TMC15! It Just Keeps Getting Better

Some nuggets from TMC15:

  • Exit ticket with student name + a grade = a quiz, not an exit ticket
  • Give feedback before a final grade. Once student see the grade, written feedback is invisible.
  • Arithmetic & math differ like spelling & writing. (Thanks Avery)
  • Debating brings attention to the mathematical process
  • Focus on the structure (roles, routines, etc) takes away the pressure of doing the math
  • Vertical non-permanent surfaces (
  • What if you put the teacher desk in center of room…why do I even need a desk?
  • Work on non-permanent, summarize by putting one good exemplar in notebook
  • Teaching is not brain surgery, it’s harder. The anatomy of most brains is the same. The anatomy of most classrooms can vary greatly.
  • We must share ALL our lessons
  • Care about your students as much as Fawn
  • We as teachers are all trying, to the best of our ability, to have students reach the best of their ability.

Still wondering:

  • Does cold-calling have value or should I avoid it?


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5 responses to “TMC15! It Just Keeps Getting Better

  1. Casey

    Your last question is the one still ringing in my ears after the morning sesh. I know you said you have a certain “approach,” and I appreciated your allowing my hesitation (ok, freak out). I still don’t know the answer. I think you’ll find being a “jerk” (don’t want to use your word here) a little tougher with 7th gr girls (all the emotions and tears). I mean, they are going to LOVE you, but tween girls… Oy! So the cold call/ not…. That’s always my struggle. A teacher I worked with did “no opt out.” When he helped out in my room I always had a hard time with it because obviously I feel the same as some kids who don’t want to share… I don’t know… Rambling at this point. We should have had this talk during work time… Bummer đŸ˜•

    • Ugh! It’s such a touch thing. Maybe, as Illana would say, it depends. There are times it could be useful and other times not. I don’t ever use it to be punitive (as some may be afraid that we do) but to keep folks on their toes when they’ve had some warning.

  2. Hey Chris – we talked about this a little, but for me, the purpose of calling on students helps me figure out what techniques to use. If my goal is to foster a productive and useful discussion, cold calling on students doesn’t help me achieve that. If the goal is to make everyone participate, then maybe? Personally, I almost always want a productive discussion to be the top priority and find other ways to include everyone. For example, I generally pause and say that I’d like to hear from those who haven’t participated yet some point into the period. I talk privately with students who haven’t participated yet after that point and let them know that they need to find a way to participate before the end of the period. If they can’t, then they will need to be the first contributors to the next day’s discussion (this gives shy kids a chance to prepare something ahead of time). I think that students participate in different ways and I want to honor that while also making our class a safe space. Can you elucidate the benefits of cold calling in more detail? Maybe I’m missing something here.

    • I like the idea of telling someone who did not speak that they have to speak the next day. That’s plenty of warning. I only cold call to keep hearing from different voices and keep everyone invested in the conversation. There’s always some warning given, not punitive (See my previous comment).

  3. I actually did have my desk in the center of the room last year, with a ring of student desks around it. It felt a little like mission control. It was nice.


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