Making Math Better

I found this draft on my iPad as I started writing a few thoughts. this should have gone out a month ago.

Ijust finished reading an article on "Think/Pair/Square/Share" and I need to incorporate that into my math time. I wrote about scheduling my math time so I can work with students more in small groups and one-on-one. At the beginning of my class I will have a single problem for students to work on that the homework video talked about, or a concept that we went over the previous day. Within that problem I will decide who needs the small group interventions and practice with me or the resource teacher and which will work as partners to practice the concept.

As I read the article above, I have decided to use the Think/Pair/Square/Share"information to identify students that me help. As they think on their own and do their work on their whiteboard, I will monitor those that need help and what they need help with on that problem. Then as they pair with their partner, I can hear what how they explain how they did the problem on their own and what they might have missed. This will help me know if they understand the piece they are missing as it is explained by their partner. The next piece is when they share with the square, or team, to see how they each did the problem. They will be able to learn from each other and listen to someone else explain the problem and how to do it. The final step will be the share with the class as I go over the problem with students from the group sharing each thing they did with the class.

I feel this will be a big benefit for me when identifying who needs the help. I was using the Pair/Share method, but adding the Think and Square will make the lesson even better.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Making More Resolutions

It is that time again. Time to make a few resolutions and see what we can do to right the path we are on in the new year. I have a few resolutions for myself that I have made. Lose a few pounds by eating less chips and other treats. Change my snacks to fruits and vegetables... well... more fruits. Walk and bike a little more when I can. Being a little nicer to those around me. I do not think I am a mean person, but I think I can do better. A little more patience with my own children. I can give a more breaks to my students at school. I can always have more fun. Now I have not yet decided if I want to cut Coke out of my diet yet. It is my wooby, I guess. Maybe next year.
These are not monster goals like losing 20 lbs. or exercising daily, these are little goals that will get me to the bigger goal of feeling better and being a little more healthy. I hope that I can feel a little better and live a little longer. Whether these little things will do that, I hope so, but at least I am doing a little more. I also want to take more time each day to work in my yard and play with the kids. I do have a few bigger goals. I want to take more time to work on my lessons at school and rewrite the curriculum to add more time for my students at school to have more fun each day. I am also setting a goal to visit as many historical sites in New England during my family reunion in June. I will also ride my bike to school at least 2/5 of the school year. I figure that is a good goal.
I have read a few articles about writing resolutions and if they work or how long we can go before they fall by the wayside. Personally I do not think it is about whether we keep the resolutions, it is the insight we find when we look back on the previous year. What things do we need to change? What can we do a little better in our lives that will make ourselves a little better? What can we do so people will want to be our friend? Shouldn’t we be looking at what we can do to make ourselves a little kinder and gentler? A little more healthy? More helpful to those around us? Making our lives less about us and more about those we see each morning and work with each day? Will we ever become this person we hope to be? I am not sure, but the journey is the reward. I have a small poster in my classroom that we use to tell students that if they fail, it is the First Attempt In Learning. I stole that from someone (I need to work on that also, but I am a teacher) and I think it applies here with resolutions. So a resolution falls by the wayside. Try it again. One day, it will stick if it is that important.
Write a few resolutions. Make some that are really out there that are going to be hard to reach. Make sure you write a few that you know you can reach and do your best to make them part of your daily life. Make a few goals for your family, your work, and for you personally. Change is good. Change is needed. When writing resolutions I always think of the ABBA song, “The Day Before You Came” and I hope that by the end of the year I will be looking back saying those very words. I used to be this way, but now things are different and hopefully I feel better and people around me are better because of what I have changed.