Monthly Archives: January 2019


Over the last few years, there has been a shift in my mathematics classroom from passive learning to active learning. In the past, students in my classes would have spent a lesson filling in a worksheet and then had time to practice the skill of the day. Students could sit back and wait for the teacher to give them the answers. The result on an assessment (usually a test) would reflect how much information they retained from the unit. As mentioned in my previous post, more recently, I have shifted my teaching practice to be more active. This has involved using VNPS and more student input throughout the lesson. This shift also created more opportunity for teacher feedback on the learning in the moment as it was happening.

When I began my Cohort21 journey, my focus was on documenting the student work at the whiteboards. Following the second F2F session, my driving question was "HMW document student learning in a mathematics classroom?" I was looking for a way for students to have a record of the questions they solved in class on the boards to help in their learning. I have attempted to use a Google Form with DocAppender and have found some success. Students were asked to take a photo of the work and answer a few questions (what unit is this from? on a scale from 1 - 10, how confident are you in this skill? what do you need to do to further improve these skills?) By using DocAppender, students have a record of this information. The feedback from students has been positive but I still feel like something is missing.

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Over the last few weeks, my focus has shifted slightly. My MHF4U class is getting ready to write their final exam next week. Yes, exams are stressful. However, I'm starting to identify a disconnect between the student's knowledge of the concepts and mistakes they make (they have more of a focus on the final answer and not on the process of the question). This is making me think that I may not want students to document what they have done at the boards but how to get students to better track what they currently know and how do they get better - without focusing on the final answer.

So with this in mind, my new iteration of my HMW has become "HMW have students reflect on their learning in a lesson to help personalized their next steps?" I believe I will continue to use the Google Form to track their learning. I will also continue to end each lesson with having students identify "I can..." statements. However, my work now turns to how do I embed more meaningful personalized reflection for students on daily learning?