Am I the Answer Key?

In response to Andrew Stadel’s post

I can’t give a a long-term graph as it’s my first year teaching, but here is my perception of my classroom from the start of the year (red), when I introduced more inquiry and student-centered tasks (yellow) and today (green). Still have a long way to go. And those months in Quadrant IV were a struggle.

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 7.56.58 PM


My takeaways:

There is a big difference between student perseverance going through the motions and trying to get by, and student perseverance in problem solving and making sense of mathematics. That is, the green dot is worth a lot more than the red dot because students are thinking.

Scaffolding. If I give students tasks and give affirming and adjusting feedback, they learn stuff. But the brighter kids learn a lot more than the strugglers. That sucks. If I create a low floor, ask accessible questions to start the task, and use partner work, individual work, and group share-outs effectively, everyone learns and life is awesome. That is a critical piece of student perseverance.

Finally, and the biggest struggle for me–send the message to students that “your learning is up to you” — as in they are the agents, they have to choose — in addition to “you have to learn because its important, whether you think so or not’ — you’re 13 and you can’t opt out on a regular basis and move forward in your education.

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