Behavior Management in High School Math

Discussion in 'Behavior Management Archives' started by thekingster, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2006

    H......eeeee......lllllll....pppppp

    I am a new math teacher...and I mean: brand spanking new.

    Thrown to the fire, I was, this is 2nd week of school. My dilemma? How do you make high school kids stop talking?

    My kids (who do not attend where I teach...) say that it's a problem in all their classes.

    So...is this just a cultural thing with the myspace-text message-AIM-a' chatting crowd? I remember a few years ago in high school...seems like we were less talkative. Maybe I'm too selective in my memory...

    What WORKS for high school kids?
     
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  3. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2006

    Under the "easier said than done" category....but I truly believe this...

    You've got to get them engaged. Make math meaningful...applicable....

    Start the lesson with something that captures their attention and makes use of the concepts you will be teaching.

    Also...work on getting to know them as individuals...develop relationships.

    Consider the characteristics of the teachers in those classes where you chose to pay attention. My guess is that you had some kind of personal connection with both the individual and the content.

    Make use of logical consequences...I would strongly suggest that you do not use school work as a punishment (that is what you are trying to get them to value).
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  5. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    Making math meaningful

    Truly...in the "easier said than done" category. I am trying to remember "any" of my math teachers making math applicable.

    Where...would I find good resources for this?

    Admittedly...I am teaching Foundations Math I and II this semester---classes that do not typically attract overachievers. I fear that this high school (rural district) has scored so poorly in math historically...that there might not be a way to make it relevant to this population. [Our math department meeting previous to school starting showed the 2005-2006 ACT scores in Math to be 18.5.]
     
  6. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    What topics do you cover in Foundations math? I bet we can find a way to make them relevant...
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 22, 2006

    Oboyskis, a challenge!

    Let me suggest what is, admittedly, a children's book, but an amazingly cool and deep one: Go Figure, by Johnny Ball (Dorling Kindersley, 2005, ISBN 0-7566-1374-4).

    And please answer clarnet73's question, because she's right and we can.
     
  8. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    Always looking for help...

    Ok...I am inspired.

    Foundations Math I and II starts very basic and is supposed to build into a pre-algebra class.

    Chapter one - for both classes was to work from standard notation (numbers) through exponential notation.

    I would love ideas about how to make math relevant to high school students. This school district is largely agrarian...

    Ideas are welcomed.

    Steven King
     
  9. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    I will have to check that one!

    Steven King
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Agrarian, huh? Are there significant numbers of people who will end up working the land, or are they mostly marking time waiting to light out for The Big City?

    Everyone needs to know how to read statements of interest/yield - for savings, for consumer loans, for investments and the like. That's one of the payoffs for learning how to play with decimals.

    Money in its various denominations is all about place value: you could perhaps pull together an exercise on the issues faced by ATMs, and I'd bet the US Treasury Department has a Web site with resources for teachers.

    As for scientific notation, if these kids are going to work the land they're going to need to know about the microbes in the soil, which tend to be sized in multiples of ten with a largish negative exponent and to occur in a given sample of soil by multiples of 10 to a very high power. Plant scientists ought to be able to help with some statistics with high "ick" factors - there's nothing quite like grossing teens out to make something memorable. And then there are rates of application for fertilizers and pesticides and all that...

    There's a start, anyway. What are the predominant crops in your area?
     
  11. mnteacherguy

    mnteacherguy Companion

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    Aug 22, 2006

    Try to think like a young person when relating it to them as well....I know in middle/high school I liked sports, money, cars, learning "numbers" about my school. Also remember, your whole lesson does not have to be relevant to them. Just capture their attention and give them some sort of answer to "why?". Lunch detention works good if looking for a consquence
     
  12. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    TG, you're awesome. I would NOT have come up with those connections.

    My statistics teacher in high school was beginning a business selling ties with a math theme... because, as he said, there wasn't anything that isn't super elementary for male teachers to wear that's school-related. It seemed that every day, we started class with something about the business... it made the statistics stuff SO much more relevant because we related it to his budding business. OK, granted, this was a mostly-seniors AP Stats class... but that doesn't mean it's automatically interesting stuff. ;)

    Are any of your kids into sports? How about figuring out a win/loss record or some other fact as part of an equation... number of people that can fit in the stadium?

    When we did percentages, my class always enjoyed figuring out how much we were saving when we bought something on sale... which, of course, meant we could buy more stuff. Decimals? Checkbooks!!!
     
  13. mnteacherguy

    mnteacherguy Companion

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    Also try building personal relationships. I coach, work with student council, and try to learn one "interest" each student has. This not only helps you remember names and faces (Jimmy the football player or Suzie in the play), but sparks conversation between your students and you. If they know you care about them and feel valued...THEY WILL LISTEN!!!!
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's just a matter of practice, clarnet: you're too kind, and your connections are terrific (and probably more useful).
     
  15. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    Since I am new to the area and I live in the next "big city" over...I wonder if my students view me as "out of touch". There has been questions about: "how big is your house?".

    Also, is it a bad idea to publish photos in my room of my family? I have heard mixed opinions about this from other teachers.

    Additionally, I have looked over Dr. Mac's website (The picture in the tire is absolutely hilarious...I wish I were that creative...). I highly commend it to you all - I am navigating articles, too.

    Finally...I am viewing Dr. Wong's The Effective Teacher series. From the outset, much of his "...it all boils down to procedures..." bit seems a little outdated and outmoded for a high school classroom. Yes, I think procedural routines are in order...but the series seems more aptly aimed at primary grades.

    Kind regards,
    Steven King
     
  16. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    I like the ideas here. Some kids are into sports - this is a small high school that used to be a K-12 in the same building. Before I interviewed there, I had no idea they still existed.

    During my interview, the principal and brand new assistant principal, focused more questions around discipline than anything else. I might be a new teacher...but I am a veteran interviewee and I began sensing there were issues at this small school. Other teachers indicate a relative "chattiness" that ensues in their classrooms.

    The questions boils down (...in my mind) to: Is chattiness to be overcome - or is it really not a big issue [as long as class is mostly working toward goal...]?

    Steven King, MBA
     
  17. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    I sense this...I believe some of the behavior is merely testing "the new guy" stuff. If, however, I went after every chatty cathy...I would spend all period handing out discipline referral notices.

    I want them to feel valued. I think I evoke more fear than anything in them...(they have said, "you're scary"...when hearing about my background in the military, etc.)
     
  18. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    That's funny you say that because when I read the book last summer (I'm elementary) I found several of the chapters to be more geared toward older students.
     
  19. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    I will look at the US Treasury Department website...I think that's a splendid idea.

    The kids that have been placed in my Foundations I and II class seem to be mostly underachievers. They don't see the relevance of school in general, let alone in math specifically.

    I will post more later about course content I'm trying to navigate.

    Steven King
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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  21. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    I forgot to answer this...tobacco and corn.
     
  22. thekingster

    thekingster Rookie

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    Perspective is indeed an interesting thing. I think the part I saw (in the video series) of the "raised hand" to quiet a class gave me pause. I asked my four teenage children - if I teacher did this in your school what would be the response.

    All said - "We'd just keep talking." I countered, "Well, what if that was the clearly communicated procedure?" All my kids said, Dad...kids aren't going to listen to that. If you have talkative kids...you have to separate them. Now that, is what I've tried to do...

    Today's classroom management technique worked like a charm. I think I will invest in a bellhop bell to ding when I want their attention.

    I like the help - it's appreciated...

    Steven King
    New High School teacher
     

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