Friday, July 19, 2013

Implementing a Math Task

This post wraps up my mini-series on math tasks in the classroom. I am itching to get back into the classroom to start these tasks again with my new batch of cute kiddos! 

I have had several ask me questions about how to implement an actual task so I thought I would pose the questions and try to answer them the best that I can. I know I have mentioned this a zillion times before, but everyone has the ability to mold these math tasks to meet the needs of you and your class. Do what works for you and your students! Here we go!

Math Task Implementation

How often do you do a task?
I try to do a task at least once a week. At the beginning of the year, it may be less but it is important to get the kiddos working with tasks and exploring/collaborating with one another as soon and as often as possible. 

How long does your task last?
My tasks generally last around 45-60 minutes. 
5 minutes-Introducing the task, identifying math practices that will be focused on and reviewing the use of accountable talk during the task.
15-20 minutes- The students explore the tasks and do their work independently. During this time, they should be solving the task using pictures, labels, words, and equations/number sentences. 
15 minutes- The students work in small groups and use accountable talk. 
15 minutes- The teacher calls on students to share their answers and their thinking process with the class. 
5 minutes- Close the task by asking students about the math practices they used and get their feedback on the task. 

What is the teacher doing during the task?
As teachers, it is natural for us to want to "teach". However, the teacher plays the role of facilitator during a task. I am there to observe the students, take notes on their work, ask them assessing and advancing questions, and help lead group discussion. Towards the end of this last year, I was barely needed during a math task. My kiddos could practically run it on their own!

Do you grade the tasks?
I have not taken grades for tasks in the past. I always tried to make it around to each student during a task and write some form of academic feedback on his/her paper. I talked a little about that actual process here. However, I would love to create a rubric that I can use to hold students more accountable for their work! I feel a freebie coming soon!!!

The state of Tennessee has been training teachers left and right all summer long on Common Core. So, I expect that we will be seeing a lot more of classroom math task and reading task ideas in the near future. As always, I would love to hear how you implement tasks in your classroom!

In other news.....

Here is a sneak peek of my next Monday Made It project!

Check out this room! 

I go back to work in 14 days. There is still a lot that needs to be done(electric, plumbing, and a deck so I can access the room instead of pulling some ninja moves to climb up into the cottage). I am praying that it all comes together in time, but I have a feeling that I am going to be bribing family and friends with free pizza at the last minute to help me pull my room together. But hey...that's okay! It just adds to the back to school excitement!

 I can’t wait to share the final product with all of you.

Have a fabulous weekend!

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