Monday, February 11, 2019

Challenges with Floor-to-Ceiling Math Projects

I'll use this mini poster above to support student work on the project today. 
As I endeavor to include more floor-to-ceiling math projects, I've encountered both low and high points. The high points include the fact that the projects are terrific assessment tools that help me to clearly understand where individual students are as well as the whole class. Another high point is that the project makes students stretch their mathematical thinking in positive ways, and the project fosters excellent questioning as well as trial and error as students use multiple strategies to solve problems and complete the project.

Some of the challenges for the floor-to-ceiling projects include these:

First, students have not had a lot of practice with this kind of learning. They resist the organization, teamwork, questioning, and perseverance that's required to meet the project expectations. Next when staffing is short, it's often difficult to meet the teaching expectations of projects like these since many times substitute teachers don't have the knowledge or skill related to coaching students ahead with these kinds of projects in inclusion classrooms. And the projects demand a level of in-depth review that requires good attention, and sometimes the busyness of projects like this don't allow for that deep on-the-spot review.

I really like what floor-to-ceiling projects for student learning and thinking. I want to better the process in this regard and give students more chances to get used to how to succeed at projects like this. It's worthy learning, but it's not always easy. Onward.