Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Math Classroom Challenge

Close your eyes and try to picture the perfect math classroom. Walk in the room. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like?

Now, take a look at these two classrooms. After a quick glance at the two, is there a classroom you would prefer to learn in?

Did you know that classroom environment does affect instruction?

This summer, I recently presented a mini-conference called, 'Rate My Space.' In this half day session, we explored many necessities that every math class should include. Over the next few weeks, I will be blogging about these different elements of the math classroom. Let's call it the 'Math Classroom Challenge!' I encourage you to take the "Challenge" and try to rev up your classroom environment for this new school year! On the right-hand side of this blog, I made a button that you could grab and post on your blog. :)

By thinking about how space is used in our classrooms, we have to think about instructional priorities. Ask yourself, "What type of teaching am I going to do this year and what kind of space am I going to need to meet my instructional priorities?"

Here are the beginning topics and classroom spaces that I will discuss because I believe they should be instructional priorities in the math classroom:

1. Math Vocabulary: Math Word Wall
2. Problem-Solving: Math Manipulative Storage
3. Problem-Solving Sharing: Whole Group Area
4. Small Group Instruction: Small Group Area
5. Math Work Stations: System for Work Stations
6. Transforming Math Homework
7. Number Talks

In following posts, I am going to elaborate on each item and give some helpful tips in how to implement them into your own classroom. Real classroom pictures and examples will be included. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when so many teachers are doing amazing things!

My hope would be for you to consider these areas in your own classroom. Would they work? Why or why not? 

Let's change the space in our rooms to create a structure of teaching that can open up opportunities to involve students in the learning. As Debbie Diller says, "when we model for students on how to create organized spaces, we will help them as learners over the years, too!" Please join me in taking the math classroom challenge!

LISD Elementary Math

Don't forget to grab a button for your blog!

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