Math Moments

February 2017

Practice Tests from ODE

The Ohio Department of Education released half length practice tests. Click on the link below to go to the Student Practice Site.

Spotlight on Success

Our District is full of dedicated teachers! Read some some of the stories that have been shared with us this month!

Guided Math in Action

by Shenita Lyons, First Grade teacher from Woodcrest Elementary

Guided math is still a work in progress for me as an educator as well as for my students. Talking about math as opposed to "just doing" math is a new practice for my students, but it has been a great learning experience for us all. We love Guided Math because everyone gets a chance to share their thinking and problem solving practices. My students are engaged in learning and love the independent work stations which allows me to pull my small groups.

Guided Math truly is more student centered and allows me the opportunity to reteach more difficult concepts or provide enrichment to students who are ready to move on. The thing that I love most about Guided Math is that I get to choose what's best for my students according to their needs and skill level.

The block is so flexible that it works for us all. I use quick exit tickets to determine the next lessons, I get to decide if the lesson will be whole group or if all small groups, which again allows me to meet the needs of my students. I love the quick conferencing with short minute can clear up student misconceptions which will allow them to move forward in their practice. I am excited to continue this journey in Guided Math to see where it will take my teaching and where my students will go!

Virtual experience with Guided Math

Karen Loudermilk, a 4th grade teacher from East Linden ES is a participant in a live webinar on implementing Guided Math. Karen agreed to share some of her thoughts around the experience...

Q: How did you first hear about Guided Math?

A: When I attended the trainings for lead math teachers during the 2015-2016 school year, I started to hear other teachers talking about the Guided Math program they were utilizing in their classrooms. The people using it were very pleased with the program, and were reporting good student progress.

Q: Did you have any concerns about participating in a live webinar?

A: When the email came offering a PD opportunity for Guided Math, I was interested, but concerned over signing up for several weeks of commitment. I’m sure other teachers can relate that our lives are sometimes demanding enough without added VOLUNTARY responsibilities. But in the interest of seeing progress from my students, I signed on for the program.

The class format has been easy to work through. By reading the chapters on our own, then sharing in a once weekly class, we get the best of both worlds. We get the theory from the text and real-life tips and ideas from fellow CCS teachers. Class sessions share successes, honestly address challenges, and provide resources to help us be better teachers for our students.

Q: What are some benefits of the Guided Math framework?

A: Guided Math PD has helped me challenge my students with more rigorous warm up activities, encouraged us to “own” the math vocabulary and terms, and offered ideas on running math workshop activities with meaningful activities. Those same math workshop activities have helped me find time to work with more small groups. Not everything I have tried has been an overwhelming success, but I’m pleased to say that I am challenging myself to try more activities, and I still have more ideas to try.

Q: Overall, how do you feel about the Guided Math framework and your PD experience?

A: I feel I still have more learning to do and more progress to make, but signing up for the PD helped me feel that I am working to be a better teacher for my students, and that Guided Math is a framework that can be adapted by everyone to help improve their students’ achievement. The class did involve some time commitment, but it was very manageable and well worth the effort.

Teaching with the Mathematical Practices

by Denise Bakenhaster, 5th Grade teacher at Watkins Elementary

We try to use as many of the math practices as we can for every day for problem-solving! Students complete a new problem in our math journal at the beginning of our math lesson. I have the students use ink during this part of our math lesson. It helps me see their thinking process and by crossing out mistakes they are not spending as much time erasing their work. We have been focusing on making sure our answer makes sense. If it does not, we persevere and change our plan, make a new one, and start the process again. We follow through by putting our answers in complete sentences, and writing the appropriate math expression for the problem.

I have seen my students grow in their understanding and explanations of math problems. They are more willing to share their ideas and thinking. We are working on how to make critiques of others work while being respectful and asking reflective questions. My students are becoming confident and successful math students!

Manipulative of the Month

Pattern Blocks

Pattern Blocks are a versatile manipulative that can be utilized to support conceptual understanding for multiple standards at various grade levels Check out the links below for lesson ideas on teaching with pattern blocks!

Click on your grade level to download the resources.

Web Resource

Want to engage your students in a different way during your math lesson? Check out this link from the Teacher Resource page! This is a free website where you can show videos of how to solve math problems. You can search the math standard and see a variety of videos and student practice problems. Watch the sample video or click on Khan Academy below to view the website!
Equivalent fractions visually and on number line | 3th grade | Khan Academy

How to Prepare Students for Ohio's State Tests

Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, 4:30-6:30pm

Eastgate Elementary School

*This is a repeat of the 1/31/17 training @ Oakland Park.

Teachers will use ODE's Performance Level Descriptors and Webb's Depth Of Knowledge chart to analyze released test items and teacher created tasks and questions to better prepare students for Ohio's State Tests in Mathematics for grades 3-5.

Resources will be given to all attendees to support instruction.

Sign up in CIMS!