Pacing and concept building where a large part of the parent evening as well. Kallenbach explained that rather than flying through the curriculum at a rapid pace, they would be working on a skill for a more extended period of time in an effort to work towards mastery of a concept. “We are spending a greater amount of time on a smaller number of concepts,” Kallenbach stated. Both offered resources to parents as well, highlighting instructional math videos available on http://www.engageny.org/ in addition to providing teachers with parental guides to student success.
Parents posed questions about various mathematical concepts being taught, including that of place value disks. Both teachers highlighted the reasoning behind the disks, and discussed the need to build conceptual understanding prior to just handing students the “trick” in the standard algorithm. As Kallenbach noted during a lesson on multiplication of multi-digit numbers, “We’re recognizing that 4 tens is actually 40 because of what we did with place value, and that’s great! We don’t have control of how fast we think, and now, we’re thinking faster than we have before.”
As a culmination to the evening, Kallenbach and Sullivan thanked parents for attending, explaining that they are seeing more deep mathematical thinking than they ever have before – thinking that they are both truly excited about seeing evolve in years to come. Future parent sessions are planned for the coming months, to support students and parents as they continue to work through the concepts covered in the modules and in the Core standards.
By: Lauren Stuff, CA BOCES