I had my students interpret the Standards for Mathematical Practice. What they came up with is better than some I’ve seen teachers produce in PLs I’ve conducted in the past. Now the SMPs are something I can reference and know my students will understand to what I am referring.
After discussing standards 1-4, I had my students engage in Comparing Temperatures from Illustrative Mathematics. Students had to determine which of the 4 standards were evident while they were completing the task. So not only were they aware of the SMPs but also they now knew what those standards looked like in action.
In my blog post, SMPs According to 7th Graders, I share a few examples of their interpretations. Next steps will be, posting the SMPs in the language developed by the students on an anchor chart and using their language to develop a rubric in which we use the SMPs to score math tasks.
I haven’t used a textbook since I taught 5th grade, that was over 5 years ago. I’ve become accustomed to engaging students in tasks in which they can develop an understanding of the concept, have discussions about the mathematics and have their misconceptions brought to the surface. I was never able to create those moments when I used a textbook for my math instruction.
Next school year, I’m leaving my comfortable world of frameworks, Exemplars, Van de Walle and resources of that nature. I’ll be entering back into the textbook world, in a new arena, middle school. One could be tempted to just fall in line with the status quo. Only that would go against everything I’ve come to believe in as far as math instruction.
My decision, make a flexbook textbook to use for my math instruction in 7th grade. With the flexbook, I can pull together various resources which will allow for students to develop the understanding of the concepts, have meaningful math discussions and allow their misconceptions to come to the surface. I’ve begun pulling tasks from Georgia Department of Education’s math frameworks for 7th grade, as well as problems from Exemplar’s program. I want to pull in as much as I can in order to have enough materials for differentiation and dare I say, homework (which is a whole other monster in my head).
If you’re reading this and have any suggestions for resources I can pull into my flexbook, please share in the comments of this post or contact me @MrsJeniseSexton. My flexbook textbook is not yet published so it cannot be viewed at http://www.ck12.org. It’s currently titled Conceptual Mathematics- 7th Grade by Jenise Sexton.