Sunday, July 21, 2013

Minds on Math Workshop Chapter 7 - Minilessons

In chapter 7, Ward Hoffer introduces us to minilessons.  A key to a minilesson is modeling thinking as opposed to showing examples.  The think-aloud concept is not new to me, but I'm afraid it's one that I really haven't used since moving to math from ELA (and since moving from elementary to middle grades).  I can't say that I have a good reason for this, it just is.  This chapter, was a good reminder of the effectiveness of think alouds.  

One thing I really took from this chapter was that thinking aloud doesn't just stop with talking.  Part of the think aloud process is illustrating the thinking and annotating the illustration.  Another important part of the think aloud process that I really hadn't considered was the discussion about what she (the teacher) was doing during the demonstration as well as discussion about what the pitfalls might be.  

The list of "lesson" types was intriguing as I often think of a lesson as the mathematical content or process.  Ward Hoffer suggests that lessons can offer direct instruction, revisit findings from a previous lesson, introduce a thinking strategy, modeling a problem-solving strategy, discussing implementation of a specific math practice, revisiting community agreement, discussing the relevance of a particular concept to learners' lives.  This was a pretty comprehensive list that included some things I wouldn't have thought of as "lessons".  This can serve as an important reminder to us all that math is much more than the content in the textbooks and for it to be meaningful to students, they need to approach it in many ways.

Until next time...


1 comment:

  1. I agree there was a lot to think about in this lesson as far as organizing how to teach.. ie content, process or thinking strategy. I appreciated the idea of think alouds during the mini-lesson. I do this in ELA all the time.. DUH I should be using the same strategy in math!
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