I have three more days of elevator speeches to share. Now would be a good time to say why I initiated this whole elevator speech series. I was asked by my district to give a 90 second presentation on rigorous mathematics standards. I will be giving this 90 second presentation on Monday at our district's State of the Schools breakfast where many community members, parents, board members, teachers, and administrators will be present. You know, all the stakeholders. In preparing those 90 seconds, I needed to push myself to come up with elevator speeches related to Common Core math standards and rigor. So Day 7 will be my 90 second elevator speech from the State of the Schools.
For Day 5 and Day 6, I'm honored to share two elevator speeches from Steve Leinwand. It was so cool to see an email from Steve in my Inbox, with him saying, "OK - challenge accepted!"
If you've followed my blog, you know I have great admiration for Steve and have been inspired by him numerous times. It won't surprise you that I thoroughly enjoy (and support) his first speech.
"Appealing to an audience that wants more for their children."
It’s only one of eight Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, but we can change schools and change lives if we truly implement Mathematical Practice 3: “Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.” In many ways, these nine words may be the most important words in the entire Common Core effort. We can’t expect students to construct viable arguments unless we ask them “why?” and “how do you know?” and “can you convince us?” When we ask such questions we are laying the foundation for the reasoning and justifying that represent the thinking that schools need to develop in all students. Similarly, we can’t expect students to critique the reasoning of others unless we create classrooms where student thinking is valued and students contribute to their own learning within communities of learners. Moreover, this isn’t just mathematics, but what needs to happen in English language arts, social studies and science as well. So when one cuts through all of the misrepresentations and politics that surround the Common Core, these powerful nine words transcend our differences and capture what every parent and every citizen should be demanding from their schools and for their children.
Thank you Steve for sharing your wisdom and fervor. I look forward to sharing your next elevator speech on Day 6.
[UPDATE]: Check out the audio/visual of Steve's elevator speech.