We have been focusing on being mathematical thinkers as we have explored the different ways that we interact with math in the Intermediate Pod. We have been doing this through studying place value.
This week we started our first round of small group lessons. For each topic, we group students in small groups based on what skills they need to practice and what their next steps within that topic are.
To help reinforce the mathematical skills students then spend time working on independent task that practices the concepts and skills they learned in their small group.
In addition to focusing on specific skills and processes, we work on problem solving strategies and communicating our mathematical thinking. We do this through a process called Math Vitamins. Students are given a multi-step word problem connected to our topic of study. These problems are multifaceted so that they can be accessed by all students and solved in a variety of ways. Students then spend a day (or two) working independently or in small groups to solve the problem and record their thinking.
Before explicitly teaching any recording skills, we asked students to try the first Math Vitamin of the year. Afterwards, we pulled some student examples and made some observations about what was recorded and how. Together we generated the “Good Mathematical Recording” list. We have continued to reflect on how we record can impact our ability to communicate our work.