Stephanie Castaneda, Round Rock, TX, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah Gaines, Blacklick, OH, email@example.com
Declaring New Year’s resolutions is a goal-setting tradition. Teachers are given district goals, campus goals, and individual student goals with plans they are required to follow. What are your New Year’s resolutions for your teaching practice? If you have not settled on one yet, consider the following options.
I resolve to utilize a greater variety of Study Team and Teaching Strategies (STTS) to promote effective teamwork.
The demands of teaching can make it easy to fall into a predictable pattern of using a select few STTSs. Maybe you use a Red Light, Green Light regularly or call a Huddle for a quick intervention. The following strategies may complement your existing STTS toolbelt.
A Carousel can be easily implemented in a variety of situations. There are a few variations, such as Around the World. These STTSs get students up and moving, which is beneficial to brain function, and can be helpful during this time of year.
Similar to a Carousel is a Gallery Walk, which can be a silent activity, giving students time to think and reflect individually. This can be powerful as closure for a lesson or chapter. Teamwork is a foundation of CPM curriculum, but time should be given for students to think and synthesize individually when appropriate.
The teacher notes of every CPM lesson include suggested STTSs. Gradually work to incorporate these strategies, and you will be an expert before you know it.
I resolve to engage in varied assessment practices to allow all learners the opportunity to show mastery.
When students are assessed by paper-pencil tests, often the same students are successful chapter after chapter. But these students are not the only ones mastering the standards. Differentiating assessment strategies allows more students to have an opportunity to prove their mastery of the content.
Many people go to coffee shops and order coffee from a menu. They can choose to add sugar or creamer, drink it black, served hot, or even cold. If a coffee shop only served one type of coffee, how successful would they be? It is possible to offer a menu of assessments, so students are able to show mastery in a format that makes sense to them.
In every chapter you will find a Suggested Assessment Plan, which recommends the use of individual tests, team assessments, presentations, and portfolios. Generally, all students perform the same assessment at the same time. Provide students a choice and offer an assessment menu. Give students advance notice so they may prepare for the type of test they will choose. Menu testing may not be possible for all units. Try it once and see what impact it has on students’ attitudes towards assessments. Will they be more excited to take the test they get to choose or perhaps more confident in their ability to do their best? If you want to try a menu test for the first time, consider a unit with a lot of visualization such as patterns or geometry.
Do one of these resolutions speak to you? Do you have a different resolution you want to tackle for the remainder of the school year? Let us know! Tweet @CPMmath #2020mathresolution.