At the end of last school year, the math teachers and I got together to discuss use of manipulatives and mathematical discourse. (A Balanced Approach Prezi)
During this professional learning session, we read portions of this article. Teachers were asked which of the 5 Practices they felt they needed to work on the most. Like most teachers, many felt they were already using the practices and had a difficult time selecting one on which to improve. But like any growth mindset person, we know there’s always room for growth.
This is why one of my coaching goals for this school year is to work with teachers on improving on one of the five practices. My plan is to confer with teachers within the first month of school to establish the goal and collect data and monitor progress throughout the first semester. This falls right in line with our school goal of increasing classroom discussions. I’ll be using this book as a guide.
My second coaching goal for the year is increasing the use of manipulatives within all math classrooms. I’m still pondering the best method for doing so. The biggest hurdle is teacher comfortability. However, I know the more they use them, the more they will become comfortable with using them. So step 1, ease teachers into use and help them feel comfortable using them. Step 2, ensure teachers are using best practices when employing manipulatives. At my elementary school, teachers were more willing to use them as it was a high priority. Now in my middle school, it’s not as high on the list.
If anyone has any ideas and strategies they’ve used, please leave a comment and share.