One of the tricky things about having kiddos for 2 years and constantly taking on new kiddos (emerging multilingual/recent immigrant school) is that many of the kiddos have seen or already learned things that are important to know (like, say, algebra tiles) and half the kiddos have never seen it (or the mathematics leading up to it. Or a class in English. But, I digress…).

Curriculum Partner and I were both excited at various points about a lesson we did last year where kiddos who had been in school longer *taught* their group members about the algebra tiles and had them do practice problems.

We did it again today and it was about as awesome as we remember it. For all the worries that creating status and rocky starts to the year bring about, kiddos generally did really good at teaching each other and helping each other. In groups where there were multiple kiddos who had seen the algebra tiles, they often (somewhat) naturally co-taught or translated or otherwise differentiated their support. I tried to videotape one group, but they promptly stopped talking.

This photo taken shortly after trying to talk one kiddo down about phone calls home and shortly before the video caused them all to awkwardly stop talking:

What do you notice? What do you wonder?

(Context the first: This is from a mathematics class for students who are all emerging multilinguals.

Context the second: This blog is part of the #MTBoSblogsplosion, spearheaded by Carl Oliver (Thanks, Carl!). The Mathematics-Twitter-Blog-o-Sphere is a collective of mathematics educators on the internet who commit to blogging a certain number of times throughout January.

I’ve said I’m going to post a photo of student work every day for #teach180 (Thanks Sarah Carter!) and one post every weekend on more reflective things.)