I’ve seen lots of pictures of math Thinking Classrooms on twitter and I’ve also come across a few videos. I haven’t seen anything that followed the dialogue in a classroom, so I thought I’d try to capture a bit of that aspect in this blog post. What I have below isn’t all that different from a lot of lessons except that you have to visualize how the students are situated. They are not copying something down from me.
Following up from my previous post, here is another brief set of notes on the action and dialogue in my grade 8 math class. We start the day out with some voting questions where we use Plickers and Peer Instruction. My general instructions for all classes when doing voting questions are as follows: No talking allowed while voting. No sharing of answers or ideas. I want to see what your thinking and if you take your idea from someone else, I won’t know if you get it or not.
Research has long shown that fraction arithmetic is difficult for students. We also now know that success when working with fractions is one of the best predictors for success in post-secondary education. With this in mind, one of my prime focuses in math 8 is to do the very best I can with teaching fractions to my students. The research on fraction arithmetic tells us that by grade 8, students have a success rate of around 50% when adding fractions.