Have you ever experienced the frustration that comes when you have taught a concept, you think your students completely understand it, only to discover the transfer of knowledge exhibited on the unit test was less than stellar? When this occurs, we begin to doubt ourselves and to ponder the all too familiar questions, “How can I get my kids to think mathematically?” And, "how can I help my students make the associations necessary to see the BIG picture and connect ideas?”
Last month we added the creation of anchor tasks to our teacher tool kit. We learned how tasks may look different based on both the learning cycle and the environment in which the task was conducted. Understanding the importance of creating and delivering the task, we are able to see the energy and collaboration that stems from it. The next step is ascertaining what evidence is there that the learning has transferred to the students and each one can produce evidence of meeting the given standards.
Recently, I read the book, Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, by Peter Liljedahl. In the work, Peter researches classroom activity, he identifies and investigates the problems, and then offers practical solutions in everyday language that will implement effective change. One area of particular interest centered on his redesign of traditional evaluation and feedback rubrics. These rubrics represent one of the most powerful tools to enhance thinking behaviors around both mathematical content and mathematical competencies.
This session's comparison of point collection versus data collection, may prompt you to make a paradigm shift in your current practices. We will challenge you to create a road map for your students. A tangible process by which they can understand where they are and where they are going.
Grab your next unit of study and get ready to create a map that will change how you and your students view the learning process.