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Instructional Practice: Focused Survey

Ruth Parker and Patty Lofgren, 2000

The Focused Survey can be used as a tool for professional development, self-reflection, and collegial supervision. It supports educators working to change their instructional practice so that all students can become mathematically powerful.

Number Talks                                   

  1. Teacher is purposeful in selecting problems.
  2. Students readily share diverse strategies.
  3. Students and teacher listen to, talk about, question and build on each other’s ideas.
  4. Teacher listens to children’s thinking and asks questions that probe for understanding.

                                     Implementation Scale

I--------------------------I-----------------------------I---------------------------I
Initial                                                                                               Full

Instructional Practice

  1. Teacher is clear about the mathematics content of the lesson.
  2. The students are intellectually engaged in important ideas relevant to the focus of the lesson.
  3. Students demonstrate persistence in solving problems.
  4. Students are frequently asked to explain their thinking and readily share ideas.
  5. Confusion and/or mistakes are viewed as a natural part of the process and are used as opportunities for learning.
  6. Evidence of substantive content is visible in the room (e.g. charts and other data sets, and records of mathematics investigations both completed and in progress are posted).
  7. Teacher uses appropriate questioning strategies to stimulate student thinking. Teachers and students use the language of mathematics.
  8. Students are successful in using mathematical ideas to solve problems.

                                     Implementation Scale

I--------------------------I-----------------------------I---------------------------I
Initial                                                                                              Full                                                  

Classroom as a community of learners

  1. Respect for ideas is evidenced in the following ways:
    • children are encouraged to share their ideas and solutions; 
    • diverse ways of solving problems are explored; 
    • teachers and students ask probing questions as they work to understand mathematical ideas and make sense of situations.
  1. Students work both independently and collaboratively.
  2. There is active participation on the part of all.
  3. Room facilitates working in collaborative groups.

                                     Implementation Scale

I--------------------------I-----------------------------I---------------------------I   Initial                                                                                               Full

 

Reprinted with permission: Mathematics Education Collaborative

           

           

“Your modeling of how to guide small group work and mathematical thinking was great!  I have a better understanding about the importance of group work and of how and when group work is appropriate.  The focus on how to determine if the needs of all learners are being met was most helpful. These sessions help me to better understand the challenges my teachers and students face.”  - Principal

“I had the opportunity to deepen my content knowledge while you modeled pedagogy, and I pushed myself to a whole new level of understanding. Working with a diverse group of learners allowed me to see different perspectives. I will now let my students explore the mathematics we are working on in this way.”  - Elementary Teacher