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Friday, January 15, 2016

Teaching Well: A Varied Palette

Now that we're midway into the year, it's much easier to use a varied palette. Students know the routines, where resources are hosted, and the overarching focus and goals of the math program. The varied routine keeps things interesting and students learning.

For example this week we started with a first round of the Illuminations Factor Game as we began to review divisibility rules. Then we watched a great video and sang a divisibility song. The next day students worked with a 100's chart to code numbers in specific ways dependent on if those numbers were divisible by 2,3,4,5,6,9, or 10. Then we played another, better, round of the Factor Game. Thursday found students engaging in a host of online tests and practice sessions, and now today we'll play a class game to strengthen knowledge related to measurement facts and information.

When teaching there is strength to a regular routine and there is strength in the varied palette, and what you choose to teach well depends on the time of year, sense of team, and learning/teaching goals.

As I say again and again, we live in a time when resources for teaching well are abundant, and the important focus is choosing the best tools, routines, and materials for each lesson so that children learn with confidence, joy, and success.