Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Mulligan

I don't love the block schedule. I'm not sure I even like it, and I'm not sure it's good for teaching math.

But, as a first year teacher, there are two significant benefits:

  1. Reduced number of preps
  2. I get a mulligan halfway through

I'm pretty excited about #2 right now. Now that I have half a school year under my belt, there are about a million things I want to change, and some of the changes just work better when you get a new class. Here's a short list of changes I'm thinking about:
  • Change the purpose of the openers
  • Start student portfolios
  • More mid-block formative assessments
  • Make whiteboarding and sharing an everyday part of class
  • Better cooperative group activities with individual accountability
  • More emphasis on communicating reasoning
  • Preparing for student mistakes instead of helping them avoid them
  • More consistency is the handling of assignments
  • Focus more on connecting with student
  • Focus less on the real word justification of the mathematics
  • Connect mathematical reasoning to students' lives more often
  • Follow through with consequences more consistently
  • Make better use of our weekly trips to the computer lab
The new term starts next Tuesday. While I'll certainly try to work on all of these, I'm going to pick two or three over the weekend to really set my sights on and reflect on in more detail. More to come later.


  1. 1. Holy crap, I'm jealous.

    2. Holy crap, I just realized I haven't done a single cooperative learning activity despite designing a dozen over the summer.

    Is it August yet?

    1. My cooperative group activities would not be quite up to par for Ray, but they're getting better. I'm not sure what to do about group and individual accountability with how I'm currently grading, though.

      And yeah, the starting over thing is pretty great.