Fun missions & prompts, Always ready! Blogging initiation starts jan. 2016
Have you ever felt like this after coaching?
This is what I’ve felt for the past two days. Proud, satisfied, exuberant, joyful, and just happy. My work has been so fulfilling. I’m one of those people who loves to put a smile on other’s faces, get them laughing, and realize that we have to enjoy life despite any hardships we endure especially in education. We gotta have a laugh.
My victories will be written extensively in other posts, however I had to share right away.
Briefly…I presented on “Writing in Math” and it went extraordinarily well! I was on Cloud 9! Teachers who came were left with a lot of wheels turning. Other ELA coaches were pondering as well. More on that coming soon….(in another post).
Secondly, I felt like a proud parent/mama of some of these teachers because I’m seeing the “fruits of my labor”–for lack of a better term. One teacher is facing her fear of math and becoming empowered, excited, and confident. She loves the trust we’ve built with each other. She knows I’m not there to judge her, but just have a professional conversation. She’s brimming with ideas for us to do. Yesterday, I came in to watch her do a numbers talk and then I did a division activity with her students. By the end of the hour, I was jumping with joy (on the inside). There was really rigorous work going on–not only by the teacher, but by the students. It was amazing to see. By the time I went back to my car, I was so overjoyed that I started to cry. Tears of victory. Tears of joy.
And then today, we debriefed about the whole lesson. The conversation was so rich. Thought provoking questions. Plans for the upcoming units.
But what really moves me is that the teachers that work with me value being teachers. They are pushing their practice. They want to learn. They want to think outside of the box. They want to try. It’s nothing less than extraordinary.
However proud I am of my teacher(s) and the work I do with them, the victory isn’t my win. The victory is theirs.
Can I just say that I can’t get enough of visual math routines? Or do you call it a number talk image?
Some call it a visual number talk. It’s a picture that’s shown with a known quantity. Students may start by making observations and ask questions that are lingering in their heads (AKA Notice/Wonder–thanks Annie Fetter!) Once their questions are answered, they may try guessing a number that’s too low. Next they’ll try to guess a number that’s too high. The last number they’ll write down is an actual estimation.
Why should we do this?
- Develops students’ understanding of quantity
- Give numbers meaning
- Help students see the relationships of numbers to one another
- Support an understanding of how numbers operate
The conceptualization of quantity is foundational to number sense. As students’ abilities to visualize amounts improve, their number sense improves. Their strategies and mental math become efficient and quick.
Once I was introduced to this routine, I was ADDICTED! It became a mission of mine to find my own pictures. My goal was to develop a collection of everyday items (thanks Target!) that any other ordinary human would pass up. Well, this April Fool has you covered. Every now and then, I stumble across something and take pics like a crazy person. And yes, I will sit there and count.
So here is something I came across during the after-Christmas sales. How many storage boxes are there?
Just in time for Valentine’s. How many hearts are on the front side of this bag?
Oh…and not to leave you hanging. There are 60 storage boxes and 388 hearts.
I have a son who’s 10 years old. He goes to school in the district in which I work. When he was in third grade, I was asked to volunteer at his school’s Harvest Festival. The third grade team was selling nachos. “Sure, not a problem. How bad can it be?”
What I walked into was in one word–EPIC. A math teacher’s dream. I was scheduled to only work a half hour. I stayed the entire night.
6 crock pots of nacho cheese were brewing. Bags upon bags of nacho chips. It was quite a production. Selling nachos was “serious business.”
And so a math problem unfolded right in front of me. The team of teachers was selling cheese nachos for $2.00 and nachos with cheese and jalapeños for $3.00. By the end of the night, the nacho leader proudly informed me that they had made $700 which was amazing. But the question remained…how many nachos did they really sell?
Let me clarify something from these pictures. There are 8 desks/tables filled with nachos. Being there the entire night, these tables were fully filled twice. (27 bowls of nachos can fit onto 1 table)
I can’t eat, smell, or touch nachos without this experience being remembered. My husband still has nacho burn marks on his hand. However, we wouldn’t trade in that night for anything.