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Chapter 6 – Option 1 (Reflection)

02/23/2020 10:20 PM | Karen Campe

Choose something from this chapter’s reading that resonated with you and share your thoughts.


  • 02/25/2020 10:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Something that resonated with me was part about the margin symbols. Learned helplessness is a definite issue facing our students. I have been working with a few teachers this year on developing I can statements for students to reflect on during each unit.
    For example in our fraction unit for grade 4 some I can statements include:
    I can explain what the numerator and denominator are in a fraction.
    I can partition or break apart a whole into equal parts and name those parts as fractions.
    I can recognize and generate equivalent fractions.
    Students rate themselves on the following:
    I am still learning to do this. I need lots of help.
    I can do this some. I still need a little bit of help.
    I can do this well. I am an expert.

    I like the idea of the margin symbols. Maybe a combination of the 2 ideas could work.

    Our ideas are for students to take ownership of their learning and help inform teachers how they can be successful.

    Additionally the whole classroom makeover resonates with me always. I am a huge fan of both Dan and Robert. Trying to infuse their ideas into what I do is always something I strive for. I strongly believe teachers need to be comfortable with the math in order to think of their math class in this way. I know for me when I am working with teachers I always take notes of what works and what we could improve and talk it through with teachers at their comfort level.
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  • 02/29/2020 7:53 PM | Luke
    I did not watch Dan's TED Talk yet but the top two paragraphs on page 114 sum up the struggle I have at times. I feel sometimes I am caught in a swirl of chicken or the egg scenario of what Zager is talking about in these two paragraphs. Whether it is when I am reading this book (or others) or at a school meeting or talking about student ability in any content area, I struggle with balancing kids' skillset (old-school rote) and the "exploration" of math. In my reading so far, I find myself writing the same statement in the margin... kids need a solid skillset in order to access the math and explore. I feel they need their math facts, repetition with procedural fluency, rules, and formulas, etc. in order to have the conversations, start a problem, debate with others or reach some type of conclusion or conjecture about the math in front of them. Yet, I fully support presenting problems that lead kids to a final procedure or rule based on their experience in manipulating the problem.
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  • 03/05/2020 4:28 PM | Rene Chin
    For me I loved the section on productive struggle and being less helpful and how letting kids struggle and not jumping in to save them can help ALL students ...even those who find math challenging or have IEPs. I think that I feel the pressure of getting through lessons and keeping on course with the curriculum. I need to give myself permission to be more open-minded and to realize the value of teaching that perseverance and the skills to question in math, rather than just know how to organize thinking or to show work one way. I need to allow my students to drive their solutions. So now I'm thinking that I need to push myself to carve in time during my week to see my student's minds a bit more by letting them struggle; letting them question; letting them lean in to the challenge and feel good when they get through the other side.
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  • 03/16/2020 5:12 PM | Stacey Daly
    The section, "Productive Struggle, Be Less Helpful, and Special Education" resonated with me. I find particularly as you move up in the grades that math problems and work tends to be more and more scaffolded for students with IEPs. Just as Zager wrote, I find the students are given rule after rule and end up "applying them indiscriminately." Most teachers do this out of the goodness of their heart as they are trying to make the learning accessible and easier for their students. I really liked Zager's point that we can and should give students meaningful accommodations such as "support(ing) students as they make sense of the question by teaching them to model the action in the problem, use manipulatives, draw representations, or use reading comprehension strategies to make sense" rather than rule upon rule for each situation. I ordered the book by Storeygard that Zager referenced and look forward to learning more ideas for developing the appropriate supports to assist students with IEPs in developing understanding of the math they are learning and not just learning math as a series of rules or steps.
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