List of FAQ
- What kinds of activities can help prospective teachers reflect on their experiences with the community math exploration?
- How long should final written reflections be?
- Should I choose individual or group reflections?
What kinds of activities can help prospective teachers reflect on their experiences with the community math exploration?
During the final class discussion, prospective teachers might a) present and elicit feedback on the lessons that they planned, b) describe and provide specific examples of the mathematical activity that they observed in the community and/or that they learned about during their interview(s) with students, c) discuss how they might involve their own K-8 students in community mathematics explorations, and d) more generally, discuss what key insights they gained from this module that they think will impact their teaching. We provide several options for facilitating this discussion in the full lesson plan available on the activity 3 page.
Some possible questions for facilitating discussions include:
– What was it like to think about the community in mathematical terms?
– What did you learn?
– ……about the community / the neighborhood?
– ……about using mathematics to investigate community contexts?
– ……about using math as a tool to investigate issues of equity or social justice?
– As you participated in this project, what surprised you?
– As you were planning your mathematics lesson, what kinds of things did you think about and consider? What did you find to be useful connections to the community? How did you use knowledge gained from your community walk, interviews or visits to inform your lesson?
– As you were planning your lesson, what challenges did you face? How did you respond to those challenges (focus here on challenges specific to making connections between particular math content/concepts and community knowledge, practices, activities or settings)?
– Would you like to do a similar community math exploration with your own students? Why or why not? What would students gain from a project like this? What adaptations would you need to make? What challenges do you think you might face, and how might you respond to those challenges?
How long should final written reflections be?
We generally suggest that when prospective teachers complete an individual reflection (Version A), it should be approximately 2 pages, and that prospective teachers should be as specific as possible in their responses. When prospective teachers complete a small group reflection (Version B), we generally suggest that it should be between 3-4 pages.
Should I choose individual or group reflections?
In some instances, we have had prospective teachers complete both Version A (individual reflection) and Version B (group reflection) of this assignment. Version A is typically an individual homework assignment completed at the end of the module, outside of class, and Version B is conducted at least partially in-class, with time for prospective teachers to meet and discuss in their small groups. What you decide will depend on time constraints and goals for your course.