After writing my first two reflections for Students to fill out, I realized that how I reflect on them is just as important as me allowing Students to reflect on their work. My goal is to try and write down questions for observations or thoughts I have when I read through students exit tickets.

Teacher Reflection Day 1:

From student responses, what skills do I need to address whole group? Which ones are addressed small groups? Individual?

What problem types do they think they understand, but really don’t?

What problems should I put on future assessments to ensure they have problems they feel safe with?

My new students this year have answered the first two questions in a typical fashion to all of my other years. Basic adding and multiplying (sometimes subtracting) seems to be the limit of the comfort zone for my students. This is very sad since I teach 7-12th grade this year. I realize some students may be “playing the game”, but the fact that these are semi-private journal questions where they don’t’ have to hide or hold back concerns me.

You really have to love it when you get responses like this….

I am going to visit with this student, either his writing is too sloppy and he meant that as an addition sign, or he considers multiplication repeated addition- which could lead to some complications when he starts larger computations.

The following seems to be the general consensus for my classes, and has been for a few years:

Typically when students answer graphs, they are talking about bar, pictographs or circle graphs. Fractions and Division are still large headaches for my students. Addition always seems to be the go-to for any “easy” math problem.

Just when you think you have your classes figured out, you get responses like this:

Algebra and Geometry are strengths? Using your head instead of a calculator? WOOT! But the division and word problems keep creeping in the background. Timesing with big numbers I am not sure about. I will have to get back to that student to see what context they are referring to.

The response that really made my day (and ruined it) was this one:

I love that a favorite problem is actually working with a variable. The student has the correct answer above, but then proceeds to make a small error with the algorithm they know for solving equations. Was one done mentally? What does the student know about the process? I am unsure what direction this conference will go.

For now, I know that other than basic skills, students still do not have a lot of math confidence, which is typical. They also do not like fractions and division, also typical. This year I will have to make sure to get them exposed to some different approaches to these subjects so they can build the information and confidence they need to be successful.