"my favorite no"

My Favorite "No" - using error analysis in math class

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I love the Teaching Channel! Last year, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to watch one short video a night before bed. Well, the every night-thing didn't happen (ha :-), but I did watch a whole bunch of terrific, inspiring videos in 2013! One of my favorites was called, "My Favorite No." I was originally intrigued by the title, but it was the content that got me hooked! (You can watch the 5 minute video here.)

In "My Favorite No," the teacher provides a brief pre-assessment in the form of an entrance card. The students work the problem to demonstrate what they learned the day before. The teacher then collects responses and sorts them into two piles: yes and no. "Yes" represents a correct answer and "No" is an inaccurate response. She then works with the class to analyze her "favorite no." She calls it her "favorite no" because it reflects strong thinking and problem solving and, as she says in the video, "A mistake is an opportunity to show how much you know." (LOVE this!) The activity provides reflection, analysis, and higher order thinking. Furthermore, it is quick and effective!

What I love most about this strategy is that in NO WAY penalizes students for being wrong. In fact, the whole process is designed to validate students and their thinking! I have been using this strategy - in various ways - with my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in both reading and math. Like the teacher in the video, I've seen improvement in student accuracy, understanding, accountability, and metacognition. I have been so in love with this strategy that I created a series of task cards for my 4th and 5th graders to use as we explore, review, and extend the concept of fractions. Each card presents students with an error in problem solving, arithmetic, and./or reasoning. Using a problem solving mat, students rework the problem, show the correct answer, and explain the error.

My kiddos love this! They feel empowered analyzing mistakes, while developing a meaningful depth of understanding from analyzing and explaining the error.

You can download the tiered task cards here.

Thanks for checking in! Happy teaching!

critical thinking

Is It Possible?

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Is it possible? Could any reading lesson be as fun as Math Quest? If you ask my 4th graders, the answer is NO! On no planet, big or small, could anything ever be as much fun as the much loved Math Quest!

Hmmmm - almost sounds like a dare?? Never one to shy away from challenge, I made it my New Year's resolution for 2014 to make reading lessons as much fun, if not, (yes, hold your breath - more fun!), than our beloved Math Quest.

I explained my goal, but not how it would be accomplished, to my 4th graders prior to my 2 week stint of standardized testing. They were intrigued! (Doubtful, but intrigued.) The new ELA unit will utilize one of my favorite resources, Jacob's Ladder, designed by The Center for Gifted Education at William and Mary. Jacob's Ladder targets reading comprehension skills and written response to advanced text for high ability learners. In the form of three skill ladders, students move from lower order, concrete thinking skills to higher order, critical thinking skills. Each ladder serves to scaffold student understanding, thinking, and written response.

Ladder A:
  • Sequencing
  • Cause and Effect
  • Consequences & Implications 
Ladder B:
  • Details
  • Classifications
  • Generalizations 
Ladder C:
  • Elements
  • Inferences
  • Theme/Concept 
I know! How will reading complex passages, responding in writing using specific evidence from the text, and rubrics to evaluate our work be more fun than buying golden peanuts and whatchamacallits while racing towards a treasure chest worth 50,000 pieces of gold? Like my students, you are probably doubtful. Intrigued, but doubtful.

Below is a sneak preview. You will see that I had a tremendous amount of help. :-)


clip art from http://www.pppst.com/clipart.html

The final product is not yet complete, so stay tuned. The new unit will unroll a week from tomorrow. I will be using an anonymous form to evaluate student feedback over time. I'll keep you posted!

Thanks for checking in! Happy Teaching!

Popular Posts

Search This Blog

 photo 3AM_RoundLogo_2014_zps9a7b6078.png
Custom Graphics & Blog Design © 2017 The 3AM Teacher All Rights Reserved