Showing posts from August, 2016

The Struggle is Real

When I was a little boy and first learned how to ride my bike, I had all kinds of difficulties.  I would struggle with balance, fall down often, and accumulate my fair share of scraped knees.  This was not an easy task, as it took several hours, days, and weeks of guided practice before I mastered the proper technique.  I don't remember a great deal about the process other than my mother and father pushing me to stick with it while providing me with a great deal of feedback and encouragement.  I bring up this memory not only because I am in the process of unsuccessfully teaching my six year-old how to ride a bike, but also because I think it is applicable to our work with students.

Many years ago I was teaching fifth grade and the students were given an open response problem to solve independently as part of their first math assessment of the year.  These types of problems are based on real-world scenarios and require deep thought. There are infinite ways of coming up with an answ…