Math students retain more and gain confidence when they understand why a process works. But some are more interested than others in learning about the Why. Michelle Russell considers how she can best include the Why as students learn the How of problem solving.
Category: Meaningful Math
Michelle Russell’s blog
Math teacher Michelle Russell has come to believe that having students working at the whiteboard is a good teaching practice. Even so, she’s been busy exploring advantages and disadvantages via online and student research, striving to make a good practice even better.
Michelle Russell’s first week back in math class went great. Learn how she launched her classroom communities, thanks to teachers whose activities and ideas she scouted out online. Michelle has included all the students’ favorites in case you’d like to try some yourself!
Michelle Russell anticipates her math students will arrive in a few weeks with predictable gaps in their understanding of operations involving fractions and equations. To be more proactive, she’ll offer some refresher activities during the first week of school.
With her classroom door closed for summer, Michelle Russell looks back at the goals she set 9 months ago: to know her students in a meaningful way, to use formative assessment effectively, and to bring more joy to her classes. She shares her successes and some fails.
Talk of differentiated instruction in large, diverse classrooms makes many secondary teachers feel defensive. Math educator Michelle Russell is no exception, but because “I know it’s important” she’s set out to find strategies that will better serve all her learners.
Standardized testing and the end-of-year rush leave Michelle Russell feeling low on energy, ideas and patience. She shares strategies she uses to bounce back and help her students do their best, starting with strengthening school relationships and having some fun.
When Michelle Russell reviewed video of the classes she had recorded, reality turned out to be much different than what she had imagined was happening. In her usual transparent style, Russell describes what she’s learning and what she’ll do to improve her practice.
Math teacher Michelle Russell is rethinking her open-use policy toward calculators in her classroom. Is ready access hindering students’ grasp of the fundamentals? She’s decided to be more intentional about timing and helping her students recognize reasonable answers.
When teacher Michelle Russell surveyed her students about personal interests and learning preferences, she found over one-third have anxious or negative feelings about math. She’s begun her search for strategies to address the problem – and she welcomes your ideas!