Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Math Talk Videos

I made the choice to ignore a Common Core Math jab that appeared up on my Facebook feed this week, but I found myself thinking, "Oh no.  Here's another parent who thinks unkindly about the direction math is heading these days."  I believe it's a problem that teachers have a responsibility to address.  How can we help chip away at the pervasive negativity concerning math instruction?  I recently shared my thoughts and game plan for what I'm doing about it, and because I believe it's an important dilemma to tackle, I'm sharing the post again for those who haven't read it yet.

If you saw that previous post, you'll know that I have a weekly habit of sharing kid math strategies with parents so they have a clearer picture of how their children are thinking about math.  All year I've been wanting to take it to a new level though.  My cousin David, who is the IT boss in the Boise district, gave me a great idea at the beginning of the year.  He talked about how cool it would be if parents could watch videos of kids explaining their thinking.  I was all over the idea.  It just took me half the year to figure out how to share personal videos on my weebly class website without it costing me a \$40 upgrade.  I love what I'm able to do for my parents now.

After I've asked a mathematician to draw their solution to a problem on the board, they're given the opportunity to teach the rest of the class.  (Read this if you'd like more specifics.)  Now that I have a way to share videos with parents, I videotape math talks and share them on my class website, along with pictures of the strategies and my explanations, as I always have.

Click on the photo to watch some recent math talk videos.

The more parents are invited into our classrooms to see and hear for themselves what math is doing for their children, the better they'll understand that the changes we're making are for the best.

1. What a fabulous idea to share the videos!! The common core complaint I hear is when kids are asked to solve a problem 3 different ways or they're required to solve the problem in a way that takes more steps than we're used to. It seems to me that we should teach a variety of ways so kids can choose what works for them. In my mind that will help us reach all the kids. Hopefully. I enjoy reading your math posts!
--Chrissy

1. Chrissy, I definitely agree that kids should be allowed to solve the problems in ways that work for them. It's when we get into consistent requirements where it gets sticky.

2. Just watched your videos and was very relieved to see that my kids solved that problem the same ways! Haha! Very reassuring. I bet your parents just love those videos. I'm going to do the same thing....you always have the best ideas! Merry Christmas, Tammy.

1. Barb, I love that our kids solved it in similar ways. We should come up with a way to share videos between our classes! Merry Christmas to you too!

3. This is a great idea!! I need to think about this for next year. I wish more of my parents had Internet to view these types of resources. I saw an anti-common core sign in someone's yard yesterday. It just made me sad. I will try to think of ways that I can help to chip away at this thinking

1. Em, ooh a sign like that would make me sad too. I'm sure you're making a positive impact on your realm of influence though!

4. This is a great way for parents to see how valuable it is for students to be able to use strategies that work for them. And what parent doesn't want to see their child teaching others at the white board?? :)
Lori
Conversations in Literacy

1. Lori, yes parents have to love seeing their kids teach, right? :)

5. Love this, Tammy! I'm right there with you on hearing the Common Core math bashing you talked about in another post. This is a great way to show parents what you are really doing!

Crystal
Teaching Little Miracles

1. Crystal, yep I'm hoping that the more we educate our parents, I'm more likely they'll understand that we're moving in the right direction.

6. I came to be inspired by Saturday Sayings, but instead was inspired by your kids videos. When you have to explain your thinking/work you understand it so much better. I will have to try this next week!
Jenny

1. Jenny, I'm glad you were inspired!