Effective Instruction is built on COMPARE

Sitting in chairsWays of Knowing, Knowing Ways: Whitecourt 2017

JULY 10 to 14

Effective instruction encourages students to match, sort, classify and COMPARE. Thinking begins from these simple skills.

As you introduce a new concept be thoughtful. If we only allow one way to build, one way to explain, one way to represent we narrow INTEREST, ENGAGEMENT, UNDERSTANDING and ABILITY.

We make it simple cause we think we are helping. Quite the opposite, we are removing the most important component of learning. COMPARE, describe, explain, discuss, adjust, refine, come to consensus. Once students are willing to engage in learning, you can teach them anything.sorting words for place value

We sorted words. This represents a sort. Do you see any reason for the sort as it sits? Look very closely. Using the words, seeing, saying, spelling them is a critical literacy connection. Students cannot understand a concept they cannot communicate around. Knowing and using the language matters.

 

 

 

CONSIDER AND COMPARE THE STUDENT RESPONSES BELOW. We were identifying the equivalence of one tenth to ten hundredths.  Each representation contributes to part of the understanding.  But what is still missing?

My goal as a teacher is to help students see the connections before we decide how we will as a class represent decimal fractions.

 

tenths to hundredthstenth hundredthIMG_0774

Spatial Reasoning=Math Success

Study the power of visual spatial reasoning to impact student success in math and science.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 1.14.28 PM

The materials, year plans, lessons and BERCS CARDS  I am sharing at this Summer’s Institutes are designed around visual spatial models that support and sustain attention to the development of reasoning and problem solving skills AS, not after,  students learn, study, & practice in order to efficiently RECALL FACTS.

 

 

animate brain

Isolated practice with individual facts does not generate success with reasoning and problem solving. Facts memorized in isolation lack meaning and so are easily mixed up or even forgotten. Students resort to finger counting when under pressure.

 

As you preview BERCS materials some imagery will pop out at you. Rectangular arrays are everywhere….Student BERCS Sheet

Part whole relationships abound

What covered cardsIf then rods

 

Imagery linked to symbols prompts and sustains recall.

Cool Fractions eighteenths

 

Student practice is tailored to meet their current physical, emotional and academic levels of development. The cards provide a range of challenges to allow students to progress toward mastery.

BERCS Cards are supported by a variety of practice pieces. Oral and written.

more WC WSBERCS cards provide you ready made, differentiated independent practice centres. All you do is choose a method or medium through which students will  communicate their learning.

IMG_7293

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students can work in pairs or alone. They can use all the cards or just a few.File folder dots

 

2DM divideparts of set 1

 

Decimal Numberlines

Bridging the Numeracy/Literacy Gaps

Where are you looking for answers?

Changing Curriculum will not change student engagement, student knowledge, student success.

TEACHER Knowing.

 That is what will change results for students.

Teachers who teach students how to think, reason, remember and recall.

Teachers who teach students how to communicate, connect and critically think.

Teachers who “know” mathematics as a way of thinking, reasoning and explaining the world, not as a set of “rules” to memorize or “answers to try to remember.

Teachers who continue to study and evaluate their own practise. Teachers who understand the human brain seeks always to understand.

This Summer… Join the Evolution!!!

University of Lethbridge: K to 3 July, 2017

Hilltop School, Whitecourt: K to 6  July, 2017

WECA, Edmonton: K to 3 only   August, 2017

Grande Prairie, AB: K to 6  August, 2017

Ways of Knowing: Subtraction

Number One:

If you want to build proficiency with subtraction at any grade, you must not be afraid to move things in your head.

Start by moving things in real time and discuss the affects of the move. So here is aChunkz Fives ChunkitZ puzzle. I see 3 and 2. That’s 5.

How do I know this is still 5? I turned the 2, changed my five(quarter turn left)  flipped it over (reflected) and slid it down to match the left hand side.

8 dots = 8 dots

I see 8 = 8 because I see 6 + 2 in each of them.I turned the 6 (one quarter turn to the left). Then I slid the dot on the far left side of the middle row down below and lined up with the middle bottom dot. I slid the dot on the why does 8 = 8far right side of the middle row up. It is above and lined up with the middle top dot. It is still 6 and 2.

NUMBER TWO: Subtraction is an action that emerges when you want to make things equal or maintain equality. These are not equal. One way to make them equal is to remove from one side.Not equal dots

IT IS CALLED SUBTRACTING not take away. first I did a quarter turn to the left. Then I removed one dot and pushed the other to the right. Yes, the action was a removing action but the mathematical term is subtract and the sign we use is a subtraction or minus sign. WHEN make equalSTUDENTS HAVE THE VOCABULARY, THEY CAN JOIN THE MATH COMMUNITY. Vocabulary is a part of community. You have to speak the language to join the club. we correct DA DA to become daddy or dad or even father but we leave take away??? I do not agree. You do not take away to solve every subtraction problem.

Number 3: Addition and Subtraction are RELATED. Teach them together, first as a relationship.

If you can add, you can subtract. Since 1997, the Western Protocol for Mathematics and the Alberta Program of Studies for mathematics which emerged from it, has stated this What's missingas an outcome in mathematics. Students need to know and understand that addition and subtraction are related. In the 2004 revision, the statement think addition for subtraction was used as a strategy. HOWEVER, it is not just a strategy it is an actual property of our number system. The focus is relationships before equations. WC If thenUnderstand the relationship, talk, describe explain the relationship. Then introduce the notation.  Not the same day, but once they can explain…..

INVERSE OPERATIONS, is a critical understanding students need to be able to apply when they work with integers, rational numbers and algebra.

Number 4: Subtraction is not just a “taking away”.

It is a comparison. Taking part of the whole away can reveal the answer but the comparison might be phrased as difference between. In that case you are looking at 2 lengths or heights, or weights or quantities and comparing them.

My sunflower is 4 meters tall. My mom’s is 3 metres tall. How much taller is my mother’s sunflower. (You do not see taking a sunflower away in your head. You see the space between the sunflowers.)

inverse to 1002 digit inversNL 3 digitScreen Shot 2017-05-10 at 3.39.09 PM

B.E.R.C.S. cards and tasks were designed to prompt and promote visual spatial reasoning. They focus on the relationships that matter. They prompt communication, problem solving and critical thinking. Use them to support your Guided Math approach. Use them to open lessons as warm-ups or as the introduction to a lesson. Use them with small groups or individuals for added practice. Use them to differentiate so that every student builds his or her full potential.

Want to learn more? Join me at a Summer Institute:Lethbridge, Whitecourt, Edmonton, Grande Prairie  2017

Thinking101 Institutes

Finding Common Ground 2017:

Ways of Knowing: Knowing Ways

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 8.27.30 AM 

Grade 1         Lethbridge July 3 & 4      or       Edmonton August 14 & 15

Grade 2         Lethbridge July 5 & 6      or      Edmonton  August 16 & 17

Grade 3          Lethbridge July 6 & 7       or     Edmonton August 17 & 18

 

 

Monday July 3 &  Tuesday  July 4  or  Monday Aug 14 & Tuesday August 15     one is a snail

Grade One (and pre Grade one)  We will delve deeply into the connections between Literacy and Numeracy and ways of knowing how to build a rich, connected sense of number that does not rely on counting by ones. (Sorting and patterning are purposeful in these tasks). These ideas apply no matter the style of instruction: ‘guided math’, ‘center based’, ‘inquiry, project or problem based’, ‘direct whole class instruction’.  The 2 days will connect literacy to numeracy and numeracy to literacy in a balanced approach to developing ALL the BASICS our students need. (emotional, social, physical and intellectual)

dreaming upOur study will centre on tasks connected to a year at a glance document, designed around the ALBERTA program of studies & organized around the big ideas that connect Number, Space and Shape in a balanced classroom. Reasoning and problem posing and solving are every bit as important as knowing some facts. This spread balances both right from September. It also attends to what we need to know our students CAN do at the end of the year and the evidence we need to gather.  The document has been developed over 8 years of study in Alberta classrooms with Alberta teachers and Alberta students. Children’s Literature, both fiction and non fiction, as well as themes from science, socials and the ARTS are woven in. You will Tinker, Thinker, Make and Shake as we unpack the materials to fit your classroom & community context.

 

 

 July 5 &  July 6  (Lethbridge)   or   August 16 &  August 17 (Edmonton)

word FSA

Our study will centre on a Grade 2 year at a glance document designed around the ALBERTA program of studies, developed over 8 years of study and practice in Alberta classrooms, with Alberta students and teachers.  Grade 2 will begin with the important role that shape and space, sorting and patterning play in learning number and number facts and how to connect that to knowing ways to TEACH students how to relate and retain BASIC facts: we must teach students how to learn to recall and how to practice to remember. We cannot just tell them to practice. And games alone are ineffective. Thursday the focus will move to developing 2 digit number and operational fluency.

Grade 2 must develop robust and flexible imagery for 2 digit number. The rest of their mathematics in school depends on it.  Grade 3 teachers will see and hear why How many ways can you catch a flytheir students are stumbling or easily confused when computing with 3 digit numbers and what they can and should do about it. Grade 3 teachers will work with materials that bridge the learning from 2 to 3 digits as well as the most effective tasks for solidifying the “facts” to 20. Filling the numeracy gaps means knowing what connects grade to grade and how to teach so that students REMEMBER, RECALL and APPLY. Measurement, space and shape concepts play a vital role in this learning: bet you’re wondering why? Come find out.

The Grade 2 days will connect literacy to numeracy in order to build comprehension and communication skills as well as critical thinking  in a balanced approach to developing ALL the BASICS our students need to master in order to learn. (emotional, social, physical and intellectual)

 

 

 July 6 & July 7 (Lethbridge)  or August 17 &  August 18 (Edmonton)

Grade 3 will join Grade 2 teachers on Thursday working with materials that bridge the learning from 2 to 3 digits as well as the most effective tasks for solidifying the “facts” to how-to-swallow-a-pig20. Filling the numeracy gaps means knowing what connects grade to grade and how to teach so that students REMEMBER, RECALL and APPLY.   Friday we move to the critical connections between place value and multiplication and how important it is that Grade 3 students UNDERSTAND that multiplication and division are more than just a set of “facts”. This is a new way of thinking and if we want to reduce or bridge the numeracy gap, we have to understand the pivotal role that moving from additive to multiplicative reasoning plays in making sense of fractions, divisions and place value.

birch-bark

Ways of knowing and doing mathematics 

Grade 4 teachers concerned about the numeracy gap should attend the 2 Grade 3 days…. find out how to correct the misconceptions.

As with the other grades, our study will centre on a Grade 3 year at a glance document designed around the ALBERTA program of studies, developed over 8 years of study and practice in Alberta classrooms, with Alberta students and teachers. (And if needed a Grade 4 spread to support the bridging.)

2 days:$275      3 days:$395     4 days:$450    5 days:$550

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 8.56.53 PM

Registration for Edmonton click here.

Registration for Lethbridge click here.

Registration for Grande Prairie click here    (Grade 1 to 7)

Registration for Whitecourt click here       (Grade 1 to 7)

Join the Evolution: Infographics

Summer Institutes 2017:

Finding Common Ground:

    “WAYS OF KNOWING: KNOWING WAYS”

Thinking101 Institutes are dedicated to fuelling the evolution of learning that is teaching. Every summer, every session deepens the connections between Numeracy, Literacy, Science and Math. The ARTS are INFUSED throughout, a little or a lot. An approach to teaching and assessing that values- no prizes visual/temporal spatial reasoning is an approach that includes EVERY LEARNER, EVERY CULTURE, EVERY BACKGROUND.

It embodies and encompasses a holistic world view, a holistic learning view… we all share the gift of coming to know as a body mind connection… Visual models can bridge any gap be it:  Literacy, Numeracy, Remembering or Recall.

Infographics is more than reading graphs and organizing data. It is an approach that makes connections and patterns burst forward as students discuss and COMPARE.

The focus is thinking and comparing: the teacher role is to prompt, probe, prod…. immerse students in the vocabulary, shape and mould the pathway from seeing and experiencing through thinking and doing to understanding the conventions of the discipline. We do not start from memorizing symbols and rules… but we can certainly end up with understandings of the symbols and rules.

How does this:knot 12

Link to this:

 

And to this?:Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.22.38 AM

 

And to this?robotic-assembly-line

 

Or to this:Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 10.12.16 AM

 

The only way to face the future is together, another one jumps the cavern

the only way to survive the future is to evolve… Join the EVOLUTION…..

Infographics

Summer Institutes 2017:

Finding Common Ground:

    “WAYS OF KNOWING: KNOWING WAYS”

Thinking101 Institutes are dedicated to fuelling the evolution. Every summer, every session deepens the connections between Numeracy, Literacy, Science and Math. The ARTS are INFUSED throughout, a little or a lot. An approach teaching and assessing that values- no prizes visual/temporal spatial reasoning is the BASIC SKILL for learning, anything even MATH FACTS!

This summer my new word is INFOGRAPHICS. The topic is huge and all encompassing. Making sense of the mathematics that is all around us, often used to influence us, often used to bias our decisions. Infographics refers to an approach to actively, deliberately teaching students to connect  and communicate the development of their literacy, numeracy and critical thinking skills through the use of graphics based artifacts. STEM, STEAM with a focus on learning to think, not a focus on making products.

Over the next few weeks I will share samples to demonstrate the breadth and scope of using INFOGRAPHICS as the organizer for curriculum. Here is one:

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 8.06.39 AMScreen Shot 2017-04-25 at 8.05.56 AM

As a class we looked for connections between the problem told orally and the diagram this student created to share her solution. Here is what we came up with through that discussion. We can now use the information on the diagram to re write the problem or to improve our own solutions.we did

or to start building the number relationships that will support the kind of number practice Grade twos need to constantly engage in. Do you understand this table that we created from information in the picture?the table

Can you make a t table? Here is a different problem. Build a t table to show some solutions.

My dad gave me 12 nails. He said I had to let my sister hammer more than 6 into the wood.

How many could I let her hammer? How many will I get to hammer?

Coming to Know, so much more than “Math”.

This past weekend a phenomenal groups of mathematics educators, researchers and learners met at the BIRS research station, Banff, Alberta for the annual Math Fair Retreat. I share here thoughts and reflections the weekend spawned…..

Traditional cultures, traditional arts, traditional ways of “knowing” ourselves and the world are highly spatial, highly visual and can be used to build, adapt, refine spatial reasoning skills that improve our abilities to reason and think. Why are we not immersing ourselves in the experiences, then noting the “math” connections as they become apparent. Why do we start from “math” first as though the knowing of mathematics is more important than the Coming to Know…. 

Read the following excerpt that describes the traditional art of bark biting and tell me again about what mathematics and knowing mathematics entails???

As I was when I first heard an interview with a traditional bark biter, I am left breathless in wonder as I consider the incredible skill and knowledge involved in birch bark biting. This is mathematics in our world.

Another of my favourite topics is Knot Theory and for just a few brief moments I got to immerse myself back into the world of knots. Knots are opening the door to math, science pursuits never before dreamed possible. The world awaits and all you need literally is a shoestring!!

This summer we will re enter the world of spatial reasoning with a powerful look at INFOGRAPHICS and how we can use the appeal of the visual spatial temporal world to connect ALL students and ALL cultures to Literacy as Numeracy and Numeracy as Literacy. Ways of Knowing, Knowing Ways….

TEACH EM TO THINK FIRST

They will learn arithmetic faster, more fluently, with confidence, speed and accuracy.

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-9-36-48-am

Here’s an article to consider: screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-9-46-26-am

order-of-operations-the-myth-and-the-math

DO YOU UNDERSTAND NUMBER PROPERTIES??? Then how can you teach NUMBER SENSE?

The evolution has begun, WE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD… Join me for SUMMER INSTITUTES 2017…. Multiplication is not repeated ADDITION… It is much, much more and screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-10-39-00-amour KIDS DESERVE TO KNOW “why?” AND “Why DO they have to learn this?” Make the mathematics they learn meaningful in a way that leaves them wanting to LEARN MORE….

LITERACY IS NUMERACY, NUMERACY IS LITERACY and let’s not leave out SCIENCE.  Comprehension, reading and writing skills do not grow in a vacuum. flying frogsWe use the content of math and science in engaging, authentic and challenging explorations and experiments to develop the skills that link them all.

IT IS WELL PAST TIME FOR TEACHING TO EVOLVE OR GO EXTINCT…. THE  world demands it, our kids deserve it… do do bird

MARK THESE DATES:

JULY 10 to 14:   WHITECOURT, ALBERTA, CANADA      Finding Common Ground: Making the Connections: Literacy, Numeracy, Critical Thinking…. K to 6  Registration is now open

 

AUGUST 14 to 18:  EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA  FINDING COMMON GROUND: THE EVOLUTION CONTINUES. Every year adds a new layer

TEACHERS, COACHES, LEADERS who are engaged in change at any grade level… This is the continuing journey. All you need is a mindset not willing to accept the MEDIOCRITY that education contains to MIRE DOWN IN…. and a passion for EXCELLENCE. Every learner deserves to learn…..