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  • Rote practice?

    Posted by Holly stop on April 1, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    It’s my first year teaching math, and I’ve been relying heavily on the curriculum from Open Up Resources — which I love. Each lesson is structured by warm up, a series of 2-3 tasks, a synthesis discussion, and a cool down. The material is great, and I’m thankful for this high-quality curriculum while I find my footing.

    However, I suspect that OUR does not offer enough practice — that, or my continuous failure to get to the “cool down” each day is substantially thwarting my students! One of my big questions is on the relationship between task-oriented practice and more rote practice. Is a lesser quantity of high-quality, engaging practice enough for students to “get it” and remember the material later on? If not, what methods do you use to supplement or add in additional practice: notes, anchor charts, additional practice problems in class, targeted skill practice like that offered by IXL, spiral homework problems, or something else? When does this additional practice happen in a lesson?

    Thanks for sharing any thoughts on this topic. I’m sure there are as many answers as there are different teachers, and I’d love to hear how you approach this issue.

    • This discussion was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by  Holly stop. Reason: Spelling
    George Garza replied 2 years, 9 months ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Garret schneider

    April 5, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    Do you assign open up resources homework?

    I find that the students need time for procedural fluency (rote practice), so they can pay what they’ve just done through the task.

    Sometimes I do this with more time at the end for practice, or I set a day for “diagnostic”, where I ask the kids five questions, and depending on what they get wrong, that’s what they need to practice.

  • Lisa Hudson

    April 11, 2020 at 12:10 am

    I think the students, in general, need more rote practice. One way to do that is to build it in with station or center work. You might do this only one or two days a week. I believe I was taught that kids need about 40 repetitions for the learning to stick.

    Also, if time allows perhaps you can spend 5 minutes a day working with rote questions on whiteboards. My students seem to do so much more practice on the whiteboards than they ever thought about with paper and pencil.

  • George Garza

    April 11, 2020 at 1:06 am

    I’ll echo the others. They need time to take a novel idea and play with it in different situations and contexts. If your curriculum does this, and you think the kids still aren’t getting it, are you making sure they are reflecting on their learning?

    “We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.” – John Dewey (probably) I always take the last 5 minutes of class and have my kids write a reflection on what they did for the day, along with an exit ticket problem. I skim these quickly during break or lunch, and it gives my great feedback about where my kids are with their thinking and if they really get it or not.

    If the kids seem to get it, but are forgeting it, that’s where spiralling comes in. It could be spiralling homework, or spiralling your curriculum. I spiral in my bellringer, first 5 minutes of class, they are working on old material, a variety of it from throughout this semester and the last one too.

    If the kids aren’t truly getting it, you need to trouble shoot why. Maybe they do need that extra time playing with the concepts. Maybe the tasks aren’t cutting it at all. I’m not a big believer in assigning a set amount of problems for rote practice, but I do ackowledge that you need to play with an idea to really own it. I also know that the amount of practicing a skill or idea required varies from kid to kid.