Leverage tools. See. Question. Think. Show what you know. Learn.
We want every learner in our care to be able to say I can attend to precision. But, what if they can’t? How are we practicing, teaching, and growing as we attend to precision? What is your precise answer to the question:
What is a fraction?
Is your answer descriptive, clear, and precise for a 5th grader? a 6th grader? a 7th grader? You see where I’m going, right?
What if we use technology to visualize new concepts and interact with math to investigate and learn? What if we pair a process learning progression with a content learning progression?
I can explain and illustrate that a fraction a/b is the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b, and I can represent a fraction a/b on a number line diagram by marking off a lengths 1/b from 0.
I can apply mathematical flexibility to show what I know using more than one method.
Have you previewed the Building Concepts series on fractions?
Everybody knows that you must have common denominators to add fractions, right? Do we know why? If asked to construct a viable argument, could we? Can we draw it, i.e., communicate why visually)?
How mathematically flexible are we when it comes to fractions?
From Jo Boaler’s How to Learn Math: for Students:
…we know that what separates high achievers from low achievers is not that high achievers know more math, it is that they interact with numbers flexibly and low achievers don’t.
What if we facilitate learning that leverages technology, that blends technology and visible thinking, a. k. a, note taking, but creative visual note taking?
Let’s focus on the journey not the destination. How will we know if appropriate tools are used strategically? What if we change our essential assessment questions from What is ____? to Show how to solve ______ to focus on process and understanding? How might we encourage our learners to use technology to see, to ask, and to think?
Jill Gough, Director of Teaching and Learning, Trinity School