#TMC15 Feedback Quizzes

Feedback Quizzes
Using detailed, written formative assessments to promote low-stress learning
Julie Wright

Thursday 4:00-4:30
Claremont, CA

It's better to execute a plan, any plan, than to wait and do nothing.

Quizzes are designed with space built in for feedback.

The purpose is to see their thinking and respond; scored for effort; can get EVERYTHING wrong and still get a perfect score; can impose time cutoffs

Alphabetize and scan to PDFs before grading (or have students take pictures of their work and email to you!), on Mac using Preview, you can annotate and add your feedback is text. Color code your feedback for your records even though students won't see it. Reuse your comments!

Give comments for correct answers so those students also have comments to process.  Spend a period revising. Students receive negative criticism better when points are not attached.

Removes shame of making mistakes and takes away the punishing relationship between teacher and student.

You can give hard problems without feeling guilty. 

When you've repeatedly shared all the feedback you can with students, it's on them to perform well on unit tests.

#TMC15 Planning an Assess-Respond-Instruct Cycle

Planning an Assess-Respond-Instruct Cycle
Michelle Naidu

Friday 4:00-5:00
Claremont, CA

Decide what content you are responsible for teaching for. Then specifically list the skills  needed to master the content you are responsible for. Next cluster your pre-skills in a way that makes sense.

Use Popplet!

Pre-assessments are one skill per question, one page or less, and organized.

What do we do if they don't know?

What do we do if they do?

A good structure for stations is to use tri-fold science fair boards with pockets. Fill the pockets, easily change content, and fold away for later.

It can pay off to go slow now so you can go fast later.

#TMC15 Growing Our Own Practice

Growing Our Own Practice
How math teachers can use social media to support ongoing improvement
Ilana Horn

Thursday Keynote
Claremont, CA

Great teachers, when discussing their practice:

  • Frame problems in an actionable way, they can do something about it
  • Include more student voice and perspective
  • Connect teaching, math, and student understanding

How can we use social media to develop teacher agency, empathic reasoning, and ecological thinking?

Grow your understanding of your own students and setting,

Develop a sense of the way students, math, and instruction interconnect.

This session was a lot of affirmation for me because I feel like a lot of my colleagues look at problems from a totally different frame. I feel helpless or embarrassed in some of our meetings because my perspective is so different. This encouraged me to keep looking at things and how I can affect things or solve problems.

#TMC15 Activity Based Teaching

Activity Based Teaching

Thursday-Saturday morning sessions
Claremont, CA

Presenters: Alex Overwijk and Mary Bourassa

Present picture of tree: write all the questions you have about this tree

Groups of three share questions and pick their best three; write each on separate papers with a reason why it's theirs best; rotate to read other groups and vote on their best and why; groups return and read feedback, then write their overall best question on the board and why they chose that.

Each group makes a poster of the criteria that makes a good question. Then groups do a gallery walk of the posters and as a class we decide what the criteria is for a good question.

Criteria for Good Questions
-generates discussion
-invokes curiosity
- unanticipated layers, extends, drives further questions
-element of surprise, a "wow" moment
-simply stated, concise wording
-low entry, accessible
-not straightforward calculation
-multiple perspectives
-gives choice to the person asking questions
-offers multiple pathways
-has closure
-does not feel contrived

This activity builds to the summative district assessment which gives students pictures where they have to asks questions and then answers them. Students have to ask quality questions in order to show the math they've learned.

Don't be afraid to revisits activities to see growth or extend to new content.

Co-create criteria for good questions, communication, and problem solving.

Alex unloads the course over the first six weeks by doing an activity that introduce the big ideas of the course. Direct instruction as needed. Some activities are designed toward specific skills.

Criteria for Good Math Activities
-low ceiling, high entry
-authentic questions
-evokes curiosity or questions,
-students do the heavy lifting
-promotes discussion

Classes are semester class of 75 minutes = full year

26 Squares Activity introduce linear relations, quadratic relations, triangle inequality theorem, four families of Pythagorean triples, Pythagorean theorem "sum of squares", similar triangles, right triangle trig,

Interleaving has better results even though teachers and students feel that it's messy and doesn't work and they prefer blocking.

Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve shows that forgetting and relearning material four times has the best retention.

Read 20 words and have students write as many as they can remember. Graph results in Desmos and do a quadratic regression (serial position curve). Desmos uses ~ in place of = to do regressions. What questions would students ask?

"What would flip this curve upside down? Why is the a-value so small? Would you expect a positive or negative b-value? What does the y-intercept represent? If we did it again, would the r-value be similar? Would students graph of the same activity resemble ours? What does the model say compared to what actually happened?"

We repeated the experiment but at the end Alex shouted "Oh no, I messed it up. I'm sorry, go ahead and write." That burned our short term memory and we shared strategies to remember so our results looked totally different than the first time.

If you're not ready to fully give up units and do activity based teaching you can still incorporate activities into your units.

bit.ly/MTBoSbank A searchable database of activities sorted by grade level and topic. Share your activity by submitting it at bit.ly/MTBoSactivity

And sometimes we just watch Alex, the circle drawing champion of the world, draw a perfect circle.


#TMC15 Better Questions: Ours/Our Students'

Better Questions: Ours/Our Students'
Rachel Kernodle

Friday 2:45-3:45
Claremont, CA

Do you have an intentional way of getting better at questioning in the heat of the moment?

It's hard to keep yourself accountable to asking good questions in the middle of a lesson when there is so much to accomplish.

It's hard to ask questions that YOU don't know the answer to.

It's hard to practice good questioning. There is no other forum like the classroom.

Resource: The Art of Questioning in Math Class, Gardner http://teachers.henrico.k12.va.us/math/Newsletter/The_Art_Of_Questioning.pdf

Using Questioning to Stimulate Mathematical Thinking

Kate Nowak's magical incantation: "Would you explain your understanding of their solution?"

Ashli Black's What's the Question https://mythagon.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/whats-the-question

Which One Doesn't Belong?

Create a culture of inquiry by writing good questions on the board.

"Learning is having new questions to ask. What new questions do you have?" -Christopher Danielson

Question Formulation Technique (QFT)
Give students time to talk about why the rules will be hard to follow.
Don't give students examples of questions. We want to cast an open net, we aren't looking for mimicry.
Change open-ended questions to closed and vice versa so students can see the power of their phrasing.
Don't put value on students questions with your reactions. Instead say "Thank you."

My #1TMCThing is commiting to no longer saying "Any Questions?" when I get done teaching and instead saying "Ask me questions!" as an expectations rather than a question. Or like above, "What new questions do you have?"