Happy President's Day!
Apparently I remember to post on holidays! In Fulton County we had Friday and today off. We had a school shooting threat on Thursday which meant in my 2 Math 3 Support classes I had 5 students in each class-I opened their eyes to Dilbert and helped some study for their upcoming Math 3 Test. Thursday really felt like a teacher workday and I got a good bit of stuff completed. Nothing happened on Thursday and honestly with all the police and undercover detectives (used very loosely since we all could tell who was undercover) I have never felt safer.
On to the post...
Georgia introduced Math Support classes during the 2008-2009 school year. These classes are meant to be an extra period of "support" for students who struggle with the material in their gen-ed math courses. The structure of the classes are typically open to each school. Some schools have students with the same teacher for their gen-ed and support class, some have one specific teacher who teaches all the support, some have a mixture. It is only in its 4th year and schools are still experimenting with different approaches to the course. At my first teaching job I was on traditional block scheduling (kids had the same 4 classes for a semester and then switched) and only taught one Math 1 Support Class. I had some overlapping students in gen-ed math and the support math. Which, I was okay with. It did mean those students spent half their day with me for a semester but fortunately, they were students I had a great relationship with. I was at a Title 1 at the time and all the students I had overlapping passed the EOCT and did great!
When I moved to CHS this past fall, I knew I would have 2 sections of Math 3 Support. A big struggle with support classes is how do you engage students who probably get easily frustrated with math/do not like the subject? Instead of a final last semester, I broke the students up into groups of 3-5 and had them teach the class. I let them pick a topic that was covered in Math 3 and then I had to approve it. This gave the opportunity to redirect their choices into doable topics. For example, a group choose matrices and I had them narrow it down to finding the dimensions and the determinant of a matrix. I had groups go over three 5-minute classes periods. It went okay. The key is not to give too much class time and have assignments due every day. I learned that in the middle of the project. Also, next time I will require all groups to make a video lesson. I will attaching both the files/rubric and videos once I am back at school.
These were fast to grade-I love rubrics!
I do plan on editing this project and trying it on my 9th graders in May. I will break them into groups and then give them a list of topics that need to be re-visited before 10th grade.
Educator who loves math and working with students.