Planning for Learning in Spring of 2020

Some schools are sending home printed packets and establishing teacher office hours by phone. Some are conducting their regular class schedule, but online. And lots are doing something in between. We understand that it is very challenging to translate IM curricula to remote learning. It is structured around discourse between people in the same room, after all. The goal of this post is to help with a small piece of the puzzle of how to translate IM curricula for remote learning: prioritizing some topics and activities over others. 

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Aggregated Support for the IM Math Community in Spring 2020

We want to share our deepest gratitude for the work each of you has been doing to protect yourselves, your families, your students, and your school communities, as you face hard decisions about how to support students while also reducing our close contact with one another. Each of us faces unique situations and there are no easy solutions for any of the various components of supporting children that each of us are charged with.

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Links to Resources for Shifting Instruction Online

First and most importantly, take care of yourself, your family, and your students. That might not look like doing math, or it might. To the extent that it’s useful, we have curated this list of resources recommended by our community. We understand that contexts vary widely, and there is more here than any one person can make use of, but we’ve done our best to organize these resources so you can find what is most useful. If you know of additional resources that you have found helpful, please comment on this post. Continue reading “Links to Resources for Shifting Instruction Online”

Links to Math Resources for Caregivers

Here is a collection of links the content team here at IM has used with our own students and kids to start mathematical conversations, play math games together, explore new topics, come up with projects, and have fun. There are also some cool links to other education stuff, like virtual museum tours and educational videos. We invite teachers who find themselves with fewer students than usual to explore these activities as well. If you know of additional resources that you have found helpful, please comment on this post.

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The Art of Reflection

“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” —Mr. (Fred) Rogers

By Kaneka Turner

We are never more “on” than when we are teaching a lesson. All of our senses are heightened and all of our energy is focused on understanding students and being understood by the students we are teaching. Often times, it is not until the lesson is over that we have the mental space to look back over the student work samples and anecdotal notes, or replay scenes from the lesson in our minds to gain insight. I was reminded of this recently when I was invited to test out new problem-solving structures from IM K–5 Math’s Grade 4 Unit 8 in my colleague’s classroom.

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Using Diagrams to Build and Extend Student Understanding

By Jenna Laib and Kristin Gray

Take a moment to think about the value of each expression below. 

\frac{1}{4}\times \frac{1}{3}

\frac{1}{4}\times \frac{2}{3}

\frac{2}{4}\times \frac{2}{3}

\frac{3}{4}\times \frac{2}{3}

What do you notice? How would you explain the things you notice?

If you are like us, or the students in Ms. Stark’s grade 5 classroom, you may have noticed many things. Things such as each expression has the same denominator, or the way in which the values increased as the problems progressed. When students notice these things, we often ask, ‘Why is that happening?” but it can be challenging to explain why beyond the procedure one followed. 

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The 5 Practices: Looking at Differentiation Through a New Lens

By Catherine Castillo

Our district had seen a downhill trend in standardized test scores in mathematics. This forced us, as educators, to take an intentional look at our teaching practices.

The past few years have been an exciting time in math instruction. Research on brain plasticity and mindset have caused a shift in the idea of what it means to know and do mathematics. 

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Building a Supportive Home/School Partnership

DOWNLOAD 9–12 FAMILY NIGHT RESOURCE 

While families arrive with different school experiences and perspectives on what “doing math” means, they often share common questions: What do I need to know to set my child up for success in math this year? and How can I continue to support them throughout the school year? Hosting a family math night can answer these questions and help bring a school community together.

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Storytelling in the IM K-5 Math Curriculum

By Kristin Gray, Director of K–5 Curriculum & Professional Learning

Curriculum

An excellent mathematics program includes a curriculum that develops important mathematics along coherent learning progressions and develops connections among areas of mathematical study and between mathematics and the real world.

Principles to Action by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


Developing coherent learning progressions and connections among areas of study requires crafting lessons to tell a mathematical story. Lessons must coherently build across units and grade levels and attend to many things: the mathematics, representations, activity structures, and learning trajectories, to name only a few. Each of these considerations impact how students access the mathematics and influence the belief that mathematics is a connected set of ideas that makes sense.

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