Search This Blog

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rethinking math instruction: designing lessons for a 21st century math classroom

As a still pretty new classroom teacher about 6 years ago, teaching 3rd grade at the time, I didn't think of myself as a very good math teacher. I noticed very early on that I wasn't really reaching my students. And so I made it my mission to learn more math, to learn how to be a better math teacher, and how to interest my students in math.

I attended all the trainings, started reading all the books, and next thing you know I'm presenting to my colleagues on math instruction.

Now, I find myself a math and technology coach for the K-5 teachers in my district, and I notice that, like myself, many others, even if they want to change the way they teach math, have a hard time getting started.

Modern lesson design
Math is a subject that seems to have been taught just about the same way for the last 100 years or so. Facts, memorization, algorithms, etc. Even when we know it's not working, math is a subject that we teachers seem to struggle to change.

Our students should be learning math via experiences, not flash cards. We are not training our students to
become regurgitaters of facts. We need to teach them how to be creators, how to be critical thinkers, how to be problem solvers.

This week I led a 3-day workshop for my K-5 teachers on shifting mindsets around math instruction. The goals:
  • Empower teachers to design lessons & learning experiences in math
  • Shift instruction from teacher-led to student-centered
  • Move math to inquiry-based
  • Make learning hands-on math
  • Design for 21st century learners
By the end of the our 3-days, I was pumped to see teachers excited about math this year! Teachers used what they learned about hyperdocs; interactive math activities using Google tools; self-directed lessons using PBS LearningMedia storyboards, EdPuzzle, and others; Estimation180; number and fraction talks; Which One Doesn't Belong; among other resources to start designing math experiences for their students. And at the end of day 3, all the 'thank yous' and hugs let me know that this might have been just what some of us needed!

Below is the presentation I used with my teachers. (Some is Eureka Math/ENY specific since that's our current curriculum, but scroll past that for most of the good stuff!) Feel free to modify and use as desired!

No comments:

Post a Comment