else is pretty much ready to go. We shall see how next week plays out. 

    Good luck with your first week back too!

  • Elisha Horbay

    October 26, 2019 at 7:53 pm


    As I above writing progress reports 🙂 

    Spiraling is completely underway in my grade 8 math class. Some weeks have not gone as planned because of interruptions. I did build in some leeway but feel like I’m using too much of it too soon in the year. My students marks have dropped but I’m confident that it will start to turn around as they adjust to the strategies. Honestly, my biggest problem right now is how to track my assessments. Because I have several strands on one assessment and I have to report on each strand separately …. how do I record it? I currently have it in a google spreadsheet, but it’s taking too much time to figure out what their marks are. When I have some time…. HA…. I need to listen to the chat with Steven on assessment and see if there are any ideas there. 

    • Jon

      November 2, 2019 at 7:31 am

      Hey Elisha, 

      Time, like in all of what we do, can be a struggle for assessment. 

      This was a huge piece of the puzzle that had to change once I started spiralling and teaching through tasks. That’s why we’re building the Assessment For Growth Mini Course. Have you completed Module 1 yet? 

      I’ve managed to build a system in my classroom that is manageable. We’ll be sharing strategies on how to set that up in upcoming modules of the mini course. Here are a few resources to get you started. 

      • Elisha Horbay

        November 3, 2019 at 4:22 pm

        Thanks Jon! I haven’t done that mini-course yet…..more time. I’m finding this year difficult to juggle. I’ll definitely take a look when I can. Thanks for the info.