This session examined the million dollar question of how do we differentiate our PD. I shared some of my own research which focused on the varying levels of knowledge in our teaching profession about math instruction. I used an assessment for teachers which assesses their Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching. This specialized knowledge is what makes us a profession. We not only need to know how to do the math, we need to be able to model it, explain it, demonstrate it, and connect this new learning to the previous learning of our students. After I shared this correlational research, we looked at some of the training modules that I created, based on the PRIME Leadership framework. Using these modules is one way to differentiate based on the current needs of the teachers. Another way is to give a pretest on the content for a class. Ask the teachers to reflect on their answers as a way to determine their readiness for the content. Then they can select activities for learning based on their current knowledge level. We need to “help give teachers the mathematics education that they deserve” (Jason Zimba, October 23, 2013). If you want more information about the training modules, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Category Archives: CCSSM Progressions
In these sessions for middle school teachers, Vicki Collaro, Marissa McClish, and I used the shifts to demonstrate the importance of building a focused, coherent plan for instruction in mathematics. These sessions closely examined the 2nd shift: Coherence. We used several tasks from Illustrative Mathematics to examine the coherent plan laid out in the CCSSM. We used the Zimba chart to organize these tasks. Then we analyzed the learning trajectory using the progression documents. All of the resources used are listed below.
Ratios & Proportional Relationships
Illustrative Mathematics Tasks
Fractions to The Number System
Illustrative Mathematics Tasks
In this session we examined our mindset about mathematics in comparison to our mindset about reading. We discussed the shifts required in our practices in order to meet the needs of the Common Core Standards. We used the Zimba chart and the major work of the grade level to discuss Focus and Coherence in our instruction and planning. We also found connections between the CCSS ELA Listening & Speaking standards (1,2, & 3) and the Instructional Practice Guides for mathematics developed by Student Achievement Partners. While there are many connections to be made, we always need to remember that it doesn’t matter how well you teach the wrong math. Focus always comes first!
Handouts and PPT
I am heading to Denver for the National Math Conference next week. Let me know what specific topics you would like more information on. What are your most pressing struggles with Common Core Math right now? Just leave a comment on this post and I will see what I can find to help you.
Schmidt has done it again! You may remember my slides on Schmidt’s A+ Countries study showing the great variety of our instructional topics in math as compared to those A+ countries who have a very narrow focus. This article clearly explains how our improved mathematics instruction will move us towards educational equality using the Common Core Math Standards.
Check out this video by Dan Meyer on encouraging Perplexity. We want our students to use mathematics to solve problems that perplex them. This goes way beyond engaging them!
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.
Tonight we will be studying our math and reading block time. We will see if what we have scheduled still fits in a CCSS classroom. We will also learn more about academic vocabulary as it relates to math. Our special guest is Lou Loftin. He will update us on the Next Generation Science standards.
The staff at Baily Charter School worked on Common Core Math today. They reflected on their Number Talks and shared their experiences. Their students are having fun with Number Talks and the teachers are learning about the conceptual knowledge of their students. (They discovered a Place Value issue in several grade levels.) The staff also worked on the Number & Operations Base Ten progression and read what several authors say about how students learn math facts.
This is a picture of the first participant to snore in one of my trainings!
During our second day we looked very closely at the learning progression for fractions. We read the fraction progression document. We solved many fraction problems and made a Marilyn Burns Fraction Kit.
We did well until we tried to divide fractions by fractions (which is a 6th grade standard). While we know that to divide fractions you can “invert and multiply”. Our struggle came from using a model to demonstrate fraction division. Many of us learned to follow a step-by-step process, and now Common Core demands that we understand fraction operations on a conceptual level. We are learning along with our students! How cool is that?