On a teacher-related note, my friend and fellow math education major from NYU and I are in CHICAGO right now for a professional development seminar on math education in secondary schools (special focus on grades 6-9... I teach 8th grade & she teaches 9th!) focusing on teaching strategies, assessment strategies and CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT.
Some things we're thinking of bringing back and trying out in our own rooms:
- flowchart/"picture lecture" notes- for unit concepts that link closely with each other, kind of like a study guide that students copy down during the unit from the board (good prep for high school math)
- homework passes- if students complete (w/ quality and relative accuracy/effort) 10 checked assignments in a row, they earn a homework pass good for 1 small assignment of their choice (read: NOT a project, study guide, etc... only a daily 5 pt. homework assignment)
- using graphing calculators in the classroom- something I need to start trying w/ my Integrated Algebra class
- 3-2-1 technique- when the class starts getting rowdy or uncontrollable, I'll hold up a "3" at first, then a "2" and finally a "1". At "1" students should be silent and refocused... this will take some getting used to but I feel that it could work with some enforcement. If not, class may face consequences such as a written assignment, staying past the bell or after-school detention
- A team boards- bulletin board for students who earned "A"s on unit tests! Multiple "A"s result in a special decoration like a star/sticker around their original "post" on the bulletin board... students would strive to emulate these students & get their names on the A team
- period-wise competition - behavioral strategy to award "points" for good behaviors that the class exhibits (ex. 100% HW completion, staying on task during groupwork, average of 85% or better on a quiz/test, quieting down quickly, good report from a sub, etc.) & period with most points gets a reward (ex. a pizza party!)
- peer critique- more for new Common Core standards, students "trade & grade" practice short answer/extended response questions and critique answers, a grade that THEY think the response earns, offer advice, etc. after being given a rubric and teacher explanation. Then, teacher collects critiques and original responses and adds his/her own comments and suggestions along with a final grade.