Monday, September 14, 2015

Making Learning More Visible: Notice & Wonder Day 1 (of 5)

I've noticed (ha ha!) over the last year or so the ways that math teachers have utilized the Notice and Wonder structure in helping kids problem solve and make sense of math. I've been wondering how N/W might play out in terms of helping kids make sense of their experience learning math and dance at the same time in Math in Your Feet.

Buoyed by a conversation with Suzanne Alejandre from the Math Forum I've been thinking more closely about how Notice and Wonder might be used to help my learners become more personally invested in reflecting on their math/dance making experience. In general, kids are already invested in the dance work, but I have always wanted them to make more connections between what they're doing and what they think about what they're doing with both the math and the dance.

This week I'm doing my first school residency of the school year. I'll be at this particular school for two weeks, working with three 4th grade classes one week, the remaining three 4th grade classes next week. Today I did Notice/Wonder with each of my three classes. I had them first talk with their partner about what they noticed and then share out to the group. I did the same thing with the wonder. I will likely keep this procedure the same each day.

At the outset of this little experiment I am wondering:

- How or will their noticing and wondering change over the five days we have together? Meaning, will they get better at it? Will they notice different things every day?

- How/will will Notice/Wonder implemented verbally/socially in my class impact their written reflection and word studies in their #miyfeet journals back in their regular classrooms?

- What will I learn about their thinking and how might that inform the way I facilitate their math/dance making & learning?

For context, today we started with learning what it feels like to make rhythm and patterns in our feet. The math connections were patterns and how we can make new rules to create variation, a lot of body-based spatial reasoning, language like center/zero/origin, and also some physical exploration of 90 and 180 degree turns in the context of the dancing. For this reason, a lot of their N/W was about the dancing.

"I noticed..."
...I noticed jumping and different directions
...I saw movement
...It doesn't always have to be your feet your feet [that move], it can be your body too. You can twist your body around and your feet stay in the same place.
...there is a connection between dancing and math
...math and dancing can be combined-ded (sic)
....that clogging and tap are cousins
...there's a lot of footwork in clogging hear different sounds when you're dancing're using degrees when you dance
...there are different amounts of angles
...that dance and math work together well

A meta "I noticed..."
...I noticed that we made some mistakes and I, personally, stopped because I didn't understand it and I watched to see how it was done. [Me: was that helpful for you?] Yeah.

"I wonder..." we're going to put all the beats and stuff together
...if you can cross your feet and go backwards with it
...if it's like a sport
...if I can do clogging on a tight rope
...if you can actually use math with dancing
...if we'll all actually end up being good at this
...if we're ever going to use the 360 degrees
...[wonders about how I dance so quickly, how long it took me to learn, etc.] there a certain amount of beats you have to have in clogging
...could you dance for as long a time as you want
...why was clogging invented do you do this for so long and not be tired?

I'm thrilled. This is already SO much more information about how the kids are experiencing the work than I ever had before.

Take-away from Day 1: Notice and Wonder is SOSOSOSOSOSOOOOOOOO much better than asking: "Do you have any questions?" lol

1 comment:

  1. Malke, I'm getting caught up since (as you know) I was on vacation for much of September! My absolutely favorite wondering you had as you started your time with the 4th graders was:

    What will I learn about their thinking and how might that inform the way I facilitate their math/dance making & learning?

    You hit the nail on the head with that one! I'm looking forward to my continued reading of your recent experiences.


Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!


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