Thursday, August 27, 2015


I’ve really been focused on the idea of reflection lately and the importance that it has in our learning and in our growth mindset.  It really is the basis for why I decided to start blogging.  I see a lot of value in being able to share what I do in the classroom and then take the time to think through everything and look for ways that I could do things better in the future.  I also like the idea of having others provide feedback and ideas on what I’m doing in my classroom to help me become a better teacher.  

Reflection is also something I am trying to implement with my students.  We started on day 1 by discussing the importance of reflection.  We talked about how important it was as a learning tool to look back at what you had done, process the information and then share your thoughts and ideas on what was learned.  I can already see in less than a week that giving students this voice to discuss what they personally learned from the lesson has been empowering to them.  

I’m asking a lot of my students this year.  We have a whole new curriculum in all of our high school math classes in our district and kids are learning math in a way that may be somewhat unfamiliar to them.  Our new textbooks are consumables and are heavy in reading.  We are spending a lot of time breaking down the text sections and analyzing what information is being given and what is being asked.  It’s pretty tough on the kids right now, but I’m hoping by mid October, they’ll be pros at this.  Although there is this learning curve on how to read the text and pull the information out, the thing I love about what we are doing this year is that the kids are really talking more math.  Before I explain anything I allow them time to read, time to process and then discuss with their group members what they are understanding or not understanding about the topic.  Just listening to the conversations that are already going on in my room after 1 week gets me excited about how these kids are going to be experts at discussing math by the end of the year.  The opportunity to reflect with their peers on what they have discussed and analyzed will hopefully only further their understanding.  

I absolutely love that I am talking less and they are talking more as they are working collaboratively to solve problems.  Although I did have a student say to me today, “you mean we are going to learn everything from this book and not from you this year?”  Yikes, that’s definitely not what we are doing.  I told her that we were going to learn everything by talking about it, by thinking about it, by writing about it, by analyzing it, and by reflecting on it.  We would allow the book to be a tool that we use to learn, but it definitely will not be the only tool we use to learn in my class.  

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