Showing posts from February, 2015

Laying a Foundation with Kagan Heterogeneous Seating Groups

I'm all for small group instruction. Narrowing down that student-teacher ratio from 22 or 26:1 to 4 or 5:1 is ideal for my understanding where my kids are and for directed instruction that the students stay engaged in. A few questions arise when you dip your toe into a workshop model of instruction . Here are a few I had: 1. How do I group my kids? See Below. 2. What do the other kids do while I pull a small group? It depends. Coming soon. 3. How do I manage behavior in a station/center/rotation atmosphere? See #2. 4. What do I do once my kids are in small group? See #2. I can answer Question #1 today. Heterogeneous grouping a la Kagan. I recently attended a Kagan training that our school hosted. You can buy the book online, as I did prior to attending the training, but the training itself is very helpful in understanding the idiosyncrasies of using the cooperative learning strategies. This is NOT a curriculum. Its a great way to access curriculum in a team building, com

Beg, Borrow, and Steal

A new role model of mine, whom you can find on Twitter @TechNinjaTodd, stood up at our most recent PD and announced that everything he was showing us that he had done was an idea he learned from someone else. He did not present a single unique idea. Except that he totally did. Unique in the way that no one in our district talked about developing themselves through social media. He gave us permission to seek out greatness even if no one supported our movement. He gave us permission to teach 50% academics and 50% life. He is a game changer. I want to be a game changer. It's so refreshing to hear that someone that amazing (super high testing scores in a very low SES population) is simply copying his favorite ideas from other people. When I meet someone so great, I tend to immediately throw myself into this other category of "not good enough." I was on a personal high on Friday from co-leading a Math Workshop PD. My teammate and I had gotten some great feedback that had us

My Inaugural Revolutionary Moment

There is absolutely nothing revolutionary about me starting a blog. In fact, this is not the first blog I have ever had. I had one in college, and one when my husband and I started our family. No, the creation of the blog itself is not revolutionary. The potential it has is.  Yesterday, I sat through my school district's Inaugural Learning Together Conference. It was the first of its kind because we had over 120 presenters, most of whom are teachers in our district. For the first time, the C&I department allowed our own to teach what they had learned about best practice. Also for the first time, the C&I department allowed the staff to choose what sessions we attended. Over the two day conference, we were able to choose where we spent 6 of those 12 hours. That was revolutionary for us.  A quick back story on me, I am a bit of a narcissist. Not because I had a privileged life and have a misplaced sense of entitlement. No, quite the opposite. Through the help of key peopl