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Monday, January 19, 2015

Willingness to be different...it's a game changer.

Most teachers don't like change.  I am one of those weird teachers who needs change to keep me fulfilled.  For that reason I am constantly changing/tweaking/improving on how I run my classroom.  I have found that my year if fairly cyclical.

I start off strong with some whole group lessons on how to actually watch a video.  Then slowly, as the kids develop some independence, I let them take over the video & we start doing some whole class activities together in class.  

Sometime around the end of the 1st marking period I end up needing to change up my day-to-day lessons.  This year we moved into a math workshop format.  The students did really well with it...until they didn't.  As soon as they got too comfortable, they started to waste a lot of time, and do a lot more talking (about non school stuff) than is really necessary.  For that reason, we had to change things up a bit.

Right now my class is a hodge podge of things.  We're at the end of our most difficult unit of the year (seriously, could double digit division be any more challenging????).  I have some students who have already passed their test & are working to push their grade up to an "exceeding excpectations" mark.  I have some students who are still stuck, and are getting some help, and I have a large chunk of students who are taking their test.  

I plan to have math discussion groups using my math circles format when we begin our next unit.  We've done this for a few videos in the last unit & the kids did great.

What will I switch to when this stops being effective? No idea!  When asked what makes my classroom successful, I think it comes down to my ability to change when I realize something isn't working.  Change doesn't have to be scary, I'd argue that it keeps things interesting.


3 comments:

  1. I'm the same way, though I hate change :). I find I have to change out of necessity like you: students get too comfortable and waste class time. It's a struggle to keep them invested.

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  2. How did you run your math workshop? Did you still flip? I've dabbled with it a little, but I have hard time getting students to really take ownership of the skills.

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  3. I hear you Delia. I need to change it up as well. What could be more difficult than division... We added letters and exponents this unit. I can tell who did well in regular long division in elementary school!!

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