How’s it going? The school year is still fresh, so can we talk about what you’re looking to get out of the next 10 months or so? Unless you had a unicorn-doughnut with sprinkles-mermaid kind of year last year, you’ve probably got some things you’d like to change, amiright?
So, I wanted to know, how can I help you improve this year? For the next couple of weeks, I want to give you some stories of small changes that some members of the Nicole the Math Lady community have implemented, that have made big changes in how their kids view math. Maybe something in one of their experiences will be the thing that will make this year different for you, too.
First up, we’ll hear from Lindsay in Georgia, who took the advice of a friend and saw changes in her kids’ attitudes from Day One:
“Something had to change after last year. Even though I had handed the true teaching off to Nicole and they love her, my kids were still saying “I hate math!” way too often. And my kids (who are in 8/7 and Algebra 1/2 right now) are actually pretty good at math–far better than their mother is!
So I’ll say first off that I cannot take credit for this idea. A friend shared it with me and it was such an easy change, I figured “Why not try?” Here’s what we do:
1. On Day One, the kids completed the lesson only and were done for the day.
2. On Day Two, and every day following, they do the mixed practice/problem sets FIRST, on their own.
3. While they work on a different subject, I check their mixed practice.
4. Finally, either later in the morning or early afternoon, I give them feedback on their mixed practice. After that, they do the next lesson in the book.
I have been amazed! There has barely been a word of complaint about math this year and they are getting more problems right on mixed practice and tests. Why does it work? I’m not sure, but my theory is that they are now doing the work that involves the most mental agility early in the morning when they are fresh. Then, when they need to do the lesson, they only really have to focus on one concept, and that feels more do-able. Whatever it is, I’ll take it, because it has been a huge load off my shoulders, to see them complain less about math this year.
A couple of tweaks: when there is an investigation or test the schedule can get a little messed up, so there are mornings where I may pull some problems out of supplemental sets since there isn’t a natural mixed practice to pull from. So far, and we’ve been back in school already for about a month, it’s worked out. I hope this method helps someone else!”
I LOVE it! Anything that gets kids more excited and successful in learning has my attention in a big way. And I’ve found my subscribers have so many great ways to make things work for their student(s).
So… have you initiated a change that has made life in your classroom easier? If so, I want to hear it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know so we can share it with everyone!