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I think that asking questions helps lower the kids affect, they're not as nervous, as when they're looking for an answer blindly. They know that the questions are hints or clues to get them on the right track.
I think I'm going to work on making some sentence stem charts for the students so that they can start asking each other questions more often to guide themselves, without me prompting.
I found it valuable to discuss all the principles. Two things stood out for me from Monday's class. One was to use MIFF techniques and make "purposeful misteaks". If my students see that I am doing that, they will be more inclined to participate, be willing to make errors and learn from them. I am aware of this concept, but it is not muscle memory. Additionally, I liked the "open sharing strategy" and pointing out that a student is not incorrect. Their strategy is not incorrect, and you need to try another strategy. Once all answers are scribed on the board, any student can switch strategies and "defend" their choice of strategy. Taking the pressure out of answering in public seems to have greater potential for richer discussion. I am trying to get away from the reality of my confident, louder students dominating my math class.
The discussion and analysis of student problem solving work on 1/26/15 deepened my understanding of using questions to move student thinking forward by realizing the importance and significance of checking in with students right away with questions to provide immediate feedback. It is also important to have a discussion and to provide the students with purposeful mistakes so that they can learn from their misconceptions.
I plan to implement principle two with modeling and sentence starters. In addition, I plan on doing a T chart discussing with the students the difference between mathematical questions and non-mathematical questions.
The discussion and analysis of student problem solving work deepened my understanding of using questions to move student thinking forward in the following ways:
Principle 1: I, as the teacher, need a specific mathematical goal for the discussions so that I can guide the students with focus and clarity.
Principle 2: If I want my students to think mathematically I need to consistently model what and how that looks for them.
Principle 3: I need to encourage ALL my students by publically giving them credit for their contributions no matter how big or small the idea. This gives timid students, in particular, the opportunity to see that they are thinking mathematically and that they can build from their initial ideas.
Principle 4: I need to remember that although I have a goal for student discussions the process is extremely important for growth mindset. Children (and adults!) need to know that their thought processes are valued when trying to make sense of the math problems before them.
To implement the four principals for classroom discussion, I plan to make the "Good Mathematicians Use Math Talk!" and the posters (figures 1.1 and 1.2 found on page 22 of our textbook) to generate discussions with more mathematical language and to help my students be supportive, respectful participants in a discussion.
Also, I feel like I have a good start with math conversations in my classroom so I would like to focus on being more purposeful on who I choose to express an idea.
I have been thinking a lot about "asking questions". Some of the observations I made in my class have confirmed that asking questions can change student thinking tremendously. If students are stuck on a problem, asking a question can help them think another way. If students are explaining an answer and there isn't much depth, asking questions can deepen their explanation and understanding.
I have been incorporating the principles in a few ways: clearly stating a math goal at the beginning of a math activity or lesson, prompting students to explain their thinking with specific questions and support, using different teaching strategies (think/pair/share, etc.) to make sure all students are participating, and using positive praise for all student responses.
One of the specific activities I did with my class after reading about the principles was a math talk about "math drawings". We created a GLAD T-Chart about math drawings. We also made a GLAD comparative chart with art drawings and math drawings.
I really see the value of "math talks," and I have been using them mostly for the goal of highlighting that there is more than one way to solve a problem. I have also been showing mistakes that I have seen students make on the homework and then I ask students to explain if the problem was solved correctly. They must also justify their response. It definitely is a process teaching students how to share and orient themselves to what other students are saying. Sometimes they repeat exactly what the person before them said because they weren't really listening. I do like the the posters on pg. 22 ( Math Discussion Expectations and Talk Moves to Support Your Learning and Thinking) and plan on posting those in my classroom.
Had a good discussion and made a T chart on math drawings and regular drawings... helped a bit in our K Teddy Bear Math question. Hard concept to grasp but we are making progress, think I may invest in "notebooks" for Math journaling at $$ store over the break....we'll see
It was valuable to reaffirm once again the importance of viewing every child as a mathematician capable of expressing their logic behind problem solving (despite presence of errors or misconceptions). Why? It is good to make mistakes. Furthermore, it is pertinent to pose high level critical thinking questions as a facilitator and create an environment that naturally fosters class of students to delve deeper into the process of solving a problem with one another cooperatively and find a meaningful solution that makes sense.
It was hard at first to see them struggle with a simple task like retelling what you read. They are very eager to come up with a solution more than anything. I was quite surprised at some the questions my students came up with. I liked that their questions really show the type of mathematical thinker each student is becoming. Some students really stretched their solutions.
I have been focusing on implementing principle #1 in my math lessons. I look at the standard and put it in student friendly language on the board and have a volunteer reading the objective before we start the math lesson. Throughout the math lesson, I constantly refer back to the objective, so the students know exactly what they are learning. Another tool I have implemented is instead of telling the students to "go" I give them a math word, and the definition. The students have to repeat to the word and definition back to me before they can begin their task. I have noticed this is helping my students grasp the math vocabulary because they are using the math vocabulary more.
Sorry,totally forgot to post after last class.
It was good to get feedback on steps for kindergarten and what to do if they're not ready for certain discussions. Also did a t-chart on math drawings vs. art drawings. Even right after we made the chart, some still wanted to draw many details.
They're getting better at math talk, but have a long way to go!
After our class, I have made a more conscious effort to determine a clear math goal before every math discussion. I have sentence frames posted in the classroom to help facilitate good discussions. Our class also reconfirmed the importance of creating conjecture posters in the classroom. I enjoyed principle 4 that states that all ideas are important.
I appreciated they way in which Eileen and Cath guided us in creating our +1 question. I was at first concerned that the +1 needed to add complexity, and was relieved to find that it is more focused at meeting the students where they are at.
I found it valuable to talk to fellow Kindergarten teachers regarding the math stories we gave the students. There were important things I forgot to do, like have them share out with each other how they found the problem. I also love how Catherine and Eileen do things in class to model what we could be doing in our classes. I come back with such great ideas.
I really like the idea of making purposeful errors and modeling the thinking behind it. I learned a lot from all four practices and can see how important it is to have these set in place when designing the lesson. I really want my students to be able to look at others' work with a critical mind and look for evidence or lack of evidence. I want to really work on our discussions using the proper terminology.
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