Reflection: Positive Reinforcement Introduction to Series and Partial Sums - Section 1: Warm-up


In my first year of teaching I had a difficult time getting a particular group of students to fully engage.  They did their homework sporadically and were either on- or off- task during class, depending on the day.  I scoured blogs and teaching books for ideas about how to motivate these students.  I ended up using an in-class currency system I learned about at "Vicki's Wiki."

Early on, I distributed "math bucks" as rewards for good homework and classwork.  This was an effective way to change the climate to one where strong effort was expected.  When students did very thorough work on their homework, I would award one math buck.  The math bucks could be used for a homework pass (one pass = 5 bucks) or for extra credit on a unit exam (one point = 3 bucks).  I was very surprised how excited students were about earning these bucks and very few students used them for passes.

My teaching has evolved since these early days and I have, for the most part, figured out ways to create a culture of high expectations without this system, which started to feel time consuming after a while.  However, for a particularly unmotivated class, I still pull these out.  I've learned that they can be introduced even in the middle of the year with a good result.  

  Rewards in the Math Classroom
  Positive Reinforcement: Rewards in the Math Classroom
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Introduction to Series and Partial Sums

Unit 1: Sequences and Series
Lesson 6 of 13

Objective: SWBAT explain the definition of series and partial sums and how they are useful in modeling.

Big Idea: A series is the sum of terms of a sequence.

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3 teachers like this lesson
Math, Algebra, geometric patterns, arithmetic patterns, sequences, partial sums
  90 minutes
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