Teachers all over are beginning to freak out about now.
So if the standards are telling us that in order to be fluent, kids need to be flexible, accurate, efficient, and appropriate, what the heck does that even mean for our instruction? Not to mention, how does running copies from mathdrills.com help us achieve that goal? How do we teach kids to be fluent? What are the best practices??? A great question from my good friend Katie: If we don't use timed tests, how do we monitor our students' fluency? Which lead me to my next question... What are we really monitoring with timed tests anyway? How is using assessments such as these helping us toward our goal of knowing some answers, using patterns, and using strategies?
In my own humble opinion here, I think what is happening is that teachers don't want to let go of one thing until we have another to hold onto. A question I have for myself is, how do we help teachers develop enough confidence in better instructional practices that they would be willing to let go of not the old, but really in this case, the harmful? I have some thoughts... but I am more interested in yours.
So where do we go? What do we do? One of the best answers I know of is Number Talks. We as teachers, cannot afford to say that we don't have time for Number Talks, I don't care what grade you teach. In my head, I figure you either pay for it in the beginning or the end. Isn't it usually cheaper in the beginning?