Readings from Reed

TDS March Newsletter


  • Videos of goal setting conferences with students (one in reading, one in writing)
  • Open-ended math tasks
  • Pictures of math workshop tools


In the workshop model, focusing on a lean teaching point during the mini lesson helps the students understand the task and helps them grow. The same thought is true when conferring with students. While you are meeting with individual students it is important to identify strengths/patterns of development, share one lean teaching point, and then set a goal for student growth. You can also structure your small group work the same way you structured individual conferences.

How can students benefit from goal setting? By setting goals, students know exactly what they need to be working on in order to move forward in their learning.

Take a look at the experts as they confer and set goals with students.

Jennifer Serravallo is know for her small group instruction. This link shows Jennifer conferring with a student and setting a goal to guide her growth. Can you identify the teaching point and the student goal?

Carl Anderson is known for his work in conferring with students. In this link, Carl and a student talk about setting a goal for next steps. Once again, look for the teaching point and student goal.

Is one of your personal goals to be successful on the Teacher Evaluation Rubric? These domains deal with data, planning, checking for understanding, and assessment.

Domain 1.1 Utilizing assessment data to plan

Domain 1.3 Create Objective Driven daily lesson plans and informal/continuous assessments

Domain 1.4 Track student data and analyze student progress

Domain 2.1 Develop student understanding of lesson objectives

Domain 2.4 Check for understanding and Mastery of an Objective

Math Workshop - Let's Think About Tasks

Open ended math tasks are great ways to engage small groups or math partners during independent work time. If you like the look of the examples below, contact your TDS for more examples!

  • If you start at twenty, and count by twos, you land on fifty. Starting at twenty, what other numbers can you count by and still land on fifty?
  • How many different ways can you get a total of thirteen when you toss three six-sided dice? Record each way.
  • Find some containers that are about half full when a cup of water is poured into them.
  • Make a paper clip chain. Find things that are the same length, longer, and shorter than your chain. What are some things that your chain will fit around exactly?
  • I halved a number and kept halving the new number a total of five times. The answer was a number between 1 and 10. What number might I have started with?
  • Three objects in your classroom have a combined weight of about 4 pounds. What might the objects be?
  • I have drawn an irregular straight-sided shape with a perimeter of 7 inches. What might my shape look like?
  • Kelly drew a picture of a house with exactly twenty-four right angles, six acute angles, and two obtuse angles. What might her house look like?
  • Sketch a line graph to show how hungry you might be from the time you get out of bed until after you have eaten lunch.

From Investigations, Tasks, and Rubrics to Teach and Assess Math (Lilburn, 2010).

Math Workshop - Let's Think About Tools

  • meaning for tools must be constructed by each student
  • tools are used purposefully - to solve problems
  • tools are used to help with recording, communicating, and thinking

From Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding (Hiebert, 1997)

Use plates to create an interactive-sized number line!

Upcoming Professional Development

    • March 10 at 4:15 Math Curriculum Mapping at CO in the board room
    • March 11 at 4:15 Units of Study PD at CRE
    • March 12 at 4:15 1-6 REACH ELA Mapping at CO in the board room
    • March 18 at 4:00 Reading A-Z 101 Webinar at CO in the West Conference Room
    • March 18 at 4:15 Kindergarten District Book Study: Math Exchanges at CRE
    • March 20 at 4:15 Math Curriculum Mapping at CO in the board room
    • March 25 at 4:00 Reading A-Z Webinar at CO in the conference room

    Katherine Reed

    Teacher Development Specialist @ CRE, FCE, and TCE

    Have a fantastic Spring Break!

    Annabelle is ready to put on her bikini!