Monday, February 9, 2015

Raising the Bar in Math- Taking Math Beyond the Answers and the Classroom, Math 3.0

This week I am taking the plunge and diving into Math Monday! Math Monday was started by my friend Many Robek as a place to gather and talk math.  Mandy shares ~
 "I've wished for quite some time there was more math discussion and conversations in the twitter/blogging world." 

Today I am jumping into the conversation. I have a few post in mind, but I am starting with one that's weighing on my mind~ purpose and choice in math. Choices are a part of our math workshop.  I wrote about the choices and struggles I had as I worked to create a Math Workshop that mimics the Literacy part of our day here. 

Listening to Student Choices~
Recently we were talking as a class about a web based computer game and one student recommended "We shouldn't go on that game so much, it doesn't allow us to be creative or show our thinking. It's like it just tells us what to do." WOW! This statement really struck me, not only did this statement let me know this game wasn't a choice for him, he also told us why. This student is making purposeful choices for his learning and sharing this information with the class.  

It's All About Choice~
If you've read my blog before you know I am advocate of choice in our classroom and in promoting choice I also know it's important to teach children what needs to be considered in making choices for learning.  We talk about how the choices you make should support your thinking and your purpose. If you are working to figure something out then choose the tool(s) that work best and efficiently for you. If you want to share your learning with others or get feed back from others choose a tool that allows you to share and receive feedback.  Our workshop provides choice in manipulatives, paper, pencils, iPads, laptops, desktops and the apps and software that go with them.  As kids leave our focus lesson they choose their learning, tools and how they will share or if they will share with others. 

Here's a peek into our workshop choices~

Mathematicians present questions for others to answer on Kid Blog

Mathematicians work to sort and count math tools on the dry erase table. 

Mathematicians share counting by ten with the help of Educreations.

Mathematicians choose paper and pencil to show the combination of ten.

Mathematicians show us their understanding of doubling with the help of Educreations. 

Mathematicians explore the relationship between addition and subtraction on the dry erase table. 

Mathematicians solve doubles plus one with manipulatives on the dry erase table. 
Math 3.0~
Giving students an opportunity to explain how they solved a problem or even record the process helps the child to reflect on the work and often make changes in their thinking. In addition this allows others (including the teacher) to see and often HEAR the process behind the work.  In addition this creates a record of the child's process skills and flexibility in math thinking.  Adding the choice of digital tools makes what was not possible before, possible!  I am humbled by all that is possible when we provide the opportunity of choice to our students. 
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