Thursday, April 19, 2012

Common Opener

I really like where we are going here.  Our video production class has been broadcasting daily announcements live for a while and now we are really starting to take advantage of this time to establish some campus habits of mind. Recently, we started a series of "Common Opener" segments airing on Tuesdays and Thursdays focused on Flexible Thinking.  Math was up first and we used the Number Talk as the vehicle.

Basically, we are asking students to deconstruct and reconstruct numbers by looking for ways to find the answer that may be different than what they're used to.  We want them to leave their comfort zones just a bit.

Once the announcements are finished, teachers send their "exit slips" up to the office (or a student aide will pick them up) and I end up with a delivery of ~500 index cards/half slips of paper with student responses.  I quickly go through them and look for patterns.  It's been interesting to say the least.  Many students have started to look for new ways to work with numbers while a large majority still stick with the standard algorithms, but I'm optimistic that students will become more comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Hopefully, this acts as a vehicle to further the student/student, student/teacher and teacher/teacher conversations about learning on our campus.  What really encourages me is the opportunity we have to show how big ideas show up in all over the place.  Once the other content areas have a chance to interpret Flexible Thinking, we may see some real aha moments with our students.

You can find the announcements here.

4 comments:

Elissa said...

Can't find the math "common openers" (but I have now sat through several Pledges of Allegiance and several sports reports). Please give some more specific info for finding the right video segments on the website! I'm really interested to see what y'all are doing with this.

Bryan Meyer said...

Does your school use the 16 Habits of Mind developed by Art Costa?

David Cox said...

Elissa: It looks like some of the archives got mixed up. The best I can do right now is direct you to this one.

Bryan: The Habits of Mind are definitely shaping the common openers, but I don't know that I'd say we are using them as a site at this point.

David Haas said...

Hi,
I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?
David