So I have become a little bit obsessed with instructional
routines. This is because I think they
have great value to both teachers and students:

Benefits for students

- knowing what to expect makes kids feel more comfortable and safe
- having a routine process enables kids to focus more on the math ideas and less about figuring out what the directions are

Benefits for teachers

- planning is faster: can choose a routine that fits goal and then just slot in the particular problem
- collaborating is easier: having commonalities in practice give a more narrow lens for focus

Inspired by Contemplate then Calculate, I am planning on
using 9 routines in my classroom this year. Some of these are greatly inspired
by others and some of them I developed. For each routine, I have a powerpoint
template than I can adapt for each time I use the routine. For some of the
routines, I have accompanying handouts that I will use, no modification
necessary, each time we do the routine. All of these materials and a more
in-depth description of each routine can be found in this
google folder.

### Longer Routines:

o
Goal: Build structural thinking in order for
students to solve efficiently based on understanding rather than blindly
following a procedure. Need tasks that have multiple shortcuts.

o
Goal: Various math goals. Also using a guiding
question and technology to learn math and for me to talk as little as possible.

o
Goal: Have students learn from each other in
order to improve their understanding of the homework problems. Build the
positive culture of mistakes in our classroom.

o
Goal: To build students’ capacity to solve
problems on their own through scaffolding by engaging in others’ ideas. This is
for tasks where I expect students to already have a pretty well-developed
strategy or strategies to solve the problem.

·
Whiteboard
Task (4 versions, depending on launch choice)

o
Goal: For students to work collaboratively on a
task that they probably couldn’t solve on their own. This is for tasks where I
am not expecting them to have well-developed strategies, but instead to deepen
or extend their conceptual understanding in order to develop new strategies.
Also using Peter Liljedahl’s visible random groupings and vertical
non-permanent surfaces to disrupt institutional norms.

### Shorter Routines:

o
What: Estimate a quantity

o
Why: Think like mathematicians by determining
relevant information and a reasonable

o

__What:__Make a graph to match a video story
o

__Why:__Think like a mathematician by using math to represent something happening in the real world
o
What: Describe, continue, and generalize a
pattern

o
Why: Think like a mathematician by looking at
the structure of a pattern and using repeated reasoning

·

__WODB__
o What: Figure out why
each one doesn’t belong

o Why: To “think like
mathematicians” by comparing similarities and differences

This is so great! I also can see how compelling questions and cognitive science are woven in. I am very intrigued to see your HW routine - I think it really does something new (for students' thinking) with HW, which I know you've been thinking about for awhile.

ReplyDeleteI wonder in the Refine A Strategy -- how will you stave off boredom with the problem? Especially in the "final draft" stage. If I'm reading it right, are students doing an individual final draft, based on what they saw others do, and then also going back to their partner work and finishing the problem there? I worry that students might be "done with" the problem by the time they're back to their partnerships, unless there is a really compelling ask for that part. Or am I reading it wrong?

You're exactly right about Refine a Strategy. I did a variation of the routine with my kids last year and there was certainly the least engagement during the final draft stage. However, I think it is important and useful for kids to be able to describe what they did to solve a problem--particularly to do so individually after solving together as a group. This is where students will do "write ups" of problems. I will also talk with kids about how being able to summarize what you did really helps you remember the strategy--for each step they write down, they should be asking "why did we do this" and I will encourage them to do it without looking at their group paper and only checking when they need to. Hopefully this reason/things to think about behind writing the final draft in combination with the formal write-up grade will keep kids engaged.

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