Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Minds on Math Book Study - Chapter 1 Minds On Math Workshop

I decided to join in with Sherrie Nackel's book study- Minds on Mathematics: Using Math Workshop to Develop Deep Understanding in Grades 4-8 by Wendy Ward Hoffer and I am so glad I did!  It was a last minute decision and I finally received my book last night.   So I'm hopping in a little late, and with company visiting this week I will be behind, but it looks like it will be well worth it!

For the first chapter Sherrie gave some discussion questions so I will start here.

From Sherrie's blog
The biggest Ah ha moments from the first chapter for me:
The chapter highlights the theory behind the minds on math workshop and it was a little like preaching to the choir.  I completely agree that kids are not learning by being talked at.  Although I try so hard not to do it, I am 100% guilty of "putting on the show" or doing the math "tricks" on the board. Although I have gotten much better at it, I am also guilty of jumping in to save them when they are stuck.  I have always subconsciously  thought to myself that if I just "show them how easy it is" they wouldn't be so frustrated.   I am learning that the "struggle" is good!  That is when the learning happens.  If they are not struggling, they already knew it and they are not learning anything! One of things I keep searching for is a way to get kids to take ownership of their learning and I think this is the purpose of the workshop.
Another thing that jumps out at me is that this is going to take WORK on my part!  It sounds like such an easy process to implement and extremely worth it, but whew!  I feel like my kids come to me trained not to have to think but to sit, listen and then finish the worksheet.  Plus retraining myself to let go and let them work!

What components are already present in my classroom:
Well, I would say that I have done workshop type stuff already.  The thing is I have not taken the time to make it work.  I have put them in groups, given them jobs, given open ended problems for them to work on, etc.  I do know that while it didn't always work out the way I wanted, most of the times these types of lessons were the ones I thought were really good.  

What are the next steps for planning workshops in my classroom:
I have to say that I am so happy that I found this book over the summer!  I think the first step is going to be to read through the whole book :)  I know that I will have to rework all of my classroom routines and procedures but like I said I have a feeling that this is going to be well worth it!  

I am excited to read the rest of this book.  Along with a new curriculum next year I have my work cut out for me.  Fortunately, this is the kind of stuff I thrive on. I love change and challenges! 

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