Math Rocks, Assignment #4

Getting ready for the first unit!

I’m excited to be launching into Math Rocks for a second year!   What makes this very first classroom centered assignment exciting, is that we have been guided through a process to help us plan ALL our math units throughout the year!   

As the year progresses, it will seem that time will become more and more scarce, but as in Annie’s video, some things that take a little extra time at the beginning, can result in big time savings later on.  The steps Brian outlined to take a deep dive into the unit before you even begin to plan will take a little longer the first time, but as we get more proficient, we will get faster. Since I am an instructional coach, I repeated the process for EACH grade level.  Yep, all 6.  The first one took me quite a bit longer than the last.  I fell into a rhythm, and I began to know what to look for to quickly identify the key points.   

My noticings:

  • If we are truly stretched for time, MAKE the time to watch the video by Brian or Regina.  They highlight the key learnings that we will need to be aware of!
  • Each grade level begins the year by reviewing critical content from the year before.   For Kinder, it is reviewing what they may already know about numbers and counting.  For grades 1-3, it is using data to play with numbers and review basic facts and operations.   For 4th, they began reviewing place value ideas learned in previous grades, and then really emphasizing the relationship between places.  Finally, 5th grade begins the year by applying what they know about basic operations to learn order of operations.  They also have an intense review of 4th grade fraction and decimal concepts.
  • Spiral review activities and resources are highlighted for all grade levels.

I’m looking forward to purposeful planning with teachers, starting with these great first steps:  rationale and unit video!  I just know it is going to help us make mathematics come alive and relevant in our classrooms!

#MathRocks          #RRISDPD

Math Rocks: Mission #3: Goals

Reflecting on my goals this year, I know I want to grow! I want to grow my thinking on how children learn math! I want to grow my toolbox of strategies to share.

Since I am not in a classroom, I want to be able to share confidence in math instruction with the teachers I support so that the math classrooms that I visit are places of sharing, talking and laughter.

This is important because earlier in the week, I had stopped to get a soda at a fast food restaurant. My drink cost $1.07 so I gave the clerk $1.12. We were both so embarrassed when this young lady could not figure out the change. She used her fingers. Twice. She looked at me. I finally told her to keep the change.

I want every student I encounter to see the importance of mathematics and be mathematically confident. I want as many opportunities as possible to be available in their future.

Linda Porter, a teacher in a different workshop this week, summed up perfectly what we need to do to get students mathematizing their world. We were discussing how to plan to incorporate all of the Texas Math Process Standards in our instruction, when Linda said, “You cannot meet all the process standards unless you are allowing them {the students} to share their work with others.”

In the process of sharing, I want to hear talking and laughing and students having fun “playing” with math through the processes.

Hinderences are the same for every teacher, every year: Time. Since this is important, I will just have to declare my goals to the math blog world and ask you to share with me: How do you get students talking? How do you carve out and protect the time so that students can talk and share their thinking? I will share my discoveries, and I hope you do too!