The New Year is here, and that means a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. Just because you have done something one way for the entire year so far, doesn’t mean that you can’t change now if it’s not working the way you wanted it to. This is true for instructional practices as well as how you organize your classroom.
When you think of intervention, does your mind jump to paper-and-pencil, skill-and-drill activities with rote memorization? Intervention can be so much more dynamic. I like to think of intervention as a way to "light a fire" in my students. In fact, with more rigorous standards and higher expectations, it is critical that intervention motivates students, not just for the enjoyment of learning, but also to engage students in higher-order thinking.
The holidays are such a crazy time of year, especially in the classroom. Students are filled with excitement and anticipation, and it’s not easy to manage both your classroom and your own holiday to-do list. That’s why when the bell rings on the last day of school for the year, it's important to relax and unwind so that you return from break refreshed and ready to hit the ground running in January.
As classroom teachers we spend hours setting up our physical classroom environment and spend weeks building a community of learners, so now is the time to really reflect on the things that we say as teachers that will benefit our student’s mathematical conversations. If you choose one or two of these Teacher Discourse Moves to focus on for the next few weeks, you will see your students begin to engage in deeper mathematical conversations, arguments and begin to ask questions of each other.
The very best teachers we ever had as students involved us in the learning process. They drew us in and got us making our own connections to what they were teaching. They may have also created a sense of cognitive dissonance, or mental discomfort, that we wanted to resolve. Creating an environment of active learning that engages students promotes deeper understanding and long-term retention of the concepts we are teaching.
Clothesline Math is nicknamed the master number sense maker because it requires students to think harder about quantities while simultaneously making it easier to see their relationships to each other.
To create this tool in your classroom, simply hang a long string—like a clothesline—somewhere that all students can see and interact easily with. The numbers for the clothesline are created by folding paper or index cards in half and writing the numbers on the front. They can be integers, fracti