# Math Empowers 5

### Middletown Township Public Schools

## Fifth Grade • 2nd Quarter • 2016-2017

## The Importance of Visual Mathematics

Jo Boaler, and her team at Stanford University, have made some parent and teacher recommendations for incorporating visuals into math. Celebrate students' visual approaches and replace the idea that strong learners memorize and calculate well. Show students that great math performance is not linked to how fast it can be done, as speed is not always necessary for higher level math. Strong mathematics learners think deeply and make connections, which may not always be done fast. Encourage the use of finger-counting; strong mathematics learners have well developed finger representations in their brains that are very useful throughout adulthood. Lastly, there is no math concept that cannot be illustrated or thought about visually. For ideas about how to teach certain topics visually, please see this document.

## Increase Depth of Knowledge in Math QuestionsTrying to get your students to think deeper about the math involved in some basic questions? Increase the question's depth of knowledge (DOK) level. Robert Kaplinsky's article takes you through the steps of how to raise a question's level to a DOK 2 by simply removing some information or asking for additional answers. You can raise this DOK level even further to a 3, by asking students to optimize their solution, such as specifying an answer close to a given value or finding the greatest answer possible. For more information on increasing a questions DOK, please read this article. | ## Do Your Students Experience Productive Struggle?Students experiencing productive struggle when learning mathematics have a higher sense of accomplishment, better knowledge and understanding of the topic, improved achievement, and long-term retention. So, how do you incorporate this idea in your classroom? Picking tasks to foster productive struggle, rather than unproductive struggle, is key! The mathematics task must be challenging, but within reach. The students' may not be able to solve this task individually, but with some questions from their teacher, or some help from classmates, this task is able to be solved. The mathematics must be central to the goals of the lesson or unit. Ensure to support the students' through their frustration and encourage them to persevere. Afterall, productive struggle fosters growth mindset! For more about the benefits of incorporating productive struggle into your classroom, please click here. | ## The Ideal Math Lesson vs. The Workshop ModelThe Ideal Math Lesson has four main components: - Engage/Explore, where the teacher guides the students through a discovery of the lesson, - Explain/Elaborate, where students complete their formative assessment, - Differentiation based on the assessment, which can consist of centers or stations, and - Evaluate, where the lesson is summed up and reflected upon. The Workshop Model, as used in Reading and Writing, differs from this model. For more about the comparison between the two different models, please see this document. |

## Increase Depth of Knowledge in Math Questions

Trying to get your students to think deeper about the math involved in some basic questions? Increase the question's depth of knowledge (DOK) level. Robert Kaplinsky's article takes you through the steps of how to raise a question's level to a DOK 2 by simply removing some information or asking for additional answers. You can raise this DOK level even further to a 3, by asking students to optimize their solution, such as specifying an answer close to a given value or finding the greatest answer possible. For more information on increasing a questions DOK, please read this article.

## Do Your Students Experience Productive Struggle?

Students experiencing productive struggle when learning mathematics have a higher sense of accomplishment, better knowledge and understanding of the topic, improved achievement, and long-term retention. So, how do you incorporate this idea in your classroom? Picking tasks to foster productive struggle, rather than unproductive struggle, is key! The mathematics task must be challenging, but within reach. The students' may not be able to solve this task individually, but with some questions from their teacher, or some help from classmates, this task is able to be solved. The mathematics must be central to the goals of the lesson or unit. Ensure to support the students' through their frustration and encourage them to persevere. Afterall, productive struggle fosters growth mindset!

For more about the benefits of incorporating productive struggle into your classroom, please click here.

## The Ideal Math Lesson vs. The Workshop Model

The Ideal Math Lesson has four main components:

- Engage/Explore, where the teacher guides the students through a discovery of the lesson,

- Explain/Elaborate, where students complete their formative assessment,

- Differentiation based on the assessment, which can consist of centers or stations, and

- Evaluate, where the lesson is summed up and reflected upon.

The Workshop Model, as used in Reading and Writing, differs from this model. For more about the comparison between the two different models, please see this document.

## Looking for some Tier I Intervention Ideas? Try DreamBox AssignFocus!

*DreamBox*Learning added a new feature this school year, called AssignFocus. This feature allows teachers to create focused assignments for their entire class, a group of students, or even one student. This feature engages students strategically with differentiated lesson(s) the next time they log in. These assignments take into account each student’s prior knowledge, demonstrated proficiency and readiness for learning. AssignFocus can be used for many different reasons, one of them being for Intervention purposes. DreamBox data will provide a guide to picking the student's intervention goal and provide a way to work toward meeting this goal.

To use DreamBox for Tier I intervention purposes, log in to your DreamBox account. Click on your class. Choose the student from the left-hand margin you want to analyze. In the middle of the page, the "Standards" title will show you what standards and clusters your student is proficient in. You can use this page for assistance in choosing an intervention goal. To give the student an assignment, click on the "AssignFocus" title in the middle of the page. In the upper right hand corner, click "Add Assignment." Here is where you can choose the grade level, domain, and standard or cluster to assign. Each assignment shows where the student will start in this standard or cluster; either "just started," "in-progress," or "review." DreamBox also provides a preview for each type of lesson on this page; use this to demonstrate how to complete the assignment. You can give up to 2 assignments at any one time, both of which will be due within 7 days of assigning.

For more information on AssignFocus, watch this short video, or contact me or your building Math Specialist.

## Thank you for reading! :)

Have any questions, comments, or creative ideas to share with your fellow 5th grade teachers? Please email me or your building Math Specialist. “Alone we are strong...together we are stronger.”

Ashley Connors

Elementary Mathematics Specialist

Navesink Elementary School

Math Empowers - Fifth Grade Representative