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Notes from Our First Session

Page history last edited by mark.trushkowsky@mail.cuny.edu 9 years, 3 months ago


February 21, 2014


In attendance: Renee, Charles, Louise, Gerry, Billy, Josh, John, Mark



Individual Goals/Reasons for Participating 


  • Charles – I want to make math relatable, to help students take from the lesson regardless of where they are and to help students have a real experience because they learn better that way


  • John – I want to better balance between slow down and covering materials – I want to handle feeling that we are not covering enough. I want my decision of what to teach not be arbitrary. I want to work on being more deliberate in my decisions with the content and the lesson  


  • Renee – I want to enhance my lesson planning, integrating what I learn from everyone else


  • Louise – We are going to publish an article!


  • Billy – I like the idea of spending 9 hours on one lesson. I want to move beyond the worksheets and contribute to the process 


  • Josh – I want my slowness to be better slowness – the longer I do this, the slower I get – spending a day on rate practice is not just studying the specific rate questions, but learning a deeper understanding of what it means to do math 


  • Gerry – I want to gain from the group how to not lose students – how to slow down when people are having difficulties in the face of the mad rush to prepare students for the predictors – how to accommodate students and teach to them from where they are


  • Mark - At this challenging transitional moment for teachers and students, when there is so much pressure to go fast and cover everything, I want to slow down, focus deeply on one lesson, and talk about student challenges and thinking with a group of thoughtful teachers 



Goal/Theme/Mathematical Focus 

  • What qualities do we want our students to have when they leave our classes/programs?
  • What are our long-term goals for student learning and development in math?
  • Why is this goal/quality/focus important?
  • What makes this goal/quality/focus difficult for students?
  • How can we assess our goals during the lesson? What are things we can look for in the students?


We want students to be able to Persevere while inventively solving problems


During this lesson, we want students to...


  • have the opportunity to be challenged in a situation that is unfamiliar


  • inventively solve problems finding their own approach, using their own unique toolbox of understanding including (a) concepts and strategies built in math class, and (b) real world knowledge/math from everyday life (not just money)


  • feel (a) capable of bravery, (b) comfortable and committed to trying and making mistakes and (c) assertive towards their own sense-making


  • be eager to challenge themselves, both with the given work and seeking further problems and challenges. When they get the answer, they will not just say what's next and want to go on to the next thing - they will say, "What else can I learn from this?"


Click here to see our original brainstorm



Specific Mathematical Content of Lesson 


We decided to target our research lesson on

Proportional Reasoning & Relationships, with a focus on students recognizing when something is a proportional relationship


Other ideas discussed were:

  • conceptualizing the similarities and differences between decimals, percents and fractions
  • deepening understanding and identifying parts and wholes
  • percentages: when to do, what to do



Other Decisions Made 


  • We decided that we would have both lessons focused on the same goal and math content, but that we would gear one version of the lesson for pre-HSE level students and one version for HSE students
    • Some of us teach pre-HSE, some HSE and some teach both 
    • There are social-emotional learning considerations - they may be more need to address those within the pre-HSE students
    • Level differentiation is important in our field, especially because most of our programs place students in their level of study based on their reading ability
    • There is often a similar range of disparity in student math abilities within pre-HSE classes and HSE classes
    • It is hard to create a lesson focused on one level because of the disparity
    • Thinking though both versions of the lesson will help us adapt to student needs at either level (the experience writing the pre-HSE lesson may help us support struggling students in our HSE classes and the experience writing the HSE lesson may help us challenge students in our pre-HSE class
    • All students have the same goal and they need to learn the same materials, at their own pace 


  • Charles and Josh volunteered to each teach the lesson created by the group, allowing the group to observe the students. John volunteered to serve as a back-up.







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