Hello ladies and gentlemen. I have been in a lot of classrooms lately and doing a lot of noticing/wondering. I am seeing number talks take up half a class and one POD take up half a class without any practice. What makes matters worse is, when people share the same flipchart, tomorrow is a new skill! What if your students didn’t even get the skill/concept today!!!!!
Here are some tips below on how to maximize your math block time:
- What is the purpose/learning intention of your Number Talk/POD?
One number talk could last all classroom if we let it. Many of them are so open and there are so many ways of interpreting them….so what is our purpose in using it? Take this one below:
How can you name this model?
There are so many things you could do here, but what am I looking for today with my students? Is it the relationship between the numerator and denominator?, The size of the whole?, Fractions greater than one? Equivalent fractions? etc……..
Know your purpose and that will help you and your students to focus on the right things for that day.
2. Know what misconceptions and strategies you want to come out and why- before the lesson starts!
Again, this will help focus and help you with questioning. Getting the wrong answer out solidifies the understanding of the right ones. I am that teacher that will say, “I heard the class next door say (insert wrong answer),” and get them to think about why that might have been a possibility. Also, this helps with GROWTH MINDSET! I have seen teachers also take this and do “My Favorite No”.
3. Accountable Talk–Not Teacher to student to teacher to student to teacher to student etc.
Accountable talk doesn’t just happen when we have kids in groups. How can we get more students involved in the class discussion? Juli Dixon’s “Making Sense of Teaching Mathematics for Small Groups” has great questions that were typed up by Kristen Shannon and Jessica Seltzer at Fruitville (attachment below). Use them. Stop being the one who rephrases, summarizes, questions……use these questions below to get your students to do the work and the sense making!
Here is a great video of Juli’s questioning in action:
4. What am I doing when students are grappling independently and/or talking to each other?
MONITORING…… Think of the cafeteria monitor walking around…..except, you are prepared with knowing what you are looking for, whether it be the misconceptions or the specific strategies you want to highlight when the turn and talk is over. You are armed with questions to ask so you can understand what students are drawing on their papers.
Now when it comes time to bring it back to whole group you are no longer doing a show and tell; you have specific students come up strategically and sequentially to make sense of what you want them to understand (your learning intention). (Had fun with the alliteration there, sorry 🙂 )