Week 2 of new blogger initiation asks us to respond to the following question: “All new teachers should know about (blank) before entering the classroom.” and instead of answering it, I’m posing it to all of you.
Here’s why. In addition to teaching 8th grade math this year, I am teaching an undergrad class at UC Berkeley which is an inquiry based class to teaching math in elementary school. Though I have been invited several times to speak for an hour at a college level math education course, this is my first time teaching one. My class meets once a week for two hours and I want to focus on one math content topic and one pedagogical topic each class session.
Week 1 is this week and we looked at all sorts of ways to use graphing in an elementary school classroom and connected that to relationship building that happens during the first month of school.
When students first arrived there were given post its and dot stickers to place their ‘data’ on the following graphs. There were 6 graphs in total, including bar graphs, a pictograph, and a histograph. Thanks to Kate for the brilliant idea for a 4 quadrant graph.
Later we looked at graphing activities from printed curriculum and discussed pros and cons of the classroom generated graphs versus the printed ones and how a math activity could be used both to cover math content and to build positive relationships in the classroom.
I then had them watch four short videos from the Teaching Channel and for each they recorded where they found evidence of the teacher building relationships with her students.
So I’m back to my original question…All Teachers Should Know ______________ Before Entering the Classroom. I’ve got 14 weeks to fill and would happily use your brilliant ideas throughout the semester.