My teaching assignment is changing from chemistry and physics to algebra II, physics and working with new teachers. It has been many years since I last taught math and I am excited to dive deeply into the Standards for Mathematical Practice (MP) and the Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices. I will continue to apply NGSS Science & Engineering Practices (SEP) in my physics classes. And, as I work with new teachers, I will need to support them through the TPEP process and the Danielson Framework.
I just completed Closing the Achievement Gap: Developing Conceptual Understanding Through Productive Routines, the Washington State math training. I came away with a much clearer idea of how much I need to learn about teaching math and a number of ideas for teaching science. We worked through three routines and my mind was planning ways to use them in my math classes and making connections to science instruction and TPEP. I’m pretty sure smoke was coming out my ears.
Number Talks foster a safe and inclusive learning environment (TPEP 5) as students use academic language to describe how they solved a number sense problem. There’s a strong push for students to come up with a visual representation of their thinking. In the process, students construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others (MP3). Here’s a link to a Teaching Channel Blog by Crystal Morey from Enumclaw and a link to a video of Crystal conducting a Number Talk. Watch how she differentiates (TPEP 3) her instruction. For science, I will use Number Talks to develop estimation skills/number sense and to interpret graphs. This involves SEP5—using mathematics and computational thinking and SEP7—engaging in argument from evidence.
Rich Mathematical Tasks dramatically increase the rigor of textbook problems by removing the baby steps so often provided by math (and science) texts books. Teachers thereby communicate high expectations for student learning (TPEP 1) while also meeting TPEP 2-6. Students have to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, MP1. Check out Dan Meyer’s TEDxNYEDTalk: Math class needs a makeover and this Google sheet of math tasks. In physics, I will use Meyer’s principles to revise problems so that students need to ask questions and define the problem (SEP1) rather than follow a formulaic approach to problem solving.
My Favorite No celebrates the things that students do correctly before digging into the mistake(s) that a student made. To learn more about this routine check out Brooke Perry’s April 18, 2014 blog. Here’s a Teaching Channel video of a My Favorite No. This is an effective and efficient formative assessment strategy—TPEP 7—that hits MP2-3, SEP 6-7.
In seven short hours, I got to eat pizza, get to know my math colleagues better and walked away with routines to use in my math and science classes and coaching work. Sweet Sauce!
Married to Larry, an old Coast Guard salt and amazing man.I get to share Larry with our yellow lab, Sherman.