Vertical Classrooms in Math

Grade 9 students working at a vertical, non-permanent surface.

This year, members of the math department attended virtual professional development sessions with a cohort of 7 Oaks teachers led by Peter Lilejdahl from Simon Fraser University in BC. During these sessions we learned about vertical classrooms and how to implement them in our classrooms. Below are some pictures of the big ideas and take aways of using vertical classrooms.

We found many positive aspects of vertical classrooms. Some benefits are that students learn to: – collaborate with each other – Persevere through challenges – communicate their mathematical thinking – build community – learn to work with those they haven’t before – respect others – value all contributions – engage with “thinking” differently – visualize problems – logic and reasoning – develop critical thinking – take control of their own learning

Some feedback from students included:

  • It challenged us
  • seeing others ideas motivated me to keep going
  • enjoying working together, sharing thoughts, ideas, and feedback
  • helping each other
  • helped me remember more
  • it was active
  • no textbook work
  • loved it, it was fun

Some teacher highlights were:

  • emphasizing the journey and learning over the outcome, its not about finishing the worksheet, or who can do these 10 questions the fastest, it is realizing learning continues and challenging yourself to keep going.
  • engaging problems and real like scenarios
  • quality over quantity
  • outcome based assessment
  • creating live notes to make learning more meaningful