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Math lab experiences from a doctoral candidate

I am reading frecuently the Jenny's blog who proclaims to be called very soon Dr. Jenny!! She's being observing a class of rising 5th graders in a two-week math lab class in a district that struggles in terms of student achievement. The class is made of 27 fifth graders and her dean is working with them as a laboratory for learning about teaching and learning.

One of the problems to get solved is: 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8. Where the goal is to get students to learn this in a way that lets them think flexibly about any base they work in, rather than just learning base 8. Want to try? Remember this is 5th, graders stuff.

In other period she was confronted with a number arrangements in order to arrive to concept of fractions. After 30 minutes on the train problem, students spent an hour on fractions.

Jenny points out the problem of conceptualization about what it means to be teaching, she says:
...Teaching is an active practice involving everthing from the teacher's words and physical movement in the room, to the quality of the notation on the board, to the type of homework (completed every night by math lab students)...

And this candidate finishes her report about Math Lab saying that she felt constantly amazed at the level of work it takes to be a great teacher. "For here, it takes deep content knowledge of mathematics, as well as the knowledge of how to prompt learning, how to present new problems and encourage students to use knowledge they have to begin to solve new problems. This isn't easy."

Dear reader, do you think is an easy procedure try to explain a kid nine years old the propieties about adition or substraction?

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  1. Thank you. I wish I could explain this better in my blog. I'll keep working on it. I've added you to my blogroll.

  2. I feel honored you're being my guest for a few seconds. I will also add you in our blogroll. Thanks for dropping by.