Becoming Math Chapter Prompts
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9/28n/a: Dine & DiscussWelcome to our online book study. Please take a moment to introduce yourself to the group.
Where do you work?
What education level or group do you work with?
What is your greatest hope for this book study?
What is your biggest fear about this book study?
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11/21: Breaking the Cycle1. Take a look at the word cloud generated by dine & discuss participants. In what ways is it similar to or different from the mathematicians' word cloud (page 5)?
2. Identify one word in the mathematcians' word cloud on page 5 that isn't currently part of your math classroom and explain how you can incorporate it this year.
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11/92: What Do Mathematicians Do?1. What have you observed about how students use the phrase "This is easy" in your classroom? What has been the effect?
2. Have a conversation with your students around words such as easy, hard, fast, slow, right, wrong, or around the question, What does it mean to be good at math? Record the conversation and transcibe or summarize it. What did you learn?
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11/163: Mathematicians Take Risks1. Have you ever complained that your students won't try (page 32)? What patterns have you noticed? What strategies have you tried? Do you have any new ideas to try after reading this chapter?
2. Choose an item or two out of the Make It Safe table on pages 51-53 that resonate with you. Try it in your classroom and then write about what you learned.
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11/304: Mathematicians Make Mistakes1. Consider the paragraph about keeping your face, body language, voice, and words neutral (page 63). How do kids pick up cues from you? How can you stay encouraging, honest, and neutral all at the same time?
2. Re-read Julie's approach to opening questions (page 63). Next time you start a discussion with your students, ask a thought-oriented question rather than an answer-focused one. What happened?
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12/75: Mathematicians Are Precise1. Consider this list of related but distinct ideas around precision (Pages 80-81). Which aspects do your students currently have? Which ones do your students need to work on most? What are some ideas you have to help them work on these? 2. Jen Muhammad (91-93) externalizes the internal voice she wants students to use. How might you try this strategy in your style? Think about it, try it, and write your reflection.
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12/146: Mathematicians Rise to a Challenge1. Write about the section "Productive Struggle, Be Less Helpful, and Special Education." Does this resonate with your experiences? 2. Review Papert's image of low-threshold, high-ceiling problems. Choose a problem from an upcoming lesson and talk about how to lower its threshold and raise its ceiling. What changes did you make? Once you're done, think about the same problem in terms of open or closed beginnings, middles, and ends, as Dan Meyer described. Any further changes?
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1/47: Mathematicians Ask Questions1. In the section on standards (169), Debbie never wrote an objective on the board, yet her students engaged in rich exploration of the standards. In your teaching context, how might you give students opportunities to uncover the standards through inquiry? 2. Choose a rich problem from an upcoming lesson and plan how you might give studnets the opportunity to springboard off their first solution. The questions "What new questions do you have?" or "What are you wondering about now?" might help. What new questions did students generate or what new questions do you think they may generate?
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1/118: Mathematicians Connect Ideas1. How does Emily's story (194-200) make you think about the role of connections in students' proficiency, or lack thereof? 2. Think about models you teach. Do your students currently see connections among them? What might you take from Becky's Example (191-193)? Try it, what did you learn?
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1/189: Mathematicians Use Intuition1. Discuss the opening passage about intution. What caught your ear? Any surprises? 2. Choose seven questions (224-226), one from each category, and write them somewhere you'll see them while you teach. What questions did you choose? Try using them in your teaching for a week. What did you notice? Share.
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1/2510: Mathematicians Reason1. What do you make of the argument that counterintuitive or paradoxical math is a motivator for proof?
2. Choose a strategy (Choral Counting, Open Number Sentences, True/False Number Sentences, Always/Sometimes/Never) and try it out. Plan with colleagues, if possible. Be deliberate about your choices; make sure they reflect your mathematical goal for the lesson. How did it go? Share.
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2/111: Mathematicians Prove1. Consider the architect's work versus the draftsmen's work from the Halmos quote (pp 303-304). What thinking does it spark in you? Are you pushing your students to be more like the architect or more like the draftsman?
2. Spend sime time with the bulleted list on p. 284. Identify a specific goal to work on in your practice (for example, working on your poker face or asking follow-up questions). Try your goal in your teaching for two weeks, then come back and write about how it went.
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2/812: Mathematicians Work Together and Alone1. Do your students think they have to be right in order to talk? Do you? What can you do to welcome partially formed thinking? (p 314)
2. This chapter includes a lot of specific strategies including using vertical, nonpermanent surfaces (pp 321-323), visibly random grouping (pp 323-324), promoting cross-pollination (pp 327-330), and sparking debate (pp335-338). Choose an area of focus and a strategy from this chapter and try it out a few times. Tell us about your plan and then come back and tell us how it worked out.
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2/1513: "Favorable Conditions" for All Math StudentsThis is a great spot to do some journaling, reflecting, and discussing. How has the experience been? What have been the overarching themes of your work throughout this journey? What ideas are you lingering over still? Going forward, what specific goals will you be working on?
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