# Archive for October 22nd, 2010

## What are you doing everyday? Things to think about for Guided Math and Whole Group Conversations

In 1933, Dewey suggested that:

When the teacher fixes his attention exclusively on such matters as these [the acquisition of skills and knowledge], the process of forming underlying and permanent habits, attitudes, and interests is overlooked. Yet the formation of the latter is more important for the future. (1933, pp. 57-58) (cited in Merz, 2009).

Do you agree? Isn’t it at least just as important to shape habits, attitudes and interests as it is to teach them their multiplication tables or how to divide fractions? How we teach is just as important as what we teach? At the end of our lessons, do our students feel like, “Whew, I’m glad that’s over with.” Or do they walk away wanting more, desperate for the next lesson?

I love this quote because I think *Dewey reminds us that we do teach and touch the future*. What we do daily, will affect them for the rest of their lives. And they will either walk away from your class, thinking they are capable, that smart is learned, that they can do it if they try, or that they can’t and they hate math.

If as Dewey states, “the latter is more important for the future”- habit, attitudes and interests, how do you then begin to think about teaching more than 3 x 4 =- 12?

How do we teach this too? We set up spaces to cultivate great habits, attitudes and interests. All of our moves, many of them implicit shape our students attitudes. We have to be attentive to how each step we take shapes this for them.

Guided math groups provide us a special space to cultivate these aspects of learning math because we can give more individualized attention. We can attend to these in our groups and coach our students more one to one.

Any thoughts? Please share:)

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