Math Empowers 4
Middletown Township Public Schools
Grade 4 - Third Trimester 2017-2018
Which One Doesn't Belong?
The Estimation180 website by Andrew Stadel has estimation activities for each day of the school year. These activities help students improve both their number sense and problem solving skills. Check out this amazing resource to engage your students today! Or see all of the resources here to help build number sense one day at a time.
Depth of Knowledge
Level 1: Recall
This level involves basic tasks that require recall of facts or rote reproduction of simple procedures. These kinds of tasks do not require any cognitive effort beyond remembering the right response or formula.
Level 2: Skills and Concepts
This level requires a student to make some decisions about problem solving and procedures. DoK 2 tasks may involve applying a skill in a new context or explaining thinking in terms of concepts.
Level 3: Strategic Thinking
This level gets more complex and abstract. Students must use reasoning, planning, and evidence to explain their thought processes. Often, Level 3 tasks have more than one valid response, and students must justify their choices..
Level 4: Extended Thinking
Level 4 tasks are at least as complex as level 3 tasks but require an extended time period—several weeks, perhaps, or even longer—to complete.
Robert Kaplinsky has developed his own user-friendly Elementary Depth of Knowledge Matrix. Check out the matrix below to see some ideas to develop content complexity for students. Click here if you would like to read more about Depth of Knowledge from Robert Kaplinsky.
Angling for Students’ Mathematical Agency
In the recent "Teaching Children Mathematics" article entitled Angling for Students’ Mathematical Agency, researcher José Manuel Martínez and teacher Laura Ramírez worked with a group of fourth graders on measuring angles with protractors. The students went from overreliance on protractors to relying on their own reasoning and understanding of how to measure angles. Instead of focusing on correcting students’ use of the protractor, the researchers focused on what the interaction said about student mathematical agency. Students expressed mathematical agency by (1) challenging the protractor’s effectiveness in helping them measure angles and (2) by imagining an alternative tool. The researchers found that student mathematical agency shifts the locus of knowledge authority from the teacher or the textbook to the students. A “productive struggle” was embraced, helping students grapple with ideas and relationships among angles, measurement, and the protractor.
The Final Countdown
There are so many options for math class beyond the book! Here are some end of year ideas to consider working into your math class. Ignite mathematical thinking in the last weeks of school!
- “Getting Ready for Grade 5” (Planning Guide)
- Critical Area Projects (Think Central)
- INVESTIGATIONS games and activities
- Problem of the Month or MARS tasks (Cybrary)
- Revisit the BEST of the BEST online interactives from the resource document.
Incorporate Growth Mindset into your summer reading list!
Changing the way we talk to our kids is one step towards helping to reinforce the message of a growth mindset. Another is to read books to kids with stories that convey a similar message.
Click here for a list of fourteen books that let kids know it’s OK to not at first succeed, that failure and challenges can be viewed as opportunities rather than dead ends, and that determination often results in a far better outcome than being perfect.