Saturday, November 22, 2014

Taipei American School 2

This is my second entry. Colleagues at TAS, please Aldo look at the entry just before this to access the various sessions we did with the seven grade level teams.

One theme that surfaced throughout the week is how we challenge our advanced learners. I have put in things for us to observe during the week.

Did you see ...

some KA students were asked to count more than four tiles. At least one of them was asked to add three one-digit numbers. Those are examples of acceleration. But I did those in the context of common activities - everyone was playing with tiles, making stuff and later doing the same coloring activity.

Did you also see ...

Kindergarten students being asked to use 32 cubes to make three numbers, each greater than 10 and them to compare the numbers pairwise . Is that a challenge in itself? 

Did you see how groups that completed the job earlier were asked, the three numbers are the same now, can we make them different. Or the three numbers are different, can we make them the same.

Did you also see advanced learners 

investigating if there were any relationship between numver of ways to make the equation a + b = n and the value of n, while the class work on finding a and b. N = 12 for this lesson. Did you see students who are capable putting patterns they saw into words? Dud you see them learning to use what their friends did or said to construct their own understanding?

Are all these important?

Did you see advanced learners 

using 35 + 55 = 90 to generate equations that met the given conditions that the digits in the addends are different. Did you see the second graders doing things that you think are important for them to learn to do? Make a list of these things. These are your answers to parents who clam our for acceleration.

Not that you did not see acceleration. Did you see Grade 1 went on to do 99 + 3 in a lesson where the girl is to add 1, 2 or 3 to another one-digit numver.  The lesson started with 9 + 3. Did you see while other students merely counted on to get 102, advanced learners were saying things test made you proud they are your students? What are those things that they say. Write them down because these are the things you show parents of these kids when they say their children are not challenged enough.

Did you see I end lessons by asking what made you proud today? What challenged you today? What did you learn today?

Diid you see third graders solepce a challenging problem?

Jon folded paper stars. Each day he folded two more than the day before. In seven days, he folded 91 paper stars. The class found that he folded 7 on the first days. 

Did you hear 

a student suggested that the number in the first day cannot be an even number. 

Did you see another suggested doing 91 divided by 7 and use the quotient 13 to get the number folded on the first day. 

Did you see advanced learners not able to, initially anyway, not able to use the piece if paper to help them represent a linear equation. Did you see them posing more difficult equations in their design homework for your patents task? The rest were making up x + 1 = 12 while they wrote 2 x x = 12 and were told the xpconvention if leaving out multiplication sign in two times x.

Did you see the advanced learners from 5X learning to articulate their thinking and were pushed to say how a game is not fair and how to make it fair. Dud you see how advanced learners were challenged in the lesson although the whole class were working on the same task - playing a roll a dice game and the deciding where to place the digit in their _ _ _ _ _ 

Did you see advanced students having fun doing the lesson? Learning more content is fine but have they learn to enjoy what they do. If not that must be learnt before they are accelerated. Acceleration is fine. But let's do that after 'what counts' have been done well.

Did you see?

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