Instructional Openings

Bull Boards

Bull Boards is an instructional strategy to practice a computational or fluency skill throughout the week. The skill should be scaffolded, with simple questions building towards more rigor. I found that a main objective of this should not be to get bogged down with long problems (i.e. long division) but rather to check a thought process. For example, asking what a decimal is when rounded to the tenths, or which place value would be a hundred times bigger. The same skills cycle back throughout the year as a way to keep content fresh and allow us to connect currculum quicker.

Strategy Resources (2)
Students In Action
 
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
I feel like often what holds our kids back is that they view numbers in a totally different way than I do. Often, they see math as a series of steps depending on operations. I believe that a deep understanding of what the numbers and operations mean allow us to manipulate them. Here is a breakdown of how I will scaffold the skill of the week over 5 days.
 
Students In Action
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
I feel like often what holds our kids back is that they view numbers in a totally different way than I do. Often, they see math as a series of steps depending on operations. I believe that a deep understanding of what the numbers and operations mean allow us to manipulate them. Here is a breakdown of how I will scaffold the skill of the week over 5 days.
Daniel Utset-Guerrero
Holmes Elementary School
Miami, FL


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Fifth grade
Similar Strategies
Collaborative Student Groups
Class Tutors

In order to keep the group of students working independently, we have a class tutor who helps with both behavior management and helping students problem solve through their math practice. I select students who demonstrate mastery of the content and also responsibility to manage a class, allowing different students to try during different rotations/classes. The student walks around, helping students troubleshoot through technical issues and math questions as well. Additionally, they have control over the ClassDojo system, awarding students postive points and giving "needs work" points as well.

 
Feedback Systems
Data Review

Data Review is a strategy I use to keep my students motivated to master our Math skills. Every day before class, I place a check mark by the names of students who have mastered a skill according to the previous day's Exit Ticket (please see the "Daily Exit Tickets" strategy video). During class I call out the names of students who have made progress towards mastery (only focusing on positive feedback), and we publicly celebrate those students who have reached mastery on skills that we're focusing on in that particular week. This quick cheer gives students a sense of gratification and success for their previous day's work. As for my students who haven't yet reached mastery, they hear about their peers' successes and consequently feel motivated to work harder to get a check mark for the following day. Because of the power of this quick public feedback, my students are invested in the work that they do throughout the day and the Exit Ticket they take at the end of each class. Data Review helps them see the connections between their daily effort and progress and the achievement of their overall goals.

 
Assessment & Data
Daily Exit Tickets

I use Daily Exit Tickets to assess mastery of the day's objectives and to make sure students have a clear understanding of how they're doing. Students answer a few targeted questions on a Daily Exit Ticket, and the following day we review mastery shown by each student and celebrate their achievement (please see the "Data Review" strategy video). I read out each student's name who achieved mastery, and we quickly celebrate to recognize their hard work. For the students who have not reached mastery yet, this motivates them to keep striving to get that checkmark on the board. Rather than just using outdated student data from summative assessments, Daily Exit Tickets give me and my students a quick read on how they're growing throughout the week. Though these mini-assessments do not connect to my grading system, they allow me to track my students' daily progress throughout each week.

 
 
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