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

1.  The activities that we engaged in were great insights into the importance of being self-reflective.  As educators, we are responsible with the task to educate and help guide students to a path of learning.  This evidence of learning however is often times inaccurate and false.  Even though a child may give a right answer to a math problem, that does not necessarily mean that the process in which that student took to get to that answer was correct.  The activities today helped me realize that as teachers, it is imperative to be observant individuals who look and seek out the "why" and "how" and not just the "what".

2.  As a candidate teacher, I am excited to see how this will all pan out in my own career as a teacher.  In my classroom, I hope to critique the curriculum and make sure that the material and the processes that I am teaching are things that will benefit the students in the long run.  I don't want to teach in a way that will simply satisfy the temporary goals.

Hi Leanne!

Debra pointed out during her session that word problems can be challenging for ELLs in a multiple of ways.  I too would like to work with students on word problems and help eliminate any fears or worries. I can imagine English learners get flustered or worried when it comes to word problems and I think it would be great if we can help them feel better about them.  A way to do this would be to preview the test that we give out and make sure that adequate supports are given for challenging words or concepts. 

Leanne O'Callaghan said:

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. 

I think that you are right. being self reflective as educators helps us understand and make sure we are doing everything we can. like Nicola said in class, she thought she was teaching in a great way until she worked with Ron, she then realized she could improve. I think as I continue in the process of becoming a teacher I want to keep finding better ways to make sure every child is understanding.

Joseph Kim
1. The activities that we engaged in were great insights into the importance of being self-reflective. As educators, we are responsible with the task to educate and help guide students to a path of learning. This evidence of learning however is often times inaccurate and false. Even though a child may give a right answer to a math problem, that does not necessarily mean that the process in which that student took to get to that answer was correct. The activities today helped me realize that as teachers, it is imperative to be observant individuals who look and seek out the "why" and "how" and not just the "what".
2. As a candidate teacher, I am excited to see how this will all pan out in my own career as a teacher. In my classroom, I hope to critique the curriculum and make sure that the material and the processes that I am teaching are things that will benefit the students in the long run. I don't want to teach in a way that will simply satisfy the temporary goals.

Miriah,

While I was reading your answer to #2 I was reminded of Debra's session and the difference between scaffolding and support.  Learning about the concept of numbers and what it really means to have a good understanding of that really made an impact on me.  I like you, hope to make sure that my students understand the concept of numbers so that I can build off of what they know instead of pushing in their brains what they don't and cannot understand.

Miriah Bruns said:

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

I found it interesting when Ron talked about don't just assume the class understands, or the student understands if they answer one question correctly. Even though they answered correctly they still could not have a real concept of numbers, and we need to be mindful of that, it is important to understand the differences between counting on and counting all. Like we discussed we can only teach math up to what we know, so we need to constantly be challenging ourselves as well.

In Debra's session it was clear that it was important to know the differences between scaffolding and support, and that we should try and break them of having supports and scaffold as much as we can. If they constantly rely on supports then they will never be able to do anything alone.

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 to understand what my students know, as far as concept of numbers or not, so we can progress from there and also on my part the best ways to get them to understanding the concept of numbers. . Also, knowing what scaffolding's I should put in place to help my students.

1. The activities we engaged in today suggest the importance of establishing math basics. It is important to understand weather our students have a clear understanding of what it means to understand the concept of numbers.  It made me reflect on my own journey of learning math, and how I just did a lot of coping and slid through math classes without really understanding. It was frustrating to hear about the teacher who was upset with her ELL when he/she did not understand the math problem when it was just a matter of explaining vocabulary and its important to be aware that math is already hard to understand, let alone while not understanding what is asked of you. We need to have patience.

2.  The aspect that I am interested in persuing is learning that numbers represent a quantity and they are not simply symbols that we are supposed to memorize. I would like to learn to help students who do not have a concept of numbers. 

Joe,

I like that you reminded me about self reflection. I like that repeating everything we learned reminds us of what we went over and helps us to keep it in our minds. I think that is so important to remember what we have learned so that we don't make the same mistakes. 

Joseph Kim said:

1.  The activities that we engaged in were great insights into the importance of being self-reflective.  As educators, we are responsible with the task to educate and help guide students to a path of learning.  This evidence of learning however is often times inaccurate and false.  Even though a child may give a right answer to a math problem, that does not necessarily mean that the process in which that student took to get to that answer was correct.  The activities today helped me realize that as teachers, it is imperative to be observant individuals who look and seek out the "why" and "how" and not just the "what".

2.  As a candidate teacher, I am excited to see how this will all pan out in my own career as a teacher.  In my classroom, I hope to critique the curriculum and make sure that the material and the processes that I am teaching are things that will benefit the students in the long run.  I don't want to teach in a way that will simply satisfy the temporary goals.

Leanne,

I too, would like to learn how to help my ELL's with word problems, and I think its hard to know when to have english time, and math time and find that balance of not using math time to learn English, but at the same time it is important but I too look forward to learning. 

Leanne O'Callaghan said:

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. 

Donna,

I also can not wait to hear about more tools and misconceptions about math that I have in order to make me a better teacher. I have been wondering how this can be imbedded into our math curriculum.

Donna Butler said:

I think the activities we engaged in stress the importance of first determining where our students are and then providing those supports needed to assist students in their acquisition of second language.

Number sense. I think we expect that if our students can count and recognize numbers, that everything else is automatic. I never thought that students didn't have the concept of what a number is. That fact alone was a big moment for me today, especially when I think back about the students that I've had in the past that struggled so much with math. I'm looking forward to getting strategies and tools to use with my students to make sure they have a solid foundation so we can move on from there.

I wonder what strategies Ron has for number concepts. I hope that these can be used in the upper grades.

Sarah Conway said:

1. The activities we engaged in today suggest the importance of establishing math basics. It is important to understand weather our students have a clear understanding of what it means to understand the concept of numbers.  It made me reflect on my own journey of learning math, and how I just did a lot of coping and slid through math classes without really understanding. It was frustrating to hear about the teacher who was upset with her ELL when he/she did not understand the math problem when it was just a matter of explaining vocabulary and its important to be aware that math is already hard to understand, let alone while not understanding what is asked of you. We need to have patience.

2.  The aspect that I am interested in persuing is learning that numbers represent a quantity and they are not simply symbols that we are supposed to memorize. I would like to learn to help students who do not have a concept of numbers. 

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

The activities brought home the need for differentiated instruction. The activities placed a focus on the fact that all student are on a different level and that we as instuctors have to have that in our minds. We need to engage in student focused activities. We also need to understand that some children may come to us with a deficit of skills that they never mastered or never learned. We as teacher may need to fill in the gaps. 

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 to focus on word problems. The language of math is probably the hardest thing to break down for all students. I ant to help fing a easy way for students to figure what are they asking me.

I am as well interested in learning about the many misconceptions involded with math. Math is hard for some students that miss a key piece in the math process.

Amanda Rossini said:

Donna,

I also can not wait to hear about more tools and misconceptions about math that I have in order to make me a better teacher. I have been wondering how this can be imbedded into our math curriculum.

Donna Butler said:

I think the activities we engaged in stress the importance of first determining where our students are and then providing those supports needed to assist students in their acquisition of second language.

Number sense. I think we expect that if our students can count and recognize numbers, that everything else is automatic. I never thought that students didn't have the concept of what a number is. That fact alone was a big moment for me today, especially when I think back about the students that I've had in the past that struggled so much with math. I'm looking forward to getting strategies and tools to use with my students to make sure they have a solid foundation so we can move on from there.


I agree as an undergrad this is great information to have. I am happy to have an indepth session on math. This is what I wish our methods class could be like.


Joseph Kim said:

1.  The activities that we engaged in were great insights into the importance of being self-reflective.  As educators, we are responsible with the task to educate and help guide students to a path of learning.  This evidence of learning however is often times inaccurate and false.  Even though a child may give a right answer to a math problem, that does not necessarily mean that the process in which that student took to get to that answer was correct.  The activities today helped me realize that as teachers, it is imperative to be observant individuals who look and seek out the "why" and "how" and not just the "what".

2.  As a candidate teacher, I am excited to see how this will all pan out in my own career as a teacher.  In my classroom, I hope to critique the curriculum and make sure that the material and the processes that I am teaching are things that will benefit the students in the long run.  I don't want to teach in a way that will simply satisfy the temporary goals.

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