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.
Category: Meaningful Math
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!
As Michelle Russell revisits her start-of-school teaching goals, she decides to focus the New Year on building deeper connections with her students. Her strategies: use personal surveys and follow-up chats; glean more from parents, and confer to set challenge goals.
Inspired at EdCamp, Michelle Russell is trying optional math homework. Students decide how well they understand topics and do homework if they need practice. The next day begins with discussion and then a “homework quiz.” Michelle reports on how it’s all working.
Michelle Russell set out to improve her formative assessment practices but soon found herself thinking about summative assessment too. What are the best ways to make math test review both engaging and effective? Learn about her Gallery Walk and other experiments.
Math teacher Michelle Russell has been exploring the idea that asking students to write more might help them better understand and retain math concepts. After reading contrasting expert opinions, she decided to ask her students, who’ve provided some very useful insights.