Math Matters

Getting To Deeper Thinking

Process over Product

As a young teacher, I often used a lot of direct teaching in my classroom to "throw" content at my students in hopes that they were thinking and learning. I was naive to think that they were as interested as I was lol.

I soon learned that like the "wacky wall walkers" I played with as a child, this content was not sticking and I needed to reinvent how my students were interacting with the content. I want students to really engage in the classroom so they can think about processes they are using, why they work, when they don't, and get beyond just answer finding.

In this newsletter, I'm going to share just a few thoughts on how to get students to do more engaging and more thinking about your math content, rather than always focusing on direct teach and worksheet practice.

Always, Sometimes, Never True

I just LOVE this structure. It is versatile enough to be used as a pre-assessment, an instructional activity, or a formative assessment, but it really helps students get to thinking deeply about what they understand on a topic. I have 5 different versions so far and there are endless topics you can incorporate.

In the activity, give students statements to analyze about a topic. They decide if the statement is always true, sometimes true, or never true. So much thinking goes on! You can extend by having students talk about how to change statements to move them to another category, or even have them create a statement of their own for each heading.

Current Reading

I love a good book that actually describes changes I can incorporate that make a positive impact on student learning. I'm reading Hacking Mathematics: 10 Problems that Need Solving by Denis Sheeran currently. This would make an awesome book study for a campus team because you could try out the strategies he suggests together as a team, support each other, and gain support of your admin as a team of teachers working on your craft.

How can I serve you?

I would love to help you. I specialize in turning tedious work into hands-on fun. I serve teachers through learning opportunities and creating & pre-printing materials to give you time back for other things that are important to you.

If you like what you see here, visit my website or email me anytime.


Professional Learning

Ideas from this newsletter are a part of a larger presentation, and can be easily applied to any grade level and content. If you need more ideas, I would love to learn with you. Reach out to me if you are interested in professional learning on your campus.

Here's where I'll be presenting next in case you can come:

DFW Mini-CAST in HEB = February 8

Dallas ISD (8th grade) = February 14

Pan-STEM conference, Lubbock = June 30-July 1

CAMT, Ft Worth = July 8-10