Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MSP August 17

I remembered what I learned last year: be more patient with my students; think:
  • What did they see that is confusing them?
  • What did they hear that is confusing them?
  • What is it I can do to guide them?
With all the math and science vocabulary, processes, and thinking flowing past us these two days, we feel like the little Douglas buckwheat, off to the side and overlooked in its attempt to bring life to the desert.
Buckwheat are one of my favorite desert plants, and just as it slowly spreads in the sizzle of the sunny soil, so do I take what I can do and what I know to slowly stretch my knowledge. I know I can, I know I can. Like my students, I need the time to sort through the vocabulary and processes of math to strengthen my understanding. I'm not afraid of it; I just need the time to think through the puzzle, but just as I start to share and explain to my colleague, we're on to something else. I need to watch for this with my students.

So, what I remembered from last year is this: replay or review the directions and explanations as if I were the student -- what is it that stumps him/her? Sometimes, its just a simple word. "Draw" conclusions means a sketch, doesn't it? Other times, they miss a point or a step.
Here's a story from my Facebook PLN today to illustrate misunderstanding:
"Kelly Wade Hines Intro'd friendly letters with my 3rd graders today. I asked the class "So, what is a friendly letter?" I was excited that several hands went up. One student responded "D. D is very nice." Another kid said "F, Mrs. Hines." I wonder which of the 26 are unfriendly!? :p"

So last year, I observed more, reviewed the directions and processes with the student more, and stepped into the shoes of my students more just so I could understand their thinking. And so I will this year, too.

Also, I loved the modeling of reviewing the processes needed to be successful with labs -- the how to invite yourself into the explanation to students instead of invading them with lecture on "Do this and not this." And the release of trust-- believing we could handle the process and equipment. Very nice. I think its important to build relationships this way, and even if I need to release that trust slowly in steps as we build to more complex activities, kids respond to the fact that you trust them. We get what we expect. Great modeling for starting the school year. Thanks.


I think it is important to focus on the high school science/math, moving through as you are so those teachers aren't bored. But maybe, the elementary/ middle school and special education teachers could continue to solve their problems or their science as you move into the very deep and analytical, statistical aspects of high school?

So, now I can do this:

y=57.5*0.853 -20.6y=28.4475 °C
y=83.2055 °F

Conversion Table

Remember to label!

Thanks for the information, modeling, and process practice.

Sheri Edwards
Reflect curiosity and wonder...
Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness..

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