Skip to main content

Teaching Math

If one thing is constant for me as a teacher it is this: nothing is ever the same from year to year. I often spend my summers reflecting on the previous year and on the lessons I learned with my students. It is on this basis that I make changes or adjustments in September. Often, what worked for one group of children won't work for a different group. This "difference" is what makes teaching come alive for me year after year. It's never the same because I never teach the same group of students or teach under the same circumstances; I am never the same teacher from one year to the next. In fact, the opposite is always true. Now, if this makes teaching hard, so be it. Whether or not teaching is harder than most other professions is up for grabs. See this:

So, after a summer of reading, reflecting, and planning I am ready to make changes in my classroom practice. I may experiment with a new teaching strategy, make adjustments to classroom structures, or study up on a specific aspect of teaching. This summer my focus was on math. I asked myself three questions. How can I get children to love math in the same way they love to read and write? How can I make math class interesting and challenging for everyone and not just for the children that get it right away? How can I infuse an inquiry perspective to our math time?

I tend to teach math whole group with some time set aside for practicing the focus of a lesson. I find that whole group instruction does not allow me to effectively differentiate my teaching to the needs of my students or to effectively scaffold learning math in Spanish. So as I experiment by using small group instruction, one-on-one conferencing, and math workshop choices, I will be blogging about how these changes in the organization of my teaching of math, impact my student's understanding of big ideas as they are challenged to communicate and work in their second language. I look forward to your comments.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Reading Strategies Book - Chapter 12, Supporting Students’ Conversations – Speaking, Listening, and Deepening Comprehension

The strategy lessons highlighted in Chapter 12, Supporting Students’ Conversations – Speaking, Listening, and Deepening Comprehension, in The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo are critical to students’ engagement and comprehension, as well as their ability to write literary essays, or even book reviews, summaries and reflective pieces about books. If students aren’t able to talk about books in a way that is invigorating and joyful, they will be less likely to develop an interest in growing ideas for writing about books.
In her introduction to this chapter, Jennifer Serravallo, reminds us that when conversations go well, children are inspired by what they read and are motivated to keep reading. However, when conversations fall flat, then kids get bored and tune out. How do we avoid this situation and teach kids to have focused conversations about books? The answer is easy: teach kids strategies to help them develop effective conversational skills. 

As in other blog posts a…

Saying Goodbye

I can't get used to saying goodbye to my daughters even though we've been doing it for the past 10 years. You'd think it gets easier, but it doesn't. It still feels like the first time.

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.*
At the airport, I watch families with their young children and try to remember what it was like when my girls were little. What I felt like. What I was doing at the time. What we weren't doing. Was I even aware of the passage of time?

When my kids were little I lived so much in the moment that there was no time to reflect on the fact that our time as a family was measured. Sooner than we were ready, we would have to let them go. Send them on their way. Wish them an abundance of everything, but especially of love, health and joy. 

They come through you, but not from you.* 
I nod and smile, a li…

Partner Reading and Content, Too Routine (PRC2)

I'm a hoarder.
There, I've said it.
I try to deny that I'm a hoarder but it comes back to haunt me every time I move houses, or pack up my classroom at the end of the school year.
I have old articles, lesson plans, handouts, folders brimming with teaching ideas, past issues of profesional journals. I hardly throw anything out though I've learned to be more selective over the years. My one rule of thumb, and I really try to stick to this, is that if I haven't used or referred to something in a year, then it's time to toss it into the recycle bin. One exception to this rule (you knew this was coming, didn't you?) is past issues of journals from professional organizations. However, with the ability to locate articles online through my professional memberships, even this exception is becoming less and less useful, which brings me to the topic of this blog post.
I am currently reading a copy of The Reading Teacher from 2010. I've clipped a couple of informat…