Favorite Learning Book Reflection by Aileen Shaffer
For the week one assignment, we are asked to share our favorite learning book. I hope it is acceptable to share an article instead. The article is "Never Say Anything a Kid Can Say" by Steven Reinhart. I read this article several times a year and find it completely consistent with the concepts of maker space and responsive classroom philosophies which I continue to aspire to implement.
I find this article inspiring because its title summarizes an entire mindset for reaching students and teaching mathematics. During each lesson I can evaluate my pedagogy to reflect if there is a way for the student to construct, invent, or discover the concept or solution of the day's problem. On days when this is accomplished, the lesson resonates a deep connective level and enables a depth of learning that is not possible from teacher led instruction.
The body of the article provides concrete pedagogy to use to accomplish the goal. I continue to gain experience in applying these principles. Even lessons that seem prescriptive can be flipped to be a constructivist approach. This past year I revised the unit on simplifying radical expressions. I had students invent their own system, justify their choices and teach it to their classmates. Collectively they derived nearly all the "rules" for simplifying radicals and could apply the rules with mastery. The students were inspired and I was excited to create more such experiences for the class.
Enjoy the article!
"If every child were to be given access to a computer, computers would be cheap enough for every child to be given access to a computer."
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