<o>In our never ending quest to improve as math teachers and help make math enjoyable for students (or at least less painful) we slapped together a few goals for the upcoming school year.</o>
INCREASE TEACHER MATH KNOWLEDGE
We have spent a boatload of time this summer tearing apart the math common core standards. Not just our grade (7th), but all grade levels from k to 8. As we enter the school year we feel as prepared as any school year. We want continue adding to math knowledge as the year progresses. We are currently taking the Stanford math class with Jo Boaler which has been very enjoyable.
If you want to see a classic example of taking something simple and making it confusing go read the math common core standards (actually don't). It almost seems like the goal was to be a vague as possible. I can guarantee you there are thousands of teachers that are totally confused about how to teach these new standards. I digress.
INCREASE STUDENTS INTERST IN MATH
A key goal every year for our 7th grade team in to increase the student’s enthusiasm for math. We pride ourselves on being unique and creative. Our DeMATHa (Developmental MATH Academy) Program allows us the freedom to experiment. Whether it’s our sidewalk probability game or our legendary Khan Academy “WRATH OF KHAN” contest (khantest?) we want to push ourselves to be innovative.
CREATE MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR HANDS ON ACTIVITIES
Even though we have two or three epic projects each year, we feel like this is an area that we could make tremendous strides. We want to focus on having a minimum of one hands on project each week.
INCREASE PARENT/STUDENT/TEACHER COMMNUICATION
We have used our monthly math newsletter for the last three years. We will continue the newsletter, but we will
supplement with a Twitter account and a Pinterest page. A major area of weakness for us has been calling (or emailing or writing) parents when students do something positive in class. This too will become a weekly goal.
INCREASE STUDENT KNOWLEGDE AND PERFORMANCE
Bottom line, when the year is done we will be judged by the student’s progress. For over 7 years we have achieved the highest level of value added in Ohio. What is nice about each school year is the opportunity to make an impact on a new group of students.