- Teaching involves many complex decisions, how can we simplify it? - Instructional activities as containers within to study teaching - Develop language to talk clearly about teaching with your colleagues
Course Description: Teaching is incredibly complex work. Teachers work in environments where they have to negotiate choices about what to say to whom, when, and in what way. Depending on how you define what a decision is, teachers make between 500 and 1500 decisions that impact student learning each day.
Decision making is clearly a critical aspect of any teaching. But how do we know which decisions we need to make and to learn how to make better decisions?
Do we ask this student or that student to talk next? Do we ask students to turn and talk or do we ask them to write down in response to a prompt? And what prompt should we use? When we look around the room at the student’s work, how do we decide which work matches our expectations and which does not? How might we sequence student ideas in a classroom discussion to help us meet a mathematical goal? What do we say to support student thinking? What do we not say? Which things said make a difference in student learning and which do not? These are just some of the kinds of questions that a teacher must ask themselves every day.
As such, it can be challenging to learn from the decisions we make as a teacher because there is an overwhelming number of them each day and so many different interactions between these decisions. Uncovering what works for students about our teaching is like solving a system of inequalities with hundreds of variables; further teachers have to do this all in real time with real students in front of them.
What if there was a way to reduce the number of decisions teachers had to make every day while still preserving their ability to make important decisions about how to support students? What if there was a way to do this and simultaneously support students in being able focus on the mathematical ideas rather than the teaching structures used to support illuminate them?
What if there was a way to support teams of mathematics teachers to be better able to talk about their practice and use the same language to describe it, regardless of what mathematical content they teach?
If we hold some parts of our teaching the same and look at the impact of our teaching on our students, then we can change other parts of our teaching to study the impact of small changes in our practice. This allows us to reduce the overall complexity of teaching. Over time we learn which small changes matter and these change accumulate to generate effective teaching practices. We develop discrete skills from examining our work in the context of an instructional practice so that we can use these same skills in other contexts.
Holding some parts of their instruction the same means that teachers have to make fewer decisions each day. Instead of trying to work out what direction to take next teachers are freed up to think about how to best do that activity and its interaction with the mathematical thinking of students.
In this webinar, I will share some of instructional activities created by some fantastic teachers at the Teacher Education By Design Project and we will see how we can use these instructional activities to support high quality ambitious instruction that aims to have all children successful in mathematics classrooms.
Who Should Attend: - K - 12 Mathematics Teachers - Mathematics Education Supervisors - Mathematics Coaches - Teacher-Educators - Principals
Masters Degree in Educational Technology
NEW YORK, United States
David is currently a Formative Assessment and Instructional Specialist for New Visions for Public Schools in NYC. He has worked as a mathematics and science teacher in NYC, London, Bangkok, and Vancouver. David has 8 years experience with the International Baccalaureate Middle Years and Diploma Years Programmes. He is the co-author of a textbook designed for the International Baccalaureate program. He has his Bachelor of Science (Mathematics), Bachelor of Education (Secondary Mathematics), and Master of Educational Technology, all from the University of British Columbia.
He has been published in the Bangkok Post, Dialogue Online, Educational Technology Solutions, Leading and Learning, Software Developer’s Journal, and Edutopia. He has also been consulted for stories in the Globe and Mail, the CBC, the Vancouver Sun, and the Tyee. He has been a guest on CBC’s On the Coast and CKNW’s the Bill Good show. He has presented on Technology in Mathematics, Computer Based Math, Social Media, Change in Education, and other topics related to the use of technology in education. He blogs regularly at http://davidwees.com and can be found on Twitter at @davidwees.