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Teaching Tip #8

October 27, 2011

Often students start off the school year working very well together and following your expectations but about the third or fourth team that they are part of things start to go deteriorate. This may be for a variety of reasons but recognizing and responding to this right away is important. It is helpful to know that this is a normal part of the use of teams in the classroom and that when a class works through this struggle the teams become even more effective in class. The week coming up is a good week to do a challenging team activity that really pushes students to discuss the mathematics in order to succeed. It is also a good time for another Participation Quiz to help re-state your expectations and to give positive reinforcement to the teams who are showing commitment to working effectively and following class norms. Remember to ask good questions throughout the class lessons that focus on the math and that give you insight into the thinking of specific students. You can learn a lot about your students by asking why when an answer is given (correct or incorrect). Your students will also learn to ask each other Why? as you model it more and more. For those of you that are off from school enjoy your long weekend!

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