Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Workshop Wednesday #5- Sharing and Reflection

Every Wednesday for the remainder of the summer  I will be blogging about the components of math workshop,  how I implement math workshop in my 7th grade classroom, the tools and resources I use, and I will be answering any questions posed by readers.  I have previously written several posts about doing Math Workshop in middle school.

These are the previous three posts I have written in this series:

Workshop Wednesday #1-Getting Started
Workshop Wednesday #2-Opening
Workshop Wednesday #3-Mini-Lesson
Workshop Wednesday #4-Work Time

Today is the fifth post of the series; Workshop Wednesday #5-"Sharing and Reflection". Two years ago I wrote this post on Sharing and Reflection.  These were the notes I took from that chapter:

Sharing and Reflection:
Students gather as a whole group to discuss solutions and challenges.  Reflections can be verbal or written and offer the teacher an opportunity to formatively assess students in order to plan for the next day's instruction.

This chapter is so important because sharing and reflection is really key to making sure the learning "sticks" for students.  Metacognition gives students a chance to focus on what they learned and synthesize their understanding of the concepts.

The purpose of sharing is for students to think about their own ideas and to evaluate their thinking.  It's important for the teacher not to jump in and take away the student's chance of explaining his thinking.  We need to facilitate the students' sharing of ideas.

Reflection is the learner considering his own growth and progress as a mathematician.  The author gives some great reflection prompts on pages 162-163.  This reflection can be oral or written.  This reflection time is so important for the students to solidify their learning and to be able to justify their thinking to others.  This is such an important component to the workshop model and I can see how it is easy to run out of time when you only have a 60 min period (and some of you less) everyday.  I think I will need to have some sort of system in place to make sure we save enough time at the end of class for sharing and reflection.
Ok so let me give you some honest feedback about Sharing and Reflection in my classroom. It continues to be one of my biggest struggle areas with workshop delivery.  We do not always come back as a large group at the end of class to wrap up our day's learning.  I will say that I always check in with table groups during work time.  So even though we don't always share and reflect as a large group, I do that with individual groups every day.  This year I am really going to work on setting a structure that we close down the last 5ish minutes and ALL share and reflect together.  This means I need to be very purposeful everyday about what the prompt or problem will be that we discuss or write about.  I do a good job of this with my #1st5days lessons that follow the workshop format, but once I start teaching Carnegie lessons I tend to fall off the wagon quickly.

Be sure to stop back next Wednesday when I will be discussing how I do Small Group Instruction as part of my math workshop.

1 comment:

  1. So how long are your class periods each day? And do you use this model every single day in class? Do you also give homework at any time? Do you find that the work time is enough to give a solid grasp of each concept without more practice?


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