Thursday, April 30, 2015

Balanced Math

Ok, I am not very good at writing blog posts regularly. I'm sure no one else is even reading my blog but that's ok because I write it as a reflection of my learning to help me become a better teacher. If it sparks an idea for someone else out there, that's just
With that said...

This post is to help me reflect about next year. Previously, I've taught all grades and subjects. For the 2 years before this one, I taught 5th/6th Science and Social Studies. This year I was saddled with got the pleasure of teaching 6th grade Math and Science. Wink. 

It's  been awhile since I've taught math and I wasn't quite sure how to teach Oklahoma standards for 6th grade math.  Plus we are rewriting standards currently because our uneducated legislators decided to move away from common core and left us with seriously out-dated standards.  I found out that I over taught some areas and fell short in others. Therefore, with the help of our building instructional coach, I have decided to get ahead of the game and start researching Balanced Math. (Our district does Balanced Literacy but hasn't started reforming math yet.)

I found many different articles about Balanced Math and found some of them confusing, some helpful, and some wrong with all that is within me as a teacher. LOL. I came at it from the framework of Balanced Literature. There is fluency (fact practice), comprehension (problem-solving), vocabulary, writing (I am going to start with Building Better Math Responses by Runde's Room), and instead of read aloud I will do math out-loud (mental math). 

I created a PowerPoint to show the students at the beginning of next year. Here is one slide of that PowerPoint that kind of sums it all up:

I am also going to add a little bit of gamification to my class. Next year I will not give "grades". I will allow students to earn points towards a goal for each semester. Everything they complete will count as points towards their goal of "graduating 6th grade" to become middle schoolers (our 6th grade is in the Elementary in Tulsa, OK). So instead of "23/25 = 92% A" on an assignment, the student will see +23. Students will have a form in their data folders to see where they stand.

Please leave me a comment if you have a suggestion or a question. Thanks!

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