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Math Forum » Discussions » Curricula » Investigations for 4 and 5

Topic: Changing the Teacher's Role
Replies: 13   Last Post: May 21, 2008 5:56 PM

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Melissa Mohan

Posts: 3
Registered: 12/3/04
evaluating role of teacher
Posted: Jun 20, 2000 12:02 AM
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I have just finished teaching my second year with Investigations in
Milwaukee. I have been very excited to see the changes that have
taken place from the first year to the second. I feel much more
comfortable presenting the material to my students and I have a much
clearer picture of where I want to lead my students.
For example, this year I realized the importance of taking the time to
completely discuss and present(students) the multiplication posters in
the Arrays & Shares book (4th grade). My students this year have a
much firmer grasp on what a prime, composite, and square number means.
They were able to quickly identify what a number was by the number of
factors that it had. After working with some middle school teachers
who had expressed concern (over their feeling) that students were
coming to them without any knowledge of these terms and concepts, I
felt more confident in the time we had spent. I can rest assured with
my students that they had the opportunity to explore and grasp these
concepts for themselves.
The teacher needs to be adaptive to the situation, and have a clear
picture of where they want the students to be without worrying about
having to deliver the students to that point. The majority of the
time the students will provide all that the teacher was looking for in
response to some well placed questions. With the fractions activities
in Different Shapes, Equal Pieces (4th grade), the simple questions of
"What do you notice about the numerator and denominator in the
fractions?", or "What do you know about representing a whole number as
a fraction?", etc.
Providing adequate time for discussions and being sure to always
follow any activity with questions to prompt good discussions, and to
get the students to justify and stand behind their reasoning for any
type of solution, is extremely beneficial to student understanding.
Most importantly remember that learning is a process, both for the
students and the teacher.





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