Northerner In Nashville

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 25 2011

How to Get Your Student’s Attention in Math Class

We’ve been covering data analysis in math class — an introduction for most of my students to mean, median and mode. We’ve been practicing with a good deal of word problems: test scores, pennies, stamps, and game scores.

Math class is, unfortunately, in the afternoon. This means that my students often check out and the gap in my math class is much wider than it is in reading. I’ll admit it — sometimes I purposefully throw things in to wake them up. Today, I was trying to come up with a sports team name. Many of my kids are on their own teams, so any of those name aren’t an option (the Jaguars score better than that! etc). So I made up a problem about a basketball team — called the Sabers.

Oooo whee! You’d think I’d just said that I cancelled all the district testing for this week–heck, any testing related to the TCAP. I got almost a bigger reaction than when they realized they’d earned their pizza party for class points.

“Ms. Astronaut! You watch the GAME??!?!?!?!”
“Aw yeah, she watches the GAME!”
“No way, she doesn’t watch the game”

After I calmed them down, we continued with the lesson. I then proposed that to find the range, we take Derwin’s high score and Jason’s low score and –

“Oh My GOD she watches the GAME!!!”
“Man, I love me some Derwin”
“She watches the Game! She watches the Game!”

Yes children. I watch some of the same shows that you do, as disturbing as that is on occasion. We’ll add that to the other tv shows I can talk to you about that surprised you (I’d list them, but it’s pretty much Disney channel shows. )

It’s been a strange transition back to school with my kids since we’ve had so many snow days. As a New Englander, these days are starting to get a little ridiculous. If it’s called the night before, you wake up and look out the window to see just a hint of snow dusting your car. The ice has been a bit of an issue since no one is prepared to deal with it. I keep myself motivated with the small things

– my kids wanted to know how they could nominate me for Teacher of the Year
–some of them seemed sad when I told them I wasn’t one of the options this year
–my kids are finally learning how to be quiet during testing (thankfully, since we’ve got a lot)
–pretty much all of them responded with a resounding NO! when the word “substitute teacher” was mentioned
–my donors choose project got fully funded! My kids have NO idea that all these wonderful books will soon be on their way!
–One girl’s response to the question “What do you think is the President’s most important job is?”

Response? To make sure that the world is perfect.

How can you not love that?

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    About this Blog

    a 2010 CM’s experiences

    Region
    Nashville
    Grade
    Elementary School
    Subject
    Elementary Education

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