Leadership magazine May/June 2015 V 44 No 5 - Page 9

solutions are correct, saying, “From these two examples, look at the math and the strategies that were used. In your opinion, were either efficient, and why or why not? Talk to each other…” The Silicon Valley Math Initiative calls this approach a “re-engagement” lesson, meant to revisit, clarify or deepen student learning by “re-engaging students with the mathematics of a complex problem differently than a lesson that might traditionally only review or reteach a problem and its solution (Foster & Poppers, 2009). Colleague Emily Shelburne, who uses this approach with her calculus students, states, “When our department scores student work together, it guides our conversations about their mathematical misconceptions. We talk about providing more modeling and opportunities for students to explain their reasoning in our next lessons.” Math consultant Jonathan Rhodea works with district teams in the network, helping them select rich tasks that reveal students’ application of math and conceptual thinking. By sharing templates and protocols that help teachers diagnose student understanding, he is able to facilitate teams’ analysis, dialogue and next level of work with students. Diving into a formative assessment process requires teachers to step out of their comfort zones, as they analyze student work for evidence of learning and discuss what to do in their next lessons. Rhodea describes the shift in his support as “helping teachers move from just thinking about what to teach next, to reflecting about how students’ work can drive my next lesson or math talk to better reach all students.” In this context, the formative assessment cycle enables teachers to take an inquiry stance about student learning and their own instruction. n Academic conversations: Analyzing student talk to improve teaching & learning Planada Elementary fourth grade teacher Jenny Fouch embeds structures in her lessons that build academic talk in her classroom. For Fouch, students’ oral output is not enough. She uses taped transcriptions of student dialogue to examine student language production and understanding of content. Her school coach works with her grade level as they examine student evidence of thinking and use this information for lesson design. She said, “We meet often to debrief about how it went, to determine students’ needs, based on the conversations in our classes that day, and to plan for future instruction. Our planning has changed. We Jose Morales, a fifth grade teacher using the tools says, “Our grade-level meetings look different now because we aren’t just looking at strategies to invite students to respond, but how to support c