Reaching for More Resources
Although our Eureka Math program does provide a great variety of resources, sometimes I find reaching for some more teacher made materials is extremely helpful. These teachers have delved into the program materials and have already made adjustments based on their students’ needs. This is something that I can greatly relate to and may be just what I am looking for too without having to reinvent the wheel.
Knowing What I Need
There are a number of resources available, which is wonderful, but can also be overwhelming. I have had extremely “on” days when I am ready to really power down and create or gather new resources. However, once I get started, I actually become bogged down by the amount of resources and not really knowing what to use.
The best way I have overcome this is by really depending on my own reflection and making a list of specific types of materials I am looking for. Once I get those under my belt, then I can branch off to find more that I also like, or think may help me. We all can relate to spending an entire day lost in Google.
I am thankful that many teachers have been able to use their strengths to push out very helpful materials, as well as reflect on where they need to improve and also build on that when creating shared resources.
My Best Work
My best work this year came out when needed. I dodged left and right. I made adjustments to my curriculum based on students’ needs. With this, I feel I need to build up my assessment strategies more. When you derail from an original plan, it is very easy to feel you have missed something. The students still need a cohesive assessment process. I have had to modify some of the Eureka Math assessments along the way to align with my adjusted curriculum. However, with that there needs to be the spiral return at another time to be sure that the students are still learning and mastering all of the concepts they need.
Building It Up
Since I am looking to incorporate many skills to assess at once, the best place to start is with incorporating a variety of application problems. When students problem solve, they are integrating a great deal of previously learned skills and pulling from that strategy bank they have developed. This is such a reliable way to know what students have mastered and are able to use at the appropriate time.
Knowing what strategies students use to problem solve, help to assess all of the students with one activity. The leveling of the students will come out when you see how they solve. Some students will use more recently learned strategies quickly while others may rely on some more comfortable ones.
For example, you may present the entire class with an application problem to count up equal groups. In this case, some students may use repeated addition and draw the groups. Other students may draw an array and use a multiplication equation. The one application problem will pinpoint your leveling of students.
Using application problems to assess students’ learning gaps is an extremely helpful and efficient way to know what skills the students have mastered. From this collected data, it is easy to form group activities, create future lessons, and check off specific skills you know your students need to learn.
Eureka Math provides us with the daily Exit Ticket materials. I love these too! I think these are a great in the moment way to know which students have learned the new material and which students to check back in with. I think a review of exit tickets is a great way to know if students have continued to master a specific skill or may need more time practicing it.
At times, students may have a difficult time with a concept immediately after a concept is taught. You may want to give that student some extra practice in small groups or within centers. Having an informal way to provide them another exit ticket later is a great way to know if they are ready to move to some difficult material.
Tightening up Loose Ends
Building up my assessment routines will really help tighten up some of the loose ends I felt I had. I know keeping my students accountable is always important, but at times, I feel that continuing to keep them moving is also best. Incorporating some additional problem solving and exit ticket experiences will definitely give me that spiral back reinforcement I need.
- Classroom Teacher
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