Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guided Math Conferences Book Study: Chapter 2- The Value of Guided Math Conferences

I am continuing the  summer book study on Guided Math Conferences by author Laney Sammons.  Chapter 2 is being hosted by Hilary of Second Grade is Out of this World.  If you join in and do a post, please comment and I will be sure to head to your blog and check out your post.

This chapter focused on Guided Math Conferences being an effective vehicle for teachers to give formative feedback to students.  She spent time answering the question, What is formative assessment?

She also wrote about how to foster self-assessment in your students.  I really like this and feel it will marry well with my plans to focus on growth mindset in my math classes this year.

Sammons gave Five Strategies for Effective Guided Math Conferences for Assessment:

  • Help students develop a clear understanding of their learning goals and how they will know when they meet those goals.
  • Guide the conversation with questions to elicit evidence of student learning, both content and process, and/or misconceptions and gaps in foundational knowledge and skills.
  • Encourage students to reflect on their mathematical understanding so that they assume ownership of their learning.
  • Provide specific feedback to let students know both what they are doing well and what will move them forward in their mathematical learning.
  • Use the information gathered during the conference to identify a teaching point to move student learning forward.

(Sammons, Laney. "Five Strategies for Effective Guided Math Conferences for Assessment." Guided Math Conferences. Huntington Beach: Shell Education, 2014. 44-45. Print.)

She then focused on characteristics of effective feedback and establishing student learning goals to promote student accountability.

Review and Reflect
1)  How have the demands for increased rigor and depth in mathematics education affected your teaching?  With the implementation of common core my students are learning concepts in 7th grade that used to be taught in algebra or geometry.  Students are expected to enter 7th grade having mastered decimal and fraction operations (which many still haven't).  We adopted Carnegie Learning which does a great job of developing conceptual understanding using models.  This school year will be my third using this curriculum so my teaching has already been shifted prior to implementing workshop last year.

2)  How does the use of math conferences for formative assessment compare to your current methods of formative assessment?  I use entrance/exit slips and classroom observation as well as many other techniques I have previously blogged about here.  I haven't done much with goal setting and I think that will be a key in using my conferencing time to give students effective and timely feedback based on the learning goals students have set for themselves.

3)  When you identify the "next steps" in learning for individual students in your class, how do you provide the needed instruction?  What are the advantages/disadvantages of that method of instruction?  How does the use of math conferences compare to your current method?  In the past I have used the e-slip data to plan for small group/individual mini lessons or tutorials.  This was great for students to get feedback the next day on what they needed to be working on.  This was primarily skill based so I would like to expand on this to provide more conceptual understanding to students who are still struggling even after the workshop mini lesson.  I think math conferences where I somehow document the next steps will be more beneficial to helping me remember what targeted strategies I may need to use.  Keeping anecdotal notes will be another useful formative assessment for me when doing standards based grading.  I will have more information available on where each individual student is at (on paper, not just in my head)

1 comment:

  1. These guided math conferences are useful for teachers to learn new ways to enhance students participation during classes. More schools should sponsor their staff for this type of seminars. - Layce of


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