By Shari Kingston

April 10th, yay!

I am very excited to begin my learning journey with Fosnot’s “Young Mathematicians at Work: Constructing Multiplication and Division” and all of you other bloggers. I have never experienced learning in an open online environment such as this but I have decided that it is time to reach outside of my comfort zone (something we often ask of our students) and try to embrace this “new to me” piece of collaborative technology.

I just started reading the book and I’ve already had an “ah-ha” moment on page 1! Fosnot states “If the learning doesn’t happen, there has been no teaching”. Hmmmm, then what was I doing all that time?

This statement really stuck with me because I know myself that there have been days where I have thought,  “Wow, I taught [insert subject] today and none of the students got it! What did I teach wrong? How could I teach it tomorrow?” Maybe instead I should have reflected by asking myself “What did I do in class today?” (Clearly, according to the statement above, I didn’t teach.)

But then again……. maybe my questions are the problem, after all, this isn’t about me, I know the math. Perhaps what I should have been more focused on in those moments of defeat were “What did the students do in class today? What supports were provided for them to build their understanding? What do they still have as lingering questions?”

Maybe if I can identify the answers to these questions I can better support my students. It really doesn’t matter how great I think my lesson is as it will be the actions of the student that will dictate the final outcome of the amount of learning that takes place. I am but the “guide on the side”.

This is going to be great learning!

Featured image by Volcan Olmez on Unsplash

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