Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's Game Time!

This session was presented by Angela Phillips and Rick Pinchot. Their session was about using instructional games to create an engaging and powerful forum for the development of students' strategies in addition and subtraction. A few minutes prior to the session beginning Angela and Rick went around the room to get to know the participants and find out where everyone was from and their backgrounds. This helped create an easy going atmosphere in the room. As the session began it was clear that everyone was spell bound by their presentation. The audience happily participated in the discussion and games. I believe the reason for this easy demeanor of the room is because of the dynamics of Angela and Rick. To watch them teach other teachers is a treat.

They began the session with a conversation about Dominoes. They wanted each table to add up the dominoes found in the middle of the table. This seems like an easy task with few differences. However, each table organized and counted their dominoes differently. It lead into a discussion of strategies and organization.

Next the room discussed the plus/delta's of using games in the classroom. Some of the plus': games are interactive, students are motivated, reinforces lessons already taught, multiple strategies are used. The delta's discussed: parents have misconceptions about games, missing pieces, noise level, preparation. Things to remember: recap the game to talk about what they have learned and play each game multiple times.

Rick and Angela also showed videos of students playing games from classrooms at Chets Creek. After watching a clip, the audience had the opportunity to discuss the work they saw and play the same games. It was a powerful session. I am sure all of the participants walked away with a new understanding of the importance of using games in math.


Ashley Russell said...

We are so lucky to be able to work with Rick and Angela on a daily basis. I wish I could have gone. I am sure I would have learned a lot in their session. They are a wealth of information.

Melanie Holtsman said...

Yeah Rick and Angela! We're so lucky to benefit from your expertise!

Debby Cothern said...

It sounds like everyone had to be so impressed by your knowledge. I know I am!!

dayle timmons said...

This session put so many pieces together that are common to our work at Chets - excellent, knowledgable presenters; student work and teachers willing to make their work transparent (captured and edited on video), and hands-on professional development that allows teachers to experience strategy work. How exciting that Angela and Rick (notice I used Angela's name first!) were able to model this type of professional development for the participants!

Angela Phillips said...

Michelle, thank you for your kind words about our presentation. I also appreciate all of the other nice comments we received from readers of this post. Michelle and dayle- thank you for mentioning my name first! (HA!!)
Angela :-)