Beyond Show and Tell
Excerpt: Japanese mathematics lessons, especially for elementary grades, include a significant amount of problem solving. This instructional approach, called structured problem solving, is designed to create interest in malhematics and stimulate creative mathematical activity in the classroom through students’ collaborative work. The lesson usually starts with students working individually to solve a problem using their own mathematical knowledge. After working with problems, students bring various approaches and J·olutions to classroom discussion. The teacher then leads students in a whole-class discussion in order to compare individual approaches and solutions. This whole-class activity provides students with opportunities to develop their mathematical abilities including conceptual and procedural understanding. View Full Article
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Excerpt:In 1960, my grandmother Hattie was the sole teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Michigan. She was responsible for 25 students spanning eight grades. Her outgoing nature led her to cultivate a social gathering of colleagues from other small towns to discuss their teaching practices. That was the extent of her professional development.

Much has changed over the last 50 years—technology has advanced social networking beyond my grandmother’s wildest dreams, and the standards-based movement has ushered in high-stakes assessments that demand a new approach to improving instruction. Additionally, as Response to Intervention (RTI), also known as Scientifically Research-Based Interventions (SRBI), gains momentum and generates a growing market for online progress monitoring and digital assessment data, the demand for high-quality classroom instruction remains a national challenge. Now, more than ever, teachers need professional development embedded into their daily work that helps them change their beliefs and practices.

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