“We focus on the rules”
Help! I just moved to middle school from 4th grade, and I’m working with a great group of people, but I have a hard time being the new guy and going with the flow.
In my district, teachers are to work with their grade-level departments, collaboratively planning remote lessons. I only get to design one of every six or so lessons for math, and coming up, I am starting off a mini unit on multiplication and division of rational numbers. When I asked if I should/could have an introductory lesson that focused on reviewing multiplication of positive integers, connecting it to multiplying positive and negative integers, this is the response I got:
“In the past we have modeled number lines and barely with tiles for multiplying and dividing integers just as a quick why, but we focus on the rules. (same sign = positive, different signs = negative). The standard doesn’t ask for them to model.
In this unit, we should be including fractions and decimals.
I would have used the bottom of [a step-by-step worksheet] to model grouping with tiles but that is about as far as I would have gone. I tried years past to go deeper (and it could have been how I explained it) but I had students who were more confused because of that.”
What would you do?