Blog #19 – DEVELOPING A ROUTINE

Whether you are a mathematics teacher or a mathematics coach, it is important that you develop a routine. Your students will respond more favorably to whatever you teach, if they know what to expect. In teaching, I used to begin every lesson with a quick review of lessons presented earlier. This not only reinforced what I was teaching, but it helped those students that had been absent during some of the presentations that I was doing previously. Once the lesson began, I led students to what I call the discovery phase of the lesson. With my guidance I helped them discover some mathematics concepts that I wanted to teach them. As the lesson progressed, the students were exposed to an increase in the complexity of the types of examples that were being discussed in the classroom. In general, toward the end of the lesson I sought to highlight the concept(s) learned.

While coaching, I had two types of practices. In one type, the practice focused on teaching mathematics concepts that would be helpful in preparation for the Number Sense, the Calculator Applications or the Mathematics contests. The presentation of the concepts followed a similar routine as to what I did in the regular classroom. In the other type of practice, students would take a test and after the test had been graded, I gave students an opportunity to ask questions. During the question and answer portion of the practice, I tried to provide a balance of questions being asked. I wanted to make sure that I answered questions from the least experienced members of the team and some from the more experienced members of the team. This was important to make sure that no single group felt excluded. Since I coached all 3 events, I made sure that time was given during a week to provide lessons for all of the events. In some instances, I divided my team in half, with the least experienced team members getting a lecture from me, while the most experienced members practiced on their own and they helped each other answer questions. In each instance, the routine established my role and the role of each student in the classroom or in the team practice. Following a routine provides comfort for each student or team member. They know that what is presented is well organized.

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