On Friday, February 15th, I went to observe Adam Smith’s math class at the Environmental Sciences Magnet School. The classroom tables were organized into groups of three, with some having only two kids (possibly because some were absent from school). The first class I observed were all separated by gender, and the second class was mostly the same, a few table groups were mixed genders.
Mr. Smith gave his lecture of multiplication and variables through the use of a power point and projector. There was a heavy focus on attempting to get the kids to treat variables as something different than both letters and variables. Kids would be asked questions throughout the lecture on how to do the problems and would raise their hands to answer these questions. As is somewhat expected, it was mostly the same kids volunteering to answer each time. The questions asked were mostly going from step to step on how to solve each problem instead of just asking for the final answer.
There would also be a time period to work on problems in a workbook that each student had. During these time periods, students either worked with their table partners, or alone if Mr. Smith requested it. Mr. Smith would then walk around the room to check on how each student was doing. At the end of class, an “exit slip” is given out for each student to do as well. This slip and homework was turned in before the students leave.