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Watch as a teaching evaluator helps a teacher make her classroom more collaborative. Observe a math lesson about decimals and another that shows students using pattern blocks to explore fractions. Visit a classroom where a teacher turns students' mistakes into a teaching strategy. Learn six tips for how new teachers and mentors can work together. Aiming for Excellence - Group Dynamics in 3rd Grade Math - Janelle Jackson's classroom is observed by teacher evaluator Barbara VanDenberg. She suggests Ms. Jackson try pushing her students to work in groups and new questioning strategies. Watch the changes as Ms. J puts these suggestions in action. Great Lesson Ideas - Decimals - Tiffani Poirier uses the game "Fill Two" to solidify her students' understanding of adding tenths and hundredths. Students draw cards of different decimal amounts, add the amounts, and color in the corresponding amount in a ten by ten grid. The player who comes closest to a total of two wins. Great Lesson Ideas - What Fraction of this Shape is Red? - Students create patterns using pattern blocks. Then they pose a question to their peers like, "What fraction of my shape is red?" Students describe their answers geometrically, verbally, and in writing. Great Lesson Ideas - My Favorite No - Leah Alcala gives her students a warm-up problem at the beginning of every class, which they solve on index cards. She quickly sorts through them, and from the wrong answers chooses her "favorite no." She and her kids then analyze what's right about the solution before delving in to what the writer doesn't understand that led them to answer incorrectly. New Teacher Survival Guide - Mentoring - Asia Franks, a second year teacher at Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science in New York City, receives professional and emotional support from two veteran colleagues. Her mentors help her identify specific and achievable goals, visit her classroom to provide feedback on the lessons, and remind her that she cannot focus on doing everything at once. Six tips for new teachers are shared that are key components of an effective support system/mentoring program for teachers new to the classroom.
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