Mathematics Enrichment Workshop

Handouts for Today: 

Presentation Slides

Jungle Game Board

LInk to additional game boards and flash cards

Welcome to our Mathematics Enrichment Workshop! I'm thrilled to share practical tips and engaging activities to support your child's math skills right from the comfort of your home. As a parent in our community, I understand the importance of equipping you with tools and strategies to make math learning enjoyable and accessible for your children.

Let's explore how you can become a math champion for your child:

Math Games Galore: Dive into a world of math games that transform learning into playtime! From classic card games like "Jungle Math" to interactive board games like "Roll It," our workshop introduces you to a variety of games that make math fun and engaging.

Hands-On Activities: Get ready for hands-on learning experiences that bring math concepts to life! From measuring ingredients while baking to creating geometric shapes using household items, our activities make math tangible and exciting.

Online Resources: Discover educational websites and apps that make learning math a breeze! We'll guide you through interactive lessons, practice exercises, and helpful tutorials tailored to your child's grade level.

Everyday Math Moments: Learn how to turn everyday moments into valuable math learning opportunities! From counting steps while walking to the store to measuring ingredients for a recipe, we'll show you how to incorporate math into your daily routines.

Supporting Math Fluency: Build your child's math fluency and confidence with techniques like using flashcards for quick drills and practicing mental math during car rides or family game nights.

By the end of our workshop, you'll feel empowered and equipped to support your child's math journey every step of the way. Together, let's make math not just a subject but a practical and enjoyable part of daily life for our children!

Here are some resources to further support your child's math learning journey:

Parent Resources:

California Eureka Math - Parent Resources

Great Minds - Eureka Math Parent Support

Math Games and Activities:

Math Playground

Online Learning Platforms:

Math Apps for Kids:

Paper Tutoring Resources: 

Thanks for joining our session!

Cultivate Classroom Chemistry and Community

It’s been a while since I have presented at a California Teacher’s Association (CTA) conference! I am an active unit member in my local, who is constantly looking for ways to encourage educators to lead in our profession. My focus has gone to building capacity at my local and helping teachers advocate for teacher led workshops. As a member of the ILC (Instructional Leadership Corps), I have built a team for the last 5 years in Montebello Unified School District, that lead professional development. I think we are closer than ever in reducing the outsourcing of professional development and truly building a bank of teachers, who are content experts, in our district that want to provide workshops for teachers. It’s exciting work and I am humbled by the support of my colleagues for taking time out of their busy day spent teaching to be part of the ILC work.

Moreover, I am delighted to be here today with educators from Region 3. The theme of this conference is “Membership Matters.” It does and I am here to share what I’ve been doing in my classroom the last few years to cultivate chemistry and community with my students.

Each of the strategies discussed today focus on four key components:
  • Daily News - Previews the activity’s focus and helps students shift into thinking gear as they transition from home to school.
  • Greeting - Teaches students to respectfully greet someone they hardly know or don’t particularly like.
  • Share - Provides time to talk about daily issues as well as challenging topics like bias, discrimination, justice and acceptance.
  • Activity - Connects students through play and activities that allow them to voice their opinions and discover commonalities.

Walk and Talk Directions:

How to Use
1. Prepare & Pose
Prepare a prompt or question that has multiple answers and requires discussion. Pose the prompt to students and tell them how long they will have to discuss with a partner. At the end of this time, they will share their response with the class.
2. Walk & Talk
Students pair up and walk around the room with their partner the allotted time. During this time, they are discussing their response. They must agree on a response that they will share with the rest of the class.
3. Freeze
After the allotted time has passed, ask students to freeze where they are. Do a quick whip around the room to hear each partner group’s response.
4. Discuss
Be sure to discuss any errors in thinking or misconceptions that were shared, as well as point out any great ideas.
When to Use
Use Walk, Talk, and Decide at any time during a lesson to encourage accountable talk:
- As a warm-up activity to discuss previous lesson or homework assignment
- During class discussions as a way for students to discuss ideas before sharing them with the class
- During Guided Practice to get students talking about the material just covered
- As a closing activity so that students can synthesize new learning or apply it in a new context

Exampled of Walk and Talk Questions for Students
(Rewrite the questions onto index cards)

  1. What are you hoping to learn from other people’s projects? 
  2. What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far?
  3. What makes an engaging and exciting presentation? 
  4. What is one challenge you’re facing with your project so far? 
  5. What is at least one positive thing about you and your partner collaborating? 
  6. When working on a big project, how do you break it down into manageable parts? 
  7. How do you know a resource or website is credible? 
  8. What are some challenges in your research? What is a possible solution for this challenge? 
  9. Are there any experts you can contact to ask questions about your project? 
  10. Have you remembered to paraphrase what you learn from the Internet? What is one tip for paraphrasing? 
  11. Complement your project partner on something they’ve done well. 
  12. Ask your walk & talk partner a question about their project or research. 
  13. What are you most excited about for this project? 
  14. Describe your artifact for your project? 
  15. What did you accomplish today? What do you still need to finish? 
  16. What resources (website, video, etc.) have you found the most helpful? 
  17. How do you feel about presenting in front of the class? What do you need to do to prepare? 
  18. What are some tips for making interesting presentation slides?

Eureka Math Parent Resources for All Grade Levels

Eureka Math (also known as Engage New York) connects math to the real world in ways that build student confidence—while helping students achieve true understanding lesson by lesson.
It’s not enough for students to know the process for solving a problem; they need to understand why that process works so they can use it anytime. Eureka Math builds students’ knowledge logically and thoroughly to help them achieve deep understanding. While this approach is unfamiliar to those of us who grew up memorizing mathematical facts and formulas, it has been proven to be extremely successful and essential. The following resources will provide support for both parents and students as we continue to shift our teaching practices and incorporate different strategies that help children conceptualize the math they are doing. 

How to Access Eureka Math Homework Help 
Follow the the step-by-step directions below to access a site that provides video explanations of homework problems by grade level.  
1.    Click here to access the Math Homework Help Page. The screenshot shows you the page you will see.  Once you are on this page, click on your child’s grade level.  

Screenshot Math Homework Help starting page
After you click on your child’s grade level, the following page will appear.  Now, select the module your child is working on.
3.    Once you select the module, the following page will appear.  You will now have access to the actual homework sheet and a video that explains how to do different types of problems found on the homework sheet for every lesson.  
NOTE:  You can also access a math newsletter for every topic. These newsletters are a terrific resource for both parents and students!

Other Resources…
Eureka Math Parent Support Page
Click here to access a parent support page created by the authors of Eureka Math.

Good Teaching Conference, South 2018

Welcome to my session at the CTA Good Teaching Conference! Using images, video, and other visual forms of stimuli in my lessons has been a central focus in my instruction for several years. To meet the demands of the Common Core Standards, students will need to demonstrate their abilities to think critically, problem-solve effectively, reason clearly, listen constructively, and speak and write persuasively. Using the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) protocol can increase student participation and engagement while deepening their thinking, language ability, writing skills, and visual literacy. VTS nurtures deeper learning, as a counterpoint to repetitive exercises and standardized tests.

VTS Process

Visual Thinking Strategies is an inquiry-based teaching protocol appropriate for all grade levels. You don't need any special art training to use this strategy. The goal is NOT to teach or preach or delve too deeply into the technicalities of each artwork, but rather to encourage students to observe independently, interpret what they see, probe and reflect on first and second thoughts, consider alternative meanings and to back up their comments with evidence. The range of plausible interpretations for any work of art allows us much leeway; most of what we think and feel can be justified if we take care and time to look, probe, and puzzle over what we see. We can find layers of meaning beneath what we think at first. Given time, we can recognize symbols and ponder metaphors.
Simply put, as facilitators you are helping students to:
  • Look carefully at works of art 

  • Talk about what they observe 

  • Back up their ideas with evidence 

  • Listen to and consider the views of others 

  • Discuss and hold as possible a variety of interpretations 

1. Ask students to look closely and silently at the artwork for a minute or two. Have them avoid reading the labels/artists statements right away as you want them to make their own observations instead of being led to conclusions based on the title or artists statements. Once the discussion gets going, you can invite them to look at the labels and then they can talk more about the artwork and what the artist is trying to convey.

2. Then ask students to answer the following open-ended questions, in this sequence. Listen intently to what students say, pointing to what they mention and responding to each comment, paraphrasing every student's comments. Finally, the facilitator links agreements and disagreements, while refraining from adding comments, correcting, or directing the students' attention.

a. Open with "What's going on (in this picture, video, etc.)?" This initiates the inquiry into the meanings contained in the image: not just what's depicted but also what it conveys. Summarize student responses using conditional language, e.g. "Nathan thinks this could be about..." This keeps the conversation open to other interpretations by other students. Remember, ALL responses are valid (provided they're being respectful).

b. You can then ask, "What do you see that makes you say that?" which is a non-threatening way to introduce reasoning; students must provide evidence for their interpretations. This encourages students to back up their statements with what they see in the work of art.

c. And finally you can ask "What more can we find?" which helps continue the conversation and deepens the meaning-making process. Repeated use of this question also reinforces the notion that no matter how quickly we think we grasp something, further observing and reflecting often enlarges or changes our initial thoughts.

3. The ways in which you respond to student comments is very important to the VTS process. You will actually point to the observed details and respond verbally to all student comments, paraphrasing each comment and linking one comment to others.
 - Listen carefully to catch all that students say.
 - Point to what is observed so that you're ensuring everyone else sees it too, keeping all eyes focused on the subject of discussion. This way, students also know you're seeing what they do, and if you don't, they can correct you.
 - Paraphrase by accurately rephrasing each student's comments. Take a moment to reflect on what was said while formulating your response to make sure all content and meanings are grasped and helpfully rephrased. Your role is not to correct the student, but to simply provide another way to express what you just heard. This indicates that you not only heard the comment, but that you also understand what's been said. It's also a way to honor and affirm each student. The importance of feeling understood can't be overstated. By taking the time to listen and reflect back what the students say, you are building all students' sense of feeling valued and capable. It has the added benefit of leveling the playing field; the risk of speaking up is reduced when students feel that you understand everyone and treat them all equally. It is also important to use conditional language when paraphrasing, no matter how certain students are of their statements. For example, "Ok, so Brianna is looking at this figure and thinking it's a homeless woman. What do you see that made you think she's homeless?" or "Oliver is offering another interpretation, saying that this woman is wearing dirty and ripped clothes because she's been working in the garden we can see here in the distance. And you're saying that maybe we don't have enough information here to know for sure this woman's situation. What more can we find?"

 - Link related comments whether students agree or disagree, or build on one another's ideas. Pointing and paraphrasing indicate that individual contributions matter; by linking you're showing how ideas interact, making sense of a conversation that otherwise might seem random, or disjointed. By connecting ideas that agree, you make it clear that drawing similar conclusions is often appropriate: "It seems that several people see that...." By linking ideas that disagree, you're indicating that it's also possible for different people to respond differently to something they see: "We have a variety of opinions here...." 

 - Conclude by thanking students for their participation. We often feel the need to provide closure to activities, to summarize. But if you maintain the stance that this isn't about right and wrong, but about thinking, and indicate through paraphrasing and linking, that students singly and together are capable of wonderful, grounded ideas, then summaries are superfluous. VTS conversations most appropriately end with a simple "thank you" and ideally a comment about something you, as the facilitator, learned from listening: "I was excited to hear how many details you noticed in this image, more than I had," for example, or "I had not thought about _____ in that way before, thank you." 

Additional VTS Tips

  1. It is important to facilitate in such a way as to stress respectful, extended examination and dialogue - collaborative peer interaction. Let the students do the thinking, independent of you! They're exploring and probing for meaning, not medium, technique, or history. 

  2. Maintain a neutral stance throughout, which communicates important concepts, such as that you don't always need a teacher/authority to help you figure things out. Students learn that knowledge is created; it's not simply "delivered" by an authority. 

  3. Allow the conversation to go where it will, even if it gets off topic. Remember, the goal is not to give them information, but to encourage them to think for themselves. 

  4. Listening carefully is crucial. As teachers/facilitators our minds are usually on what's next, but you have to be present in the moment with the students to make VTS work. 

  5. Remember, there are NO wrong answers when talking about what one sees in a piece of art. 

VTS gives students confidence and clarity that, with the help of peers, they can comprehend what they encounter around them, learn from it, and move on from a grounded position. Through VTS students do indeed learn a strategy they can and will employ without prompting, to make sense of what is unfamiliar both in art and objects of another nature (like fossils or scientific implements) probing what they see for more than first impressions. Deep encounters with visual art are useful in teaching people to think!

Videos from today's presentation: 

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