| Math Methodology Instruction Essay: Page 1 | | |
Students should become active in the learning process immediately upon entering the classroom. Muschla, Muschla, and Muschla-Berry (2013) stated: "Classes in which students begin working from the minute they take their seats are usually more successful than those in which the first few minutes are lost as the students get settled" (p. 3). Losing just the first five minutes daily amounts to 25 lost minutes per week of instruction and could amount to a loss of 20 class periods of instruction per school year. Their solution is using a math-starter problem that students begin immediately upon entering the classroom. In, they present at least one problem for each Common Core math standard for grades 6-12. Each is designed to be completed in 5-10 minutes, which includes reviewing the answer and any follow-up discussion. This strategy is also good for classroom management, as during this time the teacher can take attendance, pass back papers, interact individually with students, and observe students as they work (p. 3).
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Linda Gojak (2012), former NCTM President, noted that "Over the last three decades a variety of instructional strategies have been introduced with a goal of increasing student achievement in mathematics. Such strategies include individualized instruction, cooperative learning, direct instruction, inquiry, scaffolding, computer-assisted instruction, and problem solving" with the flipped classroom being a recent addition to the list (para. 1). Blended learning is also on the rise, which adds online learning to traditional classrooms. Thus, another goal for teachers is to investigate instructional and assessment methods and how they might be incorporated appropriately into lesson plans.
Thus, formative assessment plays a major role, and its importance should not be overlooked in our zeal to prepare students for mandated accountability tests. See of this essay for more on the role of assessment.
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In summary, when inappropriate behaviors occur, apply the ABC method. Determine the antecedents of the behavior, how the behavior happens, and consequences for the student after the inappropriate behavior occurs. You might be able to help the learner substitute a more appropriate behavior as a result of your assessment (Voltz, Sims, Nelson, 2010, pp. 56-57). And, if your teaching is not going as well as you'd like and is affecting the success of your learners, Elizabeth Breaux (2009) might suggest to consider if you've done any of the following:
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How do you plan for better classroom management? In terms of planning and classroom management, certainly new teachers would benefitfrom the wisdom of their more experienced colleagues. They and mentors can serve as resources for initial concerns such as "setting up the classroom and preparing for the first weeks of school, covering the required curriculum without falling behind or losing student interest, grading fairly, dealing with parents, and maintaining personal sanity" (Mandel, 2006, p. 67).
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Many students experience math anxiety. Much of this stems from a one style fits all approach to teaching. Traditionally, approaches to teaching mathematics have focused on linguistic and logical teaching methods, with a limited range of teaching strategies. Some students learn best, however, when surrounded by movement and sound, others need to work with their peers, some need demonstrations and applications that show connections of mathematics to other areas (e.g., music, sports, architecture, art), and others prefer to work alone, silently, while reading from a text. All of this is reflected in , which has found its way into schools (Moran, Kornhaber, & Gardner, 2006; Smith, 2002), along with the concept of learning styles.
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And in terms of setting high expectations for all, Robert Marzano (2010) reminded educators that this is easier said than done. It's the "teachers' behaviors toward students [that] are much more important than their expectations," as students "make inferences on the basis of these behaviors" (pp. 82-83). Students become easily aware of differences, as "teachers tend to make less eye contact, smile less, make less physical contact, and engage in less playful or light dialogue" with low-expectancy students. They also pose fewer and less challenging questions to them, and delve into their answers less deeply and reward them for less vigorous responses" (p. 83). The key to overcome this is for teachers to be aware of their own behaviors: identify students as early as possible for whom they have low expectations, identify their similarities and differential treatment of them, and then set out to change and treat low-expectancy and high-expectancy students the same.