Showing posts from March, 2015

Teaching Their Hearts-Raising Your EQ

Everything happens for a reason, right? In February, my district did a Learning Together PD where it was formatted like an edcamp, but with the sessions pre-determined. I was supposed to attend a session with an outside consultant that the district has been working with for the past 3 years, but I misunderstood the directive and thought it was optional and I opted out. Serendipity led me to a session by Mo O'Brien. She's a middle school teacher in our district and her session tag line was about supporting students emotionally. This is an area I wanted to grow, so I signed up for this slot. Rewind-I had just finished co-leading my own session, and based on verbal feedback I was feeling like a real bad-ass. After an hour with Mo, I was put back in my place. This firecracker has created an LLC for the Schools of Tomorrow  and has got to be hands down, the nicest person I've ever met. She just radiates kindess, and that was her whole message. I've taken several things

Math Workshop: Stations and Small Group Instruction

With the help of one of my teammates, her knowledge from Math Workshop conferences, as well as my own scouring of blogs, I've thought through several station options. I only implement about 5 of these, but as this is my first year of Math Workshop, I expect to expand my horizons next year. The options for stations are: Small Group Instruction Fact Fluency Technology Math Games Notebooking/Vocabulary Interdisciplinary Spiral Practice/Weak Standards Great. Now what? Find the stuff for the centers. The quicker they are to acquire, the more likely you are to do them :) I started with what I had on hand. My stations look something like this: Small Group Instruction - 4-5 students and I working with manipulatives, white boards, and having think alouds and problem solving discussions Fact Fluency - flash cards, mad minute timed test (self check) Technology - online leveled practice (Think Through Math, iStation Math) or discovering how to use an app and creating

Math Workshop: Focus Your (Mini) Lesson

I was chosen to be part of a cohort this year in my district to pilot the use of instructional coaches. The goal of our district is to turn professional development into a daily occurrence, fueled by peers. I was super excited to be part of this opportunity, and it's turned out to be the biggest life/game changer. In the beginning, we took a self-evaluation to rank us on 21st Century Teaching Skills . We took it again mid-year, and we'll take it again at end of year. It's a great tool to use for goal setting. Based on my low scoring areas, I was able to set goals for myself this year on what I wanted to accomplish in the classroom. It really focused my growth, which is something I haven't had in the past. My first goal was Math Workshop. My second goal has been Project Based Learning. I'm in the middle of my first PBL unit, but I've been doing Math Workshop for months, so I have a bit more reflection to share on that particular topic right now. First rule of