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Math Teacher's Survival Guide


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Table of Contents

About This Book v The Authors vii Acknowledgments ix Section One: Embracing the Profession of Teacher of Mathematics 1 Traits of Great Math Teachers 1 Meeting State Standards and District Math Goals 3 School Policies and Procedures You Need to Know 4 Professionalism and Common Sense 7 Professionalism Outside the Classroom 9 Maintaining Your Professional Expertise 9 Quick Review for Embracing the Profession of Teacher of Mathematics 12 Section Two: Before the First Day 15 Starting the Year Early 15 Things to Do Before School Starts (Reproducible) 17 Greeting Administrators, Colleagues, and Support Staff 18 Getting a Head Start on Paperwork 18 Your Schedule and Class Lists 19 Seating Charts 20 Seating Chart Grid (Reproducible) 21 Seating Options 22 Setting Up Your Classroom 23 Arranging Furniture to Enhance Math Learning 23 Checking Equipment 23 Checking Materials and Supplies 24 Hall Passes (Reproducible) 26 Classroom Sign-Out Sheet (Reproducible) 27 Decorating Your Room 28 Preparing for the First Day 29 Setting Goals 29 Rules and Requirements of Your Classes 29 Rules and Requirements of Ms Smith's Algebra I Class 31 Activities for the First Day 33 Making Copies Before the Copy Machine Crunch 33 Being Connected: Checking Communications Systems 34 Especially for the First-Year Math Teacher 35 Learning the Layout of Your School 35 The Value of Orientation 36 Reviewing Handbooks 37 Finding a Mentor 37 Quick Review for Before the First Day 38 Section Three: The Math Teacher's Tools of the Trade 41 Basic Supplies, Materials, and Equipment 41 Common Math Manipulatives 42 Sources for Math Materials and Manipulatives 45 Technology 46 Calculators 46 Computers 47 Interactive Whiteboards 49 Resources on the Internet 50 Sources of Supplementary Teaching Materials 53 Quick Review for the Math Teacher's Tools of the Trade 54 Section Four: Becoming a Valued Member of the Staff 55 Working Effectively with Others 56 The Chain of Command in Your School 56 Working with Other Teachers 57 Working with Para-Educators 58 Working with Support Staff 59 Committees and Teamwork 59 The Roles People Play in Committees 60 Working Together in Sharing 62 Getting Along with Others in Your School 63 Evaluations for Math Teachers 65 How Not to Be Nervous During an Observation 66 Preparing for an Observation 67 An Evaluation Checklist 67 The Pre-Observation Conference 69 The Observation 69 The Post-Observation Conference70 The End-of-the-Year Evaluation 70 Becoming a Mentor for New Math Teachers 70 Responsibilities of a Mentor 71 Responsibilities of a Mentee 72 After School and Beyond 73 Providing After-School Math Help 73 Extracurricular Activities 75 Quick Review for Becoming a Valued Member of the Staff 75 Section Five: Organizing for Success 77 Your Master Schedule for Organization 77 The Value of an All-Purpose Binder 79 Practical Routines 79 Daily Reminders (Reproducible) 81 How to Avoid Letting the ''Little Things'' Pile Up 83 Organizing Your Classroom 84 Special Organizational Considerations When Sharing a Classroom 85 Record of Used Supplies or Malfunctioning Equipment (Reproducible) 87 Organizing Files 88 Your File Cabinet 88 Electronic Files 89 Necessary Information to Maintain 90 Managing Your Paper Load 92 Taking Control of Time 93 The Importance of Effective Substitute Plans 94 Sub Plans That Move Your Students Forward 94 The True Emergency Plan 94 Long-Term Absences 95 Essential Components of a Sub Plan for Your Math Class 95 Quick Review for Organizing for Success 96 Section Six: Planning a Great First Day 99 The First-Day Basics 99 If You Have a Homeroom 100 Record of Materials Returned by Students (Reproducible) 102 Double-Checking Materials and Supplies 104 Keys to Being Calm and Composed 104 Welcoming Students at the Classroom Door 105 Introducing Yourself 105 Getting Started 105 Providing an Overview of Your Math Class 106 Responsibilities of Math Students (Reproducible) 107 Learning About Your Students 109 Facts About You (Reproducible) 110 Name Cards 111 Circles of Me: A Getting-Acquainted Activity 111 Circles of Me (Reproducible) 113 Providing a Math Activity on the First Day 114 Number Puzzlers 114 Handing Out Texts, Workbooks, and Other Materials 115 Quick Review for Having a Great First Day 115 Section Seven: Managing Your Math Classroom 117 Establishing Efficient Classroom Routines 117 Taking Attendance 118 Dealing with Students Who Arrive Late to Class 118 Smoothly Handling Requests to Leave the Classroom 118 Distributing and Collecting Materials 119 Procedures for Student Computer Use 121 Computer Sign-Up Sheet (Reproducible) 122 Computer Etiquette (Reproducible) 124 Achieving a Smooth Flow of Classroom Traffic 125 Creating a Productive Math Class 126 Beginning Class with a Math Do-Now 127 Agendas or Assignment Pads 128 Classwork 128 Group Work 129 How to Work in a Math Group (Reproducible) 131 Homework 132 Math Journals 133 Math Journal Writing Prompts (Reproducible) 135 Math Notebooks 136 Tips for Keeping a Math Notebook (Reproducible) 137 Procedures for Making Up Missed Work 138 Math Makeup Work (Reproducible) 140 Procedures for Ending Class 141 Helping Your Students Learn to Follow Directions 142 Quick Review for Managing Your Classroom 143 Section Eight: Building a Positive Environment for Learning Math 145 The Physical Classroom 145 Setting a Tone of Respect and Courtesy 147 Respect and Courtesy Guidelines (Reproducible) 149 Preventing and Responding to Bullying 150 Creating a Positive Math Environment for Diverse Students 152 Gifted Math Students 152 Underachieving Students 154 Mainstreamed Special-Needs Students 155 Students with 504 Plans 158 Students with Attention Deficit Disorders 159 Students Who Are at Risk of Dropping Out of School 162 Economically Disadvantaged Students 164 Students Who Speak Little or No English 165 Avoiding Gender and Ethnic Bias in Math Class 167 Appreciating Cultural Diversity 168 Helping Students Overcome Math Anxiety 169 Steps to Beat Math Anxiety (Reproducible) 170 Quick Review for Building a Positive Environment for Learning Math 171 Section Nine: Interacting with Your Students 173 Maintaining a Professional Role with Your Students 173 Your Appearance 174 Your Language and Tone 174 Your Behavior 175 Avoiding Potential Trouble 176 Discretion and Your Personal Life 176 Getting to Know Your Students 177 Communication and Being a Good Listener 178 Tips for Positive Communication in Math Class (Reproducible) 180 Guiding Students to Become Successful Math Students 181 How to Become a Successful Math Student (Reproducible) 182 Helping Students Develop Math Study Skills 183 How to Improve Your Math Study Skills (Reproducible) 184 How to Read a Math Textbook 185 Guidelines for Reading Your Math Text (Reproducible) 186 How to Prepare for and Do Well on Math Tests 187 How to Prepare for Math Tests (Reproducible) 188 Math Test-Taking Tips (Reproducible) 190 How to Conduct Successful Math Conferences with Students 191 Preventing and Dealing with Disruptions 192 Helping Students Cope with the Pressures of Being a Student 194 Serious Problems Requiring Immediate Action 195 Quick Review for Interacting with Your Students 196 Section Ten: Designing Effective Math Lessons and Activities 199 Making Time for Planning 199 Planning a Variety of Math Lessons and Activities 200 The Foundation of Successful Math Lessons and Activities 201 State Math Standards 201 District and School Math Goals and Objectives 202 Curriculum 202 The Principles, Standards, and Focal Points of the NCTM 203 Objectives 203 Resources for Planning Math Lessons and Activities 204 Components of Effective Math Plans and Activities 205 Addressing the Needs of Diverse Learners 205 Building on Prior Knowledge 207 Including Material for Critical Thinking in Your Math Plans 208 Incorporating Technology in Math Plans 209 Providing a Means for Assessment 210 Types of Math Plans 211 Basic Course of Study Planning Guide (Reproducible) 213 Unit Plans 215 Unit Plan Format (Reproducible) 217 Sample Unit Plan 220 Daily Lesson Plans 222 Daily Lesson Plan Format (Reproducible) 224 Sample Daily Lesson Plan 227 Overcoming Common Problems in Planning 229 Pacing 229 Pull-Out Programs 230 Lessons and Activities for Special Days 231 Adjusting Lesson Plans 232 Avoiding Planning Pitfalls 233 Incorporating Literature into Your Math Class 234 Elementary/Middle School 235 Middle School/High School 236 High School 237 Incorporating Writing into Your Math Class 238 The Writing Process (Reproducible) 240 Quick Review for Designing Effective Math Lessons and Activities 241 Section Eleven: Providing Effective Math Instruction 243 Being a Facilitator of Learning 243 Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners Through Instruction 244 Using Various Instructional Methods for Teaching 245 Fostering Problem-Solving Skills in Your Students 247 Steps for Solving Math Word Problems (Reproducible) 248 Motivating Your Students 249 Improving Your Instructional Delivery Skills 250 Speaking 250 Body Language 251 Using the Traditional Board, Overhead Projector, or Interactive Whiteboard 252 Handling Math Manipulatives Effectively 253 Using Technology with Expertise 254 Managing Interruptions and Getting Back on Task 257 Monitoring Learning During Instruction 259 Videotaping Your Delivery and Building Confidence 260 Quick Review for Providing Effective Math Instruction 261 Section Twelve: Evaluating the Progress of Your Students 263 Devising a Fair System of Grading 263 Ways to Assess Student Learning 264 Assessment Through Tests and Quizzes 265 Assessment Through Open-Ended Problems 266 Assessment Through Group Activities 267 Assessment Through Math Notebooks 268 Assessment Through Math Projects 269 Assessment Through Writing 270 Assessment Through Math Portfolios 270 Assessment Through Classwork 271 Assessment Through Homework 272 Preparing Your Students for Standardized Math Tests 273 Tips for Taking Standardized Math Tests (Reproducible) 275 Evaluating Assessment Results 276 Record Keeping 277 If Your Grades Are Challenged 279 Quick Review for Evaluating the Progress of Your Students 280 Section Thirteen: Managing Inappropriate Behavior 283 Addressing Inappropriate Behavior in Your Math Class 283 Involving Parents and Guardians in Addressing Inappropriate Behavior 286 Record of Parent-Guardian Contact (Reproducible) 288 The Value of Behavior Contracts 289 Sample Behavior Contract (Reproducible) 291 Involving Administrators in Addressing Inappropriate Behavior 292 The Major Incident Report 293 Major Incident Report Form (Reproducible) 294 Common Examples of Inappropriate Behavior and How to Handle Them 295 Habitual Lateness to Class 295 Inattentiveness 296 Incomplete Work 296 Repeatedly Requesting to Leave Class 297 Excessive Talking 297 Passing Notes 298 Sleeping During Class 298 Attention Seeking 299 Inappropriate Use of Technology 300 Cell Phone Use 300 Eating or Drinking in Class 301 Inappropriate Words and Comments 302 Defiance 302 Stealing 303 Cheating 303 Vandalism 304 Verbal Abuse 305 Violence 305 Quick Review for Managing Inappropriate Behavior 306 Section Fourteen: Working with Parents and Guardians 309 The Expectations of Parents and Guardians for Their Child's Math Teacher 309 How to Make Parents and Guardians Partners in Math Education 310 How Parents and Guardians Can Help Their Children with Math 312 Guidelines for Helping Your Child with Math (Reproducible) 313 Preparing for and Conducting a Successful Back-to-School Night 314 Sample Back-to-School Night Information Sheet 316 Parent-Guardian Sign-In Sheet (Reproducible) 318 Conducting Successful Conferences with Parents and Guardians 319 Parent-Teacher Conference Log Sheet (Reproducible) 322 Dealing with Difficult Parents and Guardians 323 Working with Parents and Guardians Who Speak Limited English 324 Expanding Your Role as a Math Teacher 325 Quick Review for Working with Parents and Guardians 328 Section Fifteen: Keeping the Flame Burning 329 Causes and Symptoms of Teacher Burnout 329 Avoiding and Overcoming Teacher Burnout 331 Becoming the Most Effective Math Teacher You Can Be 333 Student Course Evaluation Form (Reproducible) 334 Quick Review for Keeping the Flame Burning 336 References and Suggested Reading 337 Index 341

About the Author

Judith Muschla has taught mathematics in South River, New Jersey, for over twenty-five years. Gary Robert Muschla taught reading, writing, and math for more than twenty-five years in Spotswood, New Jersey. Erin Muschla teaches 7th grade math at Applegarth Middle School in Monroe, New Jersey. Gary and Judith are the coauthors of The Math Teacher's Book of Lists, Hands-on Math Projects with Real-Life Applications, Math Starters, The Geometry Teacher's Activities Kit, Math Smart, The Math Teacher's Problem-a-Day, and Algebra Teacher's Activities Kit, all published by Jossey-Bass.

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