Good Teaching Is Good Teaching
Joe Schwartz’ recent blog post, No First Graders Were Harmed Playing This Game, reminded me that good teaching is good teaching. I have found myself saying, “Good teaching is good teaching.” many times this year. Just because many states have adopted Common Core and have encouraged teachers to shift their instruction toward more student-centered learning, it doesn’t mean we have to completely abandon everything we’ve done before.
Joe uses Marilyn Burns’ About Teaching Mathematics (2nd Edition) from 2000. He used it to get students thinking when playing a dice game. And that’s what’s important.
Common Core does not imply that we abandon instructional strategies and activities that were effective before. Good teaching is good teaching. If you have instructional strategies and activities that have been successful, take a minute to decompose what made them successful. List the key ingredients and move forward with Common Core using those key ingredients more often.
I love how Joe asks his students what they think about the dice game. Some were very insightful about the math. Some were not. Just like we are in crucial time to redefine the “traditional” classroom, we are also in a place to redefine student perceptions about math. For example, one first grader thinks that adults are better at math saying, “You know a lot about math and we don’t know a lot about math.” Gosh, I hope not. It would be a tragedy if I couldn’t learn about math from my students.