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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Math Teaching: Don't Rush the Start

There's a temptation to rush ahead in these early days of school, but that's not wise. It's best to stay the course with regard to establishing good routines, adequate review, and creating community in order to set the stage for teaching well.

What does that mean?

This means listening carefully to the learning team in the early days. Hearing what their questions, thoughts, and ideas are?

This means making sure that students have a solid introduction to the teaching/learning routines, tools, expectations, and options. It takes time to match this effort well to each student.

It also means observing your learners well so that you know how to meet their needs.

Ruth Charney in her book, Teaching Children to Care, advises us to take the first six weeks of the school year to establish routines. This is good advice for every discipline. When we rush ahead too fast we leave important learning and skill behind.