Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What do we do when they don't get it?

In an earlier post, I asked the question, "What do we do when they don't get it?"  As we have progressed further into our school year, we are figuring out ways to answer that question.  The first is the use of the exit slips.  We are getting quick feedback on our students' level of understanding. After we get this important information, we are intervening immediately the next day.  We are using intervention time or time during the next math period.  We are no longer waiting until the test to find out that our kids need extra help.  The exit slip is so much more reliable than homework to assess a student's level of understanding.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Posing Math Questions

One of the best things about flipping our math classroom, I have found this year, is the level of questioning the students are doing on a daily basis. For homework, students are watching our created videos and taking notes on their notecatcher (see our Franklin Math Google Site link to the right). One part of the notecatcher that every student has to do is ask a question. (We are grading the notecatchers on effort so the students have to exert effort when posing a question, or they will receive a 2 on effort and have to redo it until it is a 3 in effort). The questions they are asking are so much deeper than they ever use to ask teaching math the traditional way! Today, a student in my 5th grade math class asked "Are half protractors used more than full b/c half protractors are built off a straight angle (180 degrees)?"-we are learning about the relationship between angle measures. Another student inquired how our essay writing unit connected to naming an angle with three variables with the vertex in the middle. He said "Isn't naming angles kind of like writing an essay? You have to start with the introduction (first point), then support your thesis (vertex) and end with a conclusion (last point)?"
We spend 5-10 minutes at the beginning of every math period discussing the questions that students wrote in their notecatchers (we read notecatchers and grade for effort and prepare answers to questions before math every day). That discussion is an exciting way to start math b/c instead of just naming our learning goal and giving instruction, we are inquiring authentic, meaningful questions(usually trying to connect our goal to real life) which motivates the students to then do their independent work. It is truly fun.
This has also enriched our whole day b/c they are learning to ask deeper, more meaningful questions all day. In my reading conferences, I am finding that I link their questions from math to reading when we discuss how reading is going for them. So, this work we are doing in math is helping and integrating itself into our whole day. It is truly awesome and so fun, not words I always used to use when teaching questioning strategies and/or measuring angles!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Exit Slips

I think one of the best things we are doing now and is having all students fill out one exit slip the last 10 minutes of class every day. We all ask the same question to all 5th graders (and Tracy and I ask the same question to our fourth graders). The question is always based on the learning goal that was focused on in the video as well as the independent practice and games. Then, we all score the exit slips 1,2,3 or 4-based on their proficiency. A 3 means they 'get it' and a 2 usually means they got it but made some computation errors or other smaller errors and 1 means they didn't get it all (after we helped them on the learning goal in math). Our goal is have 85% of our students score a 3 or more every day. Not sure any of us are there yet but the goal makes me work harder and be more aware of their performance.
The most powerful part of using exit slips is our collaboration and data collection. Every day after math, we can say how many students did or did not get the learning goal that day. We then can work with those students the next day and keep checking in using exit slips until they get it. This is so much more efficient than grading a whole study link page AND I am excited for conferences b/c I have real, authentic and meaningful data to share with parents. I am grading less papers yet I know my students,every single one, so much better.