Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Success for all students!

I've been thinking today about how to scaffold learners so that all students can be successful!  These are some of the ideas floating around in my head ...

1.  Students must understand the vocabulary ... the language of Algebra.  At times, it can seem like a foreign language.  I learned a game today that helps bring movement and visualization to vocabulary ... I enjoyed the game and I can see how it might help students remember it as well.  I will also use the Frayer model graphic organizer ... not for every word but certainly for key terms.  I'm planning a word wall that changes each six weeks.

2.  Talking math is essential.  Students need to work in pairs and groups not just for the support but also to work on communicating math.  One tool I plan to implement is academic discourse sentence stems.  A few samples might include (I'm working on more):

  • “The main idea is…”

  • “The most important details are…”

  • “To summarize the key ideas and concepts…”

  • “I learned…”

  • “My partner pointed out…”

  • “My partner mentioned that…”

  • “We agreed that…”

  • “We decided that…”

3.  I want students to take notes that are meaningful.  I'm working on foldables for the first unit.  I don't have a picture of any yet ... I've designed them on paper ... will work on pics soon!

4.  Last thought tonight on scaffolding ... I want to promote a different definition for "failure" than students sometimes have.  I'm defining "failure" as "I need another opportunity to demonstrate the I understand that topic!"

Building background knowledge through vocabulary, talking math, taking meaningful notes, and realizing that "failure" simply means a need for a second opportunity will hopefully build a classroom environment that ensures success for all!

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