Friday, September 9, 2016

Chess pieces, Descriptive feedback, our first class Circle & reviewing when to talk, looking at some Strengths and Struggles in Math

Here is an interesting box, which are 4 sets of chess pieces will arrive in:
I suppose this is a lesson in globalization for us, which is part of the Social Studies strand in Grade 6. The precise location of where this is originating from can be found in the Guangdong Province, in a city called Shenzhen.  Take a look:,+Guangdong,+China/@23.3943215,114.3276806,7.93z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3403f408d0e15291:0xfdee550db79280c9!8m2!3d22.543096!4d114.057865

I went back to the sheets we used for our New York Times exercise and provided some feedback.  I will share this with the class.  The whole idea of this descriptive feedback, which is a form of assessment, is to encourage some new thinking and improvement to the work.

Now, here is a photo and you can use your observation skills to see if you know where this is taken.  Are we back in Beirut?
And check out the comparison in an article from July, 2015 in The National Post:

As we begin to wind down the end of the week and prepare for some more curriculum based work next week, I wanted to do an exercise to recap some of our memories from Grade 5 and what we are looking forward to for the 16-17 school year.

The good, the not so good, and the joyous possibilities of the future
We are going to have to work on some expectations around listening, when others are talking.  My partner found a very cool image that I would like to share. It relates to having a conversation and practicing some self-regulation.  This is a topic I want to explore this year.

I posted this question on the board today:

2 common question types you see on the EQAO assessment
A sample answer, done by me to encourage some reflection.  The students had the option of writing in sentences or making jot notes.
As I look through the journals, a common theme is emerging:  MULTIPLICATION. Interestingly, by the end of Grade 4, it is expected that the tables, at least to 10, should be mastered.  Check this:
There are two questions here, which assume the test taker knows the multiplication tables.  So, we will take another shot at them.  By Grade 6, the expectation is this, in relation to multiplying:

But in order to do that, you need to know your tables.  I have had the pleasure of speaking with John Mighton, the developer of the JUMP Math program.  He designed this approach:

It can be found at

I will get around to making some hard copies for the students in Room 28.  While this is one approach, there are others.  For some students, they are very visual:
There are endless YouTube videos, which you can search. There are countless games, which usually assume you know your tables:
The one thing I know, is that knowing the tables makes things in Math so much more understandable.  There is a measure of confidence when approaching other topics, so this is where we will begin our journey.  The Grade 6 text does not have a section on learning the tables, since it assumes the students know them already. No big deal,  we can get around this by taking one step at a time.