Make Math Moments Academy › Forums › Full Workshop Reflections › Module 6: LongRange Planning and Assessment to Make Math Moments That Matter › Lesson 64: Five Misconceptions About Long Range Planning › Lesson 64: Questions

Lesson 64: Questions
Denny Nelson updated 1 month, 4 weeks ago 64 Members · 84 Posts 
Share any comments or questions you have on the five misconceptions about long range planning here.

The colorful graphics at the end of the video helped me understand the ideas better. I was glad to see that most of the lessons start with problemsolving but not all. I was always wondering how a topic so abstract as Solving Systems of Equations by Elimination could be derived by students themselves. I have been able to find tasks and activities where students could intuitively derive the graphing method and the substitution method to solve systems of equations but I had trouble with the elimination method. Now I know that I could mixmatch lesson structures but always keep in mind the curiosity path framework to try to incorporate it in my lessons as much as I can.
 This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Claudia Sever.

I used to teach linearly with definitions, examples and nonexamples, theorems, worked examples, class work, conclusion in my first 10 years of teaching.
I then changed the sequence by letting my students solve a representative work problem of the whole chapter first. By so doing, they understand why they need to learn that chapter.
Since 5 years ago when I first learnt the 3Act tasks, I have formed the habit of beginning a lesson with a video/diagram/problem to spark their curiosity. That makes learning more meaningful. Students usually don’t care about definitions, theorems and mathematical vocabulary. However, if we pose a problem/video to them, the series of responses will lead to the need to introduce the mathematical vocabulary, the definition of new concepts, …
I like this change of teaching sequence.

DM,
I completely agree with you that front loading vocabulary, theorems, and definitions is not a effective use of instruction time. My experience has demonstrated that mastery of the vocabulary and theorems comes from individual efforts.


Beginning
with problem solving creates curiosity as well as builds resilience,
determination, and confidence in students. I also agree that practice should
have purpose in order for it to be more meaningful for students. I tend to be
pretty flexible already, but now I feel more comfortable with not needing to
put a time limit on each part of a lesson. 
I definitely think it is going to be a process to shift our thinking and teaching to a spiraling model, but I definitely think it’s doable. I liked seeing your clock visual and I like the idea of having that flexibility to adjust lessons as I see fit depending on how they are going. I like the idea of being ok spending an entire period on one problem if that is what the students needs and they are getting to the deeper level thinking and the problem solving. I am somewhat of a planner (as I think most teacher are), but I also consider myself pretty flexible and I don’t see myself having much trouble with the idea of deviating from the plan whenever I feel necessary to meet the student needs.

When I realize I don’t have to frontload a well defined math concept before I allow my students to dig into their math, a lot of pressure is lifted. I like the idea of starting with problem solving, hooking them in so that the instruction and discussion that follows is more meaningful and connected.

I think when discussing this framework, the largest question from teachers was about the frequency of 3Act Tasks. Most teachers want to incorporate these tasks into their practice, but have struggled envisioning how to balance these tasks along with the practice and fluency pieces. I think sharing that flexibility is the key will be so liberating to teachers. It is a reminder that they have the professional knowledge to think about good teaching and modify instruction based on the needs of their students.

Thanks these did help reinforce some of the conclusions i already had made.

I was feeling rushed trying to get through teaching procedures within a time frame that supports low attention spans.
This approach sounds very promising, and I had a lot of fun with my students working through 3act tasks as a warmup. I wonder how I can extend these problems to take up the majority of a lesson block.

The key for me is ensuring the goal of the task is to allow students to construct convincing arguments and also for me to bring student thinking out in the consolidation. This is where connections are made and we try to emerge new ideas through student generated solution strategies and mathematical models.


Any recommendations for at 42 minute class? I teach 6th grade.

Knowing that everyday your lesson could go completely wrong and being flexible is very important. My first year teaching I found out that you never know what could happen during the day that would change everything you had planned. Being flexible is key to being successful when it comes to teaching. Just going into the day knowing you might not finish everything, or you might complete too much, is the best way to start each day.

Thank you for taking time to give a visual of how things might be scheduled in a class. I appreciate the circle clock of how you break down your classroom day.
Misconceptions help us see that we can’t do perfect lessons everyday, there are other things that go on that may involved changes but we try to use this 3 part framework as often as possible to promote better learning.

I especially appreciated the clock. Consolidating student thinking and me helping less are important for retention!

As someone who only has 50 minutes with students, I am often thinking about how to make everything “fit” in a day. But I think that it’s okay to have a “lesson” that spans over the course of two class days. Then you can still have all of the parts that you’re referencing (application/problem solving, conceptual learning, and practice) in a lesson. It just may not fit within the span of one physical day.

This makes perfect sense. When you explore our multi day problem based units (https://makemathmoments.com/tasks) you’ll notice that we stretch the context for many days so stretching a lesson over two days isn’t a bad idea!


It’s going to feel so strange in the beginning not to show them exactly how to do the practice problems, but to remind and help them understand how the knowledge they gained during the problem solving phase of working through the task applies to the practice problems. I’m really hoping that the transition from conceptual to procedural is a smooth one, or at least becomes smoother after some time.

Definitely a scary thought, I’m sure! When you are so accustomed to something it is hard to make a change. We promise it’ll be worth it!


I’m sure this is too individualized to even answer, but how often should I attempt to make my math class follow a 3 part framework? Also, this might be coming up in one of the final lessons, but do either of you give “homework” (or did you? I think at least one of you is no longer a classroom teacher) and if so, what’s it like? @jon @kyle

Hi @ashleyBryant
This is a common wonder and I’d argue that we want to always be planning with the framework in mind… however the way it is delivered might look different.I’d check out an example of one of our units to see what I mean by this. For example, Donut Delight:
Have a look at each of the days of that unit and you’ll see elements of the 3 part frame work each day, but not necessarily a full 3 act math task each day… lots of productive struggle…


I must have gotten lost somewhere in between listening and notetaking. I have the first misconceiving as 1. do you do you need to use the three part frame work every day?, but then I don’t have misconceptions two through five. I’m not sure what they were.
 This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Stephanie Moore.

Yes I agree. I only heard one big misconception, rather than 5. But it’s definitely an important one to clear up!

I’m a visual learning which having the graphics as well as the different colours to show the multiple ways that a lesson and or a unit can look like was very helpful – thank you. I strongly believe that repeating the same ‘classroom clock’ format is harmful for the students learning and engagement within the lesson. I feel that changing things around, add a little bit of spice to the lesson will keep the students engaged and on their toes.

I think my school is leaning towards all teachers giving the same homework. If we do a 3 act math task and the homework is out of the book will this work?


It’s useful reading the comments here and see that others also are dealing with shorter class periods (I have 50 minutes). Thinking of 2 days for a full lesson is useful. I do wonder if I’ll be able to give some meaningful homework after the first day, although maybe that could be spiraling back to other content that needs practice.


Thank you for taking the time to provide information such as the visual of the clock to help me understand how things may be scheduled throughout a typical day in the classroom. As teachers we have so much to cover and we also tend to put undue pressure (personally speaking!) on ourselves to plan, develop and implement the perfect lessons for our students. It is nice to know that we must keep at the forefront of our teaching that not only should one have to be flexible and open to change but also to become familiarized with the 3 part framework that you mentioned to guide and hopefully keep one on track.

I like the idea of starting with the problem solving. If my class time is considerably shorter, do we just continue the sequence of things the next day?

The graphics you used helped me put things into perspective a little better. This is definitely going to be a change in thinking, but I think if I’m flexible this will be very beneficial to students.

I am very guilty of saving problem solving at the end of the lesson. I did try and begin with a “minds on” activity, it sometimes was related to what we’d done the day before or a consolidation/review of what we’d learn about the day before. The colourful graphic outlining where mastery/fluency show up in the lesson was also very helpful to me as I often feel like within my 60 minute math block, I have to sacrafice one thing or another from day to day. I need to work on this. I feel that spacing will be the key and it may make more sense to pay close attention to how I chunk my lessons so that I don’t feel that anything needs to be sacraficed.

I really like the visuals of the clock and the three color coding of how lessons are started and how you progressed through them. But as far as the clock I don’t think you can have a specific one that you use every single day you do one of these tasks because sometimes these tasks will take longer than others. I don’t assume that they will be taking shorter periods of time, but I am sure times will be longer. But I guess it gives us a good visual to go by. You understand that this is not a cookiecutter clock that would work for everyone but something for us to go by.

It will be an adjustment to switch to problem solving as the first step in teaching a new concept, but I’m looking forward to trying it.

Seeing the sample “daily schedule” was helpful for me to wrap my mind around a possible scenario. I have about 75 minutes of math class in 5th grade. However, about half of that, or at least 2530 minutes of it has to be set aside for guided math, which throws a wrench in things for me. That leaves about 4550 minutes for a lesson and the Curiosity Path approach. I would definitely need to break down the stages of the Curiosity Path lesson into at least two days. Is that something that could work?

While my own planning will have to rely on where my own students are it is helpful to see a possible scenario of how to lay out lessons and units. I also appreciate the graphics and color coding to help wrap my brain around the idea. I am sold on the idea of spiralling and the why behind it but am concerned about the response I will get from colleagues and parents who like being able to follow the textbook at least for an order. I have always felt like the no matter which textbook we use the ordering doesn’t feel right because so many topics can and are connected! I think this will require a lot of thought and planning but I am excited to embark on that journey.
 This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Josephine Bruno.

Very helpful visual of the clock. It is very important to be flexible with our plans. Many times it happens that things do not really turn out the way we have planned.
 This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Bhanuradha Bucktowar.

You mentioned some activities in Misconception #2 and said you would provide links to learn more about them, but I can’t find any links.
The activities were the “random winner game with sticky notes”, Risk, row games, and speed dating.
Could you please supply the links? Thanks!

I found the it helpful to think about each lesson in the math clock format and also found the graphic at the end about the unit plan helpful.
I am starting a new job in a different school this year. Unfortunately, each period is only 45 minutes long. I will be teaching 6th grade math. In general, I am concerned that each lesson will feel rushed everyday. This is regardless of how I structure my lessons (using the 3 Part framework or another structure).

I am wondering how I will do this while teaching virtually. Last spring it was so hard to get the kids to pay attention and participate. I am hoping that I can create a lesson that peeks their curiosity and helps with engagement, but conversations are choppy and not organic on Zoom. I am worried that technology will hinder the flow and lesson. Do you have any tips or ideas for making this work online?

Such a good question and concern @daneekennedy . While it’s outside the scope of this workshop we built a course in our Academy.
Just click the Upgrade To Academy link in your menu bar.


I really liked the idea of looking at parts of our lesson on a clock. While we are often tasked with including times in our lesson plans for each component, I don’t think it’s often that we consider what percentage of the class period some things are really taking up. This can be really valuable when considering the things we “always do” – like collecting & reviewing HW, “stand at the door time”, etc. Looking at all of this in the clock format can help us pinpoint where we can shift time and make the most effective use of instructional and practice time with our students.

I really liked the visuals in this lesson. The clock visual is something that really clicked with me. I know about the stand at the door time, and want to change that! Also, it was a nice reminder to be flexible!

I love the idea of no set structure like we did in the past. Doing practice and problem solving especially are really important and need to be done throughout the lesson. Also, going from really tense about the time and worrying about things like assemblies to more relaxed helps.
Focusing on what needs to be done day to day can look different and I need to remember that it is what is important to make each day count.

The color coding of lesson plans is an extremely helpful tool to help get your point across. This also is a great idea for us to use when doing our own planning.
I do believe if we break up the standards in to cycles, like you mentioned in the earlier module, that is will be easier for use to plan for week/month, etc. As I have stated before, I think what will help me out the most is once I am able to practice these lessons, using the plans, and implementing such practices that I will get better at figuring out how to best prep my lessons/classes.

Another great visual with the clock. Just wondering …do you assign homework? If you do where do you fit it in the clock? Do you collect it? Go over it? Thanks.

Yes we assign purposeful practice and sometimes that fits “in the clock” or a portion of it or sometimes for students on their own at home.
We tend to try and avoid doing the full “take up” but rather have students share their work the next day and do a mini consolidation.
Homework in general is tough because often times only a portion of the class is doing it – so committing too much class time to it can feel like time wasted. So it’s a tricky one with no “right” way to approach it.
In younger grades, being cognizant of how much you’re giving is really important as well.


What an amazing way to approach math instruction. I really wish my teachers taught math this way when I was younger. Between spiraling the course content and using the curiosity path model–I´m sure your students enter your classroom knowing to expect a challenge but feeling up to the task. This is what all math classrooms should be like.

Couldn’t agree more! However it isn’t always roses and butterflies when you first start. Some students are content just mimicking the teacher by copying examples because it is easier and they might be “done” faster. So just keep at it if the beginnings feel rocky.


It was good to address the possible misconceptions. The graphics helped explain as well. Thanks.

Honestly, I am thinking of presenting this in front of all my peers and all 5 misconceptions will come up as questions. Thank you for clarifying in a simple way to understand that the 3part framework is not to replace what we do but approach what we already do to support student learning.

Glad that the big ideas emerged for you… I’d be curious to hear how your colleagues respond to this discussion and what little tweaks they might consider to nudge their practice forward?


I like structure inside of seeming chaos or randomness. I like stuctures built into this fluid planning. One big questionI have is student choice. Obviously there is choice in how a student solves problems, but in a school with a lot of sutdents with Trauma, I know that choice matters. SOmetimes a sutdent is not ready for the engaging high level functioning needed for a quality task and they eill get more out of doing 15 problems quietly or watching a video on a skill quietly. Some studnet like the cohice of probem to solve. I have some thoughts on how I would do this but wondering if you did too. Thanks!

Choice is certainly important, however when it comes to introducing a new concept, we tend to encourage all students to participate in some way. Of course there are exceptions to this, but that is what we hope for. When engaging in purposeful practice, some of the ideas you’ve mentioned might come into play. Something that is tough is finding a video that helps a student developmentally learn a concept vs just being shown a procedure and being asked to mimic it.


I feel like I missed something as I only really heard one misconception – that we have to use the 3 part framework every day. The lesson did a good job of presenting a realistic way of incorporating the 3 part framework in longerrange planning, rather than stressing about every single lesson. I’m looking forward to implementing the idea of starting with problem solving. It will be quite a considerable deviation from the expectations of the Eureka math program which clearly articulates how much time should be allocated to each part of the lesson, and I do worry that I might not get through everything. But I’m keen to try it!

Hi Selena!
Looks like some of the lessons were out of order for some odd reason. We’ve gone ahead and fixed that for you. Have a look as you might need to move back a could of lessons to fill the gap. Sorry about that!


I’m with Ruth Rancier I just have 50 minuts each class. But I don’t have problems to give the time that naturally students needs if they are working. So I use to do 35 minus speech remembering what we have done in the last class, some times is a student who does and then we follow the lesson plan, my lessons normally last two classes, and in 10<sup>th</sup> grade maybe more. I have two days half of the class and two days 30 students together, so it is important to think about which part of the lesson will feet in the half of students hour or in the full students hour. Not easy.

I really liked the clock visual here, that was very helpful. Also, liked how a large portion of time is dedicated to problem solving.

The real examples of timing helped me visualize how to put this into action better.

The practice is just extensions from the task? For example, the draw a tree example where you taught percentages. The productive struggle was the practice. I imagine after consolidation there can be additional practice? Is the consolidation started at different times based on a classes frustration level?

@anthony.waslaske There’s no hard a fast rule here. In the trees example we built practice into the lesson. In the next day we would build practice with different percentage contexts. You definitely will want to make the call based on your students’ readiness.

@jon Taking your advice that you need daily feedback from your students to determine whether you proceed or pivot the next day. I’m thinking there must be some preparation I can do now to afford more time during the school year to plan with precision. I heard on episode #40 Michael Rubin organized tasks into KUD statements. Do you recommend doing that prior to beginning the year or something else? I think there is a course for starting the year off under Covid restrictions but I am unsure if that would prepare me for traditional, synchronous classroom instruction?



This section helped to consolidate things for me. Thanks.

Starting with relevant problem(s) to solve in the 3part framework can lead to kids having a desire to know an efficient way to solve them. It also lets them use, and the teacher can leverage, what they already know so you can seamlessly lead them to the new concept. You know when you did this if at the end of class, they say, “Wait… That wasn’t hard, but I thought it was going to be!”
If this keeps going in the long range, and kids are constantly using what they know as the stepping stone to the next big idea, math will seem fully connected to them. Rather than multiplication feeling like a separate thing from fractions, and decimals a completely different thing than money, they will feel like math is one big connected thing.

The repeated sequence of securing students attention with a catchy warmup, proceeding to Problem Solving that outlines the task, to Conceptual Understanding, that support transfer of the knowledge into other concepts, and then to Procedural Fluency, that comes from practices, is going to be game changer.

The last two years, my classes were set up to start with problem solving, but I skipped this most of the time because the students wouldn’t attempt anything if they didn’t know how, even when working in groups. There was also very little conversation, about the math problem, within the groups. I am hoping that using the 3Part Framework will make a difference.

We are rooting for you! It will take some time to build the culture in your classroom, but it will come!!


The 3part framework may require more behind the scenes planning, but appears to maximize daily learning by assessing prior knowledge upfront. My first year teaching I lost valuable time by reteaching a single concept and conducting whole group test corrections. For me its about giving students the opportunity to show you and themselves what they are capable of…talk about growing selfconfidence! This will better prepare them to take the next step when new content is introduced by helping them discover mathematical patterns/relationships between strands. I strive to teach my students that they can solve anything if they can find a pattern. Successfully implementing spiraling is my missing piece!

I really like the classroom clock. I am the type of person who is extremely structured and ridged, or completely fluid. I think this clock will help me understand a way to be a little more viscous within a soft structure.

I am linking the concepts in the 14 Practices book to this class. Since I learned about the book from one of your quotes in the last module, the two threads are intertwining well. What I am appreciating in this module is the support for frontloading my overview planning so that I can more easily plan or pivot based on student needs. Being an early years teacher who has my class all day except for music, PE, and other events that step in, my class time will be fluid within a basic daily schedule. I appreciated the imagery to represent variation in daily and weekly lessons with a similar basic structure for guidance.

The video last example was exactly what I needed. Finding/creating 3part frameworks for every skill/topic/standard is daunting! Especially solving systems of equations with elimination method!!! Thanks for validating and now eliminating my concerns.

Thank you for bringing up and addressing the Misconceptions because I too was thinking about those issues.
Solving Problems is the important part of math, and instead of FrontLoad of Information, starting with Problems to Solve is good.
In Computer Science, the way to look at the problem is IPO and you start with O.
InputProcessOutput, You’re supposed to start with Output.
This involves looking at what you are supposed to accomplish. Then, you start thinking about what do you need or have to help you and you get those pieces of information so that you can follow the process (or algorithm) that will help you get to the solution you need. Reviewing (and reflecting) whether what you came up with covers well what you were supposed to accomplish.Your way to deliver lessons and units is another way to look at this Formula for Problem Solving. Thank you!

It was helpful for me to see the standard layout of modules/units and then how it looks using the 3 part sequence. Also helpful was to hear that not everyday looks the same and you can’t always setup the perfect lesson sequence it is a reminder to start small and do what you can.

The model of my curriculum is the second slide with some application at the end of each unit. I could look at those for idea but some of those might be better towards the end of the year if I’m able to spiral this year. Now that I think of it I believe the English teacher in my building pretty much does Spiraling with her material so I’m going to contact her.
My current plan is to either partially or fully spiral my grade 8 math students since I’m their only math teacher. I need to go at the same pace as the other grade 7 math teacher in the building so for this year I will likely do things the same or perhaps just focus on switching up the daily lessons for now with problems followed concepts concluding with practice.
I do see how with long range planning some topics like solving systems of linear equations by nature need to come after linear equations and other content. However, if might be possible to a simpler problem early which help students show what they already know about linear equations. That in turn could help them see there is more to do with linear equations and application for them.
An advantage of finishing up this class in the summer is I can look at the big picture and make some plans. One of the things I heard in this class that I might do is “check in Wednesdays.” Tuesdays are shorter days for two of my classes. While that might seem ideal for a check in the problem is small groups of students are often being pulled out of class on those days.
I think one of the things I’m going to need to work on is what I do when say half or a third of the class is needing more advanced practice towards the end of a class or even towards the end of a topic while others are still are struggling with getting started or need more time. Do I pivot for half of the class and give the other half the next level?

I appreciate knowing you split it up as I was thinking of having each act be a different day and the forth day for checkin. Day 1 math curiosity, Day 2 solutions (gives me time to sort them out to the progression I want to review them in), Day 3 consolidation. I’m also trying to put in station rotation, so that would give me part of my 50 minute class to do the math fight at the beginning and some targeted instruction / review with groups.

There are so many different ways you can structure this approach to teaching.
We tend to stick to a pretty consistent approach throughout our units… check them out here:
learn.makemathmoments.com/tasks

Glad to hear you’re seeing it from a higher level now. Have you checked out our problem based math units? They too can be helpful for thinking through how you might structure a week or so of learning.