You Can’t Park New Knowledge in a Space Already Occupied by a Misconception

(By Dean Ballard, CORE’s Director of Mathematics)

How many times have you tried to explain something to someone and just can’t break through because he or she seems to be holding on viciously to some misinformation or misconception? Oddly enough this puts me in mind of a recent experience at a school. The principal was late to our meeting and came to the meeting agitated because he could not park in his reserved spot. He had agreed to let a teacher at the school use the spot two days earlier while he was away all day at district meetings. Unfortunately, the teacher’s car broke down and could not be moved from the parking spot. Two days later the teacher still had not arranged a tow truck to remove the car. So often I find with students that a wrong idea is a lot like this broken down car. It occupies a space reserved for the right knowledge and unfortunately the right knowledge cannot be parked in the spot until the wrong knowledge is towed away.

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Welcome to the Winter 2017 edition of the CORE Academic Quarterly newsletter!

In this second of a two-part series on reading interventions, we will continue the discussion around new developments in the intervention research and how they can be applied to the work in your schools.

In the Reading Expert section of the Fall 2016 issue, we addressed some advances in reading comprehension interventions. In this issue, we discuss some advances in interventions for word-level reading.

In the Marvelous Mathematician, we tackle moving math knowledge into students’ long-term memory.

In the CORE Leadership Corner, we promote a new website that provides independent curriculum review of a variety of ELA (grades 3-8) and math programs.

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Clear Instruction + Engagement = Math Fun

(By Dean Ballard, CORE’s Director of Mathematics)

I was working in a school district near Seattle a few weeks ago, doing lesson studies in middle school math classes. Super fun time. In one sixth grade class I was teaching a lesson on “Finding the Percent of a Number.” As with any type of lesson modeling and even more extensively with lesson study, I met beforehand with teachers to review and revise the lesson as needed and agree on the focus areas for the lesson observation. In this case we were working on three areas – student engagement, discourse, and checking for understanding. We had a team of four teachers, the math coach, and the coordinator, all of whom would watch the lesson and debrief together afterwards.

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Don’t miss the latest CORE Academic Quarterly newsletter!

In the Reading Expert column of this issue, you will find the first of a two-part series on reading interventions, where we discuss some new developments in the intervention research and how this can be applied to your schools. In this issue, we address some advances in interventions for reading comprehension.

In the Marvelous Mathematician column, we tackle addressing language barriers for English learners in mathematics.

The Leadership Corner provides four great resources for improving reading instruction.

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Don’t miss the latest CORE Academic Quarterly newsletter!

In this issue, in the Reading Expert column you will find a review of a very informative book on preventing and overcoming reading difficulties. Also, don’t miss the Marvelous Mathematician column, which discusses student learning trajectories.

The Leadership Corner provides a great resource for RtI: a new website from the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas, Austin, that has a wealth of resources to support implementation of RtI in your school or district.

Don’t forget to check out the math challenge in the Math Problem Corner!

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