What I want for my students…
- They develop their number sense
- We reverse a negative mathematical identity
- They can hit the math standards
- We strengthen their foundational skills
What I value in a math lesson:
- It engages my students
- The lesson is engaging for me
- I can reach all students (low floor/high ceiling)
- It surfaces the information I need to understand where each student is
- It allows me to show my students that I expect great things from them
- It allows me to show my students that they are important to me.
- I can position my students as capable learners
- It allows my students to feel successful
- It allows me to feel successful
When planning a lesson…
- I don’t want to waste a lot of my time/money putting together materials for the lesson if I’m going to be asked to do something different next year.
- I don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
- I want to feel confident that if the lesson veers off course, I can adjust to get back on track
- I don’t want to feel overwhelmed by the task — I already have enough demands placed on me, thank you.
To do that, I need..
- Ideas for how to supplement our math curriculum with instructional strategies like Number Talks
- Time to figure out with my colleagues how to best work these in
- School administration within my building to support me in these efforts
I know I’m successful right away when…
- I can see an Aha moment
- Students get so excited by something they’ve learned they want to share it with someone else.
- I see students make connections to things outside of the lesson/classroom
I know I’m successful over time when…
- The class gets easier to manage
- Students are more confident in their abilities
- Students are more willing to participate, discussions get deeper and are more often student led
- Students provide positive feedback to each other
- Test scores improve
And since everyone demands accountability, it would be great if…
- I had a way to produce artifacts that allow me to easily capture where students are in their understanding without disrupting the flow of a discussion
- We had assessment methods that captured these qualitative measures that a) don’t place a new burden on me, and b) satisfy the district.
I can see that, done well, meaningful discourse provides…
- The possibility to engage students
- The chance to see aha moments
- An opportunity to acknowledge different perspectives
- An opportunity for student led learning
- A chance to develop students’ ability to engage in respectful dialog
- For students who might struggle with algorithms, an on-ramp to understand the logic behind them
- A greater likelihood that students gain a real understanding of math concepts
But I worry that…
- I will end up with kids talking, but not meaningful discourse…
- … or kids won’t talk at all
- I won’t have the support I need to get good at this
- The discussion will lead me into areas where I am not prepared
- A negative experience will cause students to shut down
- I won’t be able to manage the discussion and things will get out of hand.
- It may not impact test scores soon enough, or at all
- It will cause me to fall behind the pacing guide and that will reflect negatively on me
- When administration walks by my class it won’t look like what they expect teaching to look like.
- Discourse will eat up more time than I had planned
- I’ll get conflicting feedback from district and school administration
- Outside observations will be too short to provide quality feedback and even if I did, I won’t get it in a time-frame that allows me to make use of it.
- The qualities that make meaningful discourse useful aren’t being assessed and it will be undervalued by district administration.
This profile was developed at our Systems Thinking Institute Workshop March 15-16, 2018