Untangling the Knotty Areas of Teaching & Learning Mathematics

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Untangling the Knotty Areas of Teaching & Learning Mathematics

As more K-6 teachers look to add high-yield tasks to their repertoire, the struggle to make it all work becomes real.

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International School of Amsterdam 45 Sportlaan 1185 TB Amstelveen Netherlands

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Let’s examine how problem-based lessons can be used throughout the scope of a unit and how we can harness their power to move student thinking forward. We’ll identify strategies and explore some tasks that help us find a healthy balance between application, conceptual understanding, and procedural fluency.

As more K-6 teachers look to add high-yield tasks to their repertoire, the struggle to make it all work becomes real. Let’s examine how problem-based lessons can be used throughout the scope of a unit and how we can harness their power to move student thinking forward. We’ll identify strategies and explore some tasks that help us find a healthy balance between application, conceptual understanding, and procedural fluency.

Participants will:

- Unpack the importance of application, conceptual learning, and procedural fluency, and the role they play in moving student thinking through a mathematical progression.

- Engage in grade appropriate 3-act tasks and understand how the implementation of low-entry, high-scalability tasks can be used to reach all students.

- Participants will identify when and how these lessons can be used throughout the scope of a unit.

- Understand how problem-based lessons can be used within the instructional framework (opening, work session, close), and the purposeful moves required to orchestrate an effective closing session.

- Identify ways in which problem-based lessons can be used as formative assessment to monitor student growth.

We’ll also take a closer examination of the teaching and learning of fractions. Many times, as our fraction units near, the emphasis on teaching and learning mathematics shifts to rules and procedures which shouldn’t be the case. To avoid this approach, we’ll identify how simple changes in everyday practice can leave a math residue that builds solid reasoning and makes student understanding stick.

Graham Fletcher has served in education as a classroom teacher, math instructional lead, and currently as a math specialist. He is continually seeking new and innovative ways to support students and teachers in their development of conceptual understanding in elementary mathematics. He is the co-author of Building Fact Fluency and openly shares many of his resources at gfletchy.com.