Monthly Archives: September 2011

Differentiating instruction in mathematics class (2)

In the last blog entry I described some concrete strategies for differentiating instruction in mathematics class. That entry described how a teacher can differentiate instruction when teaching the whole class, by placing responsibility on the whole class to work collaboratively to share mathematical ideas and strategies.

A second way to promote differentiation in the maths classroom is through the use of suitable maths problems. Continue reading

Differentiating instruction in mathematics class (1)

When student teachers start teaching mathematics, they find out quickly that children learn differently and at different rates. Consequently, after a period or two of school placement, student teachers appreciate the need to differentiate their instruction for the diverse learners in their classes. But knowing that differentiation in instruction is necessary is different to being able to teach in a way that acknowledges the different rates and ways in which learners learn. “We need to see concrete examples of differentiation” they say.

There are many ways of differentiating and in the next few blog entries I am going to describe some that I use. Continue reading

Excuse Me Please, for Just One Minute…

…why there are too many interruptions in the school day.

When I was a pupil in primary school I used to love visitors calling to our classroom. It might have been the principal distributing the “Snippets” newsletters he had duplicated on the school Gestetner, or the lady from the “Conquer Cancer Campaign” asking us to sell tickets. In my young mind they were a welcome interruption to whatever writing, or reading, listening or singing we were doing in class; they added colour to the monotony of the school day. Continue reading

Repeat the Leaving Certificate in the Same Year? Probably Not Feasible

Repeat exams are taking place in many universities and colleges around the country at this time. For students who failed an exam the first time, repeats offer a second chance for students to demonstrate their knowledge in a subject area. Failing an exam the first time round is usually a sign that a student didn’t work as hard or as strategically as he or she needed to during the year. Or perhaps the student didn’t do justice to what he or she knew the first time. Continue reading