Four blog posts about using student ideas

Wees Assessment Cycle Art

I wrote four blog posts for NCTM’s Mathematics in the Middle School blog on using student work to understand and plan around student ideas. Each post is about using student work to make inferences about how they understand mathematical ideas and then using those inferences to help you plan. Note that these posts are actually relevant for mathematics educators at all levels.

  1. What Knowledge Do You Need to Plan a Unit?
  2. Categorizing Student Work
  3. Using Student Work Meaningfully
  4. The Mathematics of Students

While these posts focus on qualitative information about student learning, this doesn’t mean quantitative information isn’t useful. I have just found that quantitative information abounds while qualitative information seems to be rarely used in systematic ways.

 


Learning at Conferences

This year when I attended the NCSM and NCTM annual conferences, I had a much different experience than in previous years. I thought it would be worth sharing some ideas I have about how to make it more likely that you learn from a conference experience. If you want to walk away from the conference […]


From Mistake-Makers to Sense-Makers

Here is a video of a short talk I gave on my journey from primarily viewing students as mistake makers to viewing them as sense-makers.      


Teaching Demonstration

This video is a brief demonstration, about 15 minutes, of some teaching I did at the 2015 New Jersey Association of Mathematics Teacher Educator meeting.   Unfortunately, the video tracking is not great so much of the annotation I was doing of the participant ideas is not easy to see as I am doing it. […]


NJAMTE Keynote

This is a recording of a keynote I gave at the New Jersey Association of Mathematics Teacher Educator (NJAMTE) annual meeting.   The audio isn’t terrific unfortunately but it is manageable. The slides, script, references, and resources are available here.  


Fractions are hard

Fractions are hard. Of course, I knew this before my lesson on Saturday, but the responses of my students to a task really drilled that point home for me. Here is the activity I gave my students to do: Here’s what I anticipated they might do: Here’s a sample of what they actually did: Student […]


Looking at student data

Almost every school district across the United States is thinking about how they use data to inform instruction. Not all of them are doing so in ways that I think are likely to lead to useful change. Below is an example of the kind of data that has no useful impact on instruction ever. The […]


Choral Counting

Last Saturday, I tried a new instructional activity called Choral Counting. This activity was recommended to me by Magdalene Lampert and comes out of the work she and others have done to support high-quality ambitious teaching. I’m experimenting with these instructional routines in part because I hope to support teachers in the project I support […]


Treating Teachers Like Sense-Makers

“Your workshop was so interesting. I learned so much!” ~ An actual comment from a participant in one of my workshops yesterday. Too often we ask teachers to listen for an hour or even two to someone talk nearly non-stop about what they know with perhaps a question thrown in once in a while. Since […]


Creating a Formative Assessment Tool in Google Spreadsheets

In the project I’m involved in, teachers are expected to give students a beginning of unit performance assessment task both to preview the mathematics of the upcoming unit for students but also to give teachers a sense of how students understand some of the mathematical ideas from the unit. The tasks themselves are drawn from […]