Thursday, August 25, 2016

Teaching the SMPs

Casey (@cmmteach) asked that I share the foldable and card sort that I use for teaching the SMPs to my students.  There is nothing necessarily fabulous about the activities but it familiarizes them with the language that I try to refer back to throughout the year in class discussions.  This year, West Virginia has eliminated the Common Core Standards and replaced them with our College and Career Readiness Standards which read...exactly...the...same.  The political game.  Whatevs.  They renumbered them and they are calling the SMPs the "Mathematical Habits of Mind," so I am going to try to start referring to them as such in order to align with what my state/county expect.

Here is the foldable that I used last year and intend to use again this year:

It marked the first page in our INB prior to the Tables of Contents or any notes.  This year we are not going to try to complete all 8 in a single class session.  We are going to complete four one day and four the next so that we can talk a bit more about how we have been utilizing these skills in some of our opening activities.  I'm afraid this piece of what we do is a whole lot of me talking to them, but I'm laying a foundation and I do try to pull back from that more as the year progresses.

Last year, our classes were grouped by "ability" (I assume as determined by test scores but I was not privy to those conversations).  Regardless, the result was that I saw our more high achieving class of students twice a day.  This allowed me to have much richer conversations with them and explore some of those activities I would love to incorporate more of but never seem to have the chance (Looking at you, Mathalicious).

One example of a lesson that I did with them but not the others was our SMP Card Sort.  This year, I am going to attempt to do the MHM Card Sort (not sure how I feel about that acronym) with all of my classes.  I basically disassembled the SMP Posters that Chris Shore developed and use them.
The way I managed that last year was to hand the groups chunks at a time and have them match them up (i.e. the actual SMP and an "I statement", then the key word, then the key vocabulary, then the key questions, etc.).  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how I am going to execute that this year because I'm looking at the practical need to have the materials back in an organized fashion for the next class and that doesn't seem reasonable given the time constraints.

This is part of what I have on top this week for Wednesday through Thursday.  But I am also introducing our Multiplication Opener Routine and attempting our first three Calculate then Contemplate lessons.  I suppose it may be a bit ambitious...I may be changing plans as it plays out.


  1. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing. I love the idea of using Chris's posters all broken up :-)

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