Imagine this classroom. A teacher sits at a kidney-shaped table with four students. The teacher patiently explains how to solve a long-division problem. Students quietly listen to the teacher’s explanation and do their best to follow along. After the teacher explains the first problem, the teacher directs the students to attempt the next problem on their own. The students struggle, and the teacher steps in to provide scaffolding by walking them through the procedure one more time. This time, the steps are provided a little slower and perhaps a little louder. Does this seem familiar to you? Read more
As I was recently catching up on Twitter, I came across the following question:
“Anyone have data on the ideal size for teacher collaborative teams? Is 2 too small? Is 12 too big? What’s ideal?” Read more
Most states have improved graduation rates over time, but as one superintendent told this author, “We know how to increase graduation rates; we just don’t know how to educate them before they graduate!” So, what can educators do to increase the number of graduates who are actually ready for college or careers? Read more
It’s that time of year again: spring! For many, this means it is time to unclutter the home and “spring-clean” as winter gives way to summer. I know for me, it is this time of year when I suddenly feel the need to purge unused items and scrub windows and floors to make the house feel like new.
Lately, as I work with mathematics teachers and teams, the urge to unclutter makes me wonder what spring-cleaning might look like in classrooms. I wonder what the clutter is that hampers student learning and might need to be “cleaned” or freshened as students work to learn remaining standards. Read more
Perhaps your team is working to minimize the percentage of students earning a D or F in your mathematics course or grade level. Upon analyzing the data, it suddenly becomes clear that teachers on the collaborative team are not all calculating the student grades the same way, or even scoring assessments consistently. Suddenly, proficiency and intervention are all in flux until this issue can be resolved. Students proficient in one class would not be identified as such in another and it becomes clear that expectations differ by teacher, even when teaching the same course or grade level. Read more