Thursday, May 28, 2020

Teaching Math 2020-2021

I'm not sure what 2020-2021 will look like given the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic, but I do want to apply what I've learned this  year to next year's math program. Here's what I'll do no matter what the teaching/learning situation is.

There is good reason to become a strong mathematician. Strong mathematicians understand the world around them better and are better set for solving problems and understanding complex situations. Further to know your math means you're less likely to get cheated and more likely to succeed academically and professionally. There are many good reasons to learn math and become a successful math student.

Clearly students' readiness for successful math learning is essential. This means that students must have a positive mindset for math learning--they have to understand that math is important and that everyone is capable of learning math. Students also have to have a good understanding of how brains work and how to maximize their brain power for optimal math learning. Further they have to have the materials that support math study. Materials such as a computer, sticky notes, drawing paper, colored pencils, graph paper, pencils, and a place to study math are all needed for learning math well whether it be virtual or in real time.

Parent Support
It is important to introduce parents to the math program and what they can do to support their young math learners. It is also important that parents understand the math program expectations.

Attention to the Math Standards
I believe that the standards' framework we have for math learning and teaching is a solid set of good standards that create a strong foundation for math learning and teaching success. The key factor here is to give each standard the attention the standards deserves with deep thoughtful learning and steady, varied practice and project opportunities. Next year, I want to increase the time-on-task for math learning and teaching. I believe that a strong committed start to the subject will be a good way to start the year no matter whether we are in school or virtual.

Learning Routines
Establishing positive teaching/learning routines allows more time for deep, thoughtful math learning and problem solving. I want to think about what those routines will be, but right now, I know that some of the elements included will be the following:
  • Check the daily supply list, organize those supplies
  • Add the date to your online or offline learning notebook
  • Participate in the lesson introduction
  • Engage in the learning activity
  • Participate in the summary/closing activity
  • Complete independent/collaborative homework
  • Review/respond to student homework
Regular formative assessments will be given and used to inform program efforts, staffing, and student support. 

Explore New Math Tools
There are a lot of great math tools out there. I would like to explore those tools more in the weeks ahead. I would like to incorporate some of those tools into math learning in 2020-2021. Some tools I want to use in the year ahead include the following:
  • BrainPop
  • Geogebra
  • IXL
  • Google Suite Apps
  • Khan Academy
  • Symphony Math
  • That Quiz
  • Graspable Math
Program Role Out
I will consider last year's roll out carefully and likely tweak and improve.