Learning from Teaching Labs Summary

Monday - Friday, June 27 - July 1, 2005

Today's lesson on mathematical thinking and congnitive demand was interesting and practical. We established a more precise mathematical language so that we can interact and discuss our individual teaching perspective on students learning. Once we have a common ground, we can be consistant in recognizing ways to tackle teaching math more effectively. I am looking forward to going deeper into this type of interactive activity in which we may all benefit and learn from each other as math teachers (coming from different experiences and backgrounds). The reading material sounds like a great resource from which I will learn to analyze and evaluate my own instructional approach in teaching math to 6th graders.
-- Tere Luis

6.28.05 Cog Demand + Border Prob Video
We followed up on yesterday's discussion of cognitive demand of mathematical tasks (memorization, procedures without connections, procedures with connections, doing mathematics) with a discussion about how cognitive demand is sustained (or not) when implemented in the classroom. We read and discussed Ch2 and Ch5 from the purple book (Stein et al). We concluded by watching Part I of the Border Problem video (Connecting Math Ideas - Boaler & Humphries). Our discussions focused on connecting the readings to our own teaching practices and experiences we've had. We are curious about how Deborah Ball's group analyzes video as well as how to do some of these practices in our own classrooms.
-- Nicole Davis

6.30.05 Common Vocabulary
We began our time together today by modeling a group building activity. This activity led to a short discussion of how we as teachers can make all students feel valued in our classrooms. We followed up the activity with a discussion regarding creating a common vocabulary. Seeing as we would be watching and analyzing videos of classroom instruction, we thought it important to choose words to describe those items we wanted to notice in the videos. Some of the vocabulary included: Revoicing, IRE (Initiation-Response-Evaluation), Rejoicing, Richness of Tasks, and Classroom Norms. We concluded our meeting by watching a segment of Deborah Ball's class video and posting our comments online.
-- Natan Bershtel

7.01.05 Sociomathematical Norms & Status Treatments
The class discused the Deborah Ball video, "Shey Numbers" in light of the quality of 'classroom talk' and task analysis. How does one set the stage to establish a class that becomes a learning-lab? The class discussed the sociomathematical norms of a class set the stage for higher thinking. The expectations a teacher sets for student explainations, thinking involved in multiple strategies, techniques involved in examination of errors, and individual accountability and conseus reaching in a group are key in contributing to a deap understanding of mathematics. The class concluded by watching the video "Status Treatments for the Classoom" in which the teacher considers the status of individuals in a group, and suggested two strategies, Multiple Ability Treatment and Assigning Compotence as methods to overcome low status.
-- Mark Kammrath

Other tidbits:
-- We set up a web group, where we post daily summaries and dicuss issues that are interesting to our group. Visit us at http://groups.msn.com/PCMILearningLab
-- We will include a bibliography of the resources/readings in our next report.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under DMS-0940733 and DMS-1441467. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.