Students today are learning the same traditional core subjects, though the approach might look a bit different. We visited Mr. Andy Boone’s first grade classroom, where students were working on solving equations.
Each day, Mr. Boone’s classroom spends about an hour working on math. They begin each lesson with Number Talks, where students explore how to approach numbers in different ways. Next, students work on a problem with a partner or in small groups to get them thinking about the math concept of the day. It’s also a way to get the students talking with their peers, discovering all the different ways to approach a math problem.
From there, they do large group share, where students present their work to the class and discuss how they solved the problem, followed by independent practice time. The students end each math block by rotating through centers, which explore the concept at hand in different ways. Mr. Boone also spends this time checking in with students one-on-one and providing individualized instruction.
In addition to teaching first grade, Mr. Boone uses his math specialist certification from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to train other teachers from around the state. He’s also on the Gretna District Team for math and he provides collaborative staff development for other teachers in the district. In Mr. Boone’s classroom, students establish foundational concepts to build upon for a lifetime.