ENGAGING ALL TYPES OF STUDENTS AND LEARNERS: A FIELD REPORT FROM WEST BATON ROUGE, LA
By: LISBON BROWN & KIZZY CROCKETT
Lisbon Brown, a math facilitator, and Kizzy Crocket, a 5th Grade teacher, sat down with us to discuss their second year of Eureka Math implementation at Lukeville Upper Elementary School, in West Baton Rouge.
“The Eureka Math strategy of read, write, or draw is helpful. You have some children who can explain how they understand the math by drawing a picture; then some see the algorithm; and some, like me, write words to explain what they are doing. This curriculum is asking for all that. We can touch all types of students, all types of learners with it.”
It’s your second year with Eureka Math, what lessons have you learned? What’s different this year from last year?
Lisbon: I see the rich foundation we’re laying for students. It’s setting them up to be mathematicians in middle school, throughout high school and in college
Those first modules in the first year — it was hard to get students, teachers, and parents to embrace them. Now they see, though, why we’re doing it this way — that we are reaping the benefits. We’re not facing those obstacles we faced early in the first year. The teachers are more comfortable with it.
Kizzy: We had a lot of frustration at first with trying to figure out what “mastery” looks like. Last year, especially in the beginning, pacing also was harder than this year. Lessons took longer to deliver than the pacing guides suggested. We were really trying to learn the routines
Now, with this year’s fifth-graders, who had Eureka Math as fourth graders, there’s a better level of understanding. They understand what a tape diagram is. They understand they have to read, write, and draw. They understand what that means. Last year, we had to teach the curriculum but also demonstrate those tools that you have and representations you have. This year, things are moving a lot smoother in that area. I don’t have to worry about explaining what a tape diagram is and how you would use it. Every year, I do believe it’s going to get better and better
What’s happening in your classrooms now?
Kizzy: They are making the leap to abstract math. We did use the place value disc in module one this year. But the students are to the point now where they don’t need the place value charts or the disks. They can make the leap into the abstract part, where they’re just using the symbols
The Eureka Math strategy of read, write, or draw is helpful. You have some children who can explain how they understand the math by drawing a picture; then some see the algorithm; and some, like me, write words to explain what they are doing. This curriculum is asking for all that. We can touch all types of students, all types of learners with it