It is a complicated world and it feels like it gets more complicated every day. I'd never suggest to a student that I know how to navigate this complexity, but I do believe that there are some etablished principles that can help. One of these is to develop a road map to use to track where you are going and evaluate whether or not you've gotten there. Requiring students to devise a plan for a complex problem and discuss that plan in detail in order to graduate high school will help them develop that map for the problems to come.


t). Early in my career, I tried to teach with a running internal monologue. I would scroll through the various external factors that were changing moment-to-moment and search for ways to effectively respond to individuals while maintaining fidelity to my class and school goals. I needed a .mantra. The following phrase help to quiet the constant chatter and re-establish focus on a few things that I can control.


Math teachers ought to look for situations where we can leverage the "aha" power of situations that conflict with our initial intuition. This task utilizes a redirection by setting students up to intuit an incorrect solution at first glance. They then explore the context and realize that what was the "obvious solution" is not even close to the best choice.*


Evidence-based reasoning provides bulwark against superstition and demagoguery. It forms the basis of most of the life-changing institutions we interact with: from science to law, journalism to business. This foundational principle is beautifully encapsulated in a simple form that starts with a "given" and moves, evidenced step by evidenced step, towards a desired assertion.


One's perspective inevitably influences one's understanding of the world. The process that you use to get to a solution is interesting, useful, and should be explained/understood; however, this doesn't mean that everything is up for debate. We can and should identify right and wrong claims even in a complex problem or world.


The movement against high stakes assessment is in danger of throwing out the motivational and organizational benefits of assessment with the proverbial bath water. Many "opt-out" activists (a movement of which I am generally supportive) seem to suggest that any increase in stress or consequences for students is inappropriate. Perhaps this perspective is well-intentioned, but it seems misguided to try to shield students from healthy stress which could build their resilience.


Effective "multi-mic" participation can help engage students and give teachers a quick sense of what student know and don't know. Like a dipstick on a car, they can give a snapshot of the class and whether or not it is OK to move forward.


If we can fine tune the questions we ask when we do interact with students we may be able to get the information that we need to intervene and support at-risk students so that they can avoid this fate.


While I may not be a political insider or historian, I do have a front row seat to a world which provides insight into one of the key philosophical differences between the Trump and Clinton campaigns: are we a nation in need of walls or one in which we are "stronger together?"


Guest blogger Amber Chandler writes: I came to realize that there was a layer of Differentiation that doesn't seem to be occurring, and that is in the realm of social emotional learning. Why would I think that meeting kids where they were was a good thing academically without logically knowing that the whole child requires more than academic Differentiation, the whole child requires flexibility?


The opinions expressed in Prove It: Math and Education Policy are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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