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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Math Learning/Teaching Continues: January 2017

We have a hefty menu of new skills and review this month. I'm also looking for some time to build in a worthy, engaging project or two. Students are feeling the pinch of increased expectations. How do we meet systemwide expectations and students' needs and interests too. There's often a bit of struggle in this regard, and the response is to try to do both with interest and engagement.

Today I'll continue to review skills with students as we prepare for a number of assessments. This review allows students to remember past concepts and vocabulary before they embark on the assessments. It sets the stage for better work.

Tomorrow students will take one assessment, and the next day we'll dig into problem solving strategy, organization, and explanations. Many children struggle with this. For some, they have trouble with the language of the problems and need to learn to break that language down. Others have difficulty organizing their work, and still more have difficulty explaining their thinking. Once that review is done, students will work on practicing computation more since they are all responsible for knowing how to computer accurately in all operation areas.

The systemwide curriculum pushes the pace, and for the most part, we'll keep up with that push. However, there are missing elements in that push including the time to think deeply about and practice problem solving and deeper mathematical thinking/presentation. We'll make time for that.

In schools, every curriculum area could take the whole day each day. One challenge is to pace the teaching/learning well so that you are meet the variety of needs in the class, needs that range in multiple directions. Onward.