Sunday, October 12, 2014

October's LOVED that LESSON! Organizing our math work

It's time for October's "Loved That Lesson" linky and this month I am sharing a lesson we did last week that I am hoping is going to make a huge difference ALL year with my students!

This lesson started in my mind a few weeks ago when I realized just HOW much work we need to do with organizing our math work, working precisely, labeling our work, and so on.  I spent some time with my students brainstorming a list of what "quality" math work would look like--and what "precision" means.

We spent some time looking over our work and thinking about which of these are the trickiest--and each student set a goal for themselves to try to improve the level of precision of their math work.  We have been really digging into the Standards for Mathematical Practice, and it was time to raise the expectations a notch!

I knew that in order to really help them "see" what some of these components looked like, we would have to go on a hunt for samples, so over the next few days I kept my eyes open and asked my students to keep THEIR eyes open.  I started to find examples and made copies.  As I did, I started to hang them up to use as "mentor math".
I hung them up on one of our closet doors in clear view.
I LOVED watching my students start to take some of the ideas students used and apply them to their own work.
I asked students to help me identify what they saw that made the work "precise"
The students started really tuning in to work quality--and I heard them complimenting each other and DEFINITELY raising the bar for quality.  I LOVED it!  Make sure to stop by and check out the other links below for more lessons people loved!


  1. I love the idea of "Mentor Math"! I teach in an intervention room and think students would really benefit from seeing mentor math at a variety of grade levels. What a motivating tool!

    The Math Spot

    1. Thanks! I always say that students can hit a target if they can see it and it's holding still (I think that was from Richard Stiggins). I think making it visible is so helpful!

  2. I so wish I could be a fly on the wall in your math classroom! I feel like you need to just video tape all of your lessons and put them out there! Your kiddos have no clue how lucky they are to have you!

    <3 Jamie aka MissMathDork

  3. I LOVE the idea of having students be on the lookout for quality work!! How perfect to involve them and to use as models up in your room. I'm introducing this tomorrow!! And the anchor chart is so simple, yet effective!! Thanks always for your wealth of knowledge!!

    1. Meg, I did this lesson today. (I actually printed out your post to hold in my hand, as I guided my kids because I thought I might forget something!) They did a GREAT job with the anchor chart, then were VERY excited to find examples of precise thinking/work. Now these models are up in our room and my kids are actually reading the work and comparing with our chart!! Thank you again!!

  4. I love this idea! We share our work with the document camera regularly, but I rarely see kids utilizing the brilliant thinking of their fellow students. I think posting quality work with the labels will make a difference. I can't wait to try this.

    I Have 2 Questions

  5. What a lovely idea and a great way to showcase good work within the classroom. Thanks for sharing!