Saturday, October 22, 2011

Prove it!

Hello,

I am ready to talk about "Prove It!".  No, I am ready to shout about "Prove It!" from the rooftops!  I began about three weeks ago after watching the "Prove It!" Tuesday night podcast. (check it out at www.wholebrainteaching.com ).  I bean in language arts and Math.  More about LA later.....

I am using "Prove It!" throughout my math lesson.  I use it to get kids to experience and think about a problem before I teach them how to do it  (regrouping across zeroes, for example).  In addition, I use it in my five minute check (review of the previous lesson).  It is also helpful during the lesson to monitor understanding.  Here are a few other reasons I love "Prove It!":
  • You can quickly see what every student is THINKING!
  • The kids REALLY want extra seconds of mind soccer.  It blows my mind that they will work so hard for an additional 20 seconds of a review game.
  • Students can use their white boards to teach each other how they did the problem.
  • It saves paper.
  • Having to write out their thinking slows the high students down, allowing the other kids to think through the problem.
  • They beg me to play it!
It was difficult for about 2/3 of the class the first two weeks.  They had no idea how to explain their thinking, or what they did in solving a problem, or even naming a strategy or operation.  I was getting frustrated with so many students leaving the H.T.S. half of the board blank or putting a question mark there.  We have trained them NOT to THINK!  Even kids who can memorize facts and spit out logarithms can not explain why they are using them.  The third week, everyone was able to write something down, and I could see confidence levels increase dramatically.  I am so excited to see what kind of mathematicians they are by the end of the year!

I have also tried "Prove It!" in Language arts.  We have only worked on the "solve now" type problems, and will start the "go back" type this week.  It has been harder for me to fit "Prove It!" into my morning L.A. schedule for some reason.  It is my goal to make this happen every day next week.

Here are a few pics of prove it boards:
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Have a great week!

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