My district (Round Rock ISD, Texas) has an advanced elementary math course called “Math Rocks”. It is to help teachers deepen their understanding about mathematics, build curiosity about math, and build relationships between other teachers in the district to bring math instruction into the 21st century.
As we began our meeting yesterday, our last of the calendar year, we asked the teachers to reflect how their math instruction is going, and how it has changed from the beginning of the year. I had the opportunity to just sit and listen how teachers shared that they are now eagerly looking forward to teaching math every day! Math time has become fun!
One of the common ideas shared throughout was the impact of number talks in their classroom. (I am going to need to do another post on that one!) Teachers shared how their students are learning to talk to each other, politely disagree with each other, and justify their answers.
When a student asks “Is this right?”, the answer is “I don’t know. How could we find out?”
Students are talking about concepts deeply and teachers are noticing a huge difference in the ability of students to reason about their number sense and their math problem solving.
They still struggle with students retaining concepts, but they know it requires patience, and constant repetition before these concepts become understandings.
The common theme throughout is that it is worth the investment of 5-10 minutes per day of the math block for number talks, Estimation 180, and open middle problems and other rich tasks. It makes a difference and supports the work of problem solving and learning during the core part of the math lesson.
Math really does rock!!!!
#MathRocks #RRISD #NumberTalks