those kids who slip under the radar.

This week I taught a lesson in math. My cooperating teacher warned me that it would be one of the hardest lessons I have taught this far and she was right. My students have a very negative perception of math, most of them find it either boring or too difficult to bother with. She had explained to me that this geometry unit was going to be hard for them as they haven’t worked very much with geometry besides classifying shapes. My challenge was to teach them to draw triangles. After I started to teach the lesson I quickly realized that there is much more to the thinking process to drawing triangles then I though. I had to break it down to the simplest steps and still, they were frustrated. We had one hour and we barely drew seven triangles together. I had a good grasp on the management of the class and they were working, it was just a lot slower moving then I thought it would be. I was disappointed that the students were having such a difficult time grasping the concept but my cooperating teacher was optimistic about my lesson. She said, “I am glad you taught it and not me!” I suppose this is a good thing. I tried my best to research how to make this lesson as engaging as possible but drawing triangles can only be so interesting. So I realize now that I can not plan to have every lesson be a knock their socks off, fireworks and light bulbs going off lesson. The best I can do is to make sure that my students learn at least one thing at the end of that lesson and I would like to believe that my students leaned how to at least start the process of drawing a triangle. My professional target this week was based off one of my weaknesses from last week. I have some students that are hard to keep on task and they are loud and distracting to the rest of the class and I believe I am strong in dealing with those situations. It is the quiet ones that do not work that slip under my radar. I never notice that they are not working because they sit there quietly or read a book. They are very deceiving. This week I focused on the kids that seem to fly under the radar, I monitored them more and reminded them to work. It seemed to pay off as students who never participate or work were drawing triangles that were fairly accurate. I am excited for next week as I will be teaching a lesson that is very visualized. I hope to keep my students engaged and to have everyone in the class working as much as the next. Wish me luck!

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3 responses to “those kids who slip under the radar.

  1. I know exactly what you mean!Not every lesson can be a “bells and whistles” lesson, so it is often discouraging to try to teach “dry concepts”. I loved how you monitored the quiet kids who didn’t cause any problems but who were not working either. It’s really easy for the actions of these kids to go undetected, so you have to make a conscious decision to monitor them during the lesson. I think you’re on the right track; as long as you make it clear what the students are expected to know by the end of the lesson, and then check to make sure the students know it, you’ll be fine!

  2. Although all subjects have things about them that make them interesting and/or difficult to teach, math is a subject that seems to be super engaging for some, and an absolute nightmare for others. I personally enjoy math (actually I think I enjoy most subjects) and it’s a little bit hard not to be frustrated when I think I have explained something rather well (smile) and then a student raises his/her hand and says, “I really don’t get it at all!” Math teaching definitely builds patience! I liked your goal of trying to really notice those students who tend to fade into the background – and sometime this happens particularly in math because they don’t enjoy it and don’t want to admit they don’t get it. Problem is — they REALLY won’t get it if they don’t listen, so it is important to be aware of them and try to engage them as much as possible. It sound like you met your target of really watching for these students.

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