Part of the Process

Thoughts on becoming a teacher.

Math dreams and math realitites

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Math Gallery Math in my main placement has been pretty predictable: we try to stick with the district pacing guide, have minilessons (with some student input) and most of the work is from the book.  So when I was asked to find problems that would lend themselves to rich mathematical discussions, I wondered how I  could make it work with my class. Imagine my surprise, when I walked into the classroom on Monday, and saw several new posters up on the wall depicting math problems. My CT told me he had given the class a few problems to think about on their own and then assigned a problem to each table group. Each group worked on the problem together and then made a poster showing their thinking. The timing of the whole thing was perfect.

IMG_0268My CT really wanted me to be able to see it in action, so we planned another problem for the students to work on. We presented the problem to the students and let them work on them individually for a few minutes. The groups then came together to decide on a common strategy to represent on their posters. The particular problem posed didn’t have one correct answer, so there was a lot of discussion on how to solve it. As I circulated around the room, I heard students posing arguments, compromising and defending their thinking. After each group completed their poster, we had a gallery walk. Students were encouraged to use sticky notes to leave questions and comments on the posters.

I loved seeing my students so engaged in a math activity. They did a great job of really engaging with the work and each other’s posters (resisting the temptation to use this as a social time). I’m looking forward to having more of these activities included in our math curriculum!IMG_0265


One thought on “Math dreams and math realitites

  1. Wow! What a great post. I have had a very similar experience in my own main placement classroom. Just following the district guide and curriculum. I have been feeling very much the same way, wondering what kind of thinking is going on. Your post gives me courage and has helped me realize that there has to be room for this type of work in my own classroom. I am planning a lesson for next time I go back to my placement and really want to use some Number Talks. My lesson is about doing multiplication words problems.. I’m thinking of starting out by covering the numbers… This is so exciting!

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