Oh my gosh. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about (actually agonizing over) what to present at the 2015 T3 International Conference in Fort Worth, TX….should I recycle an old talk (easy but not challenging me to grow professionally) or create a new talk (scary but forcing me to grow my practice during the year). At 4 o’clock today (yes, the procrastination bug bit me), I finally decided to do a new talk entitled: “Fostering a Math Practices Mindset.” The idea has been fermenting, like a good wine, most of the summer, but it all came together as I was navigating rush hour traffic after the first day at a great workshop (more to come about that tomorrow, I promise). I kinda like the title, don’t you? I finally submitted my proposal at the 11th hour.
Here’s my descriptor:
If you hear yourself say, “I know how to implement the CCSS curriculum but I’m not sure how to get my student to know and use the math practices,” this is the session for you! Using “old school” (paper and pencil, whiteboards, etc) and “new school” ( Nspire Navigator, GoogleForms, etc) techniques, guide your students to learn and masterfully use mathematics through the CCSS Math Practices. Experience a variety of classroom tested activities that foster your students’ Math Practices Mindset: to recognize, expertly use, reflect upon, value, and internalize the 8 Math Practices.
OK, so I’m officially a Math Practices “groupie!” I passionately believe that the Math Practices are the real reason we teach mathematics to all students. Granted, the skills and procedures of mathematics are beautiful, necessary for progress, and besides, I love teaching them. But the reality is that not all kids need to know how to determine the end-behavior asymptote for a rational function to be successful in life. But all students will have to sense-make about their environment, notice patterns and describe them to others, reason abstractly and quantitatively, choose appropriate tools to model and solve problems or answer questions, persevere in seeking solutions to problems, logically argue a point and critique others’ arguments, and communicate accurately and precisely using good notation. Last year, I did some cool things to help my students use the practices purposefully while pushing them to become more sophisticated in their use. I have to sift through some of the activities while also pushing myself to create new ones for this year. But I am excited about my self-imposed challenge. You will see some of them in action over the year. What are you doing to help your students connect the math practices to their everyday experiences?