Letter To Myself – 2nd Semester Goals

This letter really is for me – I probably won’t even spell check it.  I’m certainly not going to tweet it.  I’m writing it because I feel I have to.  Even if only discretely – I want to go on the record somewhere as a challenge to myself.

My main goal for second semester is to increase the amount of thinking students do.

I want to decrease the amount of time they spend reproducing and practicing any particular procedure.

I want more of their procedural fluency to come from interesting questions, engaging tasks, or a conceptual understanding.

I need to be more purposeful with my questions.  When assigning tasks I want to have two good questions predetermined for each.

I want to keep track of each activity – specifically whether or not they had these three pillars of a great activity present in them:

  • open middle
  • low entry, high ceiling
  • solution method not immediately clear but solution seems attainable with effort.

Homework to be more review oriented.  1 review, 1 conceptual, 1 new.  Something like that.  Write it out a week in advance.

Continue to rely heavily on vertical non-permenaent surfaces and visible random groupings.

Give students time alone for quite contemplation before having them begin group tasks.

Focus on MP.4 and MP.3.

MP.4 Modeling:  What does it mean to model with mathematics?  Unanswerable Questions type openers.

MP.3 Viable Arguments.  – How often do you get students to compare and contrast approaches?  I want to maximize the effectiveness of this both at whiteboards and at their desks.

  • Meaningful discourse versus call and response, or low level transmitting of process.  An example of the level of communication I want to avoid:  I ask students to share with their partner I get this sort of dialogue:
    • Student 1: “I did this, and then this”
    • Student 2: “ok, I did this and this”
    • Student 1:  “ok”
    • Me: “Did every one get a chance to share with their partners?”
    • Student 1 and 2:  “yes”

Keep having fun and knowing that it’s impossible to reach every student.

Keep learning more and more and more about your students as people.

Read the standards you are being asked to teach.

Can we represent this differently?

I want to say CONVINCE ME a lot.

Focus on process versus answer getting.

Be more honest with myself when I am giving problems that have only one solution method.

Use Michael’s student teaching as an opportunity to study the effectiveness of lessons without having to facilitate the lesson.

Managing “flow” and allowing for the existence of “productive struggle”.

Allow the last 5 minutes of class for debrief / exit tickets.

Visit more classrooms.

Finish my presentation on modeling for TMC16.

Determine what a conceptual understanding of each topic would look like, and how would we use that to build procedural fluency?

Share everything with collegues.







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