The Power of a “Counting-All”

Today we are going to watch a video of Sarina. This video was taken August 28, 2018. She is a great example of what productive struggle looks like in a student. She is going to solve 8 + 5, 9 + 4, and 8 + 6. Some questions to think about are: Did she solve each problem the same way? Was one problem more challenging than another? If so what did you notice that led you to that conclusion?

One of the things that I have learned studying Student Adaptive Pedagogy is the importance of think time in a child’s math sweet spot. I love watching a child’s eyes look up when they are deep in thought. I can tell you I was working hard to not say anything for the minute it took for her to reflect and think about the problem. Did you notice that she solved the problems multiple times and needed all those attempts to develop her strategy? When I was interviewing her I knew she was working hard and tried to be thoughtful about the numbers I used in the addition problems. I love exploring the mathematics of students!

On October 9, 2018, I was in Sarina’s classroom and her teacher described how Sarina counted from 1 for the following math problems: 23 + 5 and 12 + 1. I was so excited to see the growth she had made already! She may still be counting from 1, but a child will stop counting from 1 when they have had enough counting experiences. The teacher can’t control when she makes that developmental shift, but the teacher can give her tons of counting experiences. This is exactly what her teacher has done! When I was teaching 1st-grade last year I would talk to my students about their “math muscles”. Sarina definitely had a stronger math muscle! She started the year working with sums within 14. Now she was working with sums within 28. Do you have any questions about Sarina? How do you explore the mathematics of your students?

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