This Month in Classrooms (Volume 1)

As an instructional coach, I have the opportunity of being in several classes and seeing some really great teaching and learning. I often post pictures with on Twitter, but I am going to dedicate some posts to highlight and celebrate in more detail all I am seeing each month.

One teacher I work with uses Desmos and creates her own activities for students. When she does this, every student is engaged in the process. In fact, one day I was there she paused the activity to debrief and I heard students say “NOOO,” which was such a fun validation of their engagement. If you haven’t explored Desmos, I encourage you to…there are a lot of FREE resources and bundles by course/topic.

Another teacher consistently uses multiple representations when teaching concepts. Last week, her lesson explored roots of quadratics and she asked the students model their answers with the equation, the graph, and the algebraic solution each time. I loved this method to help students make connections between the visual representation and the algebraic process.

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Another teacher uses powerful questioning with her students each day. I have never seen anyone give so much autonomy to students through the use of questioning. Her class is so student centered as she regularly questions students to have them lead the conversation of learning. Additionally, she often has her students share their work under the document camera instead of explaining things herself.

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Last (but not least), one teacher used a GoogleForm as a pre-assessment to group students and calibrate their knowledge from the day before. I loved how this was a quick way for the teacher to see where students were and then allowed her to target and differentiate her instruction that day with groups.

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So, this month in classrooms…

I saw: engagement through technology and multiple reps, strategic grouping, and smooth transitions.

I heard: engagement through silence at times and voices at others, questioning, positive attitudes about math.

Stay tuned for Volume 2 of This Month in Classrooms later this month!

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