Featured Topic: Teacher Reflection

320kinder 320wboard4 320teacher1

Teachers wrap up one school year only to begin planning the next. Whether you will be teaching the same grade, or moving to a new position, planning ahead is a common summer activity for many teachers. Mathwire is also on vacation during these summer months, so take the time to reflect on the past year and consider some of these points as you begin planning for next year:

  • Classroom Organization:
    • What worked well? What could use some improvement?
    • Could students easily access classroom materials and manipulatives?
    • Were student desks grouped to make it easy to work in pairs or small groups?
  • Math Center:
    • Are games packaged with instructions and needed materials?
    • Did students use the center after they finished work, during transition times, during inside recess?
    • Check out the Mathwire Mathematical Games Resources to add to your classroom math game collection or to add to your math center for independent play.
  • Morning Routines:
    • Were charts and materials arranged for an easy transition from activity to activity?
    • Did students "run" the morning routines or did the teacher coordinate the routines? Try for more student-directed morning routines.
    • View the Mathwire Morning Math Routines to read about and see pictures of these important daily routines that help develop math concepts in real world applications. Then visit the Morning Math Routines: Photo Gallery to see how different teachers organize these resources in their classrooms.
  • Differentiated Instruction:
    • What strategies did you use to successfully meet the varied needs of learners in your classroom?
    • Were the more gifted math students regularly challenged by enrichment and problem solving activities that required them to extend concepts to a higher level?
    • Did you use a regular "Game Day" to provide time for small group instruction to reteach, extend or provided guided practice for students' identified needs?
    • Scan the Mathwire Intervention Strategies for differentiated activities to help struggling learners with counting, teen numbers, money, basic facts, etc.
    • Read more about the practice of using a Game Day to provide regular differentiated instruction to better meet the varied needs of learners in the classroom.
  • Use of whiteboards and Math Templates:
    • Did you use whiteboards and/or math templates regularly to quickly assess student understanding of the day's concept or skill?
    • Did you use whiteboards to encourage active participation of all students in responding to teacher questions rather than simply calling on one student?
    • Search through the Mathwire Template Library for templates designed to be inserted into sheet protectors and used with dry erase markers to increase active student participation in math lessons. The Mathwire Math Mat Resources offer mats for place value, seasonal, fact families, and dominoes.
  • Use of manipulatives:
    • Did students use manipulatives as tools for thinking about and exploring important math concepts?
    • Do you have all needed manipulatives readily available in the classroom?
    • Were students allowed and encouraged to use any manipulatives to help them problem solve?
    • Check out the Mathwire Math Manipulatives Resources for additional activities to add to your classroom repertoire as whole class activities, small group exploration or center activities. Current topics include dominoes, hundred board, money, morning math and tangram activities.
  • Seasonal Activities:
  • Writing in Math Class:
    • Did you require students to explain their thinking both orally and in written formats?
    • Did students acquire proficiency at using words, pictures and numbers to explain their thinking and the process they used to solve open-ended math problems?
    • Check out Writing in Math Class which discusses how to use writing and writing prompts to help students develop conceptual understanding.
  • Math-Literature Connections:
    • Have you developed a list of books to introduce important math concepts?
    • Look through the Mathwire Math-Literature Connections to link math concepts to real world applications.

Recent Additions to Mathwire.com

Check the New on Mathwire.com webpage to see what's new on the site this month.

Check the Recent Additions to Mathwire.com webpage to see the most recent additions to the site this month.

Mathwire Search Options

New to Mathwire.com? There are several ways to search the site for activities by Math Standard, Math Topic, or using an alphabetical search.

About Mathwire.com

Mathwire.com is designed to provide activities and appropriate worksheets for teachers to use in their classrooms.   All activities and worksheets support the constructivist approach to learning mathematics and the NCTM Standards.

Activities:   The activities on this site were developed by Terry Kawas and the teachers in districts where she has worked as a math consultant and coach or with students she has taught in college math-methods courses.   The activities are classroom-tested by teachers and appropriate modifications have been made to reflect this field-testing.   These activities are posted online in an effort to share quality activities and routines within the mathematics community.

Terms of Use:   Teachers are welcome to download any of the activities for free use in their classrooms.   No activities may be copied for use on other websites or included in commercial products without permission in writing from Terry Kawas, webmaster.   Contact Terry Kawas