This year, I’ve been at a new school, and I have spent a lot of time trying to determine the norms and routines of my new classroom. I’ve finally settled on a weekly routine that is helpful for students and myself. Every day I try to close each class with a reflection or a chance for feedback.
Monday and Fridays, I use ConquerED to check student understanding – not well, okay, or excellent. Often, I introduce a new topic or an important idea on Monday. Using ConquerED on Mondays let’s me see which students are ready to help other students, which students need a challenge, and which students need more support. Using ConquerED on Fridays allows me to determine whether the interventions I provided during the week were able to help students focus and understand what they may have been confused about. It also allows students to give me general feedback about the week – what activities worked/ were engaging and which I should change the following week.
Tuesdays and Thursdays
On Tuesdays and Thursdays I try my best to gather a snapshot of student understanding of content. I teach math, so I give students a few problems to check that they understand the main concepts. I break the week into a set of three or four “mini-standards” (e.g. (1) drawing algebra tiles from expression, (2) simplifying positive expressions, etc.). This gives me hard data about which students understand the content and which may need more support. Generally, it aids me when I make groups for the next day – either heterogenous or homogenous. Finally, it is a nice piece of feedback that I pass back to students the next day so they can have a better understanding on their own comprehension.
Wednesdays are a really cool opportunity for students to journal about what they are learning. They can write a “summary” of what they learned, reflect about how their group worked, make connections to other classes, or ask questions. It is a really nice opportunity for my students to practice writing in English (since they are all ELs), but I think this would be a valuable practice for all math teachers to incorporate into their classroom.