Posts filed under 'math'

Develop Number Sense with Number Talks

One of the reasons Number Talks are so important is that they give students, and adults, a whole different perspective on mathematics—a perspective that turns out to be critical for future learning.”  ~Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education, Stanford University

In Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker’s Making Number Talks Matter and their newest companion title, Digging Deeper: Making Number Talks Matter Even More, teachers learn not only how to use Number Talks to develop number sense, but how these short, daily routines can help create a thriving classroom community where students actively share their thinking and teachers become expert listeners.

What Are Number Talks?

Number Talks are routines in which students reason mentally with numbers. It is a time when students put their pencils and paper away to think about and try to solve a problem mentally, then share their thinking and strategies with their peers. The teacher’s role is to listen, to record the students’ thinking on the board, and to hold back on explaining or correcting. This can be difficult for some, but it is essential to making Number Talks work. “Number Talks turn students’ roles in math class upside down. Now they are supposed to figure something out rather than be told the steps to follow. Now they are supposed to explain what they think rather than waiting for us to explain” (Humphreys and Parker 2015).

Why Are Number Talks Important?

Number Talks allow students to take back the authority of their own reasoning, but they also bring interest, excitement, and joy back into the math classroom. Number Talks allow students to make sense of mathematics in their own ways by practicing making convincing arguments while critiquing and building on the ideas of their peers. “As students sit on the edge of their seats, eager to share their ideas, digging deep into why mathematical procedures work, they come to like mathematics and know that they can understand it,” (Humphreys and Parker 2015). Number Talks can help students build competence, flexibility, and confidence as mathematical thinkers.

How Do I Start Digging Deep Into Number Talks?

For practical guidance as to how to start Number Talks in your classroom, pick up a copy of Making Number Talks Matter, an introduction and how-to guide to Number Talks. In order to get a full grasp of Number Talks, however, and see exactly what they look like, Digging Deeper is a must-have. This essential companion book uses extensive video footage of teachers and students practicing Number Talks in real classrooms. This personal and accessible book shows teachers:

  • The kinds of questions that elicit deeper thinking
  • Ways to navigate tricky, problematic, or just plain hard exchanges in the classroom
  • How to more effectively use wait time during Number Talks
  • The importance of creating a safe learning environment
  • How to nudge students to think more flexibly without directing their thinking.

“The process of engaging students in reasoning with numbers is one we hope you will consider as a problem-solving venture—an investigation that will help you to learn to listen to your students and learn along with them as you build your lessons around their thinking” (Humphreys and Parker 2015).

Ruth Parker co-created Number Talks with Kathy Richardson in the early 1990s. Cathy Humphreys has been instrumental in extending Number Talks to the secondary level. Together, Cathy and Ruth have developed a deep knowledge of the best ways to teach Number Talks with students of all grade levels. Their extensive knowledge is packaged nicely into these two highly accessible books. Order them HERE today.

REFERENCES

Humphreys, Cathy, and Ruth Parker. 2015. Making Number Talks Matter: Developing Mathematical Practices and Deepening Understanding, Grades 4 – 10. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Add comment December 3rd, 2018

Three Elements of a Successful Secondary Math Classroom

This is the first in a series of posts where we take a deep dive into the three elements of a successful classroom from the upcoming book, Necessary Conditions by Geoff Krall.

We want kids to like math. We want kids to be mathematical thinkers. So why is it that math is often the barrier that prevents students from having a rich secondary or post-secondary experience? That is the question author and educator, Geoff Krall, tackles in his new book, Necessary Conditions: Teaching Secondary Math with Academic Safety, Quality Tasks, and Effective Facilitation.

“As challenging as it is to teach math, a high-quality mathematical school experience can unlock a person’s academic identity…I’ve found that the biggest drivers of a high-quality math experience are teachers dedicated to their craft and to their students.” ~Geoff Krall

In his research visiting schools across the country, Krall found secondary mathematical ecosystems where learning is thriving; students are confident in mathematics and demonstrate high achievement. He found that all the classrooms he visited had a common thread: the teachers are implementing high-quality mathematical tasks, facilitating effectively, and attending to the students’ social and emotional well-being and self-regard in math. In Necessary Conditions, Krall explores these three elements of a successful math classroom. Here’s a brief description. We will go into more detail in subsequent blog posts.

Academic Safety

Academic Safety exists when students are in a safe environment where they have the allowance to ask questions, make mistakes, and try something new. Being proactive about academic safety is especially crucial in mathematics because students often arrive with negative prior experiences and already-low self-esteem. It is the teacher’s responsibility to create and maintain an environment that invites all students into challenging mathematics. Through real classroom stories and thoughtful analysis, Krall describes specific teacher moves and routines we can use to create academic safety.

Quality Tasks

For students to build and develop their own mathematical identity they need to hone it with quality tasks. Tasks are what you see students working on in the classroom. A quality task is one that is intrinsically interesting and allows all students to access it. Students cannot realize their mathematical potential without being provided opportunities to grapple with and successfully solve quality tasks.

Effective Facilitation

Effective facilitation involves the series of teacher moves that guide students to construct, enhance, and communicate their mathematical insight in a quality task. It is the launch of a rich task that captures all students’ interest; the question that pushes a collaborative group of students to think more deeply; the framing of the whole-class discussion afterward to promote sense making. Facilitation appears as singular moments in a classroom and as structures and norms that develop over months.

If a student enters post-secondary education requiring remediation (most typically in math), that student is much less likely to graduate. Of students who require remedial courses at four-year universities, only 35 percent go on to graduate within six years (Complete College America 2012). Let’s work to change this statistic by giving our secondary students a better math experience.

Click HERE to see a preview of Geoff Krall’s new book, Necessary Conditions.

Add comment November 12th, 2018

Toward a Math Pedagogy

There’s that famous yarn about how if someone time traveled from 100 years ago everything would look different except classrooms. That’s not really true. At least, not now. In fact, if this time traveler walked along the hallway of a math department, they’d see all sorts of disparate things. Sure, some classrooms might have desks in rows with the teacher lecturing at the board. But in other rooms students would be working in groups. In other rooms still students would be plugged into a piece of instructional software. This would-be time traveler would have no idea what’s going on!

When I walk down the hallways of a school, I notice these differences. In a 9th-grade Algebra class, students are using physical textbooks, while right across the hall in a 10th-grade Geometry class (or even a different 9th-grade Algebra class), I see hands-on activities. We’ve never had more varying math classroom experiences: project-based learning and instructional software, tracking and de-tracking, group work and packets.

We have so many pedagogies, we don’t have any pedagogy.

So I sought to find a pedagogy. What are the universal elements for a quality math experience? What are the things we as teachers can get better at? What are the things students bring to the table that help or hinder their mathematical identity?

In my work as a traveling instructional coach, I saw three consistent elements in successful math classrooms. The three elements are listed here, with much-too-brief definitions:

  • Academic Safety – the social and self-regard of a student’s mathematical status
  • Quality Tasks – the items that students are working on and toward
  • Effective Facilitation – the short- and long-term moves that allow for learning to occur

We’ll dig into these three elements in my forthcoming book, Necessary Conditions. Each of these elements receive a deep dive individually, with analysis of where these elements interact with one another. These aspects exist in everything students experience: from problem-solving to assessment, from lesson planning to room design. We can create a system that carves the path for our three necessary conditions, or we can create a system that works against them.

Combining research, classroom observations, and student voices, the book contains practical examples of how to assess and improve each of these conditions in your classroom and how you can imbue them in every lesson.

You can check out a preview of the book here. You can read stories of students who have been lifted up by incredible math teachers. You can see concrete examples of lessons and routines that yield deep mathematical learning. You can gawk at the ridiculous number of appendices.

So give it a look and see if we can really make that time traveler have something to marvel at.

This blog post was written by Geoff Krall, educator and author of the new title, Necessary Conditions: Teaching Secondary Math with Academic Safety, Quality Tasks, and Effective Facilitation.

Add comment November 5th, 2018

See you at NCSM/NCTM!

We are excited to head to Washington, D.C., where you will find us at both NCSM and NCTM conferences. Be sure to stop by to browse our books, meet our authors, and more! At both conferences we will be offering a 25% educator discount and you will have a chance to pick up one of our free tote bags.

NCSM

We will be at Booth #206 and for the first time, we will be able to sell books in the exhibit hall! Stop by to meet with:
Lucy West: Monday @ 1:45
Tracy Zager: Tuesday @ 9:15
Mike Flynn: Wednesday @ 9:45 (at Salon G/H immediately following his session there)

And be sure to attend our authors’ conference sessions:
Nancy Anderson: How to Talk Mathematics So Students Learn, Mon 11:15-12:15, Room 145B
Mike Flynn: Understanding the Resistant Teacher–Why Change Is Harder for Some People and How We Can Support Them, Mon 12:30-1:15, Hall A
Mike Flynn: Understanding the Resistant Teacher–Changing Our Narrative to Foster Stronger Relationships, Wed 8:45-9:45, Salon G/H
Cathy Humphreys: Cultivating Students’ Mathematical Ability, Tue 8:15-9:15, Room 146A
Ruth Parker: Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Number Talks, Mon 1:45-2:45, Room 152A
Lucy West & Antonia Cameron: Content Coaching: It Transforms Instruction, Mon 12:30-1:30, Salon I
Antonia Cameron: Start with Heart: Transforming Teacher Practice by Exploring Our Own Beliefs, Mon 3:00-4:00, Room 144A
Tracy Zager: Teachers First–Everything Else Follows, Mon 11:15-12:15, Salon G/H
Megan Franke: How and Why Attention to Student Thinking Supports Teacher and Student Learning, Mon 12:30-1:30, Salon G/H
Megan Franke: Research-Practice Partnerships to Support Continuity in Mathematics Curricula, Tue 11:15-12:15, Room 150A
Amanda Jansen: What Is Rough Draft Thinking and How Can It Be Integrated into Mathematics Classrooms? Tue 8:15-9:15, Room 145A
Robert Kaplinsky: Challenging Problems Worth Solving, Mon 9:30-10:30, Salon I
Robert Kaplinsky: Supporting and Inspiring Mathematics Specialists, Leaders, and Coaches, Mon 4:15-5:15, Salon G/H
Robert Kaplinsky: What’s the Deal with Honors and Acceleration? Tue 10:00-10:45, Hall A
Nicora Placa: Mathematics Coaching: A Beginning Playbook, Wed 8:45-9:45, Room 145A

NCTM

We have an exciting lineup of mini-sessions at booth #153. Stop by, have a seat, and listen to some great teacher/authors present for 10 minutes or so before getting your book signed.

Thursday
8:45 a.m.: Tracy Zager: “How Will We Know What They’re Thinking?”
9:30 am.: Christopher Danielson: “What Is the Plural of Grapefruit? Adventures in #unitchat”
12:45 p.m.: Linda Dacey: “Make Writing About Math as Successful as Talking About It”
1:30 p.m.: Lucy West: “Let’s Talk About Math Talk”
2:30 p.m.: Mike Flynn: “Supporting Active Engagement in Elementary Math Classrooms”

Friday
Noon: Karen Gartland & Jayne Bamford Lynch: “Partnering with Students Through Games”
1:00 p.m.: Alison Hintz & Elham Kazemi: “What’s The Difference Between Classroom Talk and Classroom Discussion?”
3:00 p.m.: Lucy West (signing)

And be sure to attend our authors’ conference sessions:
Nancy Anderson: Keep Calm and Use Talk Moves, Fri 1:30-2:30, Marriott Marquis, Independence Ballroom F-H
Linda Dacey: The Power of Writing about Mathematical Thinking, Fri 4:30-5:30, Room 151 A
Karen Gartland: Meeting the Instructional Needs of Struggling Learners, Sat 9:45-11:00, Room 150 B
Christopher Danielson: From Counting to Calculus: All Students Are Mathematicians, Fri 4:30-5:30, Ballroom A
Mike Flynn: Engaging Students in the Standards for Mathematical Practice through Robotics and Planning, Thu 11:00-12:00, Room 152 A
Elham Kazemi & Allison Hintz: Creating Equitable Mathematics Classrooms: Listening to What Children Have to Teach Us, Fri 3:00-4:00, Ballroom B
Allison Hintz: Supporting Early Mathematics through Children’s Literature, Fri 9:45-11:00, Room 202 B
Lucy West: Enticing All Students to Contribute to Rich Math Discussions, Fri 1:30-2:30, Marriott Marquis, Marquic Ballroom Salon 6
Lucy West: Ignite! We’ll Enlighten You and We’ll Make It Quick (with 7 other educators), Fri 6:00-7:00pm, Ballroom B
Tracy Zager: Not Just Answering Someone Else’s Questions: Making Math Class More Like Mathematics, Fri 9:30-10:30, Ballroom A
Antonia Cameron: Routines to Grow Problem-Solving Strategies in Early Childhood, Fri 8:00-9:15, Room 144 ABC
Antonia Cameron: Interactive Early Algebra Puzzles for Young Learners: Free Web-Based Activities for Your Classroom, Fri 9:45-11:00, Marriott Marquis, Independence Ballroom E
Antonia Cameron: Harnessing the Power of Mathematical Models to Re-Envision Early Childhood Routines, Fri 3:15-4:30, Marriott Marquis, Marquic Ballroom Salon 9-10
Robert Kaplinsky: Challenging Math Problems Worth Solving, Thu 11:00-12:00, Ballroom B

Add comment April 20th, 2018

Blogstitute 2017: Which Comes First in the Fall–Norms or Tasks?

In this last post of our Summer Blogstitute series, Tracy Zager, author of Becoming the Math the Teacher You Wish You’d Had, shares her ideas for kicking off the school year in your math classroom ready to notice, imagine, ask, connect, argue, prove, and play.

Which Comes First in the Fall–Norms or Tasks?
Tracy Johnston Zager

I periodically hear discussion about whether it’s better to start the new school year by establishing norms for math class or to dive right into a rich mathematical task. I’m opinionated, and I’m not shy about my opinions, but in this case, I’m not joining one team or another. They’re both right.

The first few weeks of math class are crucial. You have a chance to unearth and influence students’ entrenched beliefs—beliefs about mathematics, learning, and themselves. You get to set the tone for the year and show what you’ll value. Speed? Curiosity? Mastery? Risk-taking? Sense-making? Growth? Ranking? Collaboration? You get to teach students how mathematics will feel, look, and sound this year. How will we talk with one another? Listen to our peers? Revise our thinking? React when we don’t know?

In Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had, I wrote about a mini-unit Deborah Nichols and I created together. We called it, “What Do Mathematicians Do?” and we launched her primary class with it in the fall. We read select picture-book biographies of mathematicians, watched videos of mathematicians at work, and talked about what mathematics is, as an academic discipline. We kept an evolving anchor chart, and you can see how students’ later answers (red) showed considerably more nuance and understanding than students’ early answers (dark green). [Figure 2.1]

Figure 2.1

Throughout, we focused on the verbs that came up. What are the actions that mathematicians take? How do they think? What do they actually do?

In the book, I argued that this mini-unit is a great way to start the year if and only if students’ experiences doing mathematics involve the same verbs. It makes no sense to develop a rich definition of mathematics if students aren’t going to experience that richness for themselves. If professional mathematicians notice, imagine, ask, connect, argue, prove, and play, then our young mathematicians should also notice, imagine, ask, connect, argue, prove, and play—all year long.

In June, I saw this fantastic tweet in my timeline.

It caught my eye because Sarah’s anchor charts reminded me of Debbie’s anchor chart, but Sarah had pulled these actions out of a task, rather than a study of the discipline. I love this approach and am eager to try it in concert with the mini-unit. The order doesn’t matter to me.

We could (1) start with a study of the discipline, (2) gather verbs, (3) dig into a great task, and (4) examine our list of mathematicians’ verbs to see what we did. Or, we could (1) start the year with a super task, (2) record what we did, (3) study the discipline of mathematics, and (4) compare the two, adding new verbs to our list as needed. In either case, I’d be eager for the discussion to follow, the discussion in which we could ask students, “When we did our first math investigation, how were we being mathematicians?”

Whether we choose to start the year by jumping into a rich task on the first day, or by engaging in a reflective study about what it means to do mathematics, or by undertaking group challenges and conversations to develop norms for discourse and debate, we must be thoughtful about our students’ annual re-introduction to the discipline of mathematics.

How do you want this year to go? How can you invite your students into a safe, challenging, authentic mathematical year? How will you start?

1 comment August 1st, 2017

A bold choice for a math methods course

When I wrote Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had, I wrote directly to readers, and I had specific readers in mind: real teachers, in various stages of their careers, who were ready to learn how to teach math so much better than how they were taught. Before writing it, I’d worked with preservice teachers and their inservice mentors for seven years in a variety of schools. I wanted to write a book that would be useful to both groups, knowing full well that some parts would resonate more with teachers who are just starting out and other parts would grab the attention of experienced teachers. I’ve been hearing from experienced teachers who are finding the book motivating, thought-provoking, and practical, which makes me so happy. I still wondered how it would go over with preservice teachers, though. Would it inspire them, or overwhelm? When Christine Newell decided to use it as the central text in her math methods class last term, I asked her to keep me posted, and we’ve had conversations throughout the semester. I’m so grateful that she took the time to reflect on her experience because it may help other math methods instructors. I have loved reading every one of her students’ letters, and it’s clear Chrissy nurtured a safe climate and taught a wonderful course. She’s started them off beautifully, and I can’t wait to hear how these teachers grow throughout their careers.

-Tracy Zager, author of Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had

A bold choice for a math methods course
Christine Newell

“I didn’t learn math this way” and “I wish I had learned math this way” have become common refrains in the professional development I facilitate. Somewhere in there is generally an underpinning of feeling totally cheated out of this “new math” that feels exciting and rich and actually makes sense. Veteran teachers are being asked to change not just the way they teach math, but their whole understanding of what mathematics is, and preservice and beginning teachers are facing the challenge of teaching in a way they were never taught. Regardless of years of experience, teachers are looking for support to become the math teacher they never had and are being asked to be. Tracy Zager’s powerful book, Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms, is the answer to this. After my first read, it’s already dog-eared, tabbed, and annotated, and I’ve been back and forth from favorite concepts to ideas and resources countless times. This is pretty remarkable considering it was released just six months ago.

Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had, by Tracy ZagerI made the pretty bold decision to choose Tracy’s book as the required text for the Math Methods course I taught for preservice teachers this past semester. It was a departure from the content-rich texts that the other instructors were using for this course, Van de Walle’s Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics, and Chapin & Johnson’s Math Matters. To be clear, I love both of these books and find them invaluable resources as I work with teachers, but I wanted to try something different. I wanted my preservice teachers to learn not just about content and pedagogy, but also about the importance of redefining math for themselves and creating “favorable conditions” for all students to see themselves as mathematicians.

Even before the first chapter, Tracy frames the experience for readers by saying that when reading this book, “there is no wrong way, as long as reading it is useful to you.” (p. xv) This is not a trivial statement. It sets the stage for the message throughout the book that math is flexible and creative, that mathematicians explore and believe in their intuition and revise their thinking. This was new thinking for my students. Each chapter zeroes in on an important attribute of mathematicians (read: all students) and offers snapshots from real classrooms where teachers and students are engaging in math in meaningful ways. Balancing content and pedagogy is a constant negotiation for math methods instructors, and Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had offers jumping-off points for conversations around both. For my students, it was an approachable introduction to teaching elementary mathematics for this reason. It enhanced our content conversations by opening up my students’ ideas about what elementary students think and can do, and challenged what they thought was the role of the teacher.

In addition to the mathematical merits of the bookTracy writes in a way that makes you feel like you’re having a one-on-one conversation with her. Many of my students commented that they felt like they “knew” Tracy and the teachers she featured by the end of the book. This gives me hope that once they land in their own classrooms, my students will pull this resource off their shelves early and often. I’ll let my students say the rest. They were asked to write a letter to Tracy explaining the impact her book had on them in this course. The verdict? The book shaped our experience together this semester in profound, positive, challenging, inspiring ways. (Excerpts below printed with permission.)

The impact that reading your book this semester has made on my teaching has been huge. Every single chapter has given me tools, interesting scenarios, and great advice as to how I should teach mathematics in my very own classroom.

Thank you for writing such an insightful book, a book that challenged the norm and made us pre-teachers think “outside the box.”

Your book has taught me so many ways to teach math effectively but, most importantly, how to love math.

I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed each page of your book. Not only did you share such powerful and influential messages, but you inspired me.

Thank you for writing this wonderful book and inspiring teachers to feel more confident in math! It was wonderful to have read this before going to teach first grade because I feel better prepared to teach math.

Add comment June 26th, 2017

Which One Doesn’t Belong? Wins Mathical Award

Which One Doesn't Belong w awardChristopher Danielson, a mathematics author, teacher, and curriculum developer from Minnesota, has won the Mathical Prize for his book, Which One Doesn’t Belong? A Shapes Book.

The award will be presented to Danielson on April 22 by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) at the National Math Festival in Washington, DC. Danielson won the award in the Grades 3-5 category.

“For a number of years I have longed for a better shapes book,” said Danielson. “I wanted a shapes book that gives space for noticing relationships, asking questions, and thinking together,” said Danielson. “I designed Which One Doesn’t Belong? to be an invitation to a mathematical conversation.”

The book–which is intended to be used by children, parents, and teachers–features sets of four shapes with the recurring question, “which one doesn’t belong?’ Any of the shapes can be the right answer; the key is getting kids to justify their answer in their own language. The school version comes with an extensive teacher’s guide, including an “answers key” that describes one possible argument that can be made for each shape in the book. Which One Doesn’t Belong? and the teacher’s guide can both be ordered from Stenhouse.

Which One Doesn’t Belong? encourages children to use mathematical thinking to explore new concepts,” wrote the committee who awarded the prize. “The layout is brilliant and in classroom testing, children were active readers, enthusiastic to share their insights and justifications in the discussion. Perhaps the best feature is that questions have no single, simple answer!”

Danielson has worked with math learners of all ages—12 year-olds in his former middle school classroom, Calculus students at Normandale Community College, teachers in professional development, and young children and their families at Math On-A-Stick at the Minnesota State Fair. He designs curriculum at Desmos. He is the author of Common Core Math For Parents For Dummies, the shapes book Which One Doesn’t Belong?, and the forthcoming counting book How Many? He blogs about teaching on Overthinking My Teaching, and for parents at Talking Math with Your Kids. He earned his B.A. in mathematics from Boston University, his M.A. in Education from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Michigan State University.

The Mathical Book Prize is organized by MSRI in partnership with the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

Add comment April 21st, 2017

Read, Apply, Learn

At Stenhouse, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to create resources that are useful for teachers. We are always eager to hear how teachers, coaches, and administrators use our books, videos, and courses in practice. That’s why we’re especially excited about Jill Gough and Jennifer Wilson’s upcoming NCSM preconference. In it, they’ll be talking about how they use professional literature to grow their teaching practice. How do they apply what they’ve read? How do they collaborate, both in-person and online, to reflect on that application with their colleagues? What new learning and productive changes in teaching practice result from that work?

We asked Jennifer and Jill for a sneak peek of their session, and we’re happy to share it with you here. We hope you can join them in San Antonio, or follow along online.

Read, Apply, Learn
By Jill Gough and Jennifer Wilson

In Kindergarten Reading Workshop this week, the teaching point was when we want to learn new things, we first read what experts say. Now, it is clear that we are preparing our young learners for a unit on nonfiction reading and on research.  What if we transfer that simple, direct teaching point to our own work?

We set three goals this year as a team of teachers committed to narrowing the achievement gap for our learners. These goals are to learn more math, to scale what we learn across our schools, and to more deeply understand the Standards for Mathematical Practices.  With these goals, we have to ask, what do experts say?

We have been reading a lot lately, and we have been considering how to share what we are trying and learning in both our home communities and in a more global community. We are now studying and strongly recommend 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions by Mary Kay Stein and Margaret Smith, NCTM’s publication, Principles to Action,  The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. by Daniel Coyle,  Beyond Answers: Exploring Mathematical Practices with Young Children from Mike Flynn, and Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms by Tracy Zager and more.

In Beyond Answers, Mike Flynn suggests “We need to give students the opportunity to develop their own rich and deep understanding of our number system. With that understanding, they will be able to develop and use a wide array of strategies in ways that make sense for the problem at hand.” How might we slow down to afford our students the opportunity to develop their own deep understanding and grow their own mathematical flexibility? What will be gained when our young learners have acquired a deep foundation of understanding, confidence, and competence?

BeyondAnswersFlynn

In Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had, Tracy Zager encourages us to engage our learners in productive struggle so that they are “challenged and learning”. She writes “As long as learners are engaged in productive struggle, even if they are headed toward a dead end, we need to bite our tongues and let students figure it out. Otherwise, we rob them of their well-deserved, satisfying, wonderful feelings of accomplishment when they make sense of problems and persevere.”

BecomingMathZager

So what does productive struggle look like in the classroom with students? What does productive struggle look like in professional learning communities with teachers? How do we learn to bite our tongues and give students time to figure it out? What stories can you share about students engaged in productive struggle?

What if we take ideas and apply them in our learning and teaching? What might we learn about our students, ourselves, and mathematics? What is to be gained by reflecting on our learning and sharing our thinking with our PLN here, there, and everywhere?

We look forward to considering these questions Sunday at our NCSM pre-conference session. And we look forward to sharing what we learn and discuss with those who can’t attend in real-time on Twitter and later through our blogs.

Jill (@jgough)  – Sneak Peek on Flexibility: Experiments in Learning by Doing

Jennifer (@jwilson828) – Sneak Peek on Empowering Learners: Easing the Hurry Syndrome

#NCSM17 #LearnAndShare #SlowMath

Flynn, Michael. 2017 Beyond Answers: Exploring Mathematical Practices with Young Children. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

Zager, Tracy. 2017. Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

 

Jill Gough learns, serves, and teaches as the Director of Teaching and Learning at Trinity School. Previously, she taught in the Westminster Schools, after 14 years of teaching in public schools in Mississippi and at the Kiski School of Pennsylvania. Jill received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 1998 and Mathematical Association of America’s Sliffe Award in 2006 for excellence in teaching junior high.
Jennifer Wilson has been an educator for 24 years, spending 20 of those years teaching and learning mathematics with students at Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, Mississippi. She currently teaches Advanced Placement Calculus and Geometry and also serves as a Curriculum Specialist with the Rankin County School District. Jennifer is an advocate for #slowmath, in which students and teachers take the time to enjoy mathematics.

 

 

Add comment April 1st, 2017

See you at NCSM and NCTM

We are looking forward to seeing you at this year’s NCSM and NCTM conferences in San Antonio.

At NCSM we will be exhibiting our books at booth #404.

At NCTM you can find us at booth #1325. Stop by to meet our authors:

Thursday
9:30-10: Anne Collins (Accessible Algebra)
10-10:30: Lucy West (Adding Talk to the Equation)
11:30-Noon: Chris Moynihan (Math Sense)
12:30-1: Mike Flynn (Beyond Answers)
1-1:30: Jessica Shumway (Number Sense Routines)
1:30-2: Nancy Anderson (What’s Right About Wrong Answers)
3-3:30: Christopher Danielson (Which One Doesn’t Belong?)

Friday
10-10:30: Chris Confer (Small Steps, Big Changes)
11-11:30: Kassia Omohundro Wedekind  (Math Exchanges)
3-3:30: Tracy Zager (Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had)

Stop by at both conferences to browse and purchase our latest titles, pick up our free tote bag, and for a chance to win $1,000 in Stenhouse titles! Download a full schedule of Stenhouse authors presenting at both conferences.

Add comment March 31st, 2017

Now Online: Accessible Algebra

Accessible AlgebraAccessible Algebra is for any pre-algebra or algebra teacher who wants to provide a rich and fulfilling experience to students as they develop new ways of thinking through and about algebra.

Each of the thirty lessons in this book identifies and addresses a focal domain and standard in algebra, then lays out the common misconceptions and challenges students may face as they work to investigate and understand problems.

Authors Anne Collins and Steven Benson describe classroom scenarios in each lesson and also suggest ways teachers may assign a problem or activity, how to include formative assessment strategies, and suggestions for grouping students.

Each lesson includes sections on how to support struggling students as well as additional resources and readings.

We just posted the full preview online!

Add comment March 27th, 2017

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