The Math Teachers's Guide to Grading Daily Work

Welcome to the Teaching Math with Jeanette Show.

In this series, I discuss time-saving techniques that are perfect for math teachers. During this episode, I will address how using a system to quickly get feedback on daily student work can work for you.

So if you want to not take papers home, find a fair way to grade students work, and substantially reduce the amount of time spent grading papers so you can have more time in your evening, tune in now!

In this episode, you'll discover:

“The Math Teachers' Guide to Grading Daily Work”

  • One simple tool for grading daily homework in less time Math Teachers can use to speed up the grading process
  • The very FIRST skill every Teacher needs when it comes to grading daily homework in less time
  • Golden tips for time management when it comes to grading daily homework in the time you have during class

More Information

Learn more about how you can improve your results with grading daily homework in less time with The Time Management E-Book for Math Teachers at https://highschoolmathteachers.com/time

Thanks for Tuning In!

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Thanks for listening!

4 resources to help you teach functions

I have been getting a lot of emails regarding functions. How to teach them in a way that helps students to understand and remember what they are and why they are so important in mathematics (and science and computers and...)

So, I thought I would share some previous blog posts to help you feel encouraged and empowered when teaching functions. 

The first resource I would like to pass along will give you ideas for helping students to master all the content in your linear equations/functions in the time you have planned

https://highschoolmathteachers.com/unit2/

Do your students hate radical functions? If they do, follow these three tips to not only make learning them easier for your students but teaching them easier for you. Let’s jump right in! 

https://highschoolmathteachers.com/radicalfunctions/ 

I like teaching inverse functions. This inverse functions lesson plan will help you find connections with your students. With the real world context, students understand this concept well by the end of class. 

https://highschoolmathteachers.com/inverse-functions-worksheet/

If you need a bigger understand of F.IF.1 within Algebra 1, you will want to look at this example. Feel free to add to the discussion while you are there.

https://highschoolmathteachers.com/f-if-1-understanding-functions/ 

Rewards of a Job Well Done

While it may take more time up front to ensure that students understand the concept of functions, in the long run, it will save you time. The ability to see patterns and complete the calculations without help will be priceless. When you give students an in-depth understanding and allow time for processing the concepts, they go into long-term memory and students gain quite an advantage as they continue their math education. 

Do you really need to cut sarcasm out of your classroom?

Humor is good, right?

Sarcasm is so easy. It is fun to get a laugh. It certainly had a place in our home growing up and within my extended family too.

I brought it with me as a teacher in my classroom. Humor is good, right?

My embarrassment

What I didn't realize is that I was tearing apart the most important relationships that I had with my students.  I often thought that the better our relationship the more I could use sarcasm as a humor mechanism and it would be okay. But that meant I was hurting the students that were relying on me the most.

What I came to understand is that sarcasm comes at someone's expense. And even more, with the ever-growing emotional needs of our students, many students don't hear or understand sarcasm and are left in the dark. So what I thought of as bringing humor and connection into my classroom was actually doing the opposite.

So, unfortunately, what I learned, is that the better relationship I had in the fall with my students would often deteriorate by the spring. This was a tough lesson and it's hard to share with you. But that's why I must do it.

In no way would I ever want to hurt my students or allow them to feel left out of a common joke. And no way would I want to deteriorate the relationships that I work so hard to build up.

Learning a new way

The first time this came to my attention, was at a conference. and when they said this I realized all the harm I've been doing. And I have to admit the cutting it out of my classroom was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I had grown up with sarcasm it was valued as wit and smarts and if I was being completely honest I respected kids that could hand it right back.

But what I learned and how my classroom changed spoke for itself. My students begin to trust me more, my struggling students started to open up more, my room became a safe place for all students, not just ones with a quick wit.

So I have a challenge for you, do your best this week to cut sarcasm from your classroom and take note of the difference it makes and your students. I think you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was many years ago.

Want to learn more?

If you'd like more ways to connect with your struggling students, right now we are enrolling in our 10-day challenge: how to teach Common Core math to at-risk students. For only $17, you can enroll in our 10-day challenge that will give you actionable steps in only a few minutes a day. click here to learn more

But hurry! The Challenge starts on Monday, October 8!

Even on your worst days

You may have noticed this post on Facebook Page recently. (If not, feel free to like our page. We would love for you to join us!)

One of the comments really made me think.

"This is supposed to be encouraging...but I feel that it’s most truly an indictment on our society!" - Dan

I hear what this reader is saying and yet I respectfully disagree.

Encouragement

So I'd like to start with the fact that I don't often mention the politics on my blog or my Facebook page not because I want to ignore them or pretend like they're not there, but because I want this to be a place of encouragement and I know that you already know all of these things.

I want my blog and my Facebook page and my Twitter feed to all inspire and give you lesson plans, and teaching strategies that will help encourage you in your classroom and this quote is there for the same reason. I know that when I personally and feeling a little beat up by the media or the administrator or whatever obstacle is in my way, focusing on others that need me and that I can lift up often will bring me out of that feeling of being in the dumps.

So in sharing this, I'm not trying to make you feel hopeless on the state of homes or parenting, but help you shift your focus to those kids that need you. Because in the end, that's why we all got into this profession. If I asked a hundred teachers why they started this journey, 99 would say to affect or to change a child's life. And that's why I love working with teachers.

A Little About My Story

A little about my story. My story growing up is wonderful. I lived in a beautiful neighborhood surrounded by state land and kids to play with and a lot of capture the flag. My parents love me very much, and I was never in need of a relative. But in school, we moved from one district to another, and they were not lined up. In math I did okay, but in reading and spelling, I was far behind and always felt I would never catch up.

I was always in the lowest reading group. It does not matter how they name them you always know when you're in the lowest reading group, and my confidence wavered.

While my parents encouraged me a lot, it wasn't until I met Ms. McConnell in 11th grade that my view of myself changed. In pre-college composition, she taught me that I could write. She taught me that I could spell. She showed me that I had a lot to say. And so yes, even on her worst day she was my hope, and I know that because of her I had the confidence to start this blog years ago.

Math

And in my senior math class with Mr. Allen, I learned that he pushed us so hard because he believed in us. During the last semester at my high school, Mr. Allen always pulled us aside one by one to talk about our futures. He asked us about the college we would attend. (As an Ohio State graduate, he did not approve of my decision to go to Michigan State.)

And he asked why we were going to school. As the first person in my family to go to college, I was nervous and so scared. I told him I wanted to be a math teacher and I remember my innocent voice asking him if he thought I had what it would take.

His answer, “Jeanette, you have what it takes to be anything you want to be.” As he looked me in the eyes, I knew he believed it.

And so yes, even if his world was falling apart, he was my hope.

Best Hope

So my words to you… Sometimes the best hope is a call to Child Protective Services, or an apple because they didn’t get breakfast. But other times the best hope is a belief in their potential or a kind (or stern) word of encouragement.

Whatever your students need today, go after it. This is why we started this crazy teaching journey. Isn’t it?

If you would like more encouragement for your daily teaching, please sign up now to our email newsletter. We have some great things happening in October and we would love to share them with you.

 

The fastest path to teaching math vocabulary [angle definitions lesson plan]

Do your students often forget the definitions that they need to understand to be successful in geometry? If so, this blog post is for you. We will use angle definitions specifically to address this topic.

We will talk about ways to help your students remember the essential definitions that come up in Geometry. By using some simple strategies that utilize precisely how the brain works we can get this done quickly.

Assessing angle definitions prerequisites using familiar items

The first thing that we want to do is evaluate student understanding of the definitions. This informal assessment should be done early in the year when they come into our classrooms. 

This Geometry lesson plan is often done the first week in my class. It gives me a full understanding of where my students are when they come in so that I can help them in the best way possible.

One of the strategies that I love utilizing is connecting items that are common for the students to see on a daily basis outside of my classroom. 

In the connecting activity for angle definitions that I'm showing here, we have simple questions that ask them to understand analog clock. Depending on your school and the clocks they use, they may even need to draw out the clock themselves. And while time telling is often learned in second grade, with modern technology many of our students have forgotten some of these basic concepts.

Using something like a clock to help our students understand angles will give us a trigger memory to help students recall this information in moments of forgetfulness. Now when they forget, we can ask them to remember the clock activity to bring the memory forward.

I also like to have my students engaged in the material in more than one way. And so for my kinetic learners, using a protractor or other tools of measurement is very helpful to cement the learning into their memories. 

So in this lesson, we use protractors to measure the angles and make relationships and connections that will help our students remember the information.

Why Repetition Matters

Repetition is a great way to build fluency and confidence with your students. 

During this practice page on angle definitions, I utilize this strategy right at the beginning of the year to help my students feel successful. Therefore I can build on the success later in the unit.

The repetition in the practice page builds on itself and allows students to try new ways of solving similar problems. The brain is now making connections and solving problems. 

Even if they didn't feel like they remembered anything from middle school when students started this lesson today, they now have built confidence and use the vocabulary in their geometry work.

Incorporating student ownership of the angle definitions

By allowing time for students to make connections between their world and the content that we are trying to teach them, they gain more ownership of the material. 

This new information is no longer the material the teacher wants them to learn, but now is material that they own within their context.

This shift in ownership is the big payoff of making connections, and this is how we can help our students to retain more of the information each day.

If you want your students to learn and retain the geometry definitions above about angle definitions, then the fastest and easiest way to do that is by making connections. 

Use these strategies to help them with the prerequisites, give them repetition to build confidence, and allow them time to own the material themselves.

If you would like the complete lesson plan in this blog post, fill in your name and email below, and we will send it to you right away.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSG.CO.A.1 Know precise definitions of angle, circle, perpendicular line, parallel line, and line segment, based on the undefined notions of point, line, distance along a line, and distance around a circular arc.

Angle Definitions Lesson Plan

3 Reasons You Need Emergency Lesson Plans [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Emergency lesson plans are a great way to be sure that if you need to be out of your classroom, your students will continue to learn and grow even when you are not there or there are other situations.

There are three different times that I use emergency lesson plans for my Algebra and Geometry classes.

The first, and most obvious, is when I am sick or my children are sick. There is nothing worse than waking up to a sick kiddo in the middle of the night. They need you. And the last thing you want to be worrying about is work.Funny Get Well Ecard: Teaching - The only profession where you have to do more work to call in sick than if you just suffered through it.

The second reason I always have emergency lesson plans is that technology can and does fail at times. I once worked at a school where every time it rained really hard (in Michigan this is quite often in the spring) the internet would fail... hmmm.... We also had the copier that inspired every Facebook Meme.

And the third reason I had emergency lesson plans was for schedule interruptions. This was a great way to keep my classes together when one class period might be shorter or missed altogether.

It's now time to make a plan

Step 1: Download the lessons.

You can get great, ready to use lessons here. We have selected one lesson from 10 different units in Algebra 1 and Geometry for your use.  So whether you would like a review day from unit 1 or a more specific lesson from a unit you are working on, everything is ready from the links below.

You can get all the lessons here:

Step 2: Get a teacher buddy.

There is nothing better than a teacher that has your back. For so long, no matter how sick I was, I showed up to school to set up my class for my substitute. Once I had kids I realized that would not always be possible.

The teacher next to me also had children and we had the same problem. So we set up a shared folder in Google Drive with our emergency lessons. When one of us needed to be out, we agreed to help each other out and pull out the folder for the substitute and make sure everything was ready. What an amazing peace of mind to know that we had each other's back.

Step 3: Finalize your system.

None of us like to be out of our classroom, but when you do need to be out, we don't need the stress of getting everything together for a substitute. What does your substitute need to run your classroom? Brainstorm and then put everything into a folder. Some ideas include seating charts, bathroom pass instructions, and emergency procedures. Create this once and put it in a paper file in your designated place.

[click_to_tweet tweet="Emergency lesson plans are a great way to be sure that if you need to be out of your classroom, your students will continue to learn and grow even when you are not there or there are other situations." quote="Emergency lesson plans are a great way to be sure that if you need to be out of your classroom, your students will continue to learn and grow even when you are not there or there are other situations."]

There is no reason to be stressed out when you or a loved one is sick. Get a folder out today and fill it with what you need. Print copies and have them in there too if that works for you or put them into Google Classroom or Edmodo. Enjoy the moment knowing you have an emergency plan.

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