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Illustrative Mathematics: We Want To Collaborate With YOU !

October 21, 2016 / by Kristin Gray

We've found collaboration with one another to be an invaluable component of our professional learning. In every conversation we have around the math, the lesson, and student work, we learn so much. Since we know it's not always easy to find the time to meet, especially living on opposite coasts, we've found ways to be creative in our scheduling, planning, tools, and technology to make it happen.

We were fortunate to begin our journey together over two years ago when we worked on a project supported by Illustrative Mathematics, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia, and Teaching Channel. The project connected educators from around the country in a planning, teaching, and reflection cycle unlike anything we had ever experienced. Recently, NCTM's publication Teaching Children Mathematics, published an article on this work and hosted a Twitter chat that generated an energetic conversation about collaboration that sparked a new idea for us to try.

The timing of this collaboration couldn't have been more perfect, since Kristin is traveling to California in November and Jody is working with Bethany Lockhart, a kindergarten teacher in a nearby school. We thought it would be amazing to tie our virtual work to a face to face meeting in a couple of weeks.

The project has many moving parts, but here is the basic structure:

  • The team creates a task to be published on the Illustrative Mathematics site.
  • The task is open for collaboration with teachers everywhere.
  • The team makes adaptations to the task based on the feedback.
  • Teach and film the lesson in Bethany's classroom, in California, on November 3rd.

We met as a collaborative group this week, decided to focus our work on CCSS Standard K.OA.4, and brainstormed ideas for a warm-up and task. Our original thinking was to use a context and both-addend unknown word problem structure. We sent the draft idea to one of the mathematicians at Illustrative Mathematics for feedback, and asked specifically about the alignment to K.OA.4. The task we designed, while connected to K.OA.4, was more about decomposing a number than building a ten. So, we went back to the drawing board for a more aligned focus on K.OA.3.

We have a draft and would love and appreciate your feedback on the activity!

You can visit the lesson here and leave feedback by following the feedback link on the top of that page.

Particular things we'd like feedback on are:

  • What activity structures have you used that could be helpful in this lesson?
  • Are there things you’ve seen students do around this idea that we should anticipate?
  • What questions might we ask to get at big ideas around this standard?

It would be amazing if you have the opportunity to try the task with your students before November 3rd and share their work or videos with us. We want to learn from and with YOU!

On November 3rd, we'll be teaching the lesson in Bethany's kindergarten class. We hope to learn from our collaboration with you as we continue to revise and plan for an exciting classroom learning experience.

Stay tuned for a video and lesson artifacts available on Teaching Channel.

Thank you in advance,

-- Kristin & Jody

Topics: Math, Leadership

Kristin Gray

Written by Kristin Gray

Kristin Gray, a National Board Certified, 21-year veteran teacher of grades 5-8, is currently the Director of K-5 Curriculum and Professional Learning at Illustrative Mathematics (IM). She has served as a writer for the IM 6-8 math curriculum and as a Teaching Channel Laureate. Kristin has developed and facilitated mathematics professional learning at district, state, and national levels and presents annually at the NCSM and NCTM conferences. To reflect on her experiences, she blogs and connects with educators on Twitter, @MathMinds. Kristin has a B.S. in Elementary Education with a concentration in mathematics from the University of Delaware, a M.Ed. in applied technology in education from Wilmington University, and is the 2014 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

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