This is the first post in what I’m hoping will become a fairly regular series reflecting on the Mathematics Vision Project (MVP) Math 1 curriculum in my class this year. This first post is going to be a bit on the long side because it involves several days worth of reflections that I emailed out to my Math 1 team before I had decided to start blogging my thoughts.
For the most part, I’m going to just copy-paste the emails that I sent my colleagues, rather than trying to polish them up too much, because one of my colleagues described my emails as me opening up my brain for everyone to see how I was thinking about this pedagogy, and that’s really what I’d like these posts to be.
I will, however, add small bits of context and commentary where necessary.
This first email is from a Wednesday, which means our periods are 45 minutes long. We had planned as a team to wrap-up/synthesize lesson 1.2 by the end of that Friday. (Wednesdays are our only short days; all other days have 59 minute periods.)
First email, sent midday on the first day of Lesson 1.2.
A few quick notes from our release time conversation today:
1) MVP is SUPER inconsistent about using words to describe recursive equations verbally. We have decided on consistently using the following:
2) The questions in lesson 1.3 mention both “recursive formula” and “explicit formula”, so those vocab words NEED to be introduced in Friday’s synthesizing discussion. Kids don’t necessarily need to be comfortable with them, but they need to have them in their notes for reference when they’re working on 1.3 next week. (Also, MVP seems to bounce around with “formula” vs. “equation” vs. “function” somewhat haphazardly).
3) I wanted to share out how far my morning classes got: Period 2 just had time to work on t=100 in their groups. Period 3 had time to do t=100 and then would have had time to discuss it but some kids were disrespectful of another student’s mistake so I had to pause for some culture resetting.
Also, having kids work on whiteboards/windows (#VNPS
) was AMAZING! It took a while to set-up and explain directions, but the kids were super engaged and collaborative. A major downside is that I felt like I really struggled to monitor what was happening in each group, but that may get easier as I get more comfortable with the structure.
Second email, later that same day:
An update on my afternoon classes: period 5 struggled to understand what was going on; I think I may not have scaffolded the language barriers well enough (also that class is huge and has some super high-maintenance kids).
Period 6 had some really interesting work. We ended the day with all groups having an answer for t=100. The answers were 400, 401, and 404. If you’re
The next email, after a full 59 minute period of class on Thursday:
Attached are the GN I have made to synthesize learning at the end of lesson 1.2. I’ve attached both the word doc and an example of how I’m envisioning using them.
To be honest, even though I know it’s not ideal to break this lesson up over the long weekend, given how today went, I think I may be doing these notes primarily on Tuesday. I really want to make sure that EVERYTHING comes from the kids (with the exception of conventions of notation). Hence “Kid 1’s Name” in my sample notes; that’ll be a shout-out to a kid who saw the pattern in a particular way.
(I actually did a better job of organizing things in class than in the sample notes I originally sent in my email, so I’m going to upload an image of that when I’m at school next week.)
Then, later that night:
I know I said earlier that I might do the synthesizing discussion next week, but after my afternoon classes, I’ve realized that my kids have a LOT of confusion about variables and what we mean by an equation for the number of dots at t minutes. I don’t know that further struggle will be productive, so I’m going to do the notes tomorrow and hopefully give them time in class to start their HW.
My goal is still to have as much of the notes conversation be student-driven as possible.
I’ve made a new HW for tomorrow because I don’t think they’re going to have the bandwidth for me to review function notation or exponents after doing the GN.