Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Successful Math Lessons

My favorite math lessons involve money but of course I taught teenagers so this always caught their interest too. If you can relate a lesson to how they will use the skill with money, you will usually have them engaged in learning. The skills I taught depended on the ability level of the student. Once I taught the student the skill, I would make up a list of steps they would follow. Then I would show them how I used these steps by modeling the behavior. Sometimes I would have them tell me what step I needed to follow before I actually did it. After I modeled the skill, I would have them practice it as I guided them through each step. Once I monitored that they understood the skill, I would have a game for them to play using this skill. My students loved games especially if I promised a prize (this could be a free homework pass, free 3 min. break pass for bathroom or water, pencil, pencil eraser, highlighter, etc.). I tried to make the games with answer keys so they could either self correct or check each other’s answers. After the game stage, I would give them simulated “real life” situations for them to use the skill. Since I followed the same procedures for every new skill, learning something new was not so overwhelming or intimidating. I hope this helps make your lessons more successful.

Here is a “recipe” that I used for each lesson:
 1. A list of steps
 2. Teacher Modeling of the Strategy Steps
 3. Guided Practice
 4. Independent Student Practice
 5. Opportunities for Generalization

1 comment:

Mister Teacher said...

Sounds cool! Could you give us a specific example of a skill, a lesson, and the game?