May 3, 2018

MATH

Focus Headline of the Week: Teachers must know what success looks like at the end of a block, the end of a day, the end of a unit, the end of a term, and the end of the year to coach students successfully. 

 

Best Practice of the Week – Use the power of 2(5)!

We often talk about using the power of 2 when referring to utilizing both teachers in the room– but at this point in the year, you can start to harness the power of 25 (or however many students you have in the room!) to help you to check student work and provide feedback.

Below is an example of revised student work from the 2nd grade. 
Students met with partners after they finished their independent work and read their claims to each other. If their partner wasn’t convinced, they had to revise their work to be more precise! 

This student’s work used to say “I would use a yardstick because a door is more than a ruler.” It now reads “I would use a yardstick because a door is more than 12 inches.”

Build in partner checks as an end of workshop activity to make sure every student gets feedback and to encourage students to always check, revise, and improve their work. 

 

Resources of the Week – Measurement Masters!

Measurement is one of the most concrete & applicable real-world skills that students learn in math. Check out the resources below to extend measurement practice beyond workshop!

Interactive Online Games

Splash Math Measurement Games

Education.com Measurement Games

PBS Kids Measurement Games

Read Alouds

Measurement Book List

Hands-On Measurement Activities (for school or home)

Education.com Measurement Activities

Buggy & Buddy Measurement Activities

 

 

ELA

Focus Headline of the Week: We must collect and use daily data to drive our coaching and use of time.

 

Best Practice of the Week – Self-Assess and Select!

In 8th grade at KIPP Academy Boston, Kristen Russell and Bryce Turner had students self-assess and select a genre for additional practice. The self-assessment and choice helped to invest students in their own achievement data.

 

 

Resources of the Week – Growth Mindset Reading Passages!

With just about a month left of school students may begin to lose momentum towards achieving their reading goals. A growth mindset is how we see and respond to problems. We can either see passed the problem with a solution or we can dwell on them and stay put. These passages give meaningful examples of how your students can face upcoming challenges with a growth mindset and have different complexity levels so can be used K-3!

 

 

SCIENCE

Focus Headline of the Week: Consistently stamping key ideas at the end of a lesson helps the learning stick.

 

Best Practice of the Week – Stamping to Help Solidify Student Understanding in Science!

When I think of the term “stamping” a lesson, I think of a hot wax seal.  You’ve just taught most of a lesson, the key concept is still liquid and malleable in students’ brains, and you do a clear, simple activity at the end to help students solidify the key concept in their minds.  Here are some ideas for creating some strong stamping activities to put at the end of a lesson.

Focused List

Have students brainstorm a list of the key things they just learned about a topic.  It’s important to keep the topic narrow enough to make the activity effective. For example, not just brainstorming about “Light,” but instead, “Reflection of Light”

Which Is the Odd One Out?

Give students a list of 4-5 things related to the topic, and have them discuss which item in the list “doesn’t belong,” i.e.  is a in a different category or is an unrelated topic. Then, have them explain why they think that.

Concept Cartoon

Give students a list of 4-5 things related to the topic, and have them discuss which item in the list “doesn’t belong,” i.e.  is a in a different category or is an unrelated topic. Then, have them explain why they think that.

 

 

Resources of the Week – Going Deep Into Student Misconceptions!

We’ve been making significant headway in our Science Content Teams looking at student work, identifying misconceptions, and planning how to address them.  However, recognizing the source of misconceptions can be difficult.  This great chapter from the National Academy of Science book “Science Teaching Reconsidered” goes deep into the causes of student misconceptions.  It’s a great read for building our skills here.

Here’s a quote from it:

“Recent research on students’ conceptual misunderstandings of natural phenomena indicates that new concepts cannot be learned if alternative models that explain a phenomenon already exist in the learner’s mind. [!!!] Although scientists commonly view such erroneous models with disdain, they are often preferred by the learner because they seem more reasonable and perhaps are more useful for the learner’s purpose.”

So you may teach a new idea really clearly, but if the explanation a student already has in their mind seems clearer or more likely to the student, they might not accept the class’s explanation!

The article goes on to describe the 5 most common sources of misconceptions, and how to recognize and address them:

Preconceived notions

Nonscientific beliefs

Conceptual misunderstandings

Vernacular misconceptions

Factual misconceptions