Implementing strategies that work!

Implementing strategies that work!

by Cheri A. Hayes, Ed.S
Shirley Lanham ES

Last school year, 2015-2016, DoDEA adopted the College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics (CCRSM). Teachers were immersed in hands-on training with facilitators from the Charles A. Dana Center as well as the Mathematics Instructional Systems Specialists at the Japan District Superintendent’s Office in Yokota. As this is an ongoing cycle of training that has already begun this year, it is quite evident that Miss Lakei Brown, third grade teacher at Lanham ES has a stronghold on the teaching and learning expectations by changing her classroom culture as she has implemented various math strategies for students to employ while they are problem-solving.

With targeted mastery for students’ learning in numbers and operations, Miss Brown has given her students opportunities to solve problem at their level with the differentiation of this one activity. The end goal for her students is to multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10 in the range 10–90 using strategies based on place value and properties of operations. The students photographed above and below are working collaboratively with their peers on multiplication utilizing a different strategy to solve the same types of problems. The intensive intervention group is using manipulatives, while the targeted or strategic intervention group is participating in a multiplication matching, and the students who had already mastered the task were immersed in an enriched, independent-leveled assignment (not pictured).

These are just a few examples of tiered strategies that result in the same outcome; student success! As students become more successful with a specific standard, Miss Brown will reassess her students, look at the data, and decide how she should guide her instruction or shift student’s groups based on their achievement. Before, after, and during this process, students will journal their thinking to share how they are processing the problem and solution by showing their work, writing about it and presenting an illustration to further explain their selves. Additionally, they will be exposed to math vocabulary and opportunities for thinking aloud through math talks to present their understanding, be heard, and see what's going on as they solve the problem or work through a mathematical process.

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