Yearly Archives: 2015

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 […]

Thinking Through a Lesson

Today I’m working with a team of technical support personnel, who are not educators, and introducing some ideas they can use to help support teachers in their use of technology. I was reminded this morning of the Thinking Through a Lesson Protocol (TTAL) developed by Peg Smith, Victoria Bill, and Elizabeth Hughes it occurred to […]

Mistake-making to sense-making

Here are my slides and my notes from my five minute Pecha Kucha-style presentation at Educon. The focus of my presentation was on my journey as someone who started his teaching as viewing students as mistake makers to being a teacher who views students as sense-makers. I’m going to talk today about my journey from […]

Academic Language in the Math Classroom

Here, go and read through this task from Illustrative Mathematics. I’ll wait for you. Pay attention to the use of academic language in the task.   Here are the academic vocabulary words I noticed students would need to understand (in an academic sense) in order to be able to do this task without any support: table, […]

Formative Assessment: More than just an exit ticket

As part of homeschooling my son, I recently started teaching a mathematics class to a group of 8 to 10 year olds on Saturday. In this class, I decided to use the TERC investigations curriculum. After reading through the curriculum overview, I decided that the major focus of the first unit of each year is […]