From the LTP project site-- these folks at UW, Michigan, and UCLA will be our likely partners in the pre-service overhaul we're taking on (I'm just trying to get a head start and figure out my own thinking before being in the same room as all these intimidating scholars)-- I'm looking for:
"a small set of common instructional activities, which are chosen to have legitimacy in actual school classrooms and known to support student achievement... The IAs serve as containers that carry principles, practices, and knowledge into practice and support both student learning and teacher learning... They support student learning in classrooms by structuring students’ engagement with mathematics and with their teacher in a way that consistently maintains high cognitive demand... When teachers perform these routines, they are required to make judgments about how to respond to students using the knowledge, principles, and practices that make up the “curriculum” that supports learning to do the work teaching. The IAs are structured to limit the territory in which novices need to make these kinds of judgments so that the mathematical knowledge and the practices they need to use to do them are able to be specified."The examples they give, in elementary mathematics, are choral counting (click the link above to see a detailed description, since I'm not sure I'm allowed to copy the image), facilitating strategy sharing, leading a string of computational problems, and leading a problem-solving activity.
I'd love to read more about the latter three examples just to make sure I understand how they are routinized or turned into activities, but until I find that resource, I'm going to continue trying to brainstorm, based on the research I've read and classrooms I've observed, to come up with something shareable. Each routine/activity/structure will reflect the principles and practices linked on the LTP site, and these Core Components of instruction. Here's where my brain is now-- the "containers" I want to test:
- Launching/posing a problem - I'm still compelled that this is broad enough to give opportunities for the principles and practices and Core Components, but narrow enough to be turned into a protocol and learned by novices. I don't know whether this overlaps with the suggested "leading a problem-solving activity" above, because I don't know what is meant by that and don't want to simply infer.
- Facilitating strategy sharing - Ditto. And there's lots of room for flexibility and teacher judgment as novices get their feet under them.
- something related to introducing formal mathematics - In a more exploratory lesson, this phase might come closer to the end, where students are generalizing and formalizing what they've developed. In a more traditional lesson, this might come closer to the beginning. This feels compelling in that I think it needs to be done and is difficult to do and therefore worth teaching novices a strategy/routine/activity/protocol for doing it well (in a way that aligns with the practices and Core Components). I feel less clear on how we might do that.
I'm sure there are more. I'm curious about the "leading a string of computational problems," in particular. But I'll hold off for now. And I'm still hopeful that, when taken together in some sequence or another, these routines/activities/structures could "add up" to a cohesive lesson, as they do in my colleague's ECE work: morning meeting, writer's workshop, read-aloud, phonics group, math group, centers, closing circle.
But what does this make you think? More learnable? More concrete? Thanks for joining me on this journey :)