Equity In Math.

A year ago, as schools were heading online, educators were redesigning an entire learning system, and a global pandemic was well underway, opportunities to read and write were moved to the back burner, out of sheer necessity.

Through a ton of hard work, thinking, planning, and executing, teachers have done an amazing thing. Kids are learning in new and different ways. In our TLI department, we now have a little time to reengage with reading and writing to learn and lead. Millions of excellent resources. Where to start?

Here’s where. Choosing To See: A Framework for Equity in the Math Classroom by Dr. Pamela Seda and Dr. Kyndall Brown, published by the always excellent Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

The equity framework focuses on 7 principles, represented by ICUCARE.

  • Include others as experts
  • Be Critically conscious
  • Understand your students
  • Use Culturally relevant curricula
  • Assess, activate, and build on prior knowledge
  • Release control
  • Expect more

If one was ever a teacher of quality, one has ‘teacher guts’. Or ‘teacher alarm bells’. This book engaged both of those reactions for me. Took me about 1/3 of a page to know I was in for challenge, growth, and learning. What I hadn’t anticipated was a wealth of outstanding learning techniques.

Two to share immediately. Both are described in terms of equity in math. I contend they could live in many content areas.

2 Minute Talks: Addresses 4 principles from the equity framework. Assess, activate, and build on prior knowledge, Release Control, Include Others as Experts, and Expect More.

Two Minute Talks

From the book, “…the instructional strategy Two Minute Talks involves pairs of students taking turns telling everything they know about the topic of the day in one minute. This strategy addresses the principle of Assess, Activate, and Build on Prior Knowledge because it reminds students of things they may have forgotten about the topic, and it builds background knowledge for students who didn’t previously have it. Two Minute Talks address Release Control because students get to direct their conversations about the topic by choosing what they want to share, rather than the teacher choosing for them. It addresses Include Others as Experts because students are learning from the expertise of their classmates. Every student knows something about a topic, and they each have the opportunity to share that information with others. It also addresses Expect More because it begins with the premise that all students have some prior knowledge, and it doesn’t allow low-achieving students to opt out. Because every student must talk for at least one minute, no one is let off the hook for engaging with the topic.”

Tiers of Understand Protocol (Joseph Manfre): Addresses the principle of Include Others as Experts.

  • Tier 1: Do–Complete the task
  • Tier 2: Explain the process to complete the task
  • Tier 3: Empathetically explain the thought process used by another student to complete the task.
    • Listen to the other person
    • Try to see how they could be correct–maybe you’re both correct. Math is not fixed, as there are many avenues to arrive at one solution, and solutions can appear in many equivalent forms.
    • If you believe the other person is incorrect, explain how you are correct, and/or how they are incorrect. It is the responsibility of the person with the correct answer to rectify the misunderstanding.

Tier 1 helps students begin the process of developing their own expertise.

In Tier 2, students deepen their own understanding about the problem as they explain to their classmates how they thought about the problem.

Tier 3 is where most of the cognitive work happens. When students have to explain their partner’s thinking, their own understanding is deepened.

Educators who care about kids. Educators who care about equity for kids. Educators who care about continuing to grow and learn. This book is for you.

Educators who are choosing to see. This book is for you.

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 37 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 6 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s