The paths to "Eureka" moments: Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Education

Posts tagged ‘EDU 3250’

Classroom Management

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Here is my Classroom Management Plan.

Writing and Math?

Public writing is most definitely a valuable skill that all students should gain through their academic career. There are countless ways in which this type of writing is used later on in life. In a mathematics class however, I question the logic of incorporating larger pieces of writing and thereby reducing the amount of academic learning time spent on content specific activities. While some writing projects such as research papers can create an opportunity for students to dive deeper into content, teachers must take care to balance written communication, the learning that takes place in writing, and time spent on tedious papers.

There are several take-aways from Chapter 6 of Content-Area Writing, which, regardless of the writing assignment (public and/or long in length) I feel should be taught extensively throughout all content areas. The main take-away is to implement supportive writing by providing answers to the questions: “Why are we doing this?”, “How do you actually write this stuff?”, “What if I make a mistake or get confused?”. In answering these questions, teachers not only teach specific content and how to demonstrate their skills, they also motivate students, and create an environment conducive to learning. In this way, teachers centralize their teaching around the students.

(Prove/Disprove) Desk + Chair + Whiteboard = Learning Environment ?

Does classroom furniture make a difference?

The physical arrangement of the furniture in a classroom can be either a help or a hindrance to student learning. It is important that a teacher be aware of how students react to specific classroom arrangements so as to create the most effective learning environment within the given space.

As a teacher, “You are a placemaker, an individual who creates a place that supports teaching and learning to the greatest extent possible” (McEwan 2006). This can be done through the classroom set up. Specifically, rooms can be set up so as to be territorial or functional.

The classroom I am observing this quarter is designed in a flexible, yet territorial manner. Specifically, students are assigned specific seating in rows of rectangular tables. Sets of two tables are pushed together to form one 4-student desk. There are 4 rows of the 4-student desks with 3 sets of desks per row. The students face the white board and can easily move their chairs to work in groups. This structure keeps students focused and attentive to the task at hand, while allowing for the flexibility of different teaching strategies.

To one side of the room, there is a “quiet space”. This provides any student the opportunity to remove themselves from the noisiness of the class and work independently in a less distracting atmosphere. In this way, my mentor teacher has created a space that is conducive to multiple learning styles and removes unnecessary distractions.

By changing the seat assignments regularly, she gives her students the opportunity to work with multiple people in the class. This not only builds camaraderie amongst students, but allows students to learn from different people throughout the school year.

As observed in the classroom, furniture arrangement and structure are pivotal in creating an effective learning environment.