This week we began taping the Math Forum staff working with students at Christopher Columbus Charter School in Philadelphia. Suzanne, Annie, Max, Val, and Steve have been presenting the students with different PoWs from the website and asking them what they notice and wonder. It amazing to see how much the students noticed about the problem as they generated long lists on the chalk board. They also had a long list of wonderings and decided if they were opinion questions or could be solved using math. Then they would look at the problems that required mathematical computation and come up with different strategies of how to solve them: use manipulatives, draw a picture, paper and pencil, guess and test, etc. If there was enough time left, the students would get a chance to solve one of the wonderings they thought their teacher might put on a test. This was exciting to watch yesterday in a 5th grade classroom as I taped two girls working together with Suzanne on the problem Eating Grapes. They drew out on a piece of paper how many grapes they thought Angela from the problem ate each day and used a guess and test method. When they finally got the right answer they high-fived Suzanne and were able to explain to the whole class their method. It’s really fun to go into the classroom and observe the “I Notice, I Wonder” method in action. It’s even funnier when the students learn your name and all start shouting it at the same time every time they see you! Going into the classroom really affirms the idea of me wanting to become a teacher because when you see students finally understand a concept and succeed, it just makes you happy knowing you were a part of that.
P.S. I was finally able to wear my new Geometry Toms too! My Math shoes!