Any questions? Math teachers have the answers

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Teacher Ryan Coenen's math classes work in small groups.

By Cassandra Long

Many kids in Atlantic High School don’t get their questions answered.  Teachers may never notice that these kids need help.  This is not because the teachers aren’t willing to help the students.  Some students are scared or don’t know how to speak up and ask.  Students could also be embarrassed because nobody else in the class is asking for help.  Teachers have different ways of helping students.

Math teacher Ryan Coenen says using small groups of four to five students helps him see if some kids are struggling.  If he sees kids struggling, he can then pull them aside and give them some one-on-one help.

Not all teachers work this way.  Some teachers, like math teacher Shiela Hayden, have different ways of helping answer questions.  Hayden opens up class with questions students had on their assignment.  She works through the problems then kids are allowed to check them.  After checking their assignments, students can ask any other questions that might have developed after checking their work.

Quiet classes can make it hard for students to speak up about their questions. When asked if it is easier to teach a class that asks questions and generates ideas or a quiet class Coenen said, “Quiet kills.”  With a quiet class, not many questions get asked.  Kids who ask questions when they don’t understand will learn more than kids that go without asking questions.

Most of the time when a student has a question they’re not the only one in the class that needs the same question answered.  Teachers continue to encourage students to ask questions.

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