K-12 Classroom teacher
New Methods Prove To Be Rewarding
Any time we attempt something new, there are both expectations and drawbacks. We always seem to wonder, "Is this really going to work?" I can honestly say that most, if not all, of my new methods have been rewarding. Rewarding not only to me, but also to my students.
In the area of literacy, my main focus is to bring together as much from the other subject areas as possible. Many times students say, "I can't do that." "I don't know what to do to start." These are just a few of the ever-present excuses. In particular the effort to incorporate reading/English with our math curriculum has paid the biggest benefits.
To sight just a few, I have the students begin a week by going over their tests and attempting corrections. The catch is this; they must tell me (explain in words) what they did when they saw the problem(s) they got wrong. Most of the time, after a short adjustment, they not only tell me what they did (or were thinking); they include their mistake and seldom make the same mistake.
On the same line, when the students are working on problems they often claim not to know what to do. Many times getting them to visualize or verbalize what they see makes all the difference. Recently (again) we were working on functions and their
evaluation. The problem was:
f(x) = x+1, g(x) = 2x-4 find the (f + g) (5)
The students were stuck at first. When I asked, "What do you see?? they said add then put 5 into the problem. My response was, "Good!!!" This is exactly what they needed to see, it's all that was NEW about the problem. Few of the students had trouble after the session.
The most amazing thing, to me, is that after a short adjustment at the beginning of a class, the students end up helping each other. This means I spend more time in class with "new stuff" than catching up with old problems. My personal belief here is that in content areas we need to make sure that our communication with the students is understandable at their level as well as helping them to learn at the subject area level.
To reply, please first log into The Knowledge Loom
Back Return to the Forum