Improving Teaching by Focusing on the Whole Process of Teaching and Not Just Parts! Teaching is a complex process; it is more than just asking perfect questions, or getting students to talk to other. Think of a car engine, if we only have few working parts of the…]]>

Check out the Whole Class Discussion framework that reduces this process into 3 pages! This makes teaching much easier! Click on the Whole Class discussion framework link on this blog.

Whole Class Mathematics Discussions

**Improving Teaching by Focusing on the Whole Process of Teaching and Not Just Parts!** Teaching is a complex process; it is more than just asking perfect questions, or getting students to talk to other. Think of a car engine, if we only have few working parts of the engine or even missing parts, the car won’t run. Similarly, we need to think about the whole process to support** students’ mathematical learning**. ( I highlighted learning because it is so easy to forget this part during the process of teaching. Many times as a teacher, I get caught up on getting through the activities of teaching and forgetting to think about what my students are learning or need to learn. I made this note to keep reminding myself to make *learning* the center of my decision-making.) So what is the big picture to support mathematical learning? The Common Core standards outlines…

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Andrea Kirkwood, a UNR Masters’ student created the following website to help teachers gain ideas on how to use math notebooks to help their students communicate their mathematical thinking through writing.

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The Annenberg Learner: Teacher professional development and classroom resource

This website has videos as well as lesson planning resources

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEACHERS

There are many different types of grants for teachers.Check your local communities and organizations for funding opportunities. For example, you can find funding opportunities to get supplies for your classroom. In addition, you may find funding to do research projects or go to conferences. Just knowing that there are opportunities available for you to become a more effective teacher helps. You just need to know where to look.

Check out the NCTM website below. Make sure you look at the types for Writing Successful Proposals for MET Grants and Scholarships.

]]>Students must develop conceptual understanding of mathematics as well as procedural fluency. They also point out that students also need to develop productive dispositions, the ability to reason logically and be able to formulate, represent and solve mathematical problems. Basically, these ideas are highlighted in the Common Core Standards of Mathematical Practice document. The Inside Mathematics website provides further explanations and video examples of each practice.

*What does this mean for lesson planning and whole class discussions? Let’s explore!*

What is *conceptual understanding?* You can read more about conceptual understanding by clicking on the link.

Basically, it means that students need to have a flexible understanding of mathematics to use their knowledge as a tool to solve problems. The Common Core document outlines what students should understand and be able to do. You can also look at the progressions documents provided in this blog.

*An example:*

Let’s take a look the third grade Common Core standards for on Operations and Algebraic thinking. The standards indicate that third grade students must be able to multiply and divide within 100. However, it does more than that! The standard also points out what students should also understand conceptually. For example,representing and solving problems, and understanding properties of multiplication is essential for developing conceptual understanding. Therefore, simply having students memorize multiplication and division facts is not enough. Understanding the math concepts helps student solve problems other related problems. This means knowledge becomes a tool to support learning.If the students forget how much 5x 6 is, then they can use their knowledge of 5×5 and their understanding of multiplications to figure out the answer.

*What does this mean for you as a teacher?* The Whole Class Discussion book has a chapter on Lesson Planning (Chapter 4).

It provides you with tools to find the “big mathematical ideas,” and think about planning lessons to support conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. This book describes three levels of lesson planning. Long term planning, short-term planning and even planning and adjusting while teaching. This builds on the idea that supporting student learning of math involves understanding the big picture of what students should learn and adapting your teaching to build on student understanding. This way, your teaching becomes a lot more efficient and effective!

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