Our session began at 8 in the morning with a small but energetic and enthusiastic group of teachers from Maryland and New Jersey. We started with introductions and a brief introduction to CAMI including a discussion of the Diana Lambdin quote that went out with our initial invitation to CAMI in November 2014…
“No matter how kindly, clearly, patiently, or slowly teachers explain, they cannot make students understand. Understanding takes place in the students’ minds as they connect new information with previously developed ideas, and teaching through problem solving is a powerful way to promote this kind of thinking.”
With the stage being set, we jumped right in and gave out this visual pattern. We asked teachers to write down what they saw and to pose a few questions.
After a few minutes, teachers shared their questions in pairs and wrote more questions.
Then each pair chose a few questions and posted them on the wall:
Next, each pair choose a question to work on, working on their own first and then as a team.
Then we asked everyone to create posters to share their question and their thinking.
Then we did a gallery walk commenting on all the posters.
Workshop Materials and Handouts
- The handout we gave out with the visual pattern
- Our Presentation Slides
- Visual Patterns Related to the One We Explored (and some examples of more directed questions)
- The pattern we looked at was adapted from visual pattern #19 on an amazing site called visualpatterns.org.
- For starting your own teacher circle… Math Teachers’ Circle Network
- For teaching algebra through visual patterns… Developing Algebraic Reasoning Through Visual Patterns