Sunday, October 27, 2013

Let's Talk Math! - FREEBIE Math Talk Posters

As we all begin to implement the Common Core Standards, it is important to explore the role of discourse in these standards and in our classrooms.  The Common Core Math Standards for mathematics are based on five processes: communication, reasoning and proof, problem solving, representation and connections. 
Students demonstrate their understanding by being able to explain, justify and apply.  Math talk actually helps students become problem solvers by focusing on getting students to talk and communicate in groups.  

Rich math discussions are key elements in mathematical development.  The two pathways for creating and using new knowledge are when students talk about mathematical concepts and strategies or when students listen to other people's ideas during discourse. 

In order to build a community of mathematical thinkers, we need to teach the following skills to our students:
1. How to explain your thinking
2. How to be an active listener
3. How to have a conversation
4. How to be supportive of your fellow mathematicians

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Making Thinking Visible: SEE-THINK-WONDER

Ponder this quote from Ron Ritchart and David Perkins and Project Zero at Harvard ...

"For classrooms to be cultures of thinking for students, 
schools must be cultures of thinking for teachers."

With that in mind, I am going to start a Culture of Thinking project in the district where I coach.  I plan to introduce one routine at each grade level at each school and have the teachers pass it forward to their grade level colleagues.  I also plan to post videos of the lessons that I model on the district website along with resources for all the teachers.  With the introduction of each new routine, I will choose different teachers at each grade level.  

Visible Thinking routines are instructional strategies developed to help teachers provide opportunities for students to generate deeper thinking and understanding throughout their learning.  Each time a routine is completed, teachers should look at the thinking of their students with these three ideas in mind:
What do you notice?
What surprises you?
Where will you go next?  

A tool for looking closely at student work and reflect on thinking is to search 
for evidence of thinking moves.  
Click here for a Thinking Moves poster.  
I also plan to create Thinking Moves posters for display in each classroom.  As teachers making students thinking visible, I also want students to have a common language for their thinking moves.  

The first routine I'm going to introduce is SEE-THINK-WONDER.
What do you SEE?
What does it make you THINK?
What do you WONDER?

This a very easy tool for students of all ages and is most useful for looking at and reflecting on a variety of visual artifacts such as YouTube and other clips, cartoons or an individual or series of images.  It encourages students to make careful observations and thoughtful interpretations.  It helps stimulate curiosity and sets the stage for inquiry.