Classroom Management

In this section I’ve included a number of forms, outlines, and letters that I’ve used with my classes. At the beginning of the year I pass out the description of how the class will be conducted, including the class rules, social skills, homework, and grading policies. A letter is sent home to parents explaining all of this. During the first few days of the school term I pass out the semester schedule of class activities, homework assignments, and last year’s final exam to the students. The students know what material they are going to experience and when they are going to receive it. With last year’s final exam in front of them, they see their year end objective.  Samples of these classroom handouts can be downloaded below. They are titled:

•   Introductory Outline for our Geometry Course CMOutlineGeoCourse (PDF)

•   Geometry Class Policies and Expectations CMClassPolExpect (PDF)

•   Geometry Semester Calendars

•   Homework Sheet Spring Grading Period S.3

A very important part of my geometry curriculum is the Student Notebook. The Student Notebook is a 3-ring binder with six sections: Notes/Homework, Chapter Summaries, Definitions, Investigations, Conjectures, Journal, and for my honors class, a seventh section, Postulates and Theorems.  After a large number of geometry vocabulary terms have been developed for van Hiele level 1 understanding, I give a vocabulary qualifying exam (VQE) [1].   When a student passes the VQE they have earned the right to use their notes for all tests for the rest of the year.

Grading notebooks is very time consuming and takes valuable energy away from the students. Whenever you can turn a task of yours into a learning experience for your student, it helps everyone. I create detailed rubrics for assessing the notebooks and the students do most of the notebook evaluations.  Samples of these classroom handouts can be downloaded below.  They are titled:

•   Vocabulary Qualifying Exam CMVocabQualExam (PDF)

•   Notebook Evaluation Sheet CMGeoNotebookEval (PDF)

I do not take homework home to grade. I turn the task into a learning experience for the students by having them do the lion’s share of the homework evaluation. I created a homework log sheet so students become responsible for monitoring the amount of homework attempted by members of their group.   A sample of the Homework Log is available here. CMHomeworkLog (PDF)

[1] The vocabulary qualifying exam is a 48-item exam. On one side of the exam paper there are 24 terms.  The student is to sketch and correctly label the figure that matches each term. On the other side of the exam paper there are 24 geometric figures. The student is to give the term that correctly matches with the figure.