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Friday, February 13, 2015

Math: The Cumulative Effect

We've spent a lot of time learning math this year in fifth grade.

At this time of year, I notice a cumulative effect.

For some, each layer of new information has bolstered the past layer with just right levels of practice and synthesis, yet for others the pace of the program has not provided enough practice and repetition.

The good news is that we've covered the standards, but now we have to reach for greater depth, repetition, and enrichment.

How will we do that?

Recent assessments clearly show me whose ready for greater depth, repetition, and enrichment with specific topics so I'll employ the talents of multiple teaching assistants and a student teacher to provide the enrichment while the special educator and I work towards depth and repetition.

All of this will take place under the umbrella of problem solving work--the kind of multi-step deep thinking work that calls students to synthesize multiple math processes to solve real-world problems. These efforts will find us digging deep into the standards of mathematical practice as students use the SRSD approach including the acronym RICE to read carefully, illustrate with pictures, models, and number lines, copy correctly, calculate carefully, check their work, and then explain their thinking in simple sentences that match the question.

Like every math teacher, I want each of my students to learn a lot with confidence and enjoyment. And at each juncture in the  math teaching year, it's important to stop, reflect, and reroute the teaching map to make the time and structure the learning lessons and environment to teach each child well.