Bar Models, open middle, three-act math tasks, esti-mysteries, numberless word problems, rich tasks, number talks, unit chats, which one doesn’t belong’, choral counting, Desmos, GeoGebra, Youcubed…
What have I missed? This list goes on and on. I know there are other great resources out there that I could have mentioned.
Does this list start to make you feel a little like the picture above? Some days it does to me.
The educators who have created these mathematics resources are an amazing group of people who I follow on Twitter. I am continually awed by their ability to create meaningful material that inspires teachers around the globe. What’s especially wonderful about these resources is that they are all free and readily available to teachers with a quick Google search. What's not so wonderful is that there really isn't such a thing as a "quick Google search" when it comes to lesson planning.
If some of these names are new to you (What in the world is choral counting?) it can be very daunting to try them out with your students. It’s very easy to suffer from information overload, especially in the world of Twitter and other social media. Information overload can cause us to be paralyzed. AAHHHH… there’s just too much out there…. it’s easier for me to just keep doing what I’ve always done. Where can I even start? If you feel this way, you are not alone.
Where to begin?
Start small. Are your students struggling to learn multiplication facts? Look at youcubed for some resources. Try a multiplication number talk. Pick one new resource to try, and stick with it. And give yourself grace, the implementation dip is real.
Ask your colleagues or coach for feedback. If you are fortunate enough to work at a school with a learning coach, invite them into your classroom. If you don’t have a coach, try something like an observe me protocol to invite feedback from colleagues.
Let go. This is one of the most challenging things about trying new things as an educator. Experience is both a blessing and a curse. If I’ve successfully taught a topic the same way for many years, why should I try to teach it a new way? My answer to that is Why not? What is holding you back? Two high school teachers I worked with last year were amazed at the quality of projects their 9th grade students independently created using Desmos. What did the teachers do differently? They let go of their thinking that they needed to teach the material the way the textbook did. The students met the same learning objective, but in a different way.
Sifting through the sheer number of math resources out there takes a lot of time. Time is a limited resource for most educators. Want to try something new but don’t know where to begin? Reach out to me via email or the comments section to get started.
links to these resources can be found here: Bar Models, open middle, three-act math tasks, esti-mysteries, numberless word problems, rich tasks, number talks, unit chats, ‘Which One Doesn’t Belong’, choral counting, Desmos, GeoGebra, Youcubed