In MATH 361 and MATH 362, I had the opportunity to visit a kindergarten and first grade class respectively to teach math lessons. Throughout these visits, I learned about the differences between students and their strategies when solving math problems. During my visits in MATH 361, I worked with one kindergarten student who solved each of the problems using manipulatives—crayons in the case of the problem set. During my visits in MATH 362, I worked with five students who each had different methods of thinking through and solving a problem—for example, one student drew pictures, whereas another found it helpful to talk through the problem out loud. Overall, these visits helped me understand that every student has a unique way of thinking that should be valued and encouraged within the classroom. As a future educator, I can help encourage these differences by having students discuss their work with their peers, therefore allowing students to be introduced to different ways of solving math problems. I have also learned that asking students to explain how they got their answer and why they chose that particular method is an effective approach to encouraging discussion and understanding their ways of thinking. I plan to support open dialogue and communication with my students because it is important that they feel comfortable asking questions if they are confused or unsure of something. I also plan to collaborate with my colleagues in order to ensure that I am using my resources to the greatest extent possible and supporting my students as best as I can.
Attached below is the link to my recording with Chris.