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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lots of Learning Ahead

Today will be filled with learning.

PARCC Training
We'll start with a PARCC training. My focus during this training will be what can I learn to best help my students navigate these tests with strength and their best possible performance. I will be thinking about the following questions during the training:
  • Schedule for practice sessions. Is it best to practice the test earlier, later, or multiple times? What are the advantages of each? 
  • Tools to help students access and complete the test with clarity, precision, and confidence.
  • My role as coach and test proctor.
  • Room set-up and supply organization.
I'll be learning with a large group of teachers so I'm sure they'll pose questions I haven't even considered yet. I will share the information I learn with family members in this week's newsletter.

Fraction Problem Solving
I'll continue to work on efforts to model and share math thinking and skill with regard to fractions and problem solving. I'll coach students' active listening with the following points:
  • Use "RICE" to solve problems with care.
  • Have your notebook and pencil ready. As you listen sketch models, work with numbers, take notes, and write down questions.
  • Know that the students or teacher modeling the information will help you to see the process in different ways, and seeing problems in multiple ways helps you to build strength in that knowledge area.
  • Ask questions when you don't understand. Actively strive for understanding; don't be passive.
As the learning experience continues, I'll look for ways to develop this practice for best effect.

Cultural Relevancy and Closing the Achievement Gap
A speaker will join educators today. I look forward to taking away specific actions that I can employ to embed cultural relevancy into my craft with greater strength and to close the achievement gap for the students I teach. Some ideas I'm curious about include the following:
  • Is there a simple check-list I can use to evaluate curriculum for cultural relevancy?
  • How can I develop parent-teacher relationships with greater strength? 
  • How can I change my daily teaching/learning routine to better meet the needs of all students?
  • How can we improve structures, schedules, and roles in school to meet the needs of all learners?
  • Are there ways that I can improve communication in real time and online to better serve all students?
I am attending this presentation with an open mind and the attitude that there is a lot to learn individually and collectively in order to do a better job. 

Family/Friend Service and Care
I'll need to be alert as I support family and friends in a recreational event that includes some complexity. In a sense, I'll be learning how to support my son well as he moves towards greater independence and responsibility.