Math Class

The math teacher I have had the opportunity to learn from teaches math in a much different way than the way I was taught math in grade 1 and 2. Math class for the grade 1/2 class I am with consists of different stations that are timed with a big timer on the screen. They first complete work on their own in workbooks, then they sit down for a short lesson from their teacher, then they break off into pairs that are assigned to different stations. These stations vary from building patterns with blocks, a facts bucket, pattern work on an iPad application, and one on one time with the teacher. Some students have desks set up just for themselves so that they can focus on their work better and some students do not have a seat partner so that they stay on task better.

This math teacher is extremely good at taking into consideration how each student in the class learns math differently and she tries to make math class enjoyable by rewarding each student’s different way of ‘knowing’ (explaining why they answer questions the way that they do) by rewarding points for good behavior, clever ideas, or correct answers. This point system is a way that this specific teacher honors the different ways that students learn and also promotes knowledge. Some key supports (for this post I will continue using the math teacher as an example) are the Ipad technology, the Iphone app she has to reward students with points, and things like stopwatches that the students have access to use during class. There is also an EA in the classroom who is also a major support in the class.

I can see both the math teacher, and my cooperating homeroom teacher constantly looking for ways and knowledge to enhance their teaching methods and strategies. They are constantly collaborating to design a way that will help their students learn best, and many recesses are filled with discussions about topics like this. My cooperating teacher even met with a psychologist, special learning instructor, and behavior specialist to inquire about what she can do to help a specific student in her class get caught up to his grade level. She is constantly trying knew teaching strategies and I can tell that it is not easy however, somehow, she makes it seem effortless. This speaks directly to the saying “not all superheroes wear capes.”

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