Because I make poor (and awesome) life choices involving my free time, I signed up for a Math Forum online course ( Differentiated Math Instruction: Using Rich Problems to Reach All Learners). Max is running the show and so far thinking about the problems and the readings and reading what others are thinking is really great. Burning a candle at both ends is stressful but for fulfilling things it’s worth it and Math Forum stuff has always been worth it to me.
One of the assignments for this week was about reflecting on some articles and a problem we ‘adopted’. I wrote a bunch of paragraphs, but I wanted to share just one today that has me thinking a lot about meeting Students where they are at with regards to speaking in a math classroom:
I’ve read about ‘noticing and wondering’* in the past, but reading that article now has me thinking about how hard it was to get my own students started on problems without clear paths marked with neon signs for directions. I’m believing more and more that getting started is one of the biggest hurtles. Putting the first words on paper or the first brush stroke on canvas is so intimidating when I’m alone and here we are as teachers trying to get kids to put down their thoughts and ideas in front of a classroom of their peers. I think early-career me didn’t spend enough time thinking about how hard that first step really is so it’s something I’m keeping close now.
*If you are not familiar with the ‘Noticing and Wondering’ strategy employed at the Math Forum, head over to Suzanne’s blog post to check it out. Suzanne goes at it from a MS perspective and there are links at the top for this strategy through HS and ES lenses.