Showing posts from March, 2017

Mistakes are Gifts!

Mistakes aren't just okay, they are gifts!

Six years ago, I was attending some amazing professional development as part of the West Cook Math Initiative- now called Metro Chicago Math Initiative. We had a frequent guest facilitator, David Foster, leading us in a math talk and then discussing re-engagement lessons. I will never forget the day that he said, "Mistakes are gifts." In fact, I believe he said he had heard this from a teacher in Japan that was explaining the role that mistakes can play in helping students understanding mathematical concepts.

Bottom line, I don't know who to give credit to for this quote, but it certainly has had an impact on me. It is something that I repeat to students that I teach, teachers that I coach, and participants in professional development that I lead. I just can't say it enough!

Here's my vlog of my reflections on this idea:

If you like the idea of using mistakes in your classroom, consider re-engagement lessons as an a…

Teacher Move: Strategic Eavesdropping

This is my first attempt at "vlogging." It's blogging but with video! This is pushing me out of my comfort zone a bit because, as most people, I hate seeing myself on video or hearing myself talk!! And look how my face is frozen in a weird way on the video below. Ugh! But I think this is a powerful way to reflect on my practice and share ideas I've done in the classroom, so I'm giving it a try.

I hope you find this idea helpful. I call it "strategic eavesdropping." It is a teacher move that you do in the classroom as students are working or discussing. You do this to find students work/thinking to share to the group and facilitate class discussions. It is probably something that you are doing already! What makes this a little different than just walking around and listening to kids talk is the strategic part. You are going to use what you overhear to plan, in the moment, for how to reveal student thinking to the group. Give this video a watch and let m…