Tag Archives: problem solving

#SOL18: March 11


Last week I introduced you to N on March 8 and March 9. We’re hyper focused on helping this 5th grader (recent move in) literally get moving in writing.  He wants to write. He listens. He participates. He talks. He uses all the language. His first on demand was rated at a kindergarten level in November and our goal is a third grade level by the end of May.  But he writes so little each day that it is hard to verify real writing growth.

Approximately 50 days to make that growth . . . we have ambitious goals!

How do you make decisions about changing instruction?  Or Practice?  Or Allocation of Time?

I like to think organically.  I use my friend Lynn’s quote often.

“I’m old.  I forget because my brain leaks.” (Lynn Selking, personal conversations)

So I like to start simply.  I’m not adding anything new until I know enough that I’m pretty sure my suggestion(s) will be productive.

So what does that really mean? 

First Step:  Current State of Instruction

I consider the balance of writing work in the classroom.  Is everything in sync? 

Mini lessons – 10 minutes or less?

Writing Time – at least 40 minutes during writing workshop?

Mid-Workshop Interruption – daily for 2-3 minutes?

Sharing – daily for 5-6 minutes?

Partnerships – daily talk and working together?

Small groups – planful and executed efficiently?

Conferences – Teach the writer and not the piece of writing?

Other writing opportunities across the day?

What is the role of TALK across the day?

What are students REALLY doing?

All of this is internal data.

No program.

No pinterest.

No TpT.

First round thinking as we consider current classroom work.

Everything is fairly solid.

Second Step: 

Name the current student behaviors with a focus on strengths.

Begin to brainstorm strategic actions to increase intensity of instruction.

With N, our draft looked like this:

Screenshot 2018-03-10 at 7.37.56 PM.png

Questions: 

  • What has a history of working?
  • What will maximize N’s writing time?
  • What is feasible?
  • What is efficient?
  • Are there charts/tools that we could pull from previous grades?

At this time, we know that lack of writing instruction in these grades (K, 1, 2, 3, 4, part of 5) may be part of the problem.  How can we compress time and increase productivity?

Process:

Dependent on what actually works, we have time for three or four focused two-three week cycles of instruction.  Beginning with our end goal, we are planning backwards.  Planning for lean instruction, lean conferencing, lean teacher work and ways to increase N’s independence in writing.  Is it confidence-building that he needs?  How can we  recircuit his thinking so N has a growth mindset?

What process do you use for problem solving? 

How do you use the resources that you have BEFORE looking for outside solutions? 

What would you add to this list?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

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#SOL17: #CyberPD


I read.

I reread.

I jot.

I think.

I read.

I write.

I tweet.

Dipping into the facebook group here

@HeinemannPub resources here

and original blog posts at “To Make a Prairie” here.

It’s a delicate dance similar to a waltz.

Read

Think:  “How does this fit into my current beliefs?”

Write down questions, changes, fleeting thoughts . . .

To be absorbed into the mental stream of consciousness

Synthesis

A new belief

Test it out

Problem solving

And with reading, writing, thinking, and more practice . . . It’s time to begin sharing!




What’s up?

This week marks the beginning of #cyberPD for the summer of 2017.  Check out the hashtag and the blogs and hold onto your brains as the pace is quick, the thinking is challenging, and you will question your own beliefs about reading!  Be prepared for the provocative nature of this book, the discussion, and the debate!

Here’s the challenge from Ellin Oliver Keene in the Foreword:

ellin oliver keene.PNG

The book:

dynamic teaching book cover.PNG

The schedule:

cyber pd




Why were Chapters 1-4 challenging?  

Because I didn’t begin with them.  I began with Chapter 5.

Check the text.

Vicki gave readers to start with either part 1: background, values and changes or part 2:  problems and practices.  Of course, I began with Part 2.  It’s my favorite.  But in order to sustain changes, I know that I have to understand the “why” in order to stay the course and continue to “steer the ship”. (page xix)

Values and Beliefs:

Reading is meaning.

Meaning is constructed by the reader.

Use inquiry or a problem-based approach.  What I do 1:1 with striving readers.

Inquiry or problem-based approach with all – that’s new!

Students doing the work.

Students thinking.

Ditch assigned patterns of close reading. (AMEN!)

Critical thinking.

Creative thinking. Hit the brakes!  Do I really get the difference?

Real meaning of read closely and deeply.  (YES!)

Teaching vs. learning (including over scaffolding and too much priming the pump)




I’m still learning about problem-solving.  I understand the basic principles.  As I read this summer, I’m keeping track of what I do when I get stuck, tangled up in the words or tangled up in the ideas.  How do I work through the “stuck” and the “tangles”.  I need to continue to practice on my own reading.

Same for creative thinking and critical thinking.  Such a delicious thought that they are not the same.  I’ve had years  decades of imitating, patterning, and coasting in the shadows.  Am I really creative?  Too early to tell.

What do you value in reading?  

What will you read that will be provocative this summer?  

Do you dare break out of your complacency?




Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community  https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107711243109928665922

Follow #cyberPD on Twitter

Follow @cathymere

Follow @litlearningzone




slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL17: Math Homework


math brain.jpg

I can do math.

It’s not my first choice.

Give me a book.

Let me write,

let me deliver a speech or two,

Just let me choose!

It’s not that math’s hard.

But because it’s “One Right Answer”

I fret,

I worry,

I dither,

And I change my mind

Again,

and AGAIN,

and YET AGAIN!

I forgot my lifelines . . .

I could have skype messaged Lynn

or text messaged Katie.

I could have contacted Chad or JJ.

Under pressure

I folded

I contacted THE GOOGLE.

I was checking my great nephew’s 5th grade math.

Confident was I

After all I had taught fourth grade

And I thought I was successful

Even if it was back before Columbus discovered America!

REALLY, How hard could it be?



Problem Example (No REALpictures – didn’t think of that either!)

math homework five

Something like this block . . . repeated about 50 million times like it had been stamped onto the paper as a block of problems about 30 times.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen something that looks like exponents.  I’m pretty sure that I did not see this in my grade 5 math.

What did I need?

Confirmation of this:

math homework

or even this chart:

math homework two

or even this would have been helpful

math homework three

OR even this (all courtesy of THE GOOGLE!)

math homework four


I was brave.

I researched.

I checked.

I googled again.

Checking my great nephew’s math homework.

Worrying that it would be “WRONG”

When it looked pretty darn “RIGHT”!


After all,

I’m NOT just an AUNT;

I’m the World’s BEST Great Aunt!

math homework six

My confidence wanes

I’d hate for the homework to be counted wrong.

So I ask THE GOOGLE one more time

Then I text my niece and nephew,

“If B’s math is wrong, it would be my fault.  He had me check it.  I used a bit of Google and believe it to be all good.”

His mother replied,

“Excellent. I stopped being able to help him with math in second grade when they switched to the common core.”

Math woes . . .

Literacy is so much easier!

How do you solve problems?

How do you know when your problem solving works?

Who do you ask for help?  

What do you do when you don’t “KNOW something”?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

 

 

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