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Math Teaching Tips Page

Cover the syllabus. Prepare students for the next course. Pass on students who are unprepared.
Learn students' names.
Call on them by name.
Talk to the board. Instead, write, turn and explain.
Try to have everyone involved. Always rely on a few students to answer questions.
Soften comments to wrong answers:
e.g. That was partly right, or Let's try it your way and see what happens.
Make students feel like their answer was stupid. e.g. You have the brains of a carrot.
Give students a problem, walk around and see how they are doing on it. Work examples without getting feedback.
Be clear about what will be on the test. Study guides are helpful in many cases. Expect them to be independent learners in the lower courses. They'll need guidance.
Try to give them at least a couple of test problems where they have to think a little. Put the hardest problems at the beginning of the exam, especially in lower courses.
Assume they know some math from previous courses. You can remind them how things are done without re-teaching their whole previous class. Skip steps, even if they seem obvious to you.
Occasionally wait a few seconds for a response. Always expect someone in the class to answer immediately.

Want professional development credit? Have a project in mind?
Center for Teaching Excellence

Students having trouble keeping up?
Academic Achievement Center

Send suggestions and comments to:
Larry Friesen, Mathematics Lead
Butler County Community College
El Dorado, KS 67042

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