Paula Johnson

Creating Dynamic Math Classrooms – Podcast Episode 77 | Classnotes Podcast 77

Classnotes Podcast (September 8, 2010) Effective math instruction at the secondary level engages students to be active participants in their learning. As a result, students learn to transfer their knowledge to become powerful problem solvers. So what does a dynamic secondary classroom look like? Paula Johnson, M.A., IDRA’s new education associate and former high school math department coordinator, describes how the classroom environment, instructional strategies and use of technology can help students develop critical thinking skills while learning math content.

Paula is interviewed by Laurie Posner, MPA, an IDRA education associate.

Show length: 16:33

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Show Notes

  • Paula Johnson, M.A., an IDRA education associate, talks about first discovering her passion for teaching math, and how she was inspired by her teachers.

  • Paula discusses the importance of not giving students "all the pieces to the puzzle" to a math problem, and instead challenging them to complete the "quest" on their own.

  • Paula explains how she counsels students to stretch themselves by taking higher-level math courses.

  • Paula summarizes the elements of a "dynamic" math classroom.

  • Paula offers advice for math teachers working with English language learners.

  • Paula addresses the classroom tension between conceptual and procedural math knowledge.

  • Paula talks about the impact that new technologies such as graphing calculators and interactive websites can have for engaging students in the classroom.

  • Paula explains why she approaches teaching and mentoring by starting with the end goal first.