Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Watching a first-year teacher 

My geometry mentor is, I think, rather uncomfortable with someone else in the classroom while she's teaching, and has been trying to push me out of the room since I've wrapped up my teaching. I more or less stopped resisting today and spent my afternoon watching one of the first-year math teachers. I didn't see too much classroom activity because it was mostly a review day for her, but I did manage to see some of what happens with her classroom management. There wasn't anything in particular that I could identify that set her apart from the more experienced teachers that I observed. I think some of it comes down to just body language and classroom presence, and I would guess that this only comes with experience and time.

I did pick up an interesting way of motivating group work: The group work is counted as a quiz. Every student turns in his or her work, but only one student's work from the group is graded. Other rules: Only three questions per group will be answered. Group quizzes cannot be turned in before the end of the class period.

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