Focus Class 3rd-6th grade

Last Friday third – sixth grade teachers gathered to study CCSSM.  You can find the PowerPoint here.  There were a few concerns about the mathematical knowledge of their students and many concerns about the unwillingness of their students to persevere.  These students have spent much of their time in school following steps and procedures and stopping when they get an answer.  Explaining their thinking, describing their strategies, and working on highly rigorous tasks may be different from what math looked like in their previous grades.  Our teachers are ready for the challenge to help our students truly understand the mathematics.  It will just take some time for our students to get where we need them to be.

Here are some of the topics we covered.

  • The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and some of the Sample Items
  • Everyone enjoyed this video by Phil Daro.  This is a quick CCSSM overview video (one of the main authors of CCSSM).  It’s an entertaining video and it demonstrates that the CCSSM is not just a new list of standards. It requires a change in our instruction.
  • We looked at mathematical patterns on a multiplication chart including using it as a tool to see equivalent fractions.  We also looked at a summary of how children learn their math facts using information from John Van de Walle, Marilyn Burns, and David Sousa.  It is called “Help!  They don’t know their facts!”.  You can read it here.
  • We looked at a chart created by Jason Zimba that helps us to understand the progression of the mathematics throughout the grade levels.  I have created a document of Talking Points to help us understand the chart.
  • We studied the Operations & Algebraic Thinking learning progression and the 6th grade teachers read the Expressions & Equations progression.

It was an awesome day!  Special thanks to Kristin Campbell from RPDP for her support throughout the day.

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