Teaching Numeracy, Components 1, 2, & 3 - Math Coach's Corner

Now that we’ve learned the 9 habits, let’s move on to the components of a numeracy-based mathematics lesson.

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If you’re just joining us, we’re reading and discussing Teaching Numeracy, 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking, by Margie Pearse and K. M. Walton.


Reading Schedule

Critical Habits 1, 2, & 3: Purpose and Focus, Ignition, and Bridge to the Learning

“Psychological research suggests that learning is a constructive process. It entails making connections, relating new knowledge to what is already known, and applying knowledge to new contexts.”

I will apologize in advance for a short post this week, and I trust you all will pick up my slack. I flew into Virginia today (Sunday) for a workshop I’m presenting, but my luggage did not fly with me! In just a few minutes, I’m heading to the airport to see if it came in on the 11:55 PM flight.

I really like how the authors now begin to weave all of the habits together into a blueprint for effective mathematics planning. This, of course, begins with understanding your purpose for the lesson. As they point out, this is not about what you want the students to be able to do, but what you want them to understand. In other words, the deeper connections and understandings. The ignite component reminds me of the engage step of the 5E model, which is very popular for math and science in our district. It’s that hook to get the students interested in the lesson, which is critical. But I also like how the authors mention the importance of having a structure in the mathematics classroom that “creates a culture of rigor and an atmosphere of deep thinking.” (p 131)

The bridge activities that I liked the best were Three Facts and a Fib (p 143), Discovery Through Manipulatives (p 144), and Examples and Nonexamples (p 144).  I’ve used Three Facts and a Fib as an ice breaker activity–three personal facts and one fib–but I love the idea of applying it to content learning.

I told you it was going to be short!  Wish me luck on the luggage…

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