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  • Mixing it Up

    Posted by Alysha Coates on April 13, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    I’ve been teaching for 6 years, and in those 6 years, moved to six different communities and taught 6 different grades. It has been very difficult to step outside the “textbook lesson” and develop a strong sense of teaching math outside the traditional whole class lesson. I’ve tried small groups, but not consistently, or to my knowledge effectively. My big question, is how can I develop a math pedagogy that allows me to have a more engaging and hands-on learning that is not grade specific, but will provide me with skills that move beyond one grade/school.

    Beginning to navigate these water cooler discussions is a challenge for me. Sometimes I feel lost – there are some math things I have not heard of – and so many resources that I’m working on choosing somethere to begin. Starting small and then entering the larger conversation. I would like to focus my learning on answering my big question, and by takin g my time to explore one next concept at a time.

    Jon replied 2 years, 5 months ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Cheris South

    Member
    April 14, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Hello Alysha,

    I can definitely understand how too much information and unfamiliar terms can be overwhelming. I have been teaching middle and high school math for 14 years and I believe three lessons that have been the most beneficial for me and can transcend grade levels is to #1: Take time to complete the work you will ask students to do before assigning, including the thinking you will ask them to do during the lesson. This will help you hone in on what you are truly asking them to understand or connect ideas and assist with developing an activity that gets to the core of that understanding. #2: Try to change your focus to the students problem solving instead of just answers if you haven’t already. #3: Try to embed choice, fun, interest or gamification when you can’t figure out to make it “real world.” Just remember to reward statements and solutions that show conceptual understanding vs. correct answers answers.

    I hope this was helpful but if not, feel free to disregard. I am on here learning too, hopefully so that I can create more engagement in the virtual environment when students almost expect to be passive learners. Good luck!

  • Jon

    Administrator
    April 14, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Such great tips and insight @cheris-south I’ll add one more: think about what you value most about learning mathematics. Incorporate that “one-thing” in as many lessons as you can. Thst should transcend grade level @alysha-coates .