Presentation on theme: "Focus Wall Guidelines Dawn Smith Instructional Services Specialist K-6 Mathematics."— Presentation transcript:
Focus Wall Guidelines Dawn Smith Instructional Services Specialist K-6 Mathematics
National Mathematics Advisory Panel: Final Report -U.S. Department of Education, March 2008 (We should use) what is clearly known from rigorous research about how children learn, especially recognizing A) the mutually reinforcing benefits of conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and automatic (quick and effortless) recall of facts; and B) that effort, not just inherent talent, counts in mathematical achievement.
Put your walls to work for you. Most students are visual learners and need many repetitions of a concept before achieving mastery. Every time your students look around the room, your walls should be teaching for you (even when you are not.) Enlist student help in maintaining them. This will foster ownership and increase their use. Should you use a Math Focus Wall in your classroom?
Motivate- create an incentive! Use Data Director or EasyGradePro to set whole class achievement goals for Topic or Benchmark Tests, Problem Solving, or Writing to Explain.
All grade levels have a label for the focus wall with the animal character that matches the textbook.
Large size; laminate and use a dry erase to quickly (and easily) change the topic and lesson on a daily basis.
Vocabulary cards are available in the pouches or online. Large cards on cardstock can also be used, but think about how students can generate these cards and the accompanying visual aids- Frayer model- etc. Use a pocket chart! Keep it simple. Display words for the entire topic at a time. Leave them up if the next topic is in the same strand. Students can use the reproducibles for flash cards, foldable booklets, illustrate them, etc. Develop consistent vocabulary – terms are used throughout the grades.
This is a kid-friendly version for objectives. Instead of “Students will” try “We are learning to….” This is fairly easy when you begin with the stated objective in the TE. TIP: Laminate this on a piece of bright 12 x 18 construction paper and write the objective with a dry erase marker. Pre-write “We are learning”.
“We are learning” becomes “objectives” in grade 2.
Objective: Part 2 What will you expect to see that will satisfy you that all students have met the objective? (Put this on laminated paper as well.) Consider proficiency on Guided Practice: “Do you know HOW? Do you UNDERSTAND?”
On this section of your board, keep Re-teach pages or examples of previous concepts in the topic. Hang them on rings in page protectors. When students are struggling and need a quick “re-teach” just pull the page off the board. Pull a small group or partner with a student who can help. Use a dry-erase to write on the page protector – no need to “remember” to run something off at a later time. Hanging them in a row (on push or T-pins) allows students to see the mathematical progression and how concepts build. After a topic or two, put them all together on one ring and hang to the side.
Build: An activity, found in the Interactive Learning. Act out, construct, or manipulate objects. This is concrete learning which lays the foundation for conceptual understanding.
Draw: Create a visual example- diagram, drawing or visualization that connects to what was built. Help students make connections as they complete the activities. These can include pictures, lines and circles, tally marks, or “imagine” in your mind. Here is the opportunity to display student work- four or five good examples.
Write: Use mathematical expressions or equations to express the idea Or… Write using written or verbal sentences to explain mathematical ideas. Discussion and writing should always be part of activities to deepen understanding between stages. Ask questions to encourage conceptual understanding.
Landmarks are the grade level memorization component. For the topic students are learning, what needs to be memorized or done with automaticity in order for students to more easily facilitate the new material? For example, in first grade students need to know their complements of 10: 1 + 9, 2 + 8, 3 + 7, etc. They also should know doubles, recognize denominations of money, etc. Make sure the current Landmark is tied to the current Topic(s). Encourage memorization of landmarks in small chunks; additionally, students should be able to explain and demonstrate their meaning and how the new skill is related. Look to the Big Idea or Essential Understanding.
This can go on a legal size pocket folder or something similar to hold the center activity pages that you have selected for the topic. Teach children to be independent about how to use the centers, where to set up, and how to retrieve and replace the manipulatives. Create routines for accountability.
Manipulative use should become an integral part of your instruction with the addition of daily Interactive Learning. Think about what type of system you will use to make their use convenient and organized for both you and your students. Keep Interactive Learning materials handy as well. (This is a good list to share with parents, who can help with this supply.)
Another engaging way to build conceptual understanding is by connecting math to the student’s life. Ask them to bring in examples of how they see their lessons utilized in their own world - soccer scores, allowances, days on vacation, toy costs, minutes allowed for TV or computer, etc. Integrate literature whenever possible. Check the “real-life connections” in The Language of Math section of the Topic Planner for ideas that support mathematical vocabulary and concepts.
Math in my World – an opportunity for students to bring in examples of how learning relates to life. Use a pocket chart and allow students to build examples to share. When students visual create representations during interactive learning, post here for reference. Numerical and word representations of math sentences.
Need ideas? If your team would like assistance setting up Math Focus Walls, please contact me at Get together with your local Curriculum Leader to see how he/she is incorporating the wall. Soon there should be classroom photos loaded onto the Curriculum Share yours!