It's a question I'm asked a lot, so I'm taking a minute to run you through a few key things that happen in my classroom every day.
Connecting with every student on the way into my classroom is one of the most important aspects of each day. I shake their hands, ask them a question, and straighten out any misconceptions or misbehavior from the day before in a private and non-threatening way. Personal details may come up, such as soccer games, track meets, Orchestra concerts, or how their family is doing.
I take the time to connect with my students so that they know I value them, regardless of whether they believe they're good at math.
Every class begins with a bellringer. A bellringer is a short assignment, just four or five questions and can accomplish two things:
- Reviewing a concept from the day before
- Assisting in remembering a concept previously learned that we'll need later in the lesson
I typically make bellringers straightforward and easy to complete with a partner. They allows me time to take attendance, do the bookkeeping, deal with last-minute issues, and give the kids that always seem to be at my desk at the beginning of class the attention they need to thrive during class.
Next we move into the meat of our lesson. This is what I usually call an activity, which is time given to students to comprehend, process, evaluate, and problem-solve, in a safe environment where there are no penalties for mistakes.
These activities are included in the PowerPoint to spark discussion and make communication easier. It helps me to find misunderstandings before they develop into problems later in the unit.
I believe this is the most important time in my class.
Activities leverage different learning styles. Examples include:
- Using Algebra Blocks
- Creating flowcharts
- Engaging in interactive or investigations on Desmos
- Using Gapminder or other websites not created by teachers.
Regardless of the method used, all of these things are developed with a sense for questions to allow students time to examine and connect this current learning to what is coming and what has happened before. The connection of ideas will allow for retention, confidence, and increased engagement.
After the activity, I have a good idea of where their misconceptions are, so I walk them through a PowerPoint. My PointPoints always include the activity, but they also include concrete examples. I work very hard to connect those examples to the activity they just completed.
If there's time remaining, I always have a practice sheet ready, either for in-class work or homework. These sheets are developed to give students practice and confidence.
The Exit Slip
With about five minutes remaining in class, I always try to sum up what we've learned. I then ask a few students what they've learned so we can make those connections one last time, and then I hand out an exit slip. This exit slip usually has one or two questions for the student to complete that will be collected by me at the door as they leave. I love these exit slips because I can quickly look through them for any misunderstandings and make a plan to fix it the next day.
You can get a free Algebra Unit Sample. Just fill out the form below.
Are you ready?
If you're ready to implement this type of lesson plan in your classroom, then the A1T Membership is for you.
You'll gain full access to the lessons that include:
- Practice pages
- Exit slips
- 15 hours of training ready for you!
So whether you are looking for the CEU's or those never-ending artifacts for your evaluations, the certificates are ready for you to print as soon as you finish the training. Remember that you can cancel at any time.
And if you're looking for purchase orders to spend that last-minute money before it disappears from your school year, feel free to drop me a line or click the purchase order button at the bottom of the annual pricing section to become a member.