What’s a POM?

Problem of the Month (POM)

The tri-school teaching staff attended a professional development session led by elementary specialists, Sarah Kingston and Jessica Roine, on Problem of the Month, an approach to providing differentiation for math problem-solving.  All students in kindergarten through fifth grade at all three elementary sites will be working on Level A of the Wheel Shop Problem and students will progress from Level A through Level E depending on their level of math readiness, interest, and perseverance in solving challenging math problems.

The POM will be introduced to students the week of October 13 and will end the week of November 7.  One component of the POM is that students work in groups and create posters that show either their progress toward or completion of solving one level of the problem.  This decision is made by each group of students.  Students’ posters will be displayed the week of Parent Conferences.

Recently the sixth-graders completed their first POM called Squirreling It Away.  Students viewed one anothers’ posters in a gallery walk, listened to others’ presentations, and completed a self-assessment of their work.  Students seemed to thoroughly enjoy seeing and hearing each others’ mathematical thinking!

Check out this interesting article, “Never Say Anything a Kid Can Say!,” published years ago but very timely for our discussions about how our math classrooms are changing to support the shifts in Common Core.

  1 comment for “What’s a POM?

  1. Diana Feiger
    October 20, 2014 at 6:07 am

    I read the article “Never Say Anything a Kid Can Say!,” and yes it is quite old , 2000, and it is still current and everything we could be striving for now as we try to implement the 8 Mathematical Practices. I am going to re-read it and pick a fee points to work on actively as I approach new strategies in my classroom. I am trying to follow his guide, “It is not enough to teach better mathematics; I also need to teach mathematics better.” (and Science!) I am finding that struggling with a new math curriculum is stretching my thinking about how I teach math. It is helping me approach a paradigm shift.

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