Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Math Teaching and Learning

Since teaching math well is one of my main objectives for 2018-2019, I've been thinking a lot about what that means.

My thinking comes from my experience of teaching and studying math for 32 years with close to 1,000 elementary school students.

Attributes that have been successful with regard to my math teaching include the following:
  • using meaningful numbers and problems 
  • providing the real world rationale and connections related to each math standard, concept, and skill
  • lots of one-to-one conversation with students about math
  • targeted practice
  • using formal and informal assessments to inform the program
  • focus on vocabulary
  • hands-on projects, problem solving, creation and presentation
Challenges that I'm working on with regard to the math program include the following:
  • just-right scaffolding so that the learning experiences are not overwhelming but continue to teach the standards and provide reach for every child that's ready for it
  • fitting it all in in meaningful ways
  • coordinating my efforts with multiple leaders and specialists who advise me and who sometimes work with children
As I think ahead to the math year, I will do the following:
  • Begin the year with an introduction to the year's main math concepts, tools, routines, and procedures in ways that help me get to know the students and build a strong, collaborative math team.
  • Teach unit by unit in the following ways:
    • Provide the big picture introduction and rationale for the unit
    • Teach standard-by-standard including explicit introductions, time for exploration, practice, projects, problem solving, debate/presentations with pictures, models, numbers, and words, assessment
  • Home study that includes vocabulary review, model making, reflection, and practice.
  • Scaffolded learning experiences that take on a 1-2-3 approach with 1 as review, 2 as the grade level learning, and 3 as enrichment
We'll begin the year with collegial efforts to determine an apt schedule for supports and intervention.

Early year Response to Intervention will find us giving students assessments with proper supports and teaching students how to use our tech assistants including TenMarks and Symphony Math. Together the collegial team will work to determine our roles, collaborative routines, focus, and goals. 

Students will collect their main efforts online and offline in reflection notebooks. At parent conferences students, family members, and I will meet to discuss students' efforts, learning stats, needs, and goals. 

I'm excited about this work as I love to teach math and I am truly invested in helping every child learn in ways that will help them develop their mathematical thinking so that they can be successful creators, problem solvers, and decision makers in the future.