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Something New For My Math Class

I hope by now you know how much I value student reflection time in all our subjects.  I'm pretty sure I haven't kept it a secret.  At least once in every single class during the day, I ask my students to reflect on their learning - new learning, an answer they've given, a mistake they've made ... there are so many opportunities for reflection in a day.

Reflections are built into our Math Journals, and we use our Math Reflection Fans all the time.  

This year I added some new "tricks" to our math program.  One of my favourite purchases so far this year is Number Talks by Sherry Parrish.  We have set Operational Fluency as a school goal this year, and using the lessons and questions in our daily number talks are DEFINITELY increasing the students' number and mental math skills.  It's an amazing program.  The book even has a DVD that models number talks and lessons.  My students love this time of the day.  I set up a quick one page template on the smartboard, and this is what we use everyday.  We started our daily number talks in early October and haven't looked back.

Once this was running smoothly, I added in a daily Error Analysis question.  Every day the students have a simple skills question in their agenda.  In the morning I take a quick peek at their answers, and choose one error to go through together.  I set up another quick template on the smartboard with the question and the error, and each day a student volunteers to come up to the board, identifies the error, and takes us through the correct solution.  Together, our daily number talk and error analysis take about 15 minutes.  This doesn't happen in our math block, though (couldn't spare a second there) - I "borrowed" that 15 minutes from a different block.

And then ... last week, one of my followers on facebook shared an AMAZING video that changed my math block yet again.  It's brilliant - quick, simple, effective, and BRILLIANT.  The reflection on the question, the error, the communication ... I LOVE it.



"My Favourite No" made its way into my classroom today.  I run the actual problem exactly how the teacher runs it in the classroom (I ran out and bought a huge stack of index cards the second I watched the video).  I'm going to try to use an EQAO (my provincial testing) question that matches the lesson from the day before every day, but if I can't find a good one that fits, I will use a problem from the daily work the day before.

I added a few things to make it a perfect fit for my classroom.  I wanted students to be able to track their progress through our math units, so I set up a quick spot on our math bulletin board for this purpose.  I put up a library card pocket with each student's name on it.  This is where we will put the cards at the end of the activity each day.  At the end of the unit, students will collect all their cards, reflect on their growth and learning, and then I can file the cards in their portfolios (GREAT for parent conferences) and start fresh with a new math unit.

This is the question we used today (we're currently studying linear measurement and metric conversions).  This was a multiple choice question from EQAO, but I took off the multiple choice answers.  I put it on an index card and put it under the document camera.  I gave students 4 minutes to answer - an answer plus explaining their thinking.

Right before I collected the index cards, I asked the students to add a "traffic light comprehension dot" to the corner of their card.  If you click the link, I have a freebie poster at my TPT store for this.  Basically, students add a small red dot if they had a lot of difficulty with the problem, a yellow dot shows they think they could master it with a little more practice, and green dot shows they solved the problem with ease (more reflection).  It also makes a quick visual for me to see who to pull for a quick minilesson or guided math lesson.

This was my favourite "no" from the today.  This student thought the question was pretty easy (green dot).  He knew what the marks on the ruler represented, just needed to check his answer (counted 85 cm instead of 75 cm).  My students were quick to point out the strengths on the card (clear explanation, using the marks on the ruler), but were just as quick to point out the corrections needed - CHECK YOUR WORK!  (lol).  When we were going through the solution, I highlighted the information / corrections we made on the card.  (I did rewrite the solution on the back of the question card so the student couldn't be identified from their printing).  

My students LOVED every part of this today.  Maybe even as much as I did ... maybe ... I am a big reflection nerd, after all.  ;) 

Happy Tuesday!!







16 comments:

  1. Love it!!!! Starting that tomorrow :)

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  2. This is one of the most effective ways I have found for students to reflect on their own learning and think about how to answer a question more completely the next time. It is a wonderful way to bring misconceptions out and hit them hard with the entire group. Love the video you linked to!

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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  3. A wonderful way to check understanding...gradual release. Smiles and stop by anytime!

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  4. Great idea! If I taught middle school, I would definitely want to try it.

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  5. I really like this idea! I'm trying to figure out how I can apply it my classroom! Thanks for sharing!

    Rissa
    Keep Calm and Hoot On

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  6. What cool ideas! I am going to try these out too, thanks for sharing!

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  7. Love the idea! Thanks for sharing that video! Do you happen to have the editable templates that you use for Number Talks and for your Error Analysis? They would be a wonderful help in my classroom! ledbetter2@marshall.edu

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  8. Love the idea! Thanks for sharing that video! Do you happen to have the editable templates that you use for Number Talks and for your Error Analysis? They would be a wonderful help in my classroom! ledbetter2@marshall.edu

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  9. Do you give any feedback to the no's before you file them? Or just file them untouched?

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  10. I am so glad that you shared the "My Favorite No" video! I can't wait to implement it in my 4th grade classroom!

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  11. You are such a great teacher. I also teach in Ontario and I wish you could be my teaching partner! You do a lot in your Math class and I would like to know how you fit in so much. I teach grade three and wondering how to implement your ideas. I just came across the book you mentioned and debating whether to purchase it. Thanks for sharing all of your hard work.

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  12. I think the favorite No is awesome...I can't wait to explore it further and try it...where do you get your questions from?

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  13. I found the My Favorite No activity in January and I have been using it several times a week ever since!! What a great way to show kids that errors are opportunities to learn - not a sign of stupidity! Thanks!

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  14. I just found my new warm up for this year! Thank you so much for sharing this, I LOVE it!! What a great way to review the previous days work and catching common mistakes the class is making.
    BTW I've been stalking your blog for about 4 years now. You're amazing!!! Thanks for all you share! You add so much to the education world.

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  15. I tried this today and it was great!

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  16. Well this is GREAT! I'm going to find a way to start it this week! Thank you so much!

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