Mr. Jean-Baptiste – Reflections on Starting the Year

Hey everybody! My name is Scotty Jean-Baptiste one of the two Mathematics corps leaders for the 2014-2015 school year! I am a 2013 corps member at Ruleville Middle School where I serve as the 8th Pre-Algebra teacher. I’m really looking forward to working with everybody this year. Our content group is filled with some truly impressive people that I can’t wait to learn from and share resources with.

My main focus when lesson planning for a day is to limit the amount of talking that I do to between 5 to 15. The fact of the matter is students have to constantly be talking to each other about mathematics, playing mathematical games, taking part in activities, writing detailed responses to mathematics, etc. The only way for our students to truly receive a holistic mathematics education is by constantly DOING, and not just being spoken to by their teacher. I truly believe that spending the majority of a class period just talking at them really limits the potential development of critical thinking skills.

The only type of homework that I plan on assigning to my students is a discovery like worksheet that the students will be required to teach to their parents. This assignment will be given every Friday and must be returned to my class on Monday with their parent’s signature at the bottom of the page. At least three times a week I will visit the homes of my students and record them delivering the weekly discovery lesson to their parents. These recordings will be presented to the class in the following Monday and they will be graded by their classmates on their mathematical accuracy, mathematical vocabulary, representations, and delivery. I believe that this will develop the leadership skills of my students and instilling a sense of ownership over the work that they are doing in my classroom!

During the first few weeks of school I plan on introducing myself to parents via phone calls. Right now I’m planning on making four phone calls a night until I have introduced myself to every single parent. Also, I plan on making two phone calls a night to parents even after I’ve introduced myself to everyone in order to keep up the communication between me and the families of my students.

Throughout the entire school year, but especially during the first few weeks, I plan on making visits to my co-workers classrooms. I believe that classroom observations is a vital part of constantly improving as a teacher so I will always be reaching out to other teachers at my school in order to continuously improve my own craft.

Again, I am really excited to be working with y’all this year. Please feel free to contact me at any time. Have fun and enjoy your first few weeks at school!

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One thought on “Mr. Jean-Baptiste – Reflections on Starting the Year

  1. Hey Scottie! You have some really great ideas that you mentioned to start the year. I have a few questions about the discovery-like worksheets that you mentioned. One question is when you say ‘record’ do you mean video taping them and then showing the video to the class on Monday? Also, I’m wondering if you could send me an example of one of the worksheets. Thanks man!

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