Bobby began our session together by asking our staff to discuss the following questions:
- What are we doing so far that is good?
- What are we doing that is puzzling/problematic
After providing us with some time to talk in a small group, we shared with the staff our answers. The following is a rundown of her responses to our discussion.
In general guided lessons, who is doing the teaching? Who is doing the talking? THE TEACHER...we need to work towards the students taking control of the learning and the teacher facilitating THEIR discussion.
Begin by using problems that are not at grade level in order to get the kids used to talking. Once you start to see wins in your routines, and talking groups...then move things along.
Everyone in the group needs to be working in a way that allows for them each to be critiqued. Everyone needs to be struggling in their effort to learn something new.
We do less but students are learning at a deeper level with multiple levels of understanding.
We, as teachers, need to be working on the possibilities of what they should know instead of focusing on what they don’t know (and filling gaps).
When kids argue...Talk about how you are not disagreeing with a person but you are disagreeing with an IDEA. Also, make sure that the students understand that it is ok to have a disagreement if you are able to express why you disagree.
Social and Strengths groups...these are not friend-based groups. They are groups of students that you know will work well together.
Class is split into halves-each half seen on alternative days. However, always have one group of 4 that you could see 2 days in a row to give them an opportunity to grow or teach others their different thinking.
Groups of 4 (2 for younger children)
One challenging task. If any student can solve it on their own it is not challenging enough)
Encourage recording and multiple representations
10 minutes Warm Up
5-10 minutes Launch/group norms..need to discuss everyday (values/beliefs...keep it family orientated)
15 minutes Large Group Discussion
10 minutes Making connections to the big idea* (this is where the teacher explicitly teaches and connects to the big idea*)
Teacher Role: anticipate, monitor, select, sequence, connect
Remember to focus that we work together as a collective (a family). No one owns that end product...it belongs to the group/village.
*The Big Idea: this is something that encompasses the higher mathematical teaching...for example commutative property (a+b=b+a)
Quick Image problems: are ok to use instead of word problems as their task
Make it purposeful
Include elements of choice
Make the practice related to previous maths focus (problems from previous days, refer to previous problems)
All students should use this time to cement previous learning.