Slow Math is … valuing why

One of our math teachers, Shera Higbee, sent the following to our math department over the weekend.

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Slow Math is not just about how to do math … it’s about valuing why the math works. I am grateful to work with teachers who agree. And I am grateful for students who recognize and appreciate that why is valued.

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Student Voice? Task Selection

We are talking about student voice in one of my graduate classes this semester, and so we’ve been looking out for and paying closer attention to opportunities for students to use their voice in our classrooms and in our school.

One question I have is whether student voice = student choice.
I wonder what student voice in a math class has to do with slow math.

I looked back at a lesson from last year when students had the opportunity to select the task they wanted to work.

We were practicing show your work, and we used Jill’s leveled learning progression to monitor student progress.

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Students looked at the first task (Circles and Squares) and noted what they wonder about how the figures are related to each other.

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We watched Dan’s video for the second task (Some Really Obscure Geometry Problem), and I sent a Quick Poll to collect their best estimates of the area percentage for each region.

The third figure came from the Mathematics Assessment Project, but it is no longer available.

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All of the tasks provided students the opportunity to practice MP7 look for and make use of structure and think about area ratios in figures.

Each team selected the task they wanted to spend more time working.

 

Students had choice in geometry that day. Did students have voice?

Was that a class period well spent, even if we didn’t synthesize ideas as a whole class? Would it have been better (and worth the time) if students have reviewed the work of those who worked on a different task? What difference does providing #slowmath student voice opportunities make for students?

And so the journey continues …