Today I was visiting co-teachers at Wachter Middle School in Bismarck, ND. I was so excited to see this simple strategy being used in an Intro to Algebra class.
Each student had their own 3-ring math binder to store relevant papers and homework. The binders were the kind with the clear plastic cover, into which you can slide a piece of paper. Instead of inserting papers that had their name, class period, or other text, these students had blank pages inserted.
For the bell ringer activity, students grabbed dry erase markers and used their binders as white boards to work the math problems. They could easily hold them up so that the teachers could check their answers, then wipe them off. (Inside the binder were notes and handouts so that students had easy access to resources if they were stumped.) Another class uses the same idea, with a piece of graph paper inserted in the back so that students can quickly graph data. In the middle of a lesson, teachers asked students to silently respond by writing on their binder and holding it up - an easy formative assessment tool.
What a resourceful idea for using materials already available!
Anne M. Beninghof
Anne's mission is to improve instruction through collaboration and the sharing of creative, practical ideas for educators.
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