daily big ideas

Previous Topic Next Topic
 
classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
35 messages Options
12
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

daily big ideas

matt schell
I am a math coach at a k-5 school.  I would like to begin going into each of my 4th grade classrooms for 10-15 minutes everyday to do some quick spiralling activities on some of the big concepts for 4th grade. (kind of like the everyday counts calendar math program.)  I want the activities to be engaging, non pencil and paper and build from one day to the next.  

I am looking for suggestions.  I figured to cover probability.  I could have a box with different color cubes (ie 10 red, 4 blue, 4 pink, 2 yellow and 1 green) and each day we would pull one cube from the box after we determine and discuss the probability for each color.  We could continue discussing the probability and pulling a cube each day until the bag is empty.

I am looking for similar types of very quick engaging activities that would address a few other 4th grade big ideas or build number sense.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Richard Strausz
Matt, here are a couple of things to consider.

1.  Do a series of number based "magic tricks" where the students can use their computational skills to verify why the tricks work.

2.  Have groups of students design, administer and analzyze surveys over topics they are interested in.  The results will lead toward fraction work as well as statistics and probability concepts.

Richard
==================
I want the activities to be engaging, non pencil and paper and build from one day to the next.

I am looking for suggestions. I figured to cover probability. I could have a box with different color cubes (ie 10 red, 4 blue, 4 pink, 2 yellow and 1 green) and each day we would pull one cube from the box after we determine and discuss the probability for each color. We could continue discussing the probability and pulling a cube each day until the bag is empty.

I am looking for similar types of very quick engaging activities that would address a few other 4th grade big ideas or build number sense.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Bishop, Wayne
In reply to this post by matt schell
At 12:12 PM 1/28/2008, matt schell wrote:

>I am a math coach at a k-5 school.  I would like to begin going into
>each of my 4th grade classrooms for 10-15 minutes everyday to do
>some quick spiralling activities on some of the big concepts for 4th grade.

Reasonable.

>(kind of like the everyday counts calendar math program.)

I have no idea what this is.  Is the "everyday" to be
capitalized?  Would explain a lot.

>  I want the activities to be engaging,

Reasonable.

>  non pencil and paper

Why, for crying out loud?!  They are the tools of the trade!

"They develop fluency with efficient procedures, including the
standard algorithm, for multiplying whole numbers,"

>  and build from one day to the next.

Reasonable.

>I am looking for suggestions.  I figured to cover probability.

In 4th grade?! I thought you mentioned "big concepts for fourth
grade", not their avoidance!

>   I could have a box with different color cubes (ie 10 red, 4 blue,
> 4 pink, 2 yellow and 1 green) and each day we would pull one cube
> from the box after we determine and discuss the probability for
> each color.  We could continue discussing the probability and
> pulling a cube each day until the bag is empty.

Or you could get with the program and focus on NCTM Focal Points for
4th grade where the first occurrence of "probability" is in 7th, well
after fractions are well developed.  What a concept.
http://www.nctmmedia.org/cfp/focal_points_by_grade.pdf

Wayne




>I am looking for similar types of very quick engaging activities
>that would address a few other 4th grade big ideas or build number sense.
>
>
>--
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.13/1246 - Release Date:
>1/27/2008 6:39 PM
>
>
>
>
>--
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.13/1246 - Release Date:
>1/27/2008 6:39 PM


- --
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.15/1248 - Release Date: 1/28/2008 9:32 PM

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Richard Strausz
In reply to this post by matt schell
Wayne, what would you do if you were in his shoes?  What activities would you recommend for 4th grade?

Richard
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Bishop, Wayne
At 05:31 AM 1/29/2008, Richard Strausz wrote:

>Wayne, what would you do if you were in his shoes?

Sorry, I though that was clear.  I'd start by trying to understand
what are the big mathematics ideas of the elementary grades,
especially 4th.  The Focal Points are helpful.  Again, reference is:
http://www.nctmmedia.org/cfp/focal_points_by_grade.pdf

Even better, the Green Dot standards of the California Math Standards

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/documents/math-ch2-k-3.pdf
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/documents/math-ch2-4-7.pdf

>  What activities would you recommend for 4th grade?

That's getting the cart before the horse.  Beyond that, it's missing
on the role that the math coach (if one is justified at all) should
be playing.  The correct role is understanding what the ideas are and
helping teachers make sure that they have that knowledge, understand
the concepts, and have supportive curricula. Thanks for asking,

Wayne



- --
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.15/1248 - Release Date: 1/28/2008 9:32 PM
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Richard Strausz
In reply to this post by matt schell
>
> >  What activities would you recommend for 4th grade?
>
> That's getting the cart before the horse.  Beyond
> that, it's missing
> on the role that the math coach (if one is justified
> at all) should
> be playing.  The correct role is understanding what
> the ideas are and
> helping teachers make sure that they have that
> knowledge, understand
> the concepts, and have supportive curricula. Thanks
> for asking,
>
> Wayne

Wayne, the premise of the initial request was:

"I am a math coach at a k-5 school. I would like to begin going into each of my 4th grade classrooms for 10-15 minutes everyday to do some quick spiralling activities on some of the big concepts for 4th grade..."

In your zeal to tell him how to do his whole job, you may have missed that he is talking about taking out 10-15 minutes per day per class.  It is VERY supportive of the functions you identified for a coach. Do you have any specific suggestions that you can pass along?

Richard
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Bishop, Wayne
At 10:53 AM 1/29/2008, Richard Strausz wrote:

>Wayne, the premise of the initial request was:
>
>"I am a math coach at a k-5 school. I would like to begin going into
>each of my 4th grade classrooms for 10-15 minutes everyday to do
>some quick spiralling activities on some of the big concepts for 4th grade..."
>
>In your zeal to tell him how to do his whole job, you may have
>missed that he is talking about taking out 10-15 minutes per day per
>class.  It is VERY supportive of the functions you identified for a
>coach. Do you have any specific suggestions that you can pass along?

I'm sorry, you still seem to be missing the point.  Education of our
children is deeply important and a zero-sum time enterprise; even
more so with regard to the time allocated to mathematics.  His focus
and perhaps, by extension, yours is not 4th grade concepts of
mathematics, much less the big ones, but entertaining
activities.  Obviously, there's nothing the matter with entertaining
activities that meet the desired goals but this is ridiculous.  Sing
along with Maria and me and then reread my earlier post...
Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin...
.
.
.
At 09:15 AM 1/29/2008, Wayne Bishop wrote:

>At 05:31 AM 1/29/2008, Richard Strausz wrote:
>
>>Wayne, what would you do if you were in his shoes?
>
>Sorry, I though that was clear.  I'd start by trying to understand
>what are the big mathematics ideas of the elementary grades,
>especially 4th.  The Focal Points are helpful.  Again, reference is:
>http://www.nctmmedia.org/cfp/focal_points_by_grade.pdf
>
>Even better, the Green Dot standards of the California Math Standards
>
>http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/documents/math-ch2-k-3.pdf
>http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/documents/math-ch2-4-7.pdf
>
>>  What activities would you recommend for 4th grade?
>
>That's getting the cart before the horse.  Beyond that, it's missing
>on the role that the math coach (if one is justified at all) should
>be playing.  The correct role is understanding what the ideas are
>and helping teachers make sure that they have that knowledge,
>understand the concepts, and have supportive curricula. Thanks for asking,
>
>Wayne


- --
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.15/1249 - Release Date: 1/29/2008 9:51 AM

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Michael Paul Goldenberg
Wayne's objection starts with his discovery of the shibboleth  
"everyday" in the original post. He makes clear by asking if the word  
should have been capitalized that he presumes that "Everyday Math" is  
lurking. Thus, the poster must be "fuzzy," and everything else,  
including his hostility and sarcasm, follows as night follows day.

This sort of knee-jerk reaction is perfectly consistent not only with  
his historical misbehavior, but with that of so many other narrow-
minded haters of reform. The classic situation, of course, involved  
the reaction of Sandy Stotsky while serving on the math curriculum  
committee in Massachusetts to the word "construction" in the context  
of geometry. She took this to be another form of "constructivisim"  
and, predictably, objected.

Of course, Ms. Stotsky has an excuse. She has no credentials in  
mathematics. What's Wayne's excuse here, other than that his litmus  
test for everyone is an indication of undying fealty to the  
narrowest, most reactionary views of education possible?

Education isn't a game, let alone a zero sum game. I don't believe  
that Wayne has the smallest clue what a math coach does or should do,  
nor could I imagine him being one. He has, at best, only one small  
fraction of the skill set the job requires to be fully effective. I  
don't know if I'm the only person on this list who has worked as a  
math coach, but I'm confident Wayne has not.

Finally, the idea that an activity that is engaging is automatically  
not mathematically significant is ridiculous. Nothing of the kind is  
true. Neither is it true, of course, that entertainment ensures  
engagement. An effective mathematical task needs several components.  
Central should be: 1) the task problematizes something mathematical  
for students; that is, it is a problem for THEM and will require  
their active engagement to successfully tackle that problem. Asking a  
fifth grader to add a column of numbers is probably not problematic  
(though it might be made so with some thought), but asking a 1st  
grader to add two three digit numbers very well will be problematic  
for them. On the other hand, it would be idiotic to ask those first  
graders to add fractions with unlike denominators or solve multi-step  
algebraic problems: the task is almost certainly well-beyond them and  
hence they would not be able to engage in it. Thus, appropriate tasks  
must meet students where they are;  2) the mathematical residue, that  
which the students carry away with them from engaging in the  
activity, is significant, and it is central to the task, not absent  
or marginally present. If the task is at best peripherally about  
math, as in the example of students asked to make a budget for a  
school dance with a given total of money to use, in which case it is  
almost assured that the focus will be on non-mathematical issues,  
then it is NOT a meaningful, appropriate mathematical task; 3) the  
problem/task must have an entry point for every student, but it can  
lead to deeper levels that may not be accessible to all students in a  
short time or without significant discussion, scaffolding, etc.; 4)  
the problem/task should ideally be amenable to multiple approaches/
solution strategies.

I see nothing in what Wayne has offered that could possibly be of  
help in this regard. His replies have been combative and offensive. I  
wish I could say that this was surprising, but once the word  
"everyday" appeared, he apparently couldn't help himself.

I would recommend that Matt look into John van de Walle's books. One  
of them specifically covers the 3-5 math and should be particularly  
useful for what he's hoping to come up with. I'm sure other list  
members could offer specific, useful suggestions, rather than bile.


On Jan 29, 2008, at 9:57 PM, Wayne Bishop wrote:

> At 10:53 AM 1/29/2008, Richard Strausz wrote:
>
>> Wayne, the premise of the initial request was:
>>
>> "I am a math coach at a k-5 school. I would like to begin going  
>> into each of my 4th grade classrooms for 10-15 minutes everyday to  
>> do some quick spiralling activities on some of the big concepts  
>> for 4th grade..."
>>
>> In your zeal to tell him how to do his whole job, you may have  
>> missed that he is talking about taking out 10-15 minutes per day  
>> per class.  It is VERY supportive of the functions you identified  
>> for a coach. Do you have any specific suggestions that you can  
>> pass along?
>
> I'm sorry, you still seem to be missing the point.  Education of  
> our children is deeply important and a zero-sum time enterprise;  
> even more so with regard to the time allocated to mathematics.  His  
> focus and perhaps, by extension, yours is not 4th grade concepts of  
> mathematics, much less the big ones, but entertaining activities.  
> Obviously, there's nothing the matter with entertaining activities  
> that meet the desired goals but this is ridiculous.  Sing along  
> with Maria and me and then reread my earlier post...
> Let's start at the very beginning
> A very good place to start
> When you read you begin...
> ..
> ..
>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Greg Goodknight
Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:

> Wayne's objection starts with his discovery of the shibboleth
> "everyday" in the original post. He makes clear by asking if the word
> should have been capitalized that he presumes that "Everyday Math" is
> lurking. Thus, the poster must be "fuzzy," and everything else,
> including his hostility and sarcasm, follows as night follows day.
>
> This sort of knee-jerk reaction is perfectly consistent not only with
> his historical misbehavior, but with that of so many other
> narrow-minded haters of reform. The classic situation, of course,
> involved the reaction of Sandy Stotsky while serving on the math
> curriculum committee in Massachusetts to the word "construction" in
> the context of geometry. She took this to be another form of
> "constructivisim" and, predictably, objected.
>
> Of course, Ms. Stotsky has an excuse. She has no credentials in
> mathematics. What's Wayne's excuse here, other than that his litmus
> test for everyone is an indication of undying fealty to the narrowest,
> most reactionary views of education possible?
>
> Education isn't a game, let alone a zero sum game. I don't believe
> that Wayne has the smallest clue what a math coach does or should do,
> nor could I imagine him being one. He has, at best, only one small
> fraction of the skill set the job requires to be fully effective. I
> don't know if I'm the only person on this list who has worked as a
> math coach, but I'm confident Wayne has not.
Sounds like a good job. What is the reason you aren't doing it anymore?

- -Greg

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Michael Paul Goldenberg
In Tokyo in the Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of  
opposite characteristics. One, Unsho, an instructor in Shingon, kept  
Buddha's precepts scrupulously. He never drank intoxicants, nor did  
he eat after eleven o'clock in the morning. The other teacher,  
Tanzan, a professor of philosophy at the Imperial University, never  
observed the precepts. Whenever he felt like eating, he ate, and when  
he felt like sleeping in the daytime he slept.

One day Unsho visited Tanzan, who was drinking wine at the time, not  
even a drop of which is suppposed to touch the tongue of a Buddhist.

"Hello, brother," Tanzan greeted him. "Won't you have a drink?"

"I never drink!" exclaimed Unsho solemnly.

"One who does not drink is not even human," said Tanzan.

"Do you mean to call me inhuman just because I do not indulge in  
intoxicating liquids!" exclaimed Unsho in anger. "Then if I am not  
human, what am I?"

"A Buddha," answered Tanzan.
On Jan 30, 2008, at 12:51 AM, Greg Goodknight wrote:

>
> Sounds like a good job. What is the reason you aren't doing it  
> anymore?
>
> -Greg
>
>
>
>
>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Greg Goodknight
Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:
> In Tokyo in the Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of
> opposite characteristics. ...
Mike, you claim teaching expertise exceeding Dr. Bishop, but you've not
managed to hold any math teaching job long enough to credibly establish
any expertise whatsoever. Why is that?

- -Greg

>
> On Jan 30, 2008, at 12:51 AM, Greg Goodknight wrote:
>
>>
>> Sounds like a good job. What is the reason you aren't doing it anymore?
>>
>> -Greg
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Michael Paul Goldenberg
Your reading skills seem kind of weak.

I wrote, "Education isn't a game, let alone a zero sum game. I don't  
believe that Wayne has the smallest clue what a math coach does or  
should do, nor could I imagine him being one. He has, at best, only  
one small fraction of the skill set the job requires to be fully  
effective. I don't know if I'm the only person on this list who has  
worked as a math coach, but I'm confident Wayne has not."

Where in that statement do I assert any superiority in TEACHING  
skills to anyone, let alone to Wayne Bishop? Or, for that matter, any  
superiority in being a math coach? Where my expertise unarguably  
exceeds Wayne (and you) is in having actually worked as a math coach.  
I know what the job calls for. It's not my place to assert whether I  
was good, bad, or indifferent at doing it.

I was quite specific about what he lacks. And I asserted that I have  
experience in that position and suspect I'm one of the few here who  
has experience in that job.
What remains incontrovertible is that Wayne has NO such experience.  
Nor do you. Yet Wayne feels competent to make a derogatory comment  
about the job itself in response to a perfectly reasonable request  
from someone who holds that position. That's not just rude, it's  
arrogant.

Further, your comments ignore the most obvious fact: that Wayne has  
his underwear in a bunch on this thread because he saw the word  
"everyday" in the post and smelled "fuzzy" math. Everything he's  
written on the thread since betrays his enormous bias and willingness  
to dump on someone without having the smallest clue about him or what  
he does or what his teaching philosophy is or qualifications for  
doing it.

Personally, I liked the Zen story much better than your response to  
it. Go know.

On Jan 30, 2008, at 1:29 AM, Greg Goodknight wrote:

> Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:
>> In Tokyo in the Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of  
>> opposite characteristics. ...
> Mike, you claim teaching expertise exceeding Dr. Bishop, but you've  
> not managed to hold any math teaching job long enough to credibly  
> establish any expertise whatsoever. Why is that?
>
> -Greg
>
>>
>> On Jan 30, 2008, at 12:51 AM, Greg Goodknight wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> Sounds like a good job. What is the reason you aren't doing it  
>>> anymore?
>>>
>>> -Greg
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>
>
>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Greg Goodknight
Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:

> Your reading skills seem kind of weak.
>
> I wrote, "Education isn't a game, let alone a zero sum game. I don't
> believe that Wayne has the smallest clue what a math coach does or
> should do, nor could I imagine him being one. He has, at best, only
> one small fraction of the skill set the job requires to be fully
> effective. I don't know if I'm the only person on this list who has
> worked as a math coach, but I'm confident Wayne has not."
>
> Where in that statement do I assert any superiority in TEACHING skills
> to anyone, let alone to Wayne Bishop?
In the above, you imply you are capable in the job of "math coach", and
Wayne "has, at best, only one small fraction of the skill set the job
requires to be fully effective." Wayne actually is a teacher of math
teachers, which is in essence what a "math coach" needs to be. He was
also successful secondary math teacher before earning his Ph.D. in
Mathematics. He has one famous student who went on to some repute, Jamie
Escalante, and could probably vouch for Wayne having more than enough
expertise to be a math coach.

Your disingenuousness is showing. As if it ever isn't.


> Or, for that matter, any superiority in being a math coach? Where my
> expertise unarguably exceeds Wayne (and you) is in having actually
> worked as a math coach. I know what the job calls for. It's not my
> place to assert whether I was good, bad, or indifferent at doing it.
You're dancing around the issue. Since you are no longer doing it, I'd
expect you weren't very good at it, or you were doing it in a capacity
as a grad student, and could well be the schools put up with you because
the price was right.

Really, Mike, how long will it take for you to stop the charade? You
have no real standing as a math teacher, now, do you? That is, besides a
Master's in Math Ed that has not resulted in significant gainful
employment. Teaching SAT prep classes isn't quite what most get graduate
degrees to accomplish.

As far as Wayne's answer, I thought he hit it spot on, the way a teacher
of math teachers should.

- -Greg
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Bishop, Wayne
Greg, your post to the Cambridge, OH, Daily Jeffersonian is worth
sharing here as well.  You are correct, the local superintendent is
in trouble for having purchased Everyday Mathematics on her own,
imposing it on her schools, and then submitting a bill to the school
board of education after the fact.  I was asked to share some of
Markov Chaney's private writings and would have except that I
couldn't get logged on for some reason.  Yours is more polite, of
course, and mine may no longer be necessary.  I'll read for a few
more days and see what I think before moving forward with that idea.
http://www.daily-jeff.com/news/article/3115712

Wayne
         -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by Greg Goodknight January 28, 2008

Good people of Cambridge, welcome to the Math Wars, as the debate on
math education has been aptly labeled. Over and over, in multiple
formums, Michael Goldenberg has shown himself quite able to drag
anyone through the mud, and Bill Cochran so far has had it pretty
easy. If anyone wishes to get samples of Goldenberg's writings, both
public postings and ostensibly private emails (and yes, he has been
told by many to have no expectations of privacy), please ask for them
offline, they really are not suitable for any civilized forum, with
ugly ad hominems and truly obscene rants being common.

While he often writes beautifully, he has no particular expertise in
mathematics. His Masters in Math Education was a consolation degree
after his attempt to gain a doctorate in Math Education stalled, for
whatever reason. His hard left-of-center politics seem to be a
primary driver of his polemics on a variety of internet forums and
he's convinced that those of us who have been appalled at the really
poor results that "whole math" programs like Everyday Mathematics
have had are actually driven by politics, just like he has been.

"Markov Chaney" (Markov chains are a topic in advanced mathematics)
is but one of a number of persona he has used in the past decade.
Goldenberg has even been known to use multiple anonymous screen names
in the same debate.

Goldenberg has had a few teaching positions since earning his Math
Education degree, but I believe none have lasted more than a year or
two, and that despite a general shortage of talented and qualified
elementary and secondary math teachers he is apparently currently
primarily employed only as a part time instructor for a SAT test
preparation cram school.

It sounds like Everyday Math was unilaterally imposed from above in
Cambridge by a superintendent that may have acted beyond their own
core competencies. Cambridge stakeholders should debate that as
needed and choose their experts carefully. Parents and teachers can
find much information about Everyday Math from the NYC H.O.L.D. and
"Mathematically Correct" websites:
<http://www.nychold.com/em.html>http://www.nychold.c...m.html
http://mathematicall...ms.htm

The original HOLD in Palo Alto and later, the Mathematically Correct
site, were instrumental in shaping the curriculum debate in
California. Our state was unfortunately at the center of the whole
language and whole math meltdown a decade ago, with standardized test
scores plummeting, even in solid middle class suburban schools. This
debate is not new, and shows no sign of going away anytime soon.

Good luck to you all in keeping the curriculum side of the debate
rational. Even when face to face it can be difficult, but debates
done by anonymous posts to forums like this can get out of hand very quickly.

Greg Goodknight
Nevada City, California
[hidden email]
         --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At 11:40 PM 1/29/2008, Greg Goodknight wrote:

>Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:
>>Since your biases are so blinding, why would anyone expect you to
>>see any problem with someone criticizing a complete stranger for
>>asking a reasonable question, or for doing so in a way that
>>denigrates a job in which the "critic" has neither experience,
>>knowledge, nor interest?
>That's your distortions, not reality. YOU may actually believe it,
>but it was not what happened.
>
>OK, they got a grant, free money for awhile, you managed to grab
>some as it went whooshing by. A temporary job. Really, Mike, you're
>not teaching math very much, or, apparently, very effectively when you do.
>
>Let us know when you score a tenure track K-12 or better gig.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>--
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database:
>269.19.16/1251 - Release Date: 1/30/2008 9:29 AM
>
>
>
>
>--
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database:
>269.19.16/1251 - Release Date: 1/30/2008 9:29 AM


- --
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.16/1251 - Release Date: 1/30/2008 9:29 AM

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

matt schell
In reply to this post by matt schell
Let me clarify my intentions in going into my fourth grade classes for 15 minute conceptual lessons.  Our students are assessed using the NJ ASK test.  The NJ ASK test is constructed around the 5 major strands:  Number and operations, Geometry, Patterns and Algebra, Probability and data analysis and problem solving.  At my school we are working toward developing conceptual understanding in our students which is seems is very necessary for the students to have success on the NJ ASK.  My teachers are equiped with a very traditional very skill and process focused math series and while they are trying to prepare the students conceptually it is a difficult transition for some of them.  My thought was to collaborate with the teachers to take 10-15 minutes to engage the students in each of the previously listed strands in a way that the NJ ASK requires them to think.  

An update:  I have gone into each fourth grade class for the past three days for 15 minutes.  Each day we determine the length, width, perimeter and area of a rectangle and determine what we would need to change to get a specific area and/or perimeter.  We are doing an ongoing probability experiment.  Each day the students get a part of a pattern they then try to determine the rule of the pattern and predict the next days number.  We also work with a function table.  We are doing a daily doubling experiment.  (day one we got 1 penny every subsequent day we double the previous days amount then we determine our
"to date" total just like the "One Grain of Rice Story" and lastly we do an exercise with building combinations or making tree diagrams.  Thus far the students have been enthusiastic in their participation, I am always interested in revisions that could be more effective.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Richard Strausz
In reply to this post by matt schell
Greg, I have questions about your two assertions below:
"...He (Wayne Bishop) was also (a) successful secondary math teacher before earning his Ph.D. in Mathematics. He has one famous student who went on to some repute, Jamie
Escalante, and could probably vouch for Wayne having more than enough expertise to be a math coach..."

1. Do you have any evidence that Wayne was a successful secondary math teacher? Do you know if this success was with the broad spectrum of students that a high school teacher encounters?

2. Do you think that Escalante's support of Wayne as a possible math coach would mean as much as the support of someone who didn't know much math and pedagogy before working with Dr. B?

Richard
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Bishop, Wayne
In reply to this post by matt schell
That does provide some clarity, thanks.  I had never looked at the
New Jersey math standards and it is clear why they merit the D.
http://www.edexcellence.net/foundation/publication/publication.cfm?id=338&pubsubid=1211#1211

That said, the elementary school geometry standards are better, "The
geometry standards for grades 2-8 are well written."  Personally, I
would not go that far.  The writers just could not get over their
insistence on being fuzzy.  For example, "By experimenting with
concrete materials, drawings, and computers, they are able to
discover properties of shapes and to make generalizations like all
squares have four equal sides."  The fact is that it is impossible to
"discover" defining properties of geometric figures but parroting
formal definitions is also inappropriate.  Knowledgeable teachers and
materials communicating these properties, and students learning them,
is what matters.

What do the standards say about perimeter and area for 4th
grade?  "The geometry of measurement begins to take on more
significance in grades 3 and 4, as students focus more on the
concepts of perimeter and area. Students learn different ways of
finding the perimeter of an object: using string around the edge and
then measuring the length of the string, using a measuring tape,
measuring the length of each side and then adding the measures
together, or using a trundle wheel. They also develop
non-formula-based strategies for finding the area of a figure."

Even by 5th/6th, it is not clear that students are supposed to be
able to attack your geometry activity intelligently, "Students
develop greater understanding of the geometry of measurement as they
develop strategies for finding perimeters, areas (of rectangles and
triangles), volumes, surface areas, and angle measures."  Are they
never asked to *know* standard formulas for perimeter and area of rectangles?

I am curious what kinds of questions the NJ ASK actually do ask in
this area.  Can you give us some examples please?

You do realize, I hope, that without a determined procedure (formula
or algorithmic process) there is no correct "next days number" given
only, "Each day the students get a part of a pattern they then try to
determine the rule of the pattern and predict the next days
number."  One of the most mistaken ideas by education reformers about
"algebra readiness" is that these skills are somehow involved with
the idea of pattern recognition.  Humans are good at pattern
recognition, even inventing patterns when there are no patterns in
there, but it has nothing to do with algebra readiness.  Focus on
competence with arithmetic, especially ordinary fractions, elementary
use of variables, and clearly written word problems.  Leave the
pattern recognition stuff for a class in quilting.

I am amazed to see the statistics and probability stuff clear down in
the lower elementary grades.  My sympathies.

Wayne

At 01:59 PM 1/30/2008, matt schell wrote:

>Let me clarify my intentions in going into my fourth grade classes
>for 15 minute conceptual lessons.  Our students are assessed using
>the NJ ASK test.  The NJ ASK test is constructed around the 5 major
>strands:  Number and operations, Geometry, Patterns and Algebra,
>Probability and data analysis and problem solving.  At my school we
>are working toward developing conceptual understanding in our
>students which is seems is very necessary for the students to have
>success on the NJ ASK.  My teachers are equiped with a very
>traditional very skill and process focused math series and while
>they are trying to prepare the students conceptually it is a
>difficult transition for some of them.  My thought was to
>collaborate with the teachers to take 10-15 minutes to engage the
>students in each of the previously listed strands in a way that the
>NJ ASK requires them to think.
>
>An update:  I have gone into each fourth grade class for the past
>three days for 15 minutes.  Each day we determine the length, width,
>perimeter and area of a rectangle and determine what we would need
>to change to get a specific area and/or perimeter.  We are doing an
>ongoing probability experiment.  Each day the students get a part of
>a pattern they then try to determine the rule of the pattern and
>predict the next days number.  We also work with a function
>table.  We are doing a daily doubling experiment.  (day one we got 1
>penny every subsequent day we double the previous days amount then
>we determine our
>"to date" total just like the "One Grain of Rice Story" and lastly
>we do an exercise with building combinations or making tree
>diagrams.  Thus far the students have been enthusiastic in their
>participation, I am always interested in revisions that could be
>more effective.
>
>
>--
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.16/1251 - Release Date:
>1/30/2008 9:29 AM
>
>
>
>
>--
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.16/1251 - Release Date:
>1/30/2008 9:29 AM


- --
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.16/1251 - Release Date: 1/30/2008 9:29 AM

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

matt schell
In reply to this post by matt schell
thank you for your comments wayne, an example of a NJ ASK Perimeter problem for 4th graders would be

"Veronica is making a rectangular garden. She plans to put a fence around the garden using 28 feet of fencing, and she wants the garden to be 8 feet long.

How wide will Veronica's garden be? Show how you got your answer.
If Veronica is going to put fence posts two feet apart around the outside of the garden, how many fence posts will she need? Show all of your work to explain your answer."  (copied directly from sample test)

What would you suggest for some daily big idea activities rather than probability.  I realize the "focal points seem to focus heavily on multiplication and division. (as they should) Is there a daily, meaningful activity that could expand students understanding of multiplication and division.

Thanks,
Matt
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Bishop, Wayne
In reply to this post by Richard Strausz
At 07:41 PM 1/30/2008, Richard Strausz wrote:

>Greg, I have questions about your two assertions below:
>"...He (Wayne Bishop) was also (a) successful
>secondary math teacher before earning his Ph.D.
>in Mathematics. He has one famous student who went on to some repute, Jamie
>Escalante, and could probably vouch for Wayne
>having more than enough expertise to be a math coach..."
>
>1. Do you have any evidence that Wayne was a
>successful secondary math teacher? Do you know
>if this success was with the broad spectrum of
>students that a high school teacher encounters?

Greg would have no such evidence and I have only
very little.  I did earn tenure at the only high
school at which I had a job.  I took a leave of
absence to accept an NSF academic year award with
intention of returning if grad school didn't work
out well, what with new family and all.  At the
time I was making that request, the assistant
superintendent in charge of personnel tried to
talk me out of the idea.  He claimed correctly, I
believe, that I would probably never make up for
a few years of drastically reduced salary
although the first year was no problem, the NSF
award was generous. The high school was Proviso
East in Maywood Illinois, a suburb directly west
of Chicago.  At the time, the school was roughly
a third African-American and a little on the
rough side (one of our star pupils:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067456/), a third
Italian and a little on the rough side (most
famous resident:
http://www.crimelibrary.com/gangsters/sam/sammain.htm),
and a third other a little on the rough side.

>2. Do you think that Escalante's support of
>Wayne as a possible math coach would mean as
>much as the support of someone who didn't know
>much math and pedagogy before working with Dr. B?

It's hard to come up with a more speculative
question but we would need to start with a
definition of "possible math coach".  You seem to
have in mind an elementary teacher who has agreed
to accept a position for which the candidate does
not have requisite the mathematics expertise, say
at the level of a baccalaureate minor in
mathematics?  Too often, that seems to be the
situation.  Better no math coach than one with
such phony content "expertise".  As far as your
implied need for knowing pedagogy, it's an old
cliché; you can't teach what you don't know.

Wayne bristly


- --
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.17/1253 - Release Date: 1/31/2008 9:09 AM

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: daily big ideas

Richard Strausz
In reply to this post by matt schell
Wayne, you missed the point of my second question. I may not have worded it clearly enough. I was assuming that a math coach would know content and pedagogy, and in fact would be responsible for tasks similar to those you mentioned in an earlier message.  My question was whether feedback on the success of such a coach would be better from an "Escalante" or from a teacher who needs the support. I assume the latter...

Richard
12