The unit plan in question contains several helpful strategies to employ in the classroom. Notably, students write in their journals and they have an opportunity to contemplate their progress or problems. The teacher can also learn more about issues students may have through reading the journals. It is an interesting approach to read a story to check what students already know about numbers. Students also need to relate any new knowledge to their every-day life.
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Researchers stress the need to make learning interesting and my own experience suggests the need to make the lesson helpful and exciting. When helping my children do their homework in math, I tried to make them see connections between doing sums and their everyday life. I have noticed that my children perceive the material better when they can adjust their knowledge to their day-to-day activities. Of course, playing games has always been more effective with my children and I think they are no exception. It is difficult for a child to remain focused, and playing games makes them concentrated on certain aims. The present plan is successful as it addresses these two major aims.
The teacher creates the necessity to be able to multiply by making children count their hands, shoes, shapes of fruits and animals. Students get acquainted with the concept of multiplying by playing games and competing tasks. The teacher combines different activities and uses different hand-outs. This makes the lesson interesting and diverse. Students do not get tired but see each activity as a new game.
Assessment, diversity, and classroom management
It is necessary to note that diversity is one of the central components of the lesson. Activities should be different and teachers have numerous materials to make the tasks diverse but it is crucial to make assessment diverse as well. Some teachers ask children to do sums or complete some tasks (with the use of handouts). Here, the teacher utilizes students’ journals as a means of assessment since he/she can see how well students understand the material.
Reading journals helps understand the way children think, which is sometimes more important than occasional correct answers. Whenever I check my children’s homework, I try to check ways they did their tasks rather than just checking the answers. I have understood that sometimes children fail to understand the concept and use other ways to complete tasks. This means that children do not acquire new knowledge but try to use what they already know. This is inappropriate.
Working in teams and cooperation of teams is also a very beneficial technique. Students can interact and share their ideas. This makes the process of learning more interesting and effective as students learn how to work individually and in teams.
Sharing ideas with fellow teachers
It is beneficial to share different strategies with fellow teachers since this can lead to development of new techniques and more efficient methods. It is possible to share with teachers working at the same school while discussing students’ progress and success. It is also possible to share ideas online. There are numerous websites where teachers can share their ideas or ask and give some advice. It is also possible to start a blog where teachers can discuss some tools and strategies. Of course, sharing should not be confined to discussion only as teachers should try the techniques in their classes and report on effectiveness of this or that method. Teachers should report on changes they have made to adjust the plan or strategy to their class.
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