Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How are you getting this kid to the next step?

This semester I am teaching two sections of Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II. In an effort to prepare these future teachers to be educational leaders, I am asking them to lead professional development sessions around Kassia Omohundro Wedekind's book, Math Exchanges. Groups of three or four teachers are taking turns developing and facilitating activities and leading discussions related to one of the chapters. I have been impressed with their efforts and wanted to share an example from chapter three: Planning with a Purpose. (Groups are using a workshop format to plan their professional development sessions.)

Schema Activation (10 minutes): Main Ideas
What quotes or big ideas stuck out to you throughout chapter three?

Focus (15 minutes): Workshops
What math workshop did you like the most?
What common ideas did you see throughout the workshops?
What foundational concepts were touched on?

Activity (20 minutes): Creating Student-focused curriculum
Ben has 10 cookies to share between his two friends, Hailey and Anna. How many cookies will each friend get? (p. 52)
With your student (based on their specific characteristics) develop ideas with your group of how you could adjust your math exchange for this particular student.

(Groups were given a list of characteristics and a sheet of easel paper. They were asked to use these to create a poster of their adjustments to present to the class. Below are the characteristics and the final posters.)

  • Easily frustrated
  • Helps when he draws the problem out
  • Counts on fingers

  • Very shy, keeps to herself
  • Afraid to ask for help
  • Observes others while they work
  • Likes using the manipulative kits

  • Confident, fast worker
  • Doesn't remember how she got her answer
  • Often works too fast and doesn't get right answer

  • Verbal in a group setting
  • Second guesses himself
  • Knows material but needs help getting started

Reflection (15 minutes): Class Discussion
How can you use what you learned from specializing your lesson to help you in your classroom?
What are some things you noticed about math exchanges?
(be sure to highlight the following)
  • no two math exchanges are the same
  • always adjust the math exchange for YOUR students
[note: some small edits were made to the plan before posting to this blog]

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