Thursday, September 13, 2018

CMP@CPP: Task Design

I recently presented for the California Mathematics Project at Cal Poly Pomona and am sharing my talk and reflections here in hopes that someone can benefit and/or share their own thoughts and resources with me.

Stated goals

    Build trust
    Do math together
    Share strategies and resources

Here is a trimmed down video of the session along with the slides:

Overall Reflection

I felt more trust by the end of my session and feel that I was able to get many voices heard and shared during my talk. The introductory math task felt like a positive experience for everyone. Teachers shared their strategies and approaches in their small groups as well as during whole group discussions. I would like to get teachers to really visualize themselves in their actual classrooms, and plan lesson ideas around activities they intend to use with their students. This has proven difficult to do. Suggestions toward this goal are coveted.

Moment to celebrate

I was happy that I remembered to discuss the idea of taking estimates (albeit after the fact). I am not sure if making this mistake of ordering helped or hurt uptake to the idea of taking estimates before attempting a problem. I was proud that I was able to pull out of a single participants solution strategy to ask for another approach.

Missed opportunity

I intended to have multiple groups share-out after a period of small group work, and only had one group share. Then I shared my own approach. I think I made this adjustment because folks hadn't really gone down the path I intended. In retrospect, I should have shared a summary of my own approach before the group work so that the teachers had a clearer idea of what was expected of them. The conversations were too general and un-focused. Many teachers didn't talk about their lesson or unit planning at all, and the time felt less productive than it could have been. I also think that my circulating, listening, and probing was not where I want it to be in terms of active listening and pulling the nuggets from multiple groups in a short time.

What surprised me?

I was surprised at how quickly we used up the time and how little of my talk we got through. I plan to break it up into a few parts and try to deliver a more focused session on open questions later this year. My goals are the same, but my main evidence for success will be teachers leaving the session with problems they actually use in their classrooms, that have a fresh new feel thanks to our session.