Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pass the Power

At the beginning of the year, our Superintendent Bret Champion, charged the Leander ISD staff with "Passing the Cape."

He actually took his cape off and passed it to a student! This powerful passing of the cape symbolizes how we as educators need to give students the ownership in their learning.

I was reminded of this powerful speech at an RTI Math Symposium at the University of Texas with Barbara Dougherty and Karen Karp. Both professors are NCTM Board Members and certified teachers of Elementary Mathematics, Secondary Mathematics and Special Education. Throughout the day, these ladies emphasized the importance of having students communicate their own math learning. They talked about "Passing the Power" in the math classroom by using a simple tool:

Here is how you "Pass the Power":
1. Teacher selects a student to share mathematical thinking.
2. The teacher exchanges the "Power" (in this case it's a pen) by handing it over to the student.
3. The teacher sits down in the student's seat and becomes part of the class.
4. The student has the opportunity to share their thinking.
*5. Remember, the teacher should not say much of anything and let the student talk, ask and answer questions of the class!

*Note: Step 5 is the most important.

Remember, the person doing the talking is the one doing the learning! Next time you ask students to share their mathematical thinking, try this technique. Comment below and let us know how it goes!


  1. More so, it is amazing to see kindergartners with the power.