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

Supports are needed depending on what level the ELL is at. By giving hands-on activities can give meaningful instruction, but eventually the students need to create a mental state of these concepts. So when picking supporting be sure to pick a support that will help the ELL at that concept.

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?

Multiplication and division. My students struggle with their basic facts and any muliple digit problems. I would like some tools and pedagogy to understand where my students are coming from. I need to scaffold in order to have my students master these concepts before going to middle school.

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 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.

Amanda,

In response to your answer to number 2, I have the same issue with my first graders. They struggle to know their basic addition and subtraction facts (especially subtraction). I would like some strategies to assist them in mastering these basic skills.
 
Amanda Rossini said:

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

Supports are needed depending on what level the ELL is at. By giving hands-on activities can give meaningful instruction, but eventually the students need to create a mental state of these concepts. So when picking supporting be sure to pick a support that will help the ELL at that concept.

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?

Multiplication and division. My students struggle with their basic facts and any muliple digit problems. I would like some tools and pedagogy to understand where my students are coming from. I need to scaffold in order to have my students master these concepts before going to middle school.

1. I noticed that Ron and Ralph kept summarizing the key points and were mindful of making sure all of us understood what was to happen, what did happen, and where we would go next. These are important things to do within our classrooms to make sure our ELL's are supported and are aware of what is expected of them and why. They also provided us with time to record and share our thinking using a graphic orgranizer; which is also vital in supporting ELL's communication with their peers and what they know about math.

2. I would like to utilize the concept of numbers with my students to collect data early in the school year. This can be a quick, practical way to see where my students are in terms of math. It has always been difficult as a fifth grade teacher to know why some of my students can't add or subtract. In the past, I would give a unit pre-test (which was lengthy and time consuming) and then not really use the data because of how long it took me to grade it. The concept of numbers "test" Ron presented may be a better tool for me to add to my student data.

From the p.m. session I would like to add to my math unit objectives from the curriculum a support activity provided from the list. Just making sure that I have it written in the ojective will keep the lesson more focused and better support the ELL (and all) students.

Donna you make a great point in your response to number 2. I expect my students to learn to add and subtract, but it hadn't really dawned on me that they might not have concept of number. I would like to expand my knowledge on this to know how to best help my students.
 
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.

Amanda,

I agree that it would be helpful to have some more ideas of what to do with students who struggle with mult. and division. In the upper grades it becomes difficult to fill all of the gaps with the time we have and to even know where to begin!

Amanda Rossini said:

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

Supports are needed depending on what level the ELL is at. By giving hands-on activities can give meaningful instruction, but eventually the students need to create a mental state of these concepts. So when picking supporting be sure to pick a support that will help the ELL at that concept.

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?

Multiplication and division. My students struggle with their basic facts and any muliple digit problems. I would like some tools and pedagogy to understand where my students are coming from. I need to scaffold in order to have my students master these concepts before going to middle school.


Donna,

I too thought back to specific students that struggled so much and I had no idea how to best support them. I think that that's part of the problem with our math (nationwide) problem. Elementary teachers aren't trained in depth in each subject, so it takes us years, PD days, and our own personal interest in growing in specific areas to learn at a deeper level in subject areas. I hope to gain more pieces such as the "concept of numbers" idea that will better educate me in knowing how to identify student needs and how to support them.

Mitzy
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.

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

I think the biggest point that Ron emphasized, today and in our weekend workshop earlier this year, was the level of understanding that we need to have in order to be able to effectively teach math.  Basically, if we do not truly understand the content, we will not be able to effectively teach the content or identify the needs of individuals on a wide spectrum of learning (such as the two learners we saw on the video clips today).  I think this extends to what Debra touched on as well.  We need to have a basic understanding of current learning levels (WIDA access scores) and language/content objectives in order to address and support the needs of our ELL learners.

 

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 will be more aware of my first graders' concept of numbers.  When working on adding strategies, I am going to be aware of the difference between "counting all" and "counting on".  Understanding that these are completely different strategies on very differing sides of the spectrum of the concept of numbers is a very important early step to be aware of and focus on. 

Hands on activities/pictures are great, but they are supports that eventually need to be taken away to really understand the concept like you said. Not being a teacher, I didn't realize their were distinct differences between supports and scaffolding, today really clarified that and your examples as well. Pictures and hands on activities are great, but they will only learn as far as those activities allow them.

Amanda Rossini said:

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

Supports are needed depending on what level the ELL is at. By giving hands-on activities can give meaningful instruction, but eventually the students need to create a mental state of these concepts. So when picking supporting be sure to pick a support that will help the ELL at that concept.

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?

Multiplication and division. My students struggle with their basic facts and any muliple digit problems. I would like some tools and pedagogy to understand where my students are coming from. I need to scaffold in order to have my students master these concepts before going to middle school.

Amanda,

  I was thinking about your response about teaching multiplication and the problems that pop-up in 4th/5th grade when teaching multiplying.  I wonder if Ron's instruction about "understanding math" will help us apply strategies across concepts and grade levels?  It would be helpful to have strategies for the areas of concern that we can first look for and then address, despite what grade we teach. 

Amanda Rossini said:

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

Supports are needed depending on what level the ELL is at. By giving hands-on activities can give meaningful instruction, but eventually the students need to create a mental state of these concepts. So when picking supporting be sure to pick a support that will help the ELL at that concept.

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?

Multiplication and division. My students struggle with their basic facts and any muliple digit problems. I would like some tools and pedagogy to understand where my students are coming from. I need to scaffold in order to have my students master these concepts before going to middle school.

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