How NCTM Changed My Practice

16 07 2015

I was so convicted by Jo Boalers presentation that when I returned to class I completely changed how I marked students’ work. 

After almost 40 years of developing an efficient method, the change was challenging. Currently, I regularly team teach with another Mathematics teacher. We have developed a system of weekly quizzes (regularly a past HSC question or part thereof). Whilst the other teacher introduces the new work, I provide feedback on the student submissions to the quiz. The goal is to have the feedback available within 10-15 minutes of the quiz being completed.

I no longer use a tick cross system. I identify the first error in the solution and offer a brief direction towards its correction. My goal is to offer feedback to give the student a starting point for fixing their mistake. I do not give the correct answer. I merely circle the issue and make a comment, if necessary. The comment is regularly one word. This was the initial challenge – to give valuable direction whilst being able to hand back the submission during the lesson.

Prior to returning the work, I show the other teacher the annotated scripts so they know which student is handling the work well and which is not. Often we share the returning of the submissions.

Whilst our lessons are 75 minutes in duration, I believe this could be achieved in a slightly shorter lesson. The value of returning submissions during the lesson is that the students recall what they did. They have often forgotten this by the next lesson. If I was teaching by myself I would arrange a lesson a week whereby the students could continue their work for 15 minutes without my input. I will make a future blog on a number of ways of achieving this. 

  

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