Michelle Russell has found the first 10 days of teaching her hybrid classes even more exhausting than her first year in the classroom. But she’s learning fast how to help her math students adjust to a new reality – and to find the time and support she needs to prosper.
Author: Michelle Russell
When Michelle Russell dropped by her classroom last week, she was overcome with emotion. As her school year ends, she reflects on the depth of her gratitude for that room, her colleagues, her students and their families, her newfound clarity, and teaching itself.
With chapters like “Out of Shape,” “You Can’t Count on It,” and “Probably Wrong,” stand-up comic and former math teacher Matt Parker serves up Humble Pi for math educators and nearly everyone else to enjoy. Michelle Russell can’t wait to share his insights with students.
Michelle Russell’s students don’t just use calculators to speed up tedious math work like multiplying and dividing. Quite often they think of them as “answer givers.” How can teachers nudge kids away from calculator dependence? She shares ideas and asks for suggestions.
Michelle Russell realized her students were falling into a rut. They expected her to provide the steps and jump in to help instead of figuring some things out for themselves. Learn what she did to increase engagement and deepen thinking during a challenging unit.
Students need structure, but that doesn’t mean monotony. For her math classes Michelle Russell recently spent a planning day collecting activities to start the New Year. As they returned, she introduced them to a math-friendly Simon Says, some Desmos routines, and fresh card sorts.
It’s inevitable. Interruptions will steal instructional time. As winter break approached this year, the urgency to “cover everything” left math teacher Michelle Russell super-stressed and her students sad. Armed with fresh strategies, she’ll try not to let it happen again.
It can be hard to convince students that math mistakes are a good thing, when they are punished on standardized testing for every single error. But our intrepid math blogger Michelle Russell is coming up with ways to help her classes turn math missteps into better performance.
How do you get to know all your students in a crowded classroom? Teacher Michelle Russell put a new plan into action this fall in her largest class (28). Selecting names at random, she set out to have a quick chat with one student each day for a month. Discover how it went!
How do teachers’ assumptions about what students know impede the learning process? Michelle Russell is realizing the “obvious” is sometimes not so obvious to kids in her math classes. Her two big problem areas: basic rules of behavior and prior knowledge of operations.