Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guided Math Book Study Chapter 7

Discovering students' thinking is not a new concept in the world of education.  The ways of discovering it however, are continuously changing.  In the past, a student's thinking was discovered by grading their homework or test and the grade that was received or the work that was shown on that assessment determines that student's thinking for that particular skill.  Although the previous is still used to determine what a student was thinking, as a teacher, the discovering has changed significantly. I notice in my own classroom that I am sometimes able to predict how my students will do on a test based on what I have previously discovered about their thinking.  How does this happen?  Usually informally.  I will simply talk with a student or "pick" their brain about what they are doing and how they get their answers.  Doing so I am able to see what they understand about a topic and what they are struggling with. I still do paper and pencil discoveries, but I use that info a lot for RTI groups.  I like to "catch" my students in the act of learning so that I am able to adjust my teaching before any grading takes place. 

How frequently do I confer with my students? Not enough.  I find it difficult to meet with my students when I am one person spread out among 25 kids.  I try to confer with as many students as possible in a given day, but I only have so much time. I try to narrow my conferring with those who need me the most given the skill we are working on.  I never work with the same kids day in and day out.  I try to divide my time up by skill.  My thinking on this is that not every student will excel 100% at every skill that I teach, therefore I am most likely going to see every kid at some point or another. 

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