Classroom Ideas That Work!

Improving Your Math Classroom
George Alland, Rasmussen College 
See below for a document and presentation George has written
The P/R Idea:  Prepare and Reflect
Debbie Olson, Spokane Falls Community College
John Bakken, Wake Technical Community College
Click here for presentation given at AMATYC. 
David Tannor, Grand Rapids Community College
I've been asking my students to keep a portfolio for my class, specifically a well-organized (according to weeks) three-ring binder that contains their notes, homework assignments (and their solutions), tests (and their solutions as well), reflective writings, group assignments, etc. I realized in my few years of teaching that one of the reasons why students are not successful at math is that they are not organized. They hardly keep track of their notes, homework assignments, etc and so when it comes to tests and exams, they have nothing to study from. The portfolio is always a requirement and usually it's worth 10-15% of their overall class grade.  Ever since I started implementing that about 2-3 years ago, those who have been serious about it, usually have had high scores on their tests and exams.   
Accountability for Online Homework
Kathleen Almy, Rock Valley College, Rockford, IL

I love using online homework but I don't want students to abuse the features provided nor do I want them to find someone else to do it for them.  The goal is for them to get immediate, useful feedback as well as reduce time spent on grading homework problems.

To ensure they're doing their own work and making the most of the online system we use, I do the following:

1.  Teach them how to do problems (on paper, show all work, paper does not equal scratch paper, circle your answer)

2.  Give a short one problem quiz at the beginning of every class period

This requires them to show work and gives me a glimpse of their methods, struggles, and more while keeping the   time to grade to a minimum.  An added benefit is that these quizzes encourage being on time to class.  They also provide me a place to give one-on-one feedback.

3.  Give quizzes online as well that have help aids removed. 

      This shows students what they can really do as opposed to what the system can do.

Do you have an idea that's working for you?  It can big or small.  Send it to the chair or post it on our Google Groups discussion board and it will be posted here.
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George Alland  64k v. 2 Feb 22, 2011, 7:30 PM Kathleen Almy
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George Alland  2395k v. 2 Feb 22, 2011, 7:30 PM Kathleen Almy