Reading Apprenticeship and Math

I’m attending a Reading Apprenticeship training in our district that is just fantastic. I can’t say enough about it: the trainer is fabulous, the content is fabulous, the strategies are fabulous…nuff said. 

So, I’m attempting to bring some of the strategies I’ve learned into my math classroom. 

The last few days my 7th graders have been making posters of word problems and creating tape diagram and algebraic solutions. Instead of each group presenting their posters one at a time, I had them do a gallery walk instead.  They had post-its–enough for one per poster, and prompts for comments to make. I gave them 10 minutes to travel with their groups and discuss the prompts, writing responses on their post-its to place on the posters. 


A lot of students made this same comment, so this gave me an opportunity to address misconceptions with a mini lesson after the gallery walk.


One prompt was to notice what was going on mathematically with the poster.


Another prompt was to state anything that confused them when viewing the poster.


This gallery walk really got them talking. Students were much more engaged in this activity than they would have been sitting and listening to 6 different presentations. 


Students were completely engaged for the duration of the activity.


Students looked to each other for clarification and discussion rather than to me. It was great!


They seemed to truly analyze the work so that they could provide authentic feedback to their peers.



1) My first group of 7th graders was better at this than my second group–and they are typically lower achieving. 

2) Although I gave focus prompts for accountability, some students tended to focus on the aesthetics rather than the math. 

3) It was obvious they had done this activity before because they got right to it and understood the routine without much in-depth explanation. 

4) This was a great opportunity for formative assessment. 

My next goal is to bring in think aloud  and talk-to-the-text activities. I’ve started some talking to the text with my 8th graders, but not enough to reflect upon yet. That’s for the next blog post!

2 thoughts on “Reading Apprenticeship and Math

  1. Jon Gillig says:

    Kaci, this is a strong move instructionally. Its very encouraging to see the way they are interacting with each other’s work. Additionally, those sticky notes allow you to have a metacognitive conversation with your students about what works in this activity to help each other with deeper thinking. Prompts like “Which comments allowed you to think more deeply about the math and which comments did not prompt deeper thinking?” “How could we use the sticky notes to help each other see our work from different perspectives, in a supportive way?”

    This Thursday we are focusing on teacher-modeling, activating schema, and integrating the routines into our planning. I’m very excited! You have been a positive force in our group and a leader in our discussions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s