Oftentimes, teachers feel as though their district, the state, or even the nation sets their goals. The pressure for schools and districts to meet national standards in the common core means that teachers often have their “goals” handed down to them in the form of curricula and scope and sequence. It is easy for teachers to get lost in the pressure of these demands, but if we are to be effective math teachers, it is important to keep our real goals as math teachers in mind. Let’s talk about 3 basic goals of an effective math teacher.
- Instill a love for learning and math
If you’ve been teaching for any considerable length of time, you’ve heard it time and again: “I’m not good at math” or “I’m just not a math person.” Many children, for one reason or another, develop a distaste for math at a young age. To some it is tedious and disinteresting. To others it seems pointless and unnecessary. To another group it is downright baffling.
It’s heartbreaking to see a student put in the time and effort to do well on a test, yet not achieve the desired result. In this second post in our series on teaching students to study effectively, we will be providing tips for using flash cards as a study tool. (Check out Part 1 on the AUPAR Test Prep Strategy if you missed it). Flash cards can be a useful tool in studying for quizzes and tests, but only if created and studied properly. Teach your students these 7 tips in order to help them succeed in their studies:
- Make flashcards as you learn new material.
It will be very difficult to make and study flashcards all in one or two nights before the test. To use flashcards most effectively, make them as you learn new material in a unit. For example, if you are starting a new unit on the civil war, begin making flashcards using your notes and other materials daily as you learn the new information. Study them frequently up until the date of the test.
Most teachers know that a teacher is only as effective at teaching as she is good at managing her classroom. Even if a teacher is bright and has excellent lesson plans prepared every day, if she is ineffective at classroom management, her students will not be able to learn the material she has prepared. A teacher whose lesson plans are not as thorough or well thought out will still be a better teacher if she is able to manage her students’ behavior and on task learning more effectively.
Because of this, it is vital that we as teachers have strategies for handling the inevitable classroom disruptions that occur. The following are my best tried and true tips for responding to disruptions:
- Prevent Disruptions:
You know the old adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is true in the classroom as well. If you have systems in place to prevent disruptions from occurring in the first place, you will have won more than half the battle. Several techniques are absolutely vital for preventing disruptions. Here are couple of the most important:
Many students are quite bright, yet their performance on tests does not reflect their knowledge. For some students, teaching them simple test prep skills can bridge this performance gap. One very successful strategy for helping students perform better on tests is teaching them a simple acronym that helps them take the necessary steps to study well.
- Assemble all the relevant information from the unit: notes, handouts, textbook chapter(s), etc.
- Organize the information in a way that makes sense to you. Perhaps place it in a binder or folder so that it will stay together.
Back-to-School is a daunting time for students, parents, and teachers alike. It is a time filled with promise and hope, yet uncertainty. We wonder what the next year holds and sometimes thinking of all the things that we need to accomplish before the year begins can get overwhelming. What can we do to make this time of anticipation and busyness easier? Here are six steps to ensuring a great school year: