Switch and Adapt

Every new school year brings forth a new crop of students. It is amazing how the climate of the classroom changes with this seemingly small change. You can have; the same staff in the school, the same classroom, the same resources, the same timetable, and things are different just because of the mix of students who get placed in your class.

With one month down of the school year I am starting to know my students and their abilities. I know when they do their best work and what subject areas they are having trouble with. This year math seems to be a difficult area for them and they seem to do the best work in the morning.

I have traditionally started the school day with language arts. The students come in and write a journal. We then do word study, spelling, and reading lessons. I prefer to teach math after lunch.

My students have been doing the language arts activities well and math is something they have been struggling with. I am not sure if it is related to the time of the day or not. All I know is that the school day can seem really long to the students and it might work best to do the more difficult and challenging work in the morning.

So I decided to switch my timetable a bit to adapt to my new class. So on Friday, I tried math first thing in the morning and it seemed to work. On Monday I am starting a new timetable that has me teaching math first thing in the morning and language arts after lunch. I think this will work.

I like the fact that if the students finish their journals or spelling work early, they will now be able to go back and work on any math they were unable to finish in the morning. This seems like a perfect solution. I think it makes best use of the time and I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this sooner.

5 responses to “Switch and Adapt”

  1. I remember reading somewhere that maths classes are normally held in the morning because that’s when the brain is more alert for mathematical computations. Heh.

  2. Thanks ECD, that means a lot.

    Chipazoid: I think you are right. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. I have been teaching math after lunch now for three years. This is a little experiment to see if the time of day actually makes a difference. I am not sure that it does.

  3. I always thought math would be easier to handle in the afternoon just because I’d be more awake. But so far, having geometry first thing in the morning is actually working out really well.