TMC18 ended about a month ago, and I have been thinking about my #1TMCThing ever since. I have attended a lot of great sessions in TMC, and anyone of those ideas from the sessions could be my #1TMCThing. The thing is, I will be teaching at a new school, in a new country, with new curriculum (IB MYP), and with new student population (90% English Language Learner). In addition to that, I will also be working on graduate school coursework while teaching.

With all the transitions into consideration, my #1TMCThing this year will be making learning accessible to all learners (EL focused). The first four years of my teaching have been focused on:

  1. Surviving
  2. Building positive relationship with the students
  3. Classroom management
  4. Understanding standards and unit design
  5. Encouraging sense making and student discourse
  6. Problem based learning

While I have not mastered most of those aspects of teaching, the need for me to step up my game in teaching ELLs suddenly became greater this year. There are so many great sessions in TMC and I thoroughly enjoyed all my sessions. Unfortunately, I also missed out on many other great sessions. Looking back, I am still puzzled on how I managed to not choose a single session on teaching ELs in TMC18. Thankfully TMC is more than a four-day camp. The wiki page and the people I met were supportive beyond those four days.

So how do I make learning accessible to my EL students? Here’s what I stole from Sara VanDerWerf:

  1. I would like to encourage students discourse using Stand & Talk routine
    • The goal is to have “students say it before I say it”.
  2. EL Strategies for the Secondary Math Classroom
    • I got this from TMC wiki page and find it very helpful even though I did not get to attend this session
  3. Always believe that my students are 30 seconds away from understanding the concept

I will also try to do what I felt comfortable doing in the past few years, such as getting students to talk through routines like Which One Doesn’t Belong, #NoticeWonder, and Number Talks.. I am curious to see how well they work with my students and how I can make it more effective for my students.

Hope that I’ll find a way that works for me and my students in Kazan, Russia to learn and enjoy math.


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