Q&A #18087

Math Routines

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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Dec 17, 2006 at 16:10:03
Subject: Re: Math Routines


Thank you for writing to T2T.  I think it's absolutely fantastic that
you're devoting an hour a day or more to mathematics! (I see far too many
classrooms where it's more like 30-35 minutes!)

Your idea about what you wish to include in each class is also admirable!
Part of the challenge when it comes to implementing the structure with Gr.
4s, particularly if it's new for some/most of them, is that you may find
them needing a tremendous amount of guidance within EACH of the components
of the lesson, and it's the having to do a lot of "teaching" at each
component that makes it difficult/impossible to get all the components in.
Don't get discouraged (and don't discontinue the structure completely!),
but perhaps some days (particularly days where you know the time might be a
bit less than you'd like) you might dispense with doing an investigation,
and another day you might shorten/dispense with the "skills block" in order
to allow students to "dig in" to the investigation.  Even if your "Problem
of the Day" doesn't get "covered" every day (there's also nothing wrong
with leaving a "problem of the day" hanging for a couple of days. In the
beginning, you might find it more comfortable/less stressful to build
your "math block plan" for a week, rather than a day, perhaps including
something like 4 Problems of the Day, 4 Investigations, and 4 Skill Blocks
over the week, giving you (and the students) some "breathing space".  As
they get more confident/comfortable with the structure, develop more
strategies, etc., you might get to the point where you CAN do all 3 every
day, but you shouldn't feel that this HAS to be the case.  It's terrific
that you and the colleague that you're co-teaching with have both
recognized the importance/desirability of trying to instill in your
students both procedural and conceptual knowledge, and as long as you
strive for that balance "overall", it's not crucial that it happen
each/every day!

Good luck, and hope this helps,

 -Ralph, for the T2T service

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