Sunday, November 23, 2014

Math TDE

I realized today - once again - that I work with some amazing teachers.  My mind is so full, it just might burst!

Today was a first grade Math TDE.  We began with a demo lesson with Cheryl Dillard.  Cheryl is our Math Lead and so understated.  When you ask her about this or that, she just tells you what she's doing, like it's just another simple idea.  Then when you go watch all those "simple" ideas put into action, you are simply blown away.  There is no curriculum for the skills that Cheryl adds to Math every day - no book of Math Journal ideas, but she has the innate ability to look at her students, compare them to the standards and where they need to be, and find the exact activity to move them in that direction.
Cheryl teaching decomposing
Math Journal
I really wish I had videotaped this entire lesson because I find I need a rewind button because I am continually thinking, "How did she do that?"  It's just effortless.  There are so many new ideas that I find I have to prioritize.  I'll implement this one and that one right now and then after a couple of weeks of adding those to the routine, I think I'll add that other one.  By then, of course, Cheryl has moved on to the next.  I sit here just thinking how thankful I am that I have teachers right down the hall in both Reading and Writing and Math that help push my thinking.  We have talked about pushing the children's thinking up a continuum and that's exactly what happens as we begin to debrief this lesson.  It pushes my thinking up the continuum and there is new learning.

Math Coach (She's really the AP-we don't have a Math Coach!) Suzanne Shall was ready to push that continuum too as she reminded us of all the reasons that we are where we are.  She reminded us of the early days when we embraced Stigler and the TMMS study and realized that students from other nations were coming to take some of our highest paying jobs in the US because we didn't have enough students prepared to take them!  We recalled the days when we realized that the Math education in our country was severely lacking and how we slowly and painfully switched our thinking to embrace a more conceptual math.  Because we adopted Math Investigations so early, we now have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of that labor as we have students in high school, college and in the job force who were part of this new Math wave.

Suzanne had us work problems that our current students will work in second and third grade and it was obvious that we still need to bump up our own thinking.  What Cheryl proved to us is that our children can think at that level and they can do this work.  I remember how dubious I was in those early years that we were expecting too much and how I worried that what we were doing might not be developmentally appropriate, but now I realize that if we allow students to begin to work at that concrete level for as long as they need, that they will have the building blocks to naturally move to representational and abstract thinking.

I am not a Math guru.  I have made it my life's work to teach children to read, but as I have ended up teaching Math these last years, I have found a new challenge and interest.  I can get just as excited when the light comes on as a child embraces and understands a Math concept as I ever did as they unlocked reading.  And I have to say...  I'm really proud of the Math work going on in my classroom...  There's a pretty strong foundation being laid...

As we left our TDE, Suzanne had us do one last exit ticket, that I have reproduced below - always teaching the example of what it is she wants us to do...

First Grade Math TDE  Exit Ticket

1.        Please mark the circle to represent the topic that allowed you the most reflection.

Classroom Observation; Debrief  (Dillard)

Shifts in Math:  TIMSS, 3-Prongs of Math, Instructional Implications
Instructional Sequence of Math (Concrete-Representational-Abstract) w/Engage NY video Alignment: Standards, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment- Grade 1 and 2 Lessons
Tweaking Student Sheets; Creating Exit Tickets

Analyzing Addition ; Subtraction Student Work- Beginning of Grade 2, Unit 1
Second Grade Work Session Video (Justo ; McLeod)

Beyond the Standards- cardinality, equality, and decomposing

2.      What is one thing that you will implement in the next two weeks?

o   Reteaching one on one to clear up misconceptions from previous day during skills block.
o   I will target 3 skills during calendar as well as work on 3 skills during the block. 3 days of journal and 2 days of number bonds.
o   Move students from concrete to representational in small group support.
o   Differentiating student sheets for higher level students.
o   Analyzing student work for their next step.
o   Skills Block- use exit tickets for small group & one-on-one instruction.
o   Run a better skills session.
o   Incorporate instructional concrete instruction
o   I want my skills block to include more of what I saw in Dillard & Mallon’s room. Add the hundreds chart, guess my number, asap!
o   Adding more of what I saw in calendar math this morning into my math centers.
o   Using math games more because they are very beneficial.

3.      What is one long-term implementation goal that you have?
o   Look more closely at the standards to guide my instruction toward second grade.
o   Becoming more comfortable with the addition strategies.
o   Pushing the rigor of the work to allow students to problem solve and explain.
o   Rewrite student sheets with larger numbers & exit tickets before I start a unit.
o   Strategies for next step (2nd grade) push to the next level!
o   Having students always talking about how they reached an answer to a problem, giving them enough time to explain their answers.
o   Have a good flow during the math block by making sure all materials are prepared and ready. Kinds knowing routines.
o   Moving toward written visual representations with my students instead of using manipulatives which will get them ready to show expressions.

1 comment:

Maria Mallon & Cheryl Dillard said...

That was an excellent TDE from Cheryl's demo lesson to the very last morsel of information pasted on from Suzanne. There was a lot of planning and thought behind the day and it left everyone revitalized and ready to challenge themselves with all of the new learning. For a fleeting second, I was thinking of even switching teams and going in the Math direction, but I could never leave Lucy (or Melanie) :) MM