The Differentiated Math Classroom: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Pulling It Together: Lessons, Anchors, and Tools

In this chapter, the authors summarize how they have characterized differentiation in a math classroom:
1) Responsive teaching
2) Organized and flexible approach using a diverse collection of strategies
3) Purposeful adaptation of teaching and learning processes to accommodate the ways different students learn
4) All students have access to math knowledge and are appropriately supported and challenged
5) Teaching and learning in a problem-solving environment
6) Providing all students with opportunities to reach high standards, to reach their full potential, and to become proficient, independent learners in math.

They have included a handy table of the lessons that were referenced in the book, along with the grade level and math strand addressed, so it's easy to go back and find any lessons you'd like to use.

The authors address anchor activities again, review the idea that these are activities that students use when they have completed their work or are waiting for assistance. Anchor activities could also be used as warm-ups, in order to introduce them. Routines are needed for the storing and managing of anchor activities. The authors again recommend MATHCOUNTS materials as an excellent resource. They recommend a few other resources: The Joy of Mathematics and Math Talk: Mathematical Ideas in Poems for Two Voices, by Theoni Pappas (these are good for middle grades, to explore “intriguing” math ideas); books by Marilyn Burns (grades 1-8); Nimble with Numbers; Continental Math League Problem Collection. Farkle is a game that the authors use as an anchor activity, with students sometimes organizing tournaments. This is a game I did not know until I read the directions. The scoring rules are adaptable, so I will likely try that. If you’d like the directions as written in the book, let me know…maybe many of you already use this game:)

The anchor activities are the items I need to work on the most - I need to gather, create, and ORGANIZE in the next two weeks (two weeks!).  Last week, I was happy to find that the 24 Games I ordered with budget money have arrived – these sets include ones I haven’t had before, including integers, variables, and fractions/decimals). I can definitely use these as anchor activities!

Do you have certain anchor activities you use (or could use)?

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