Saturday, June 8, 2013

Building Mathematical Comprehension- Chapter 1

It's here!! The book study is starting!
Don't forget to use the hashtag 
for Twitter and Instagram.

I have been anxiously awaiting the start of this book study and can't wait to hear what you all think of this book. 

Brenda from Primary Inspired and I are hosting Chapter 1, so make sure you check out her post as well. 

I started peeking at Chapter 1 pretty early and immediately regretted not having a highlighter or post-it notes at home. I texted my husband and asked him to grab some on his way home! Crisis averted. LOL

As someone whose background is in literacy I can't believe that I never even thought of using the same comprehension strategies in my math lessons. The first thing that really stood out for me as I started to read through Building Mathematical Comprehension is the debate about core teachers vs. rotary teachers. It's a debate that's going strong at my school right now and one that I have changed my opinion about.

I started my career teaching only Language Arts, History and Geography and was terrified at the thought of Math. However, when I switched from Grade 8 to Grade 3 & 4 teaching rotary was no longer an option and I was faced with...Math! I must say, now I love teaching Math, I feel like I know my students so much better than I did when I taught rotary and reading this book has helped me cement my ideas on this subject. 

The BIG idea that I have come away with is that all teachers are reading teachers.

On page 22, Sammons displays a chart that shows the similarities between good readers and good mathematicians. It's very interesting to see how similar the two actions really are. I especially liked when Sammons wrote "Mathematics requires not only the construction of meaning related to mathematical concepts, but also comprehension of the written text that is so often required for problem-solving tasks." (page 23) I have found that many of my students have a great knowledge of math but when it comes to problem-solving, or communicating their thinking they stumble. (This was the focus of a 6-week intensive unit in my classroom this year that you can read about here)

I really like the idea of discussing math problems as a genre! What an amazing idea...I have also noticed the amount to which Sammons references Mosaic of Thought by Keene and Zimmermann. I have not read this book but really want to now. I think it would make for a good companion read as we work through the book study. Has anyone read it? Can they recommend it?

I also enjoyed reading about explicit instruction and modeling how to perform the strategy. I am glad that Sammons took the time to go through the steps involved in the scaffolding process because I think it's always an important reminder for us/me. I am especially bad at letting my students contribute when I am modeling and I want to make a conscious effort to get better in this area. 

Lastly, I am interested in integrating math texts into my guided reading more often. Wouldn't it be interesting to read a math problem and discuss it in a similar fashion to a narrative story? Author's purpose? Author's message? Etc

Some questions I had after reading this chapter are:

On page 26 Sammons writes that teachers should be aware of how they frame their expectations or goals for students in both reading and math but doesn't give an example of a good goal or expectation. I am wondering what one would look like? Maybe it will come up later in the chapter?

What was the most interesting part of Chapter 1 for you?

Now it's your turn. Link up below with your post about chapter 1 so we can get this book study rolling. 

Would you like to display the linky on your own blog? Grab the code!  get the InLinkz code

8 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Brenda said...

I also LOVE the idea of including math word problems as a genre! I have heard Mosaic of Thought is an EXCELLENT book, though I have not read it myself....seems like that should be my next purchase!
I think what I found the most interesting was how she identified which strategies can/should be used before, during, & after working on math problems. I'm already thinking about what those mini-lessons might look like!

Julie Sawyer said...

Just started following your blog and am planning to participate in the book study. I just got the book and will try to catch up this week!

Math is Elementary

Beth said...

That's great! Glad to have you.

ssurridge said...

I got the book late so am trying to catch up. I have read Mosaic of Thought and it is one of my most cherished educational books. It changed the way I thought about teaching reading and I have been using it as my reading bible ever since. My second all-time best educational book about comprehension was Strategies That Work.

Mrs. Landry said...

So I've finally linked up with chapter 1! I'm only a little behind and I'll be honest and say that my post seems choppy but I'm learning soooo much from this great study that I couldn't seem to get the words flowing right. :) Anyways, thanks for doing this awesome study! I'm working on chapter 2!
Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

Beth said...

You take all the time you need! The posts aren't going anywhere so you can link up whenever you want to. I'll be by to check it out ASAP.

The Meek Moose said...

Seriously late to the party here- but I had lost my book for a little while. Maybe I'll be able to speed read to catch up!
The Meek Moose

Beth said...

Heather- Take as long as you need! The posts aren't going anywhere. Glad to have you with us!

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