Monthly Archives: May 2015

Visible Documentation

Yesterday I had the privilege of working with some primary/junior teachers for a math PD session.  I asked the teachers to think of a rich task using a concept that they were working on.  Then to select a student who seemed to have some misconceptions about the concept and conference with that student focusing on some appropriate questions to help clear up those misconceptions.   I also asked them to record the conference, if possible.  The visible documentation of the student’s learning was incredible to watch.  We were able to really capture why the student came up with the misconception and see that there was still some level of understanding but they needed some help to completely grasp the concept.  It was great as well to watch the facial expressions of the students to see when they were puzzled by the teacher’s questions or even when the ‘aha’ moment actually came.  Through talks with my friend @avivaloca a chat today with @nobleknits2 I am becoming more and more a fan of that visible documentation.  While watching the video, it also helped to go back and listen again to make sure that we understand what the student was trying to share.  It also help us understand that in some cases  these misconceptions came from learning that the student had about one concept but applied it in an incorrect way to another one.  We were also able to compare the students’ written output with the taped conferences and realised that the students had a greater level of understanding than was perceived by their answers.  What do you think of videotaping your students’ learning?   Do you think that it is a worthwhile activity to use?  Do you use questioning during conferences to help clear up their misconceptions?

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