Today was our first day of the QTEL Summer Institute.

As you reflect on the questions below, keep in mind the range of experiences we engaged in today.

We began with coffee and pastries, followed by an overview led by Ralph of the week's activities. The focus Ralph discussed what the Ron Tzur would lead 9 sessions, and each session would be framed as an Inquiry Into My Practice (IIMP). His sessions/IIMPs would be 'book-ended' with Pre-Brief discussion with a ThinkingPartner, followed by his session/IIMP and then concluded with a DeBrief conversation with a ThinkingPartner.

Participants then took the MKT Survey. Ron then began his Session #1 at 10:45 with Ralph as Ron's ThinkingPartner. The session focused on observing two children and their mathematical reasoning.

After Ron's session, Ralph guided the 3x2 Debrief where participants listed 3 items they recall from Ron's IIMP, then listened in on as Ralph and Ron debriefed. This was followed by a final set of 3 more observations, and concluded with participants applying Ron's IIMP to their own practice, by exploring, envisioning and enacting the big ideas of Ron's IIMP to their own professional practice.

We had lunch, and after lunch Debra led a session on WIDA standards with Kim Song as her ThinkingPartner.

As you look back at your first day:

1. What do the activities we engaged in suggest about what is important in the math and ELL-focused work we do?

2. What aspect of your own practice in math, and with ELL's, do you wish to pursue when developing your own IIMP, which you will teach in the fall?

NOTE: Please respond to at least 2 colleagues' postings.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Cecilia, I agree.  At first I was very skeptical of Ron saying "counting on" is different than "counting up"  I was thinking to myself, "sure maybe in your own little world it means something different."  Once Ron actually told us how they are different I was kind of awestruck, because I completely agreed with him.  They are different!  Someone needs to start a teacher lingo club that definitively says what words mean what so everyone can be on the same page in terms or word usage.

Cecilia Perry said:

1. What do the activities we engaged in suggest about what is important in the math and ELL-focused work we do?

The important things to focus on in terms of both math and ELL focused work was in targeting our student’s struggles with appropriate resources, planning, etc. By appropriate I mean actually necessary, actually meant to get across the idea we are trying to impart, and meaningful to the student his/her self.  The second big idea I noticed is to make sure we are absolutely clear on objects, terminology etc .because that can make a big difference in our own understanding of what is going on (our misunderstandings do not help the child as Ron says the limit of our knowledge is the limit our children will learn too).

2. What aspect of your own practice in math, and with ELL's, do you wish to pursue when developing your own IIMP, which you will teach in the fall?

I think I would like to focus on knowledge of numbers (how to test my children at begging of year, interventions ways I can help them learn, etc.). As a pre-service teacher I find this interesting because it is something practical I can learn and store away for later (one thing that won’t be mostly theory when I begin my practice). 

1. Unfortunately I did not get to stay for all long as I would have liked yesterday, but I did catch a small section on the importance of recognizing our own level of mathematical understanding.  It is important to reflect on our actual understanding before expecting our students to understand a concept.

2. I would love to focus on helping ELL specifically with word problems.  I also really appreciate having a variety of teaching strategies with which to work. 


Hi Mary,

I too thought one very important area is for us to recognize which students have a concept of numbers and which students do not.  Once we recognize this, we can plan our instruction accordingly.  Pre assessments can be a great too to start.


Mary Shive said:

1.  The activities we engaged in brought to light that 1) not all students have concept of number 2) students must have concept of number in order to be successful in math and 3) we can identify who does/does not have concept of number through astute observations.  Without recognizing the importance of these items, we cannot effectively reach all students in math instruction.

2. When developing my own IIMP, I hope to use a through pre-assessment that will effectively display not only what the students know, but also the train of thought behind what they know.  As shown in the MKT survey, multiple students can often arrive at the same right (or wrong) answer, but may use different strategies to arrive at an answer.  Recognizing the strategies they use, as well as the misconceptions behind the strategies, will help me better plan for instruction.


Hi Cecilia, 

I appre

ciate how you mentioned appropriate resources and planning.  Utilizing the appopriate resiurces tailored to student's individual needs can make or break their learning and understanding. 

Cecilia Perry said:

1. What do the activities we engaged in suggest about what is important in the math and ELL-focused work we do?

The important things to focus on in terms of both math and ELL focused work was in targeting our student’s struggles with appropriate resources, planning, etc. By appropriate I mean actually necessary, actually meant to get across the idea we are trying to impart, and meaningful to the student his/her self.  The second big idea I noticed is to make sure we are absolutely clear on objects, terminology etc .because that can make a big difference in our own understanding of what is going on (our misunderstandings do not help the child as Ron says the limit of our knowledge is the limit our children will learn too).

2. What aspect of your own practice in math, and with ELL's, do you wish to pursue when developing your own IIMP, which you will teach in the fall?

I think I would like to focus on knowledge of numbers (how to test my children at begging of year, interventions ways I can help them learn, etc.). As a pre-service teacher I find this interesting because it is something practical I can learn and store away for later (one thing that won’t be mostly theory when I begin my practice). 

Shaisha-

I think differentiated instruction is the best for ELLs. I know it is effective, but I am struggling with the idea of making sure they all finish the end of the school year being where they need to be. Relevancy is a must have. I have been in many classes where the content that is being taught is so off the wall, and I know that I will not use it in my class. And I do not want my students, especially my ELLs to feel that same way.

Shaisha Hunter said:

1. What do the activities we engaged in suggest about what is important in the math and ELL-focused work we do?

 

When it comes to learning math, English language learners (ELLs) have a unique challenge. Unlike most English-speaking students, ELLs have the task of learning a second language and learning content simultaneously.  Lnguage plays a critical role not just in reading and writing, but in learning mathematics as well. As a teacher, you're challenged with making math lessons comprehensible and with ensuring that students have the language to understand instruction and express their grasp of math concepts. In the classroom it is important to develop specialized curriuculum for  differentiation of instuction within the context of state standards. This is true of all student but epeacially true of ELL students.

2. What aspect of your own practice in math, and with ELL's, do you wish to pursue when developing your own IIMP, which you will teach in the fall?

I want content in my lesson  that will be relivant to me in the classroom. As a undergrad student I am always searching to build a collection of great teaching ideas in the classroom. This allows me to be thoughful about my lessons before I arrive in the classroom as well as reflective if arrive and the lesson are/are not successful.

Mary-

From the video I thought the little girl was of much younger age than Carlos. We are learning some good stuff already and I know Ron is going to blow us away when he ties everything together. Pre-assessments should be given at the beginning of the year and through out the year to tailor lessons as you said, especially if you want to differentiate instruction. 

Mary Shive said:

1.  The activities we engaged in brought to light that 1) not all students have concept of number 2) students must have concept of number in order to be successful in math and 3) we can identify who does/does not have concept of number through astute observations.  Without recognizing the importance of these items, we cannot effectively reach all students in math instruction.

2. When developing my own IIMP, I hope to use a through pre-assessment that will effectively display not only what the students know, but also the train of thought behind what they know.  As shown in the MKT survey, multiple students can often arrive at the same right (or wrong) answer, but may use different strategies to arrive at an answer.  Recognizing the strategies they use, as well as the misconceptions behind the strategies, will help me better plan for instruction.

1. What do the activities we engaged in suggest about what is important in the math and ELL-focused work we do?

The activities suggest that that all children can learn math, but it's a matter of finding their level and observing what they understand to build their knowledge.  If is our job as teachers to support and facilitate all student learning however, with ELL's we must remeber the number one hurdle we all must over come is a form of communication with a language barrier.

 

2. What aspect of your own practice in math, and with ELL's, do you wish to pursue when developing your own IIMP, which you will teach in the fall?

I plan on using Debra's template in all of my lesson plans across the curriculm.  I believe it is  format that enriches learning, simplifies objectives, and better focuses the task at hand in student friendly language.

Liz, I am glad you mentioned that we can only take our students as far as OUR knowledge will allow.  I think this is a very important factor in our success in teaching our students.  It is encouraging to be a part of development sessions such as the summer institute because we are making proactive steps towards becoming more educated to become better educators
 
Elizabeth Barnstead said:

1. What do the activities we engaged in suggest about what is important in the math and ELL-focused work we do?

It is important that we as teachers have an understanding of the math that we are teaching. As Ron said we can only take our students as far as our knowledge will allow.   It is also vital that we are aware of where are students are in their own abilities. Do they have a concept of number or not? As we are determining this and teaching, it is very important that we provide our students (particularly the ELL's) with supports that are appropriate both for the student and the content.   

2. What aspect of your own practice in math, and with ELL's, do you wish to pursue when developing your own IIMP, which you will teach in the fall?

I would like to know how to manage determining all of my students concept of number. Further, how do I best help my students that do not have a concept of number?

I would also like more strategies in my "tool box" to assist my ELL's in their content and language acquisition.

I love how you summarized yesterday's learning into 3 main points and made it seem easy to apply.  I feel when you said, "Without recognizing the importance of these items, we cannot effectively reach all students in math instruction." you made a very strong statement.  It is our job to "effectively" reach all students and I find myself even today still trying to do this.

"Recognizing the strategies they use, as well as the misconceptions behind the strategies, will help me better plan for instruction."  This is amazing that you already realize that your students are who guide your curculium.  It's our job to still teach the CCSS's but also fill in the holes by doing just this.


Mary Shive said:

1.  The activities we engaged in brought to light that 1) not all students have concept of number 2) students must have concept of number in order to be successful in math and 3) we can identify who does/does not have concept of number through astute observations.  Without recognizing the importance of these items, we cannot effectively reach all students in math instruction.

2. When developing my own IIMP, I hope to use a through pre-assessment that will effectively display not only what the students know, but also the train of thought behind what they know.  As shown in the MKT survey, multiple students can often arrive at the same right (or wrong) answer, but may use different strategies to arrive at an answer.  Recognizing the strategies they use, as well as the misconceptions behind the strategies, will help me better plan for instruction.

 

Ashanti, I agreea that Tyairah seemed much younger than Carlos.  It is sad to see how little she understands by fourth grade.  When I see scenarios like that it reminds me why I want to be a teacher.  I hope we can learn many ways to reach these children and help them grow. 

Mary-

From the video I thought the little girl was of much younger age than Carlos. We are learning some good stuff already and I know Ron is going to blow us away when he ties everything together. Pre-assessments should be given at the beginning of the year and through out the year to tailor lessons as you said, especially if you want to differentiate instruction. 

Mary Shive said:

1.  The activities we engaged in brought to light that 1) not all students have concept of number 2) students must have concept of number in order to be successful in math and 3) we can identify who does/does not have concept of number through astute observations.  Without recognizing the importance of these items, we cannot effectively reach all students in math instruction.

2. When developing my own IIMP, I hope to use a through pre-assessment that will effectively display not only what the students know, but also the train of thought behind what they know.  As shown in the MKT survey, multiple students can often arrive at the same right (or wrong) answer, but may use different strategies to arrive at an answer.  Recognizing the strategies they use, as well as the misconceptions behind the strategies, will help me better plan for instruction.

I want to commend you on the idea that you are already reflecting on what you know, what you want to know, and what and how you want to use these tools or information.  Often as teachers that is all we do is reflect our practices, lessons, or activites.  We must evaluate each group of students each year and really choose the strategies that truly help them grow.  The fact that you are already a person who already does this means you are on your way to becoming  a wonderful teacher.

Shaisha Hunter said:

1. What do the activities we engaged in suggest about what is important in the math and ELL-focused work we do?

 

When it comes to learning math, English language learners (ELLs) have a unique challenge. Unlike most English-speaking students, ELLs have the task of learning a second language and learning content simultaneously.  Lnguage plays a critical role not just in reading and writing, but in learning mathematics as well. As a teacher, you're challenged with making math lessons comprehensible and with ensuring that students have the language to understand instruction and express their grasp of math concepts. In the classroom it is important to develop specialized curriuculum for  differentiation of instuction within the context of state standards. This is true of all student but epeacially true of ELL students.

2. What aspect of your own practice in math, and with ELL's, do you wish to pursue when developing your own IIMP, which you will teach in the fall?

I want content in my lesson  that will be relivant to me in the classroom. As a undergrad student I am always searching to build a collection of great teaching ideas in the classroom. This allows me to be thoughful about my lessons before I arrive in the classroom as well as reflective if arrive and the lesson are/are not successful.

1 What do the activities we engaged in suggest about what is important in the math and ELL-focused work we do?

It is important that we provide supports for our students and also know where to start from.  Through assessment and observation we can gauge what level the student is currently on and then we can build from there.  The more I think about it, the more I feel that "knowing the starting point" is the one of the most important steps in teaching our students.  I was also reminded of the funds of knowledge and how we can try to incorporate that into our lessons. 

 

2. What aspect of your own practice in math, and with ELL's, do you wish to pursue when developing your own IIMP, which you will teach in the fall?

I really appreciated the emphasis on student prompting vs. teacher prompting.  I want my students to know what functions to perform because they understand the problem, not because I told them, for example, "add then multiply."  I also want to find fun and creative ways to incorporate supports as much as possible.

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