Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Anchor Task

ASCD Education Update August 2013 55(8) Planning for Processing Time Yields Deeper Learning encourages a pedagogy that put processing time into instructional design.

The Article

Children Working on An Anchor Task in a Singapore School
I have advocated for a lesson to include an anchor task - where less is more. One task being discussed and milked for learning opportunities for about 15 to 20 minutes of an hour lesson. Singapore mathematics textbooks have been written with this in mind.

An example of an anchor task for a practice type lesson is to give students five number cards and the addition, subtraction and equal signs. The anchor task is to form equations. An anchor task for a new concept lesson is to give students a square piece of paper and ask them to show four equal parts to learn the beginning idea of fractions. The first lesson is one I designed for Primary 1 which I taught to a class in Punggol Primary School and Woodlands Ring Primary School. The second is a Primary 2 lesson in My Pals Are Here! and Math in Focus.

In running an anchor task in maths, a problem is presented and students work on them. Subsequent discussion (if relevant) focuses on different ways of thinking leading to achieving the lesson goal. Often, there are concrete manipulative for the students to work with. Combined with journaling, anchor tasks is one way to plan for processing time.

Quoted in the article | Faster learning is not necessarily deeper learning. ~ Wendy Ostroff, associate professor at Curry College