Cake
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    • I agree on the need to dabble. It's interesting, because I think there's an ethical reason, especially when it comes to equity, to use class time really thoughtfully and effectively. And yet, if you want people to build their perseverance, you need to give them time to struggle (productively, ideally), because that's what it takes to improve. Perseverance is a muscle, and if there's no time to persevere, we never get better at it.

      Dan, can you talk about how your new 4-part series provides students with multiple opportunities for dabbling and perseverance?

    • Absolutely! I've been working with Maths Pathway in Australia to help them produce rich mathematical tasks for their program. They brought me down November of 2018 with the express purpose of creating high quality instructional videos to help teachers understand and feel more confident using rich tasks in their classrooms.

      Rich math tasks are a kind of holy grail of math teaching. They're the experiences that aren't just fun, but verge of life-changing. I don't think you can realistically give that kind of experience to every student, every day, but you can make offering it part of your practice, and math class becomes a very fun place indeed when rich mathematical learning is a regular part of it!

      What I wrote about in my first posting here was based in my thoughts on rich learning in mathematics. Our goal, as teachers, is to light our students' curiosity, sustain them in productive struggle with an appropriate challenge, and honor their contributions and bolster their sense of ownership. Much of this conversation was us sharing some of our favorite tasks and problems for doing just these things.

      In the video series, I try to break down HOW you do those things, and get videos of classroom teachers actually doing them in the classroom, as well as reflecting on what they did afterward. We've got some student reflections as well, which is super exciting. I was thrilled at how the videos came out.

      My hope is that having access to a video series like this where you can hear the outline of how to, say, launch a rich task in the first place, followed by seeing several launches and then picking apart what happened and what made them effective, will help teachers take the plunge to try using rich tasks in their classroom. Because, to paraphrase Paul Lockhart, we all could be having so much more fun!