use every minute possible!
Another strategy i use is to use every single minute i have with my students. math is a difficult subject for most students, and they need multiple examples before the concept sticks. there is never a down minute in my class. As a middle school math teacher, it is natural that the kids start packing up five minutes before the bell.....grrrrr! to counter this, i tried numerous tactics....the threat (more homework folks), covering up the clock or taking it down altogether (hehehe), and then gave up and read to them the last five minutes. Which I know...you are thinking...why? she's a math teacher. Well, let's face it, even adults enjoy being read to. many of them are not read to at home as a child, and they sat there soaking up every word (even ones i stubbled on - i was never the best reader). I eventually got to the point where i only read on fridays during the last five minutes of class. So...what did i do the rest of the week you ask. that those few minutes when kiddos pack up and are gearing up to move to their next class, I prepped my ticket out the door. most folks who use ticket out the door give the entire class a math problem, students solve it on a slip of paper, and hand it to the teacher on their way out. Well, i changed mine up. I knew vocabulary was a big struggle for many students, as well as applying the vocabulary. So I made about 30 ticket out the door cards, which ask various questions. I leveled them with stars to remind me of which questions are easy, medium, and hard. Therefore, every student gets a different question on their way out (and I purposely ask different students different questions based on their level). Here is what one set looks like...
You can't see the stars for levels on this one because I added it after I printed these. These questions focus on place value, rounding, greater/less than, expanded form, prime/composite, factors, multiples, odd/even, and doubling numbers. I plan to make one bundle per objective, place value, geometry, measurement, probability, and patterns. I use this as a ticket out the door, but it can also be used for a restroom break if you go as a class or any transition time. hope you find a good use for them.