Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Making Math Accessible

The information for this post came from a presentation at NCTM Annual Meeting 2013 in Denver, CO entitled 
Powerful Practices to Make Mathematics More Accessible to Struggling Learners. 
The speakers were Amy Brodesky and Emily Fagan. 

Accommodations are used in classrooms so that all learners are able to access the curriculum. 

Some accessibility principles:
1. Collaboration: Making math more accessible for learners requires a partnership between math educators and special educators.
2. Be Diagnostic: Pre-assess students to determine areas of struggle and need.
3. Be Proactive: Use formative assessments to check for students' understandings and adjust curriculum.
4. Align Strategies: Be consistent in methods and presentation of material. 
5. Differentiate: Recognize the diverse needs of your learners and offer a variety of techniques to help them be successful.
6. Be Prepared: Identify needs ahead of time and develop lesson plans to specifically address possible pitfalls.
7. Be Flexible: Realize the best laid plans may not always work; adapt instruction when needed, even if it is in the middle of class.
8. Gather Evidence: Specifically consider the areas that students are struggling in and find ways to adapt to meet their learning needs.
9. Promote Student Independence: Provide just enough scaffolding to help students feel supported while giving them the independence to make their own connections as well.
10. Create a Supportive Classroom Culture: Equip students with the structure they need to achieve.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Effective Teaching in Algebra

In February 2013, the Broome-Tioga BOCES in New York presented a professional development training of effective teaching in Algebra. New York will be pursuing the PARCC assessments; however the information presented is valuable for all states.

In the middle of the presentation is a discussion of Tape Diagrams to solve ratio word problems. There are also notes in a number of the slides that provide information as to how to solve the problems. If you are new to Tape Diagrams, I highly recommend you download the PowerPoint; it’s worth the view.

Click here to download the PowerPoint:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Math for All: Differentiating Math Instruction

Though I do not typically support products, the presentation that LuAnn Weynard developed for Math Solutions deserves consideration. One strategy that she discusses at length is scaffolding. She recommends scaffolding in one of the following six areas: teaching strategies, questioning strategies, student collaboration, whole-group discussions, making connections explicit, and graphic organizers.

Another strategy she discusses is Casting a Wider Net. A variety of question examples are provided in which students are given open tasks, control of the difficulty of the question, and offering number stories with answers in which students create their own problem to solve.

Click here for the link to the entire presentation: