Mastering Math Using the Proceduralizing Strategy

At all levels, math problem solving requires specific, ordered steps.  Simple recall of steps is only a small part of the process.  The desired learning outcome is for students to be able to identify the appropriate procedure and to understand how to apply it and why it works.  Students with disabilities and other students who struggle with math may have difficulty remembering, understanding, and/or executing steps in the problem-solving process.  The Proceduralizing Strategy (Thomas, Brunsting, & Warrick, 2010), when used throughout Tier 1, 2, and 3 instruction, can reduce barriers with recall and application. [Read more…]

Proactive Preparation: Secondary Mathematics Standards of Learning Tests

It’s that time of year again – time for targeted and effective instructional remediation to prepare students for Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments.  How do we decide the skill areas in which our math students need remediation?  Once those skills have been identified, how do we provide effective remediation that is more than just repetition of the classroom lessons to which they have already been exposed?

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Open-Ended Math Questions Reveal Student Thinking

Careful, intentional, and mindful questioning is one of the most powerful tools a skillful teacher possesses (Costa & Kallick, 2000).  Teachers can use open-ended questions during math instruction or assessments to learn how students are problem-solving. [Read more…]

The Power of Engagement: Connecting Students, Families, and Learning

It is essential to provide students with disabilities “rigorous and relevant instruction to better engage students in learning and provide the skills needed to graduate and to serve them after they leave school” (Wilkins & Huckabee, 2014, p. 45). This statement, in turn, leads to the question: How do students want to be engaged in their learning? When a middle school teacher asked her eighth graders that question, one student responded, “I believe that it all boils down to relationships.  Not relationships from teacher to student or relationships from student to student, but rather relations between the text and the outside world” (Wolpert-Gawron, 2012, “Connecting the Real World,” para. 1).  Another student observed, “When a student is active they learn in a deeper way than sitting” (Wolpert-Gawron, 2012, “Get Me Out of My Seat!” para. 1). [Read more…]

Math Problem Solving and the Use of Generative Strategies

A recent Facebook post by the Secret Society of Happy People (September 17, 2014) highlighted a common concern among many educators and students regarding math word problems.  The post read, “Every time I see a math word problem, this is what it looks like:  If I had 10 ice cubes and you had 11 apples, how many pancakes will fit on the roof?[Read more…]

Laying the Foundation for Teaching and Learning

foundationGareis and Grant (2008) define teaching as an “intentional creation and enactment of activities and experiences by one person that lead to changes in the knowledge, skills, and/or dispositions of another person” (p. 1). Teachers work hard to ensure that their students learn by carefully planning lessons and activities that meet the needs of all students and by continuously developing their own skills and knowledge about the teaching and learning process. However, until students actually learn what the teacher has taught, the instructional process is incomplete (Gareis & Grant, 2008). [Read more…]

VDOE Instructional Resources That Support the Written, Taught, and Tested Curriculum in English and Math

VDOERESOURCES

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) website contains multiple resources to assist in aligning the curriculum that is taught with the written and tested curriculum. Use of these resources can only enhance our pedagogical practices. VDOE has done the work for us to make this necessary alignment possible with supporting resources. [Read more…]