Category Archives: #LL2LU

Establish goals to focus learning – Reading Workshop 5th Grade

What if we design a lesson to orchestrate productive discussion, critique the reasoning of others, grow as readers and writers, and deepen understanding through reflection?

The 5th grade team invited me to co-labor with them to help our young learners deepen their understanding of reader’s response journals. As a team, they are focused on implementing and deepening their understanding of Wiliam and Leahy’s  five strategies in Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for K-12 Classrooms :

  • Clarify, share, and understand learning intentions and success criteria
  • Engineer effective discussions, tasks, and activities that elicit evidence of learning
  • Provide feedback that moves learning forward
  • Activate students as learning resources for one another
  • Activate students as owners of their own learning

From our Instructional Core work during Pre-Planning, we are working to  establish goals to focus learning.

The 5th Grade team drafted the following learning progressions to make their thinking visible to our new students. As a team, they have established these goals for students. (Level 3 for I can establish goals.)

How might we use these established goals to focus learning? What student outcomes should we anticipate, and what teacher moves should we plan based on prior experience?

At their invitation (#soexcited), I facilitated a lesson on using the drafts above to improve and strengthen reader’s response journal entries while modeling the use of assessing and advancing questions to focus student learning. (Level 4 for I can establish goals and Level 3 for I can focus learning.)

Here’s the plan:

And, the slide deck:

These learning progressions are in each student’s reader’s response journal so they can use them in class and at home.

It was a crisp 30-minute lesson. All of our anticipated outcomes presented during the mini-lesson.

We wanted our students to learn more about

  • making their thinking visible to another reader,
  • adding text evidence to support their ideas,
  • including details that support understanding,
  • participating in productive discussion,
  • critiquing the reasoning of others,
  • growing as readers and writers,
  • using learning progressions to improve their work.

After reading one of my reader’s response entries, our students’ frustration at not having read Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis surfaced during  their feedback loop to me. This offered me the opportunity to ask their teacher if he or she would have read every independent reading selection made by his or her students. It was a strong “ah ha” moment for our students.

The students’ comments could be categorized in themes. Samples of our students’ reflections are shared as evidence of effort and learning.

  • An ah-ha for me is that my teacher has not read every single book in the universe.
  • I learned to pay attention to text evidence and explaining my text evidence so the reader understands why I added the quotes and page numbers.  I also learned to pay attention to visuals and formatting.
  • I don’t know what an ah-ha moment is. (Oops! Needs more instruction and time to learn.)
  • I know that everyone has not read the book and that I need to add enough detail for people who haven’t read the book.
  • An ah-ha for me is that I think that adding the definitions was smart because I didn’t know some of the words.
  • I learned to pay attention to science experiments. (Yikes! Needs more instruction and time to make sense of the task.)
  • I learned to ask myself if it makes sense and if another person could understand.
  • I learned to ask myself “how can I improve this? What details should I add?”

We know this is not a one-and-done event for our students and our team. We learned about our students and know what me should work on next. We must continue to practice making our thinking visible and hone our skills to use goals to focus learning.

Our school’s mission calls for us to deepen students’ educational experiences and empower students as agents of their own learning while we help them build strong academic foundation.  We strive to make our thinking visible to each other and to our students.

What is to be gained when we make our thinking visible to our students and use established goals to focus learning?


Wiliam, Dylan; Leahy, Siobhan. Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for F-12 Classrooms. (Kindle Locations 493-494). Learning Sciences International. Kindle Edition.

 

 

Focus on Instructional Core: establish goals to focus learning

As part of our school’s Pre-Planning, Marsha Harris and I facilitated a faculty-teams workshop to continue our work and learning in the Instructional Core.

Here are my notes from the session.

The agenda, shared ahead of the meeting, looked like this:

The slide deck that accompanies this plan looks like this:

As seen in the slides, we checked in with John Hattie’s research around teacher clarity.

Teacher clarity involves the instructional moves a teacher makes that begin with carefully planning a lesson and making the learning intentions for that lesson or unit clear to herself and her students. 

It extends to consistently evaluating where students are in the learning process and describing the success criteria on which students can assess their own progress and on which the teacher bases her evaluation of a student’s progress with a idea or concept. (Hattie, 38 pag.)

To model teacher clarity, we looked at two drafts for

I can establish goals to focus learning.

First, establish goals:

Then, focus learning:

How might we partner together to establish learning goals? What if we by “do the task as a learner” to notice and note needed prerequisites and anticipate potential learning obstacles? Can we deepen learning experiences by connecting to prior learning standards and strategies?

What if we make learning goals visible so that learners are able to identify what they know and need to know next?  How might we team to anticipate needed questions to assess and advance learning? What if we teach learners to ask more questions to forward and deepen learning? How might we empower learners to level up?

When we focus on learning,
we strengthen the Instructional Core.


Hattie, John A. (Allan); Fisher, Douglas B.; Frey, Nancy; Gojak, Linda M.; Moore, Sara Delano; Mellman, William L.. Visible Learning for Mathematics, Grades K-12: What Works Best to Optimize Student Learning (Corwin Mathematics Series) (p. 38). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.

Traverse session: Experiential and Instructional: Promoting Productive Mathematical Struggle #tvrse18

At Traverse Boulder, I facilitated the following session on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

Experiential and Instructional:
Promoting Productive Mathematical Struggle

How might we implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving to deepen conceptual understanding? Let’s identify and implement high quality tasks grounded in real experiences. Advancing the teaching and learning of mathematics cannot be accomplished with decontextualized worksheets. Discuss, sketch, and solve tasks that promote flexibility, creative and critical reasoning, and problem solving. Learning math should be anchored in depth of understanding through context – not pseudo context – and built on conceptual understanding as well as procedural fluency.

Here’s my sketch note of our plan:

Here’s the slide deck:

Just say no to worksheets.

Say YES to productive struggle and grappling.

Embolden your inner storyteller and leverage the art of questioning.

Context is key.

#NCTMLive #T3Learns Webinar: Implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving, and Use and connect mathematical representations

On Wednesday, May 2, 2018, Jennifer Wilson (@jwilson828) and I co-facilitated the second webinar in a four-part series on the Eight Mathematics Teaching Practices from NCTM’s Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All.

Implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving,
and Use and connect mathematical representations.

Effective teaching of mathematics facilitates discourse among learners to build shared understanding of mathematical ideas by analyzing and comparing approaches and arguments.

  • How might we implement and facilitate tasks that promote productive discussions to strengthen the teaching and learning of mathematics in all our teaching settings – teaching students and teaching teachers?
  • What types of tasks encourage mathematical flexibility to show what we know in more than one way?

Our slide deck:

Our agenda:

7:00 Jill/Jennifer’s Opening remarks

  • Share your name and grade level(s) or course(s).
  • Norm setting and Purpose
7:05 Number Talk: 81 x 25

  • Your natural way and Illustrate
  • Decompose into two or more addends (show it)
  • Show your work so a reader understands without asking questions
  • Share work via Twitter using #NCTMLive or bit.ly/nctmlive52
7:10 #LL2LU Use and connect mathematical representations

  • Self-assess where you are
  • Self-assessment effect size

Think back to a lesson you taught or observed in the past month. At what level did you or the teacher show evidence of using mathematical representations?

7:15 Task:  (x+1)^2 does/doesn’t equal x^2+1
7:25 Taking Action (DEI quote)
7:30 #LL2LU Implement Tasks That Promote Reasoning and Problem Solving
7:35 Graham Fletcher’s Open Middle Finding Equivalent Ratios
7:45 Illustrative Mathematics: Jim and Jesse’s Money
7:55 Close and preview next in the series

Some reflections from the chat window:

I learned to pay attention to multiple representations that my students will create when they are allowed the chance to think on their own.  I learned to ask myself how am I fostering this environment with my questioning.

I learned to pay attention to the diversity of representations that different students bring to the classroom and to wait to everyone have time to think

I learned to pay attention (more) to illustrating work instead of focusing so much on algebraic reasoning in my approach to teaching Algebra I. I learned to ask myself how could I model multiple representations to my students.

I learned to pay attention to multiple representations because students all think and see things differently.

I learned to make sure to give a pause for students to make the connections between different ways of representing a problem, rather than just accepting the first right answer and moving on.  

I learned to pay attention to the ways that I present information and concepts to children… I need to include more visual representations when I working with algebraic reasoning activities.

Cross posted on Easing the Hurry Syndrome

Leading Learners To Level Up: Deepening Understanding of Mathematical Practices #LL2LU with @jgough @jwilson828 #NCTMAnnual

At the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Washington D. C., Jennifer Wilson (@jwilson828) and I presented the following session.

Leading Learners To Level Up:
Deepening Understanding of Mathematical Practices

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Salon C

Here’s our agenda:

8:00

 

  1. Opening remarks
  2. Council (30 seconds each): Share your name, school and grade level(s) or course(s) with your table; How are you feeling this morning?
8:10

 

Make Sense of Tasks and Persevere Solving Them (SMP 1)

8:30 Practice like we play… Talent isn’t born. It is grown

  • Odell Beckham Jr videos
  • Discuss effort, skill, and craft
8:30 Look for & Make Use of Structure (SMP 7)

  • Read the CCSS SMP and Mark-Up (Sentence, Phrase, Word)
  • What does it look like in the classroom?
    • Area of an equilateral triangle
    • Difference of Perfect Square
8:55 Goal setting: Back with my learners … Next steps
9:00 End of Session

Here’s my sketch note of our plan:

Here’s the slide deck:

Cross posted on Easing The Hurry Syndrome

#SlowMath – Looking for Structure and Noticing Regularity in Repeated Reasoning from @jwilson828 & @jgough #NCTMAnnual

At the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Washington D. C., Jennifer Wilson (@jwilson828) and I presented the following session.

#SlowMath – Looking for Structure
and Noticing Regularity in Repeated Reasoning
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 145 AB

How do we provide opportunities for students to learn to use structure and repeated reasoning? What expressions, equations, and diagrams require making what isn’t pictured visible? Let’s engage in tasks where making use of structure and repeated reasoning can provide an advantage and think about how to provide that same opportunity for students.

Here’s my sketch note of our plan:

Here’s our slide deck:

Cross posted on The Slow Math Movement

I can elicit and use evidence of student thinking #NCTMP2A #LL2LU

We strive to grow in our understanding of the Eight Mathematics Teaching Practices from NCTM’s Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. This research-informed framework of teaching and learning reflects a core set of high leverage practices and essential teaching skills necessary to promote deep learning of mathematics.

Elicit and use evidence of student thinking.

Effective teaching of mathematics uses evidence of student thinking to assess progress toward mathematical understanding and to adjust instruction continually in ways that support and extend learning.

In order to support our teaching teams as they stretch to learn more, we drafted the following learning progressions. We choose to provide a couple of pathways to focus teacher effort, understanding, and action.

When working with teacher teams to elicit and use evidence of student thinking, we refer to 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions by Peg Smith and Mary Kay Stein and Dylan Wiliam’s Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for K-12 Classrooms along with Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All by Steve Leinwand.

To deepen our understanding around eliciting evidence of student thinking, we anticipate multiple ways learners might approach a task, empower learners to make their thinking visible, celebrate mistakes as opportunities to learn, and ask for more than one voice to contribute.

From  NCTM’s 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions, we know that we should do the math ourselves, anticipate what learners will produce, and brainstorm how we might select, sequence, and connect learners’ ideas.

How will classroom culture grow as we focus on the five key strategies we studied in Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for F-12 Classrooms by Dylan Wiliam and Siobhan Leahy?

  • Clarify, share, and understand learning intentions and success criteria
  • Engineer effective discussions, tasks, and activities that elicit evidence of learning
  • Provide feedback that moves learning forward
  • Activate students as learning resources for one another
  • Activate students as owners of their own learning

We call questions that are designed to be part of an instructional sequence hinge questions because the lessons hinge on this point. If the check for understanding shows that all students have understood the concept, you can move on. If it reveals little understanding, the teacher might review the concept with the whole class; if there are a variety of responses, you can use the diversity in the class to get students to compare their answers. The important point is that you do not know what to do until the evidence of the students’ achievement is elicited and interpreted; in other words, the lesson hinges on this point. (Wiliam, 88 pag.)

To strengthen our understanding of using evidence of student thinking, we plan our hinge questions in advance, predict how we might sequence and connect, adjust instruction based on what we learn – in the moment and in the next team meeting – to advance learning for every student. We share data within our team to plan how we might differentiate to meet the needs of all learners.

How might we team to strengthen and deepen our commitment to ensuring mathematical success for all?

What if we anticipate, monitor, select, sequence, and connect student thinking?

How might we elicit and use evidence of student thinking to advance learning for every learner?

Cross posted on Easing the Hurry Syndrome


Leinwand, Steve. Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. Reston, VA.: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2014. (p. 21) Print.

Stein, Mary Kay., and Margaret Smith. 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Wiliam, Dylan; Leahy, Siobhan. Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for F-12 Classrooms. (Kindle Locations 2191-2195). Learning Sciences International. Kindle Edition.