Thanks everyone for joining our book study on Minds on Mathematics Using Math Workshop to Develop Deep Understanding in Grades 4-8. by Wendy Ward Hoffer. There is no formality to joining this study other than creating and linking any posts you write about the given chapter. Details on the book study can be found here. Please feel free to join the book study at any time. You are also welcome to share ideas in the comment section or on twitter using the hashtag #momathchat. As we progress in the book study we will choose a specific time to chat on twitter, but for now just use that hashtag for anything related to minds on math workshop. I look forward to reading all your posts. Please link them up at the bottom of this post and add the button code to your posts. Thanks again everyone!
1) What were your biggest ah ha moments from this chapter?
- All students are capable of brilliance. I think sometimes we underestimate the ability of our own students to engage in rich challenging tasks. I know I have been guilty in the past of not allowing students to struggle so they can achieve their own understanding of a task rather than me holding their hand step by step.
- What makes workshop model instruction unique and distinct from typical classroom instruction is the focus on student thinking before, during, and after work time. I think in the past I focused on this mostly during work time or when students asked me individual questions. I need to really focus on student thinking at all times.
2) What components of math workshop are already present in your classroom?
- Challenging Tasks- Our district adopted Carnegie Learning Middle School Math Curriculum. We used the curriculum with all our classes this past year. The consumable text is filled with rich challenging tasks. Also there is an abundance of problems that scaffold nicely for differentiating.
- Community- I think the structure of our lessons this year really built a sense of community in the classroom.
- Collaboration and discourse- My students worked in collaborative groups last year. By semester my accelerated students were really fully immersed in working in their collaborative groups. I had a harder time trusting it would work in my other math classes, but by the last quarter my other classes were working in collaborative groups. The discourse was amazing to hear. I became a facilitator of their learning rather than a dispenser of mathematics knowledge.
3) What are your next steps for planning for math workshop in your classroom this coming year?
- Focusing on how to manage conferring in my classroom. I attempted conferencing with students and did from time to time, but nowhere to the level expected in the minds-on workshop.
- Looking at the structure of my class I need to be more purposeful in the opening. I will be working on creating minilessons to share with students prior to them collaborating in their groups. Getting the whole group back together every lesson for sharing and reflection is an important component I need to focus on. I was really good with formatively assessing my students via exit slips, but I need to improve on having students share solutions and challenges as a whole group so they can see the thought process of other students and be able to explain their own thinking.