My Math Class Weblog

November 9, 2008

Teachers are just like their worst students.

Filed under: Professional Development — KymInKorea @ 5:10 am
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As a teacher, we have the “opportunity” to attend countless professional development sessions. And one thing that has been exhibited in every single one of them is that there are some teachers who act just as bad as the students they complain about.  I will admit, that I am often a part of that number, and here is what I learned about it. 


1.  My mind will wander even during the most engaging session.  Sometimes I miss something important because of my wandering.  

2. When you don’t understand something the teacher said (for whatever reason), sometimes I don’t want to interrupt the teacher to ask my question (which I believe is valid, but whose answer I think is probably obvious).

3. The side conversations I have with my group members are often on task or related to the teacher led discussion.  It is during those times, I absolutely hate it when the teacher interrupts the conversations.

4. When I am off task it is because I have rationalized that what the teacher or presenter is doing is not as high on my educational priority list as what I plan to do off task.  Or I believe I can get a 3 minute synopsis from a group member or a future activity/assignment.

5.  Process/Wait time.  A lot of times, so much “profound” information is said that I miss out on some of it because the presenter hasn’t given me enough “process time” before going on to the next important thing.

So I thought about what I’ve learned and I realized that I can incorporate methods and strategies to work around it, while not prohibiting the learning process for my students.


1. Set something in place so that when kids minds wander or they are confused or off task (and they will do all three during the class) that they can quickly get back on task.  (I’m initiating Group Captains which is someone in the group who other group members can ask if something is missed or needs to be repeated.)

2. Allow the students to have off taks conversations in groups.  I know that most teachers will cringe at the thought, but as long as the students have someone close by to ask what they missed, it is a win-win. The group members get to finish their on task discussion and the person they ask gets to summarize what the others missed.

3. I have to do a better job of continuously reading my students faces throughout the introduction,  discussion and analysis.  I tell my students all the time that I don’t read minds and that they need to voice their confusion, questions, and comments.  But sometimes that can be overwhelming because a lot of times they whine their questions and don’t give me specific things I can target about their misunderstanding. Basically, I need to train my students how and in what tone of voice to ask questions.  I also plan to institute a gesture that a student can make when they need a little bit more wait time.


August 17, 2008

What I’ve learned from dy/dn

Filed under: Professional Development — KymInKorea @ 2:44 am
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If you haven’t already please checkout this teacher’s blog.  This blog is by far is the best professional development I’ve done ever.  I’ve spent most of the summer reading his entries from when he started almost two years ago to now.  He brings up some interesting points/methods/ideas that have gotten my creative juices flowing.  Here are some of the things I’ve read about that I plan to incorporate for the school year.

1. Instead of Tests based on units he assesses them on whether or not they have mastered certain skills.  The “test” occur quite frequently but have between 3-6 problems. Its set up where students want to be tested and re-tested to improve their skill score.

2. When using Powerpoint, do not fit 300 words of text on each screen for their notes, but instead use PowerPoint/SmartBoard to accentuate important concepts and to pose questions.

3.  Using images to generate a group pair share question.

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