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?

5 thoughts on “TMC15! It Just Keeps Getting Better

  1. Casey July 28, 2015 / 1:03 am

    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˜•

    • pispeak July 29, 2015 / 7:43 pm

      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. annablinstein July 28, 2015 / 3:31 am

    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.

    • pispeak July 29, 2015 / 7:45 pm

      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. James Cleveland July 30, 2015 / 12:44 am

    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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