One of the greatest things about being a teacher is the constant push in our profession to become better. We know the better we get, the better our students will get. It is this knowledge, that motivates and encourages me to keep learning. Yesterday, we were fortunate to take part in a PD opportunity with Dr. Marian Small. Having been introduced to Dr. Small’s work while student teaching, I was pretty excited to be able to learn more. I was not disappointed. One of the biggest take aways from the math PD was for me to remember “smarter” teaching. Learning how to ask and form proper questions takes practice and I know that it is something that I need to work on. What struck me was how changing just the tiniest word can have such a huge impact on kids learning. If we really want students to be problem solvers then we need them to critically think. We need them to have discussions and get uncomfortable. We need to be okay with not having all the answers.
Things I want to remember:
- Use ambiguous words (words that are not quantifiable): A couple, huge number, most, more than half, less than half, almost, about, lots, so many, huge, tiny, hardly any, really steep, just a few… etc.
- Less words, the better
- Use questions that have many, MANY answers.
- Create questions where it can be easy enough so that every child can be successful AND every child can be challenged.
- When thinking about questions always think about what will I ask next, what’s the second part, third part, etc.
- ALWAYS have a purpose. Some kind of knowledge that I want students to walk away with. Discuss this at the end.