# Ep 114: Moving Students Forward Pt 2

August 23, 2022 Pam Harris Episode 114
Math is Figure-Out-Able with Pam Harris
Ep 114: Moving Students Forward Pt 2

The school year is starting! For this exciting time, Pam and Kim want to discuss what starting strategies can help you and your students to build thinking relationships and strategies rather than simply answer getting.
Talking Points:

• Problem Talks are great ways to pre-assess your students
• Partial strategies are a great starting place but we have to help students develop more sophisticated strategies
• The starting strategies for each major operation
• Students need lots of experience developing relationships through Problem Strings and Rich Tasks for strategies to be natural outcomes

And don't miss out on the You Can Change Math Class Challenge! https://www.mathisfigureoutable.com/change
Check out Episodes 10 and 12 of this podcast for more ideas about starting your school year.

Pam Harris:

Hey fellow mathematicians, you're listening to the podcast where math is Figure-Out-Able. I'm Pam.

Kim Montague:

And I'm Kim.

Pam Harris:

And you found a place where math is not about memorizing and mimicking, waiting to be told or shown what to do. But y'all it's about making sense of problems noticing patterns and reasoning using mathematical relationships. We can mentor mathematicians as we co-create meaning together. Not only are algorithms not particularly helpful in teaching mathematics, but rotely repeating steps actually keep students and the rest of us from being the mathematicians they can be.

Kim Montague:

So in the last episode, we jumped into some conversation about how to get started if you or your students are new to numeracy, and focusing on building thinking relationships rather than simply answer getting. In today's episode, we're going to take a look at some of the early strategies that you can and should build with your students as you begin the year together. So listen, if you or your students have only ever really experienced algorithms year after year, they've never really had an opportunity to examine their thinking, you may have to spend just a little bit of time messing around with number in ways that we suggested in the last episode. They're gonna need some experience dissecting problems, and talking about their thinking. And considering that mathematics is not all about you solve one problem for one answer.

Pam Harris:

Kim Montague:

Absolutely.

Pam Harris:

Kim Montague:

Yeah, sounds great.

Pam Harris:

So early strategies, here's an interesting thing to consider. There are programs out there that recognize that students come into operations with some intuition. That they come into, and I'm just going to use multiplications as an example. So Everyday Math was a fine program. Zalman Usiskin you did a great job of helping us all think about transformations in a different way. But in a way the what was written and then what was read by teachers was a little bit different. Here's

Pam's take on Everyday Math:

They kind of gave us lots of different prior algorithms to mess around with. And the idea was to get students to sort of play with numbers and go, Oh, like and kind of learn relationships. Unfortunately, they used a lot of algorithms that aren't very transparent. And so yeah, students kind of played around and they, but

Kim Montague:

Huge!

Pam Harris:

Kim Montague:

Right.

Pam Harris:

Kim Montague:

Can you jump in for just a second before you move on?

Pam Harris:

Absolutely.

Kim Montague:

So I find it really important, and I want to emphasize that you're saying that it's necessary that we give kids some time and experience because a lot of times we hear from teachers, like, "Oh, my kids are stuck it" whatever, they're they're working with partials or they're working with just removing small jumps of numbers at earlier ages, younger grades. When we dig into that conversation a little bit, they'll say things like, "Well, I've done a problem string or two." or "I've done a thing or two." And you and I are-

Pam Harris:

Often, sorry, Kim. Often it's, "I've done problem talks," "I've done number talks."

Kim Montague:

Yes, yes.

Pam Harris:

We're doing all the work. We're doing, but when we dig in all the work is like some, maybe it's a lot of number talks, not Problem Strings.

Kim Montague:

Problem Strings.

Pam Harris:

Yeah.

Kim Montague:

Even if they have done a Problem String it's been a Problem String.

Pam Harris:

One or two.

Kim Montague:

Right?

Pam Harris:

Yes.

Kim Montague:

Of each type of strategy. And I want to emphasize that we feel really strongly about giving kids some experience, so that then they can get to more sophisticated strategies. And you're not dragging them along. Right? It should be a nudge for sure, you should be able to lob things out, and kids kind of grasp a hold. But if we're just kind of shoving them along and saying we did one Problem String of this type and one Problem String of this type, then the results are not going to be as successful as maybe it feels like it might want to be in your head.

Pam Harris:

Kim Montague:

Yeah, absolutely. I was gonna say I'm so glad that you mentioned how much work you'll do with multiplication, before some of the more sophisticated division strategies.

Pam Harris: