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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Developing Expertise: Math/STEAM

How do you develop expertise today, an age of quickly evolving tools, research, thought, and action?

Now that I have more time to devote to one area of learning and teaching, I need to reroute the path towards greater depth and expertise. I also need to spend less time managing the scheduling puzzle of teaching it all, so I have more time to devote to a couple of intersecting areas of teaching/learning: mathematics/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).

How will I move in this direction?

Professional Associations
At long last, I joined the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). I was amazed at the resources they have available for free or little cost that will help me develop this expertise.

Read Books, Articles, Blogs, and Education News
Keep abreast of professional research, initiatives, and learning experience by a regular pattern of reading. The first books on my list are completing Michael Schneider's Book, A Beginner's Guide to the Universe and NCTM's Principals to Action: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. NCTM provides a synopsis of the book with this sentence, "Specific, research-based teaching practices that are essential for a high-quality mathematics education for all students are combined with core principles to build a successful mathematics program at all levels." I'm looking forward to reading the book and apply all the concepts and practice mentioned to the fifth grade math program.

The blog, MindShift, and the newspaper, Education Week, are two publications I want to read regularly. In addition, I want to add to the other blogs and news I follow with a focus on math education.

Math/STEAM Related Twitter Chats and Follows
I'd like to extend my Twitter stream and activity with more math related connections and chats.

Attend Conferences
I would like to identify one ore more really good conference to attend related to math education. I'd also like to present at a conference or two in the coming year.

University Connections
I'd like to continue to develop connections related to math education via university connects including teaching at the university level, attending related workshops at local universities, and accessing available resources.

Technology Integration
I also want to develop greater and more targeted technology integration in relation to math. First, I hope to deepen my knowledge and use of coding as well as integrate more individualized and targeted tech tools to boost all learners' success with math and STEAM.

Design Process
It will benefit my work to integrate the design process into thematic work and other learning endeavor with and for students.

Reflect, Assess, and Revise
Further, I need to regular reflect, assess, and revise efforts to learn more and do better.

Open Mind
It's critical that I have an open mind to the many professionals I work with in this regard. It's our collaboration of ideas that will deepen and better our work.

Greater Math Expertise
I want to challenge myself to gain a deep understanding of math at higher levels as this deep understanding will result in better teaching and learning.

Connecting the Area of Expertise to the Broader Arena of Learning and Meaningful Work
It's integral that learning in any one area is connected to the greater area of learning and relevant, meaningful work. This is why STEAM is so important as it connects science, technology, engineering, and math with art to create a broad and deep approach to learn and application.

The Learning Environment
Keen attention to the tools, materials, furniture, feel, and accessibility in the learning environment is very important for all learners including you.

Optimal Patterns and Routines of Teaching/learning
Creating a weekly schedule that promotes the learning/teaching efforts above will move you toward your areas of expertise.