This week I was definitely more in tune with the “what”, “where” and “how” of the content I teach. I brought this focus to my mentoring session as well, encouraging my mentee to include the “where” and “how” of the content. The reading this week talked out about “hanging out”. I am going to restructure my morning snack time to allow for “hanging out” time in the classroom. The reading also talked about the power of “geeking out”. If I were a super hero “geeking out” would be my superpower. I have found so much success with this strategy. This week I came across a really large spider so I brought it to school and my students and I totally geeked out for a couple days before we let it go.
While discussing this week’s topic when classmates I realized that if we do a good job with the “where” and “how the “what” is there. For example in math, student need to be able to do solve simple facts without a calculator. If students reach for a calculator to solve basic facts it means they are simply looking for the “what” and lack the “where” and “how”. When I was in school math facts were memorized. That was all fine and good but by the time I got to college I was really good at math but I didn’t really understand any of it – I just memorized steps. Today I teach students the “where” and “how”. I teach mental math strategies that they can use. My students don’t have to use their fingers or calculators. Sometimes parents may not see the value in learning strategies when you can just memorize the “what” However when we get to really large multi-digit problems and they see how fast their child can solve it mentally they are typically sold.
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