Small Change, Big Difference #sol17

Being back in the classroom gave me so many options for slices today!  My life is so much more interesting when I get to interact with my students.  Thank goodness I am a teacher.

I am always looking for ways to improve my classroom.  I think it is never too late to make a change if it makes the classroom a better environment for my students; I will make a change the last week if I think it’s worth a try.  Luckily my students are so trusting and accepting of my changes.  Today’s improvement was a small one, but it made a big difference.  Those are the best kind!

I have a self-paced math classroom, which means that my students work through the curriculum at their own paces; there are pros and cons to this strategy, but it is working well with my group this year overall.  There are certain places in the curriculum when the students have to stop and check their in-class work with me, which has been a challenge since everyone is at a different place.  Students had been raising their hands and waiting for me to get to them.  You can probably see the problem: Lots of hands in the air, not a lot of math going on, me running around like crazy, me stressed out, stressful math class.  Not good.  I have been trying to come up with a better solution, and in my hours of leisure time over Spring Break, I thought of something.

Three years ago, I had a system in place where students would write their names on the board when they had a question during independent work time.  This wasn’t in a self-paced classroom, but it was a good system for students to show me that they had a question without totally stopping their work.  They would keep working on a different problem until I could get to them.  I could see who needed help and address their questions at my own pace.  Why couldn’t this work in my classroom now?

Well, let me tell you: It worked so well in my classroom!  I asked the students write their names on the board when they got to a stopping point; then, they went back to their seats and moved on to the next section.  No hands in the air (unless they had a question), more math going on, happier teacher, happier students.  Win, win, win, win!


8 thoughts on “Small Change, Big Difference #sol17

  1. ritakenefic says:

    Don’t you just love it when you hit upon a new system and it works? I certainly remember doing that during my teaching years. It kept things fresh and made me feel good about not sticking with the status quo. To me, that’s the name of the game. Glad it worked out so well for you.


    • Andrea Clark says:

      It isn’t too bad. The biggest amount of work is assigning everyone homework, but they have a workbook that they do the homework in, so I just tell them what exercise to complete. I mostly do individualized mini-lessons, so it’s more manageable.


  2. hansonberries says:

    Our students are always so willing to go with the flow. I have found the same. That if you have built a relationship with them, where you lead, they will follow, And they are VERY forgiving if things don’t work the way one had hoped. I’m glad your change worked for you!


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