Math Rocks Mission #9: Try and Reflect

As you may or may not recall from our session last week, I had mentioned there are two homework assignments before our next session. The first is Mission #8. And here is the second:

  • Choose a number sense routine like Quick Images or Choral Counting, or choose some other short activity like Estimation180 or Which One Doesn’t Belong? The key is the activity should only take about 10-15 minutes of your time in class. I also want it to be an activity you want to do with your students. I don’t want you to feel like this is some artificial task you’re doing to check off a box, “Yep, I did my Math Rocks homework.”
  • Try out the activity in class. Pay special attention to what the kids are doing and saying.
  • Take photos of any work that is shared. For example, if you do a number talk, take a photo of the board when you’re done. Avoid having students’ faces showing in any pictures or any identifying information.
  • Write a blog post reflecting on the experience. Some questions to consider: (Some! Not all! You don’t have to write a book.)
    • What activity did you pick and why?
    • What kind of planning did you do beforehand?
    • Was this the first time doing the activity with your class? How did you introduce it?
    • If you’ve done the activity before, what are you noticing about your students as they continue to encounter it?
    • How did the activity go? What kinds of things did the students say and do during the activity?
    • What are you curious about?
    • What surprised you?
    • What frustrated you?
    • What are you proud of?
    • What would you do differently next time?
    • Do you want to use this activity again with your students? Why or why not?
  • Include at least one photo in your post so readers can get a glimpse into the classroom experience you’re describing.
  • Tweet out a link to your reflection. Include the #ElemMathChat and #MTBoS hashtags.

Happy teaching!

Math Rocks Mission #8: Breaking the Cycle

This week’s mission harkens back to our first session in July. One of the first things we did was watch Tracy Zager’s Shadowcon talk called Breaking the Cycle. You don’t have to re-watch her talk, but it might help get you in the head space for this mission because you’ll be continuing to explore Tracy’s ideas.

  • The first thing you need to do is read Andrew Gael’s post about a survey he gave to learn more about how the staff at his school views mathematics.
  • Next, read Justin Lanier’s call to action referenced in Andrew’s post. If you want extra credit*, watch Justin’s talk where he goes into much more detail about his thoughts on math and beauty.
  • Pick a day and survey your students. You can survey the students in just your class, or if you can rally some other teachers, go ahead and survey students in several classes! Feel free to modify the language of the statements that Justin provides. For example, you might change “clear-cut” to something like “makes sense.” For younger grades, you might conduct the survey orally or you might further refine the statements to be more grade-level appropriate for your students.
  • On your blog, write a reflection about your experiences and what you learned about your students.
  • Tweet out a link to your blog using the hashtags #MTBoS and #ElemMathChat.

As usual, link your blog post in the comments. Then read and comment on three other blog posts.

*There isn’t actually any extra credit, but you can still call it that. 🙂