Saturday, July 20, 2013

Minds on Math: Chapter 6 "Opening"

I call this chapter the beginning of "getting down to business" of a math workshop.
The problem of the day is: How do you start math class?

Seems to be pretty obvious that we need to start out our class with some sort of warm-up, bell-work, do now, etc.  This was one of the first things you learn when learning about lesson plans! Hoffer reminds us how important the opening activity of our class is to setting the tone of the day and activating prior knowledge.

I have always used a "do now" in my lesson plans and my class routines. My idea of a Do Now is the task students should do when they come in that does not need any explaining on my part.  They should come in, take out stuff for class and get to work.  My experience is that I usually just throw up a computation problem, probably what we did the day before, and some of the kids race through it or do it in their head and  some kids have no clue what to do and just sit and wait for others to finish it.  Another struggle I have is no matter how much I try to remind and enforce my beginning of class routine, my kids take their time getting in, getting their stuff put away and getting to business.  I wonder if it is because of my "lame" openers?

I am thinking after reading this chapter that one of my goals will be to really work on my openers and beginning of class procedures!

1 comment:

  1. i really need to up my game when it comes to my openers. I used to use warm-ups more for getting my students settled and on task while I stamped homework. After a few years my kids got so good at coming in and getting settled, I really did not need to the warm-ups (as a management device).

    I need to rethink the purpose of my opener to really set the stage for what we are doing in math that day. I am good about always going over the learning targets with kids, but I would like to have the opening problem or warm-up tie in to what we are doing that day.

    I am taking a grade class on this in two weeks and I cannot wait to have some time to really dig in and create some things to use for my math workshop this year.

    Thanks for linking up Robin!