This week in our EMTH 351 class we were discussing chapter 8 from Becoming a Reflective Mathematics Teacher by Alice F. Artzt. What really caught my attention was the Case of Maria, which was interesting because she had her class chorus respond to her questions. Right away I knew that this wouldn’t be beneficial in a classroom, most of the students would be off task and either not respond or only pretend to respond. As well Maria was only able to hear the “right” answer. When you ask questions and expect only a chorus response you lose a lot of your students attention. Personally, i would never want to use this strategy in my classroom, it is just pulling the wool over the teachers eyes. You “think” that all the students are understanding what is going on but that’s not the case. Especially in a math class where it is sometimes crucial for students to understand the basics before carrying on. If they don’t understand the base knowledge than it can almost impossible to build on.
Another thing that I thought was interesting during this case was how influential the Coop teacher can be. As a new teacher (especially one who isn’t finished school yet) it can be extremely frightening to disagree with them. When going into a classroom that is not yours, you are not going to disrupt what they have going on unless they give you full support. I think in Maria’s case that the chorus response was greatly influenced by the Coop, Maria thought she saw her Coop was getting great responses so she thought it would work well in her class. As a new teacher she was excited to have some students answering her questions even though there wasn’t any benefits from it. I hope as a new teacher that I don’t fall into routine that doesn’t work with my students.
Another really interesting thing that came up during this class was questioning in the classroom. I think that it really important to be able to create “good” questions for students, but it is something that teachers need to work on. As an inexperienced teacher I know it will take sometime to come up with “good” questions and that I will have to come prepared to my class with the questions that I want to ask. As I gain more experience I will hopefully not have to be as detailed as I have to be now.