Each year a couple of months before January I begin thinking about what my resolution for the next year will be. I start thinking in terms of what I want to continue, change, or start that will make a difference in my life in a positive way. But being the disciplined, some would say stubborn, person that I am, I always try to choose a realistic goal that I’m fairly certain that I can stick to.
The beginning of a new year also marks a fresh start in the school year. For you and other educators it may mark increased anxiety because there are still concepts that some of your students haven’t mastered and new concepts yet to learn in order to continue their study of mathematics throughout the school year. Added to that anxiety and fear is worry that your students have yet to master concepts that will be assessed on state mandated assessments that will be given in the spring
This situation is the “perfect storm” for turning to quick fixes, tricks, and key words to help students remember information or a procedure just long enough to pass the assessments.
But quick fixes never lead to understanding and lasting change. In reality, now is the perfect time for you to make instructional resolutions that help your students really learn and understand the math concepts they’ll need long after the test day has passed. Consider the following resolutions:
Implement the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice by:
—Encouraging students to use and share multiple graphics, models, processes and procedures for solving problems
—Employing questions and questioning strategies that prompt mathematical thinking
Use data to drive more meaningful RTI by:—RTI: Response to Inequities
—Details in the Data: Using Data to Improve Instruction
—Utilizing a variety of formative assessments that reveal students’ understanding
—Creating differentiated learning opportunities for all students
Utilize technology to engage students in the learning process by:
—Learning more about how to incorpoate technology into instruction, as I'll be discussing over the next few weeks.
—Developing your own personal plan for incorporating technology into your instruction.
While you may be interested in more than one of the resolution suggestions, choose the one that is most manageable for you and you are reasonably sure that you’ll be able to follow through with. Then as the definition of resolution implies, make it your determination or course of action for improving the learning and understanding of mathematics as you follow through with your choice.