I always thought that I was a good math teacher. I knew the material, prepped well, had good interaction with the students while I lectured, fielded questions appropriately, always had fresh breath and was told that I explained things well. Yet, my success rate in my community college Algebra classes was right in there with the national average -- about 35%. It was brutal and I felt like a failure. Was it them? Was it me? Heck, I knew that I was trying by best. Also, it bummed me out that that my students ranked going to math class right up there with going to the dentist. I'd been trying to change my students for years with no success... Then, I realized that I could change!! I spent an entire summer (and, then, continued after that) reading books on how to motivate people, success training and how people learn. I changed everything! I changed how I taught. I changed my own approach and classroom attitude. I even (and most importantly) changed what I talked about on the first day of class. And I couldn't BELIEVE the change that took place in my students!! Most of them actually LIKED coming to my math classes! I could even feel the difference in the vibe of the class when I walked in the door. Oh, and my success rate? It went up to 75-80%!
For more info on how I changed everything, check out my stuff below... and good luck in your classrooms!
|I've now put my math phobia and study training book online for free! Woo hoo! Please check it out and refer your students to it. You might also get a kick out of reading through the first part yourself to see my journey from nauseous mathphobe to the creator of Coolmath.com. Math Survival Guide: Heal the Past, Conquer Anxiety and Build Success.
|Find out how to use Survivor Algebra in the classroom!
Survivor Algebra not only teaches students Algebra, it trains them to be successful in all areas.
Note that, even though I call it Survival ALGEBRA, you can use it for any math subject.
|The two books that influenced my teaching change the most were:
Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Enjoy Helping Others Excel by Alan Loy McGinnis
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition by Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning with additional material from the Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice and National Research Council
|TeacherVision: School Resources
TeacherVision, one of our partner sites, has lots of different resources for your classroom.
You can find lots of activities, organization tools, slips and forms, classroom decor and curriculum support. They've got a well-organized breakdown of their most useful resources here: Back to school resources
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