How To...Teacher Moves

In my own personal effort to #ExpandMTBoS, I'm starting a new category of blog posts called 'How To' so I can share the strategies behind the resource. I hope new and veteran teachers alike can find something useful. Click on the tag to the right for more posts!

This is a collection of ideas and resources that I've read and wanted to use or have already used.

Get presenter’s to the front. One can only speak and the other can only point. They explain their thinking for one pair. Keep this light, safe and fun. If a student does not explain clearly enough or missing key elements, just let it go, they will most likely come out in later explanations.

Ask a student in the class to re-explain the presenter’s thinking.

"Get low" in the classroom so students don't look to you as the answer keeper.

Students write two truths and a lie about a function or math problem; see here for variations; include these type of questions on assessments.

Grade or give feedback with two or more highlighters.

When students say:

  • "What do I do next?" reply with "What do you think?"
  • "What do I do next?" reply with "How did you start?"
  • "Is this right?" reply with "What did you do?"
  • "Can you help me?" reply with "What should you do first?"
  • "I got the wrong answer." reply with "Can you find a mistake in your work?"
When asking students to share their responses with the class, say "Thank you" to acknowledge their answers without confirming if it's right or wrong. Practice that poker face!

Put self-assessment questions on quizzes and tests for students to reflect on what they think they know.

Include quadratic equations when teaching solving systems by substitution. {Great idea Meg!}

Help address gaps, spiral content, self-test, study, or review by giving students index card problems as they enter the room. You can make an answer key or have students line up or sit down based on the answers they get. {Thanks Nora!}

You can jump a few DOK levels by reversing the question....give students math problems and ask them what they solve instead of asking them to do the calculation. {Learn more from Fawn}

Here are three quick games to play when you have extra time in class that involve some strategy and logic. Always be prepared; this is a great back up. {Thanks to Julie!}

Sarah Carter shares four of her favorite review games. I know I always have my default games so it's great to mix it up with some new ideas. Here's another collection from Kim that I really loved and have gotten away from.

I am a huge fan of card sorts but this post really inspired me to kick mine up a notch. These ideas work great for INBs, individual studying, and pair practice. {Love these Brigid!}


  1. Thank you for this post. It has taken me HOURS to get through it because I've clicked on every.single.link. Loved every idea and plan to implement them. Great ideas - glad you shared.

  2. Glad to be of service! A lot of these have sat in a blog post draft all school year. What good does that do anyone? It's easier to find if I just post it since I can search my blog. Lol