Monday, 20 January 2014

Math Mix 7

At Greenwood, the three Grade 7 math classes meet at the same time, on the same day, but with three different teachers. In fact, the three teachers teach their math classes on the same floor, all in classrooms next to each other.

I’m one of the Grade 7 math teachers, and I have loved being part of this program. This “block scheduled” format allows us to mix and mingle our students based on student interest, or on the level of support needed on a topic. Sometimes, the mixing is done at random.

One day last year, two of the Grade 7 math classes reshuffled and grouped students based on gender. Students were tasked with assembling a brownie recipe based on their calculations of fractions, which allowed the students to work on a math problem with peers with whom they don’t normally work.

This year, after evaluating a geometry assignment, we split up our classes based on the different concepts for which students needed additional support. Rather than teaching a “one size fits all” class on the topic, which can often lead to disengagement or stress, we grouped students by readiness and were able to keep them engaged.

The re-shuffling of our classes happens about once per unit, so as to not disrupt the structure and routine of the class. The Grade 7 math team has found that students find these sessions engaging, useful and fun. In addition, the Grade 7 teachers have appreciated the opportunity to get to know even more of our wonderful Grade 7 students!

Kelly Smolinski
Math Teacher

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