Dr. Beyranevand joins in from his home in Massachusetts via Skype this week. We discuss the four areas he sees as being critical for effective teaching: Planning, Pedagogay, Assessment, and Relationships. These areas, as he claims and supports, are practical ways in which teachers, seasoned or newbie, can operate within a Constructivist paradigm of learning. Listeners who are intrigued and interested to learn more can find more in his book: Teach Math Like This, Not Like That.
Chris Brownell flies solo this week, as he declares an end to Summer 2017. He reflects upon three events that he was involved in and what they have meant to him. The need for humility, and openness when it comes to learning was driven home this summer it seems. These qualities are implied in the “Growth Mindset” discussion that is going on all over the mathematics education community. Chris also relates a story in which he observed the fragility of this mindset in learners, and provides a caution to us all to be “less helpful.”
Jason Chamberlain is a Research Associate who was working with the Early Math Team this past Spring. He talks with me about how he saw children progress through the earliest formal stages of counting and describes a game that this team developed to reflect these stages. His enthusiasm and passion for this process are abundant and obvious.
Elizabeth McDaniel, Elizabeth is a very exciting person to end this series with this year. She is a self-described “AIMS Kid.” She takes this title because, as she tells us, her auntie Carmella was (and is) an AIMS Facilitator while she was growing up and visiting her. Elizabeth tells of playing science with Aunt Carmella and how this has infused her teaching and her whole professional trajectory. With three years of formal connection to AIMS as a Facilitator she represents another of our new recruits, but in her case no recruiting seems to have been needed, she sees her involvement as a natural outgrowth of her whole upbringing.
Rachel Eure is one of AIMS newest of Facilitator recruits. She has been with us now for one full year. She tells us of how she came to AIMS early in her career as a teacher. Her enthusiasm for both teaching children through our activities and working with teachers to open their own mindsets is clear and infectious. She was in Fresno for our Facilitators workshops this summer and hung out with me at the end of a long day.
Debby Porcarelli, Deb as we call her around the office, heads up the Professional Learning Division. As such we start with her to give us a picture of what the vision is for this arm of the organization. After some history that gives us a sense of just how Deb has distinguished herself here, we hear her talk about how things are, and where she sees them going as we strengthen our models for professional learning.
Wilma T. Hashimoto is also a member of the AIMS Early Math Team and joins Chris in the studio. She talks of her journey to become a researcher of early learning, her many years of working on behalf of young children, and some of the active research she is involved in. For Wilma learning through play is a strong focus, which she finds supported in the research she is reading with her team. She relates a story about a game, “Frog Splash” wherein she describes learning events occurring even while the children involved are not expecting to be learning.
Elizabeth Gamino shares her story the Early Math Team’s focus on brain development and its influence learning in pre-school aged children. The effects of early math on later academic success became a focus, and driving force into further study. Ultimately this team has focused “Center-based Activities,” and some games that this team has created for children to explore and grow with. The Frog-Splash game, and other “non-linear” game boards and their role in these center-based activities are described. She goes into a few specific student stories that will interest anyone fascinated by the 4 year old mind.
Beverly Ford, updates us on the progress she and the other members of her team are observing in their work within a particular school setting. She tells a few stories related to how her students are demonstrating various stages of learning. Bev expands on some of the things her partner, David Pearce, discussed in last week’s podcast. This team was focusing on the stage in a child’s development that focuses upon the connection between subtractive and additive behaviors.
David Pearce, presently a member of our Coordinating Units team spent that last year working with the K-1 students. He relates to us a few instances where he saw the work of Steffe and others come to life, and how it is changing his perspective on children’s mathematics.