Sunday, August 26, 2012

Useful teaching technique

If I have a concept that I really want my students (high school algebra 1) to remember, I will occasionally deliver the key point while standing on my desk.  It's a simple thing, but they will ALL be looking at you while you are up there.  I have a schtick that I do every year when I'm teaching them the idea "Whatever you do to one side of the equation, you do to the other".  I was inspired by my high school composition teacher who taught me the immortal phrase "You can't write what you don't know" using a similar technique.  I explain the tribute to my high school teacher, then I repeat the phrase to be learned while I am in places they don't expect to see me.  I usually go out in the hall, peek around the door frame and say the magic phrase.  Then I hide behind the desk, peek over the top and say it again.  Other things may make more sense in your classroom, be creative :-)  I finish by climbing on the desk and doing a little call and response routine with them "okay, first this half of the room, repeat after me..."  You get the idea.  They don't forget this and it's fun.


  1. How fun! I'm afraid of heights, so standing on my desk is high enough to make my knees week. :(

  2. This does sound like something students would remember and talk about. It's fun to be an occasional goof in front of students - they like to know we're human, and honest enthusiasm for what we're teaching makes an impact. Maybe I'll try this sometime this year... one day when I'm not wearing heels. :)