5 Practices–establishing a purpose for reading

Middle School Math Rules blogger Sherrie Nackel is facilitating an online book study on 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions. I read the book last summer, but I honestly didn’t get much from it. It wasn’t the book’s fault. It was mine.

Enter the reading fix-up strategies…

Re-read.  I’m going to re-read this book, but as I do I will take a different approach. If I re-read it the same way I first read it, I’ll get the same results. I need to do something different.

Establish a purpose for reading. Over the summer I read the 5 Practices in a survey mode. This time my purpose is to directly apply what I’m reading to improve specific mathematical discussions taking place in the classroom.

Make connections. When I re-read Chapter One I immediately thought about a discussion my students recently had on a Number Puzzle. I want to improve that conversation.

number puzzle

There are a gazillion more discussions I want to improve, but let’s take one thing at a time.

I know I’m a bit ahead of myself; chapter two is about selecting goals and tasks. But given all of this, I want to put that Number Puzzle task under the 5 practices microscope.  It has the potential to be an outstanding anchor problem that can be revisited and discussed throughout our expressions and equations unit.

Chapter One of the 5 Practices introduces anticipating, monitoring, selecting, sequencing, and connecting. I’ll be looking at how to improve the math talk by doing a better job of anticipating responses, monitoring student responses in real time, selecting specific students’ work to advance the discussion, sequencing those selections, and connecting mathematical ideas.

I appreciate Sherrie spearheading this book study.  Be sure to click the link below to read other bloggers who are writing about the 5 Practices.

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