Rereading 5 Practices

08 Jun

I’ve been rereading Smith & Stein’s 5 Practices for our #T3Learns slow chat book study.


We used daily prompts for one chapter each week.


I have failed to keep up with the last few chapters because of exams, graduation, a litter of 8 abandoned puppies, and a family vacation to the mountains of western North Carolina.

I like to finish what I started, so I reread the last few chapters and wrote the tweets I would have posted. Rereading this book a few years after the first time has been a valuable experience – reminding me of not only the importance of the 5 practices but also some of the challenges in implementing them – so I am including my reflections as a blog post to reference every once in a while, as the journey continues …

Chapter 1: Introduction and Introducing the Five Practices

Sentence/Phrase We learn through a process of knowledge construction that requires us to actively manipulate and refine information and then integrate it with our prior understandings. #T3Learns
Connect Love the idea of our community of learners participating in the “joint construction of knowledge”.
Extend When going over a task, how do we turn “show-&-tell” into an opportunity for Ss to learn how solutions are connected to the math we want them to know? #T3Learns
Challenge As noted in intro, challenge is “aligning students’ developing ideas & methods with the disciplinary ideas that they ultimately are accountable for knowing.” #T3Learns
I wonder I wonder how many Ts plan lessons thinking about “launch” phase, “explore” phase, & “discuss & summarize” phase. #T3Learns #5Practices


Chapter 2: Laying the Groundwork: Setting Goals and Selecting Tasks

Sentence/Phrase “productive discussions that highlight key mathematical ideas are unlikely to occur if the task on which Ss are working requires limited thinking & reasoning.” #T3Learns p20
Connect Ts often think of lessons in terms of what Ss will do instead of what they will come to know & understand about the math. #T3Learns
Extend Extend: If the mathematical idea is explicitly written in the learning goal, will that influence the way I plan/teach the lesson? #T3Learns
Challenge How might we get Ss to think about lessons in terms of what they know & understand about the math instead of just what they are doing? #T3Learns
I wonder I wonder what % of tasks I give my Ss would be considered higher-level. I wonder when a lower-level task is helpful. #T3Learns


Chapter 3: Investigating the Five Practices in Action

Sentence/Phrase T avoided show&tell in which solutions are presented in succession w/o rhyme or reason, often obscuring point of the lesson. #T3Learns p.29
Connect Rereading this reminds me of where I’ve picked up new habits while teaching: “By referring to notes that she had made during the monitoring process” #T3Learns p.27
Extend I’m reminded how helpful reading through a vignette is to see #5Practices in action. I need to be sure my team of Ts has this opportunity. #T3Learns
Challenge Challenge: Deliberate selecting, even w/teams w/same solution. Have clipboard but don’t always keep up. #5Practices #T3Learns
I wonder @elsdunbar has me wondering how #5Practices can be connected to other disciplines: #T3Learns


Chapter 4: Getting Started: Anticipating Students’ Responses and Monitoring Their Work

Sentence/Phrase “His preparatory work would help him make sense of what he did see and free him up to consider more deeply the things that emerged that he had not anticipated.” #T3Learns #5Practices p. 35
Connect So simple & yet so important for Ts planning lessons: “Once he had determined what he was going to do and why …” #T3Learns #5Practices p. 35
Extend “Developing Qs only “in the moment” is challenging for a teacher who is juggling the needs of a classroom full of learners who need different types and levels of assistance.” #T3Learns #5Practices p. 36
Challenge Challenge: Solving problems using nonprocedural methods to anticipate what Ss might do. I find this best done in the company of my coworkers! #T3Learns #5Practices
I wonder I wonder whether I can find Ts willing to share a classroom experience through the lens of #5Practices. The vignettes are so helpful! #T3Learns


Chapter 5: Determining Direction of Discussion: Selecting, Sequencing & Connecting Students’ Responses

Sentence/Phrase Selecting is “purposefully determining what math Ss will have access to beyond their own initial thoughts”. #T3Learns p.43 #5Practices
Connect Selecting gives T control over what class discusses–not left up to chance of who raises hand or whom T randomly calls. #T3Learns p.44
Extend I love “orchestrating” in title. Select*Sequence*Connect really does make me feel like the conductor of an orchestra of math Ss. #T3Learns
Challenge Unfiltered S contribution hard to follow or causes unproductive direction #T3Learns p.44 Reminds me of @PamWHarris:
I wonder HMW teach every lesson so that “the goals for the lesson serve as a beacon toward which all activity is directed”? #T3Learns p.59


Chapter 6: Ensuring Active Thinking & Participation: Asking Good Questions & Holding Students Accountable

Sentence/Phrase Giving Ss time to compose responses signals value of deliberative thinking, recognizes that deep thinking takes time #SlowMath #T3Learns p72
Connect “What Ss learn is intertwined with how they learn it.” Which is why we start with #AskDontTell learning episodes. #T3Learns #5Practices p.61
Extend Classroom discussions “do not materialize out of thin air. Rather, they are planned …” #T3Learns #5Practices p.69
Challenge Moving from S sharing solution to revealing connections is a challenge. Takes practice & do-overs. Blogging helps me process. #T3Learns
I wonder I wonder whether my team would be willing to listen/record each other’s Qs so that we can improve # that push/probe S thinking. #T3Learns


Chapter 7: Math – Putting the Five Practices in a Broader Context of Lesson Planning

Sentence/Phrase Planning “is a skill that can be learned and greatly enhanced through collaborations with colleagues.” #T3Learns #5Practices #MTBoS
Connect How do you create a permanent record of the decisions you make in your lesson? How many of us blog for this reason? #T3Learns
Extend Beginning Ts need even more support planning – so thankful for our team teaching opportunity. #T3Learns
Challenge Challenge: Our Ts dutifully submit lesson plans but few find value in completing. HMW use them to improve teaching & learning? #T3Learns
I wonder HMW change lesson planning at our school to focus on Qs we’ll ask to drive instruction instead of what we’ll cover. #T3Learns


Chapter 8: Working in the School Environment to Improve Classroom Discussions

Sentence/Phrase “All teachers have the capacity to be stars—they just need access to opportunities to learn, reflect, and grow.” #T3Learns #5Practices p94
Connect I am thankful to work in a school that values common planning time for Ts, even when scheduling is a challenge. #5Practices #T3Learns
Extend Thoughtfully & thoroughly planning instruction for tasks culminating in discussion so math learned is salient to Ss isn’t easy #T3Learns p94
Challenge I am thankful to work in a school that values common planning time for Ts, even when scheduling is a challenge. #5Practices #T3Learns
I wonder I look forward to continued work with #5Practices. I’ve seen our work w/tasks improve over several yrs of sequencing & connecting. #T3Learns



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