As I reflect on our first studio day, I am thankful to have the opportunity to participate in it, especially this year. This has been a challenging year so far, partly because of the common core transition, but I’m sure there are other factors too. I know that people are not motivated to change unless they are in some way dissatisfied with their current state of affairs, and I am definitely not satisfied right now!
I feel like I have some “tricks in my bag” for encouraging student engagement, participating, and math talk in the classroom, and I have been practicing using genuine questions to get at their thinking, but I still have several students who are “checking out” during class most days.
After my first studio experience, I have decided to focus on a couple of small things that I hope will make a big impact on the engagement and learning in my classroom: (1) Planning specifically for structured student math talk, and writing exactly which structures I will use into my lesson plans; (2) Choosing the most critical times in the lesson to incorporate discourse; and (3) increased accountability in reporting back to the whole group (for example, having all “b” partners stand up to report back “a” partner’s ideas, and strategically choosing who shares back in whole group to ensure everyone’s participation, not just the “usual suspects”).