When students entered Michelle Russell’s classes for the first time during an extra-busy start of school, she saw it was time to focus on priorities: engagement, community building, classroom management, and sparking some excitement about math. Here’s what she did.
Author: Michelle Russell
One reason math educator Michelle Russell loves being a teacher is because every year she gets “a reset.” After a summer spent in part reflecting, she’s set two goals for fall: improving communications with families and helping kids focus on the positive every day.
Michelle Russell has worked to combat students’ negative attitudes toward math, but she had never considered how their attitudes might be affecting her effectiveness as a teacher. It’s been a tough year, but Russell has begun to find some ways to restore her enthusiasm.
Michelle Russell is looking for ways to help her math students retain core concepts as new learning occurs through the year. She found some help in Peter Brown’s popular memory book Make It Stick. Here she describes how she’s used the technique of “spaced practice.”
Just ahead: Eight weeks of standardized tests, field trips, sports, band, chorus, all altering the daily schedules for Michelle Russell’s school. So what’s a math teacher to do? She shares high-interest activities to ensure learning continues despite the disruptions.
Michelle Russell has always had her students figure out corrections to problems missed on math tests. Wondering how much the routine helps the students learn, she surveys the kids and sets out to tweak the process. Do her plans match your practice?
When Michelle Russell began teaching, she was always surprised when students said they didn’t like math. She’s not surprised any longer. After considering some of the roadblocks to loving math, she shares the goals she’s established to help reach more of her students.
At the end of last semester, math teacher Michelle Russell found herself discouraged. A month-long battle with pneumonia left her without much joy or enthusiasm. “I realized I needed to reflect and make some adjustments.” Read the four 2018 resolutions she came up with.
Michelle Russell knows that listening to math talk can help students solidify their thinking and recall. Now she’s begun to realize how much improvements in her own listening skills could help her with assessment of learning. Check out the helpful resources she found.
This fall Michelle Russell implemented a new policy of assigning but not checking math homework, and then checking homework understanding with short quizzes. After 15 weeks of school, she’s ready to share the results so far. Learn her “good, bad, and ugly” findings.