Reflection: Accountability Multiply and divide positive and negative numbers - Section 2: Play of the Day


If you're looking at this lesson, it might be the beginning of the year.  Which is a great time to be working on something I call "court vision."               

A great point guard sees the entire court at all times, and knows where every one of his/her teammates are, where every one of his/her opponents are, and the clock.  A great teacher, similarly, sees everything that is happening in his/her classroom.  And the kids know it.

                The guiding principle here is, do you know what every kid is doing in your class at every minute?  Now, it’s really hard to do this 100%, but I strive to get as close to this ideal as possible during every minute of instruction.  Teachers develop this skill over time and experience, but it can be accelerated.  A few beginning thoughts/questions to guide you:


  • From your physical position in the room, can you see every kid in the room?  Can they see you?


  • When you change physical positions (for example, when writing on the board or helping an individual student), does your new position allow you to see everyone?


  • Do you have blind spots?  Take some video of yourself or ask a colleague or coach to observe you; you’ll definitely find multiple blind spots – an area of the room that you neglect, a set of kids that you don’t call on or even look at much, etc.  Know these and make adjustments.


  • Do you actually “see” kids and what they are doing/thinking?  Dave Levin, one of my mentors and one of the all-time greats, once said to me that many new teachers look at kids’ foreheads – great teachers look into their eyes.  And see into the depths of their souls.   (OK, I added that last part.  But the point is, see your kids.  Look into their eyes – it will make them feel like you are talking directly to them, and you’ll be able to gauge their level of engagement much better.)


  • Do your kids feel in their bones that you see everything?  Malcolm Gladwell has called this “with-it-ness,” and argues that it is a critical component of great teachers.  Great teachers see problems early and intervene to eliminate them before they become larger problems.  Once in a while, just to remind kids that I see everything (I don’t, but I try to make it seem like it), I’ll say something like: “I feel like in that corner over there, there are 3 kids working really well, which I am so happy with, and one kid who is really off-task.  My hope is that that one kid will fix it on his/her own.”  It is remarkably effective at stopping off-task behavior in a calm way.

  Hone your court vision
  Accountability: Hone your court vision
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Multiply and divide positive and negative numbers

Lesson 3 of 9

Objective: SWBAT multiply and divide positive and negative numbers.

Big Idea: "Same Good Different Bad, UGH!" Tell the story of Max the Caveman and how this relates to multiplying and dividing positive and negative numbers.

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21 teachers like this lesson
Math, Integers, Algebra, Numbers and Operations, properties of algebra, practice and fluency
  75 minutes
1 3 bl image
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