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Resources for New Teachers

Right now, as I’m writing this, I am a first year teacher who has been asked to speak to the current batch of preservice student teachers at the University of Arizona, which is the same program I graduated from. A year ago, I was in their shoes.

I wanted to compile a list of resources with the theme of “I wish I had seen this before I started teaching – hell, before I started student teaching”. It’s intended to be food-for-thought for the up-and-coming preservice teacher who has been given a lot of theory and techniques and advice but now faces the challenge of synthesizing all of these ideas into something that works in their classroom. In my opinion, the best people to talk to about this are other teachers who have experimented and tried similar things in their own classroom. Which is why most of this list contains blog posts from teachers I respect whose ideas, strategies, and reflections have given me the food-for-thought I needed to try my own experiments and helped pinpoint where my problems are and how to fix them. I’ve said it before – the Blogotwittersphere is one of the best resources out there for a new teacher.

I don’t know what the etiquette is for including yourself on a list like this, but I only included myself once. Hopefully that doesn’t make me too much of a narcissist.

By the way – if you, curious reader, have something to contribute – feel free to add it in the comments

So, here it is – the Get-You-Thinking List of Resources for New Teachers

Wanna discover more math blogs?

  1. Daniel (or do I call you Mathy?),

    A great list… and not just for new teachers.

    One resource that I wished I had as a new teacher is “5 Practices for Orchestrating Math Discussions” by Peg Smith. Christopher Danielson writes about it here: NCTM members can download the article that Dan Meyer mentions in the comments here: Smith et al present a model for planning whole class discussions that will result in greater understanding than asking “Who wants to go next?” I noticed that students teachers in my classroom would often circulate, but when I’d later ask “What did you notice?” they’d draw a blank. (I’m sure I did the same.) The 5 practices will have student teachers circulating with purpose – planning the discussion that best allows students to make connections.

    In the same category as the worksheet generators listed, I’d recommend using Tarsia to create jigsaws and have students work on them in small groups. Again, wish I new about this earlier.


  2. Correction – the case of Mr. Crane (mentioned by Dan) can be found here:

  3. Something not in your list which I would strongly recommend to new teachers: getting anonymous feedback from their students to help improve their teaching. You won’t look back once you start! If I may be so bold …

  4. Judie permalink

    I like what you did with the exit tickets, but I noticed the blog was written in 2012 before Common Core. Can you tell me what you do now for homework? Exit tickets? How often do you collect the exit tickets and grade them for accuracy? How often do you assign homework? I was thinking of letting the study guides for the exams be their homework this year. In previous years I assigned homework every night but Friday, and like you it was meaningless because students either didn’t do it or did it incorrectly. I spent so much time going over homework that it cut into the lesson and became a snowball effect. My district does not allow us to grade homework for accuracy, so it was telling me nothing about how well my students understood the material. I would appreciate any feedback you could give me.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Resources for New Teachers & A Rant « Mathy McMatherson
  2. Top Math Teaching Blogs | Numeric and Psychological Transformation


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