Interact for Impact

  • Interact for Impact

    Read more on how to implement these tips:

    Teacher to Teacher: Seek out other teachers in your school and community to share with and learn from. Use online platforms or educational communities, such as X (formerly Twitter) chats or Facebook groups, to connect and exchange ideas. Make an appointment to observe others' classes and ask for others to come to see yours. Reflect on what you've learned and how you can apply it to your own teaching practice. Be mindful of equity and representation in observations, ensuring that diverse perspectives are valued. 

    Teacher to Network: Expand your professional circle by exploring online communities dedicated to math education. Join forums, professional learning networks (PLNs), or social media groups specifically for math teachers. These communities offer a wealth of opportunities: collaborate with colleagues worldwide, discuss teaching strategies, and share resources. Stay ahead of the curve by attending online webinars or conferences. Discover and share high-quality math lesson plans, activities, and teaching materials. 

    Explore the myNCTM community for online networking and resources. Follow NCTM’s social media accounts and use hashtags like #MathChat or #MTBoS (Math Teachers Blogosphere) to connect with a global network of educators. Additionally, get involved with state affiliates and affinity groups to further expand your network and access region-specific resources and support. By actively participating in these online spaces and local organizations, you'll gain valuable insights and resources to enhance your teaching practice and keep it fresh and engaging for your students. 

    InteractTeacher to Students: Ask thought-provoking questions to spark critical thinking, and actively listen to students' responses and ideas. Embrace silence, giving them adequate wait time to formulate thoughtful answers. Consider incorporating diverse learning styles through visual aids, audio descriptions, or Braille materials to ensure inclusivity for everyone. The key? Empower student voices! Whenever possible, let students explain concepts to each other. This shift fosters collaboration, reinforces understanding, and empowers all students to actively participate in the learning journey. 

    Students to Teacher: Make them a partner in learning; ask for feedback often. You'll earn respect from your students as they realize you are considering and incorporating their opinions. Productivity will increase, and classroom management problems will decrease. Consider involving students in the decision-making process, such as soliciting their input on lesson plans or activities, to increase student engagement and ownership. 

    Teacher to Parents/Guardians: Establish clear communication channels with parents from the beginning to foster a strong home-school partnership. Schedule individual meetings early in the term to introduce yourself and connect with each family. Regularly share positive aspects of students' performance and effort. Utilize a variety of communication methods like email, online platforms, or newsletters to keep parents informed about classroom activities, curriculum updates, and important school events. Most importantly, ask for parents' preferred communication method (email, phone calls, etc.) to ensure they receive the information most effectively. 

    Strong parent communication is the cornerstone of student success. Offer a variety of options to connect, like email, online platforms, or newsletters, and make a commitment to respond promptly to inquiries (e.g., within 24 hours). Schedule individual or group meetings early in the term and throughout the year. Be flexible and understanding of parents' different communication preferences. Open communication builds strong home-school partnerships, keeps parents engaged, and creates a more positive learning environment for all. 

    Teacher to Administration: Instead of waiting passively, invite administrators to observe a particularly engaging lesson or student project you're confident in. Prepare a space for them, provide all necessary handouts, and communicate your desire for specific feedback on strengths and areas for improvement before they observe. Follow up afterwards to discuss their observations. This proactive approach positions observation as a collaborative learning experience, fostering open communication and a shared commitment to improving student success.

    Students to Parents/Guardians: Strengthen the home-school connection by sending math activities home that encourage parent participation. This accomplishes several goals: it clarifies your expectations for student learning, gives parents a glimpse into the curriculum, and fosters their appreciation for your students' academic journey. Remember, not all families have the same availability, so consider offering activities that can be completed with various levels of involvement. This could include discussions, online resources, or open-ended projects. Provide translations for these activities to ensure all families can participate fully. By including guardians or mentors as potential participants, you broaden the support network for your students and create a collaborative learning environment that extends beyond the classroom walls.

    Students to Students: Recognize that students learn best in diverse ways. Don’t be the sole source of information! Embrace student-to-student interaction by allowing them to explain concepts to each other in their own words. This deepens understanding and caters to various learning styles. Incorporate group problem-solving activities and encourage students to organize their work on visuals like posters or whiteboards. Presenting their solutions to the class further solidifies learning and provides valuable peer feedback. Allow students to observe other groups and share what they see and hear with their own group, promoting knowledge mobility. Before offering your own insights, solicit feedback from other students, fostering critical thinking and a collaborative learning environment. This shift empowers students to take ownership of their learning and builds confidence in their abilities to explain and understand complex concepts. 

    Students to Mathematics Content: Move beyond traditional lectures and ignite a passion for math! Provide opportunities for students to construct their own understanding of concepts through interactive lessons. Instead of passively receiving information, empower them to become active participants in their learning journey. This can be achieved through hands-on activities, collaborative projects, or exploration of online resources like NCTM's Illuminations, which offers a treasure trove of interactive applets for all grade levels (PreK-12). By fostering a student-centered approach and encouraging exploration, you can transform math class into a dynamic and engaging environment where students develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. 

    Teacher/School to Community: Bring math to life by connecting classroom learning to real-world experiences.  

    • Community guest speakers: Invite local professionals to speak on topics that align with your curriculum. This could be an engineer discussing structures, a chef explaining budgeting and proportions, or a data analyst showcasing statistics in action. Following the presentation, create a lesson that builds on the speaker's insights, solidifying the connection between math and real-world applications. 
    • Community service projects: Organize service-learning projects that incorporate math skills. For example, collaborate with a local homeless shelter to plan and prepare a holiday dinner. Students can estimate ingredient quantities based on the number of guests, develop a budget, and even track progress through graphs and charts.