Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Midweek Reflections: Last Week October 2015

Color Coding Place Value Charts
Today math students will study place value by color coding a place value model. I'm going to slow down this lesson so that we can think deeply about each place and its value. We'll also watch a few short videos that show how the place value system works. Students will store their charts in their red classroom folder--a folder we use to store all unit information.

Learning Routines
Since we worked on portfolios for quite some time last week, it's time to revisit our typical learning routines as well.

Parent Conferences
Parent conferences continue. The showcase portfolios are proving to be a terrific vehicle for discussing students' efforts, attitudes, needs, and goals. I like having all the conferences during one week, however this year a few unexpected events upset the schedule a bit so the conferences will stretch out to next week as well.

Families know their children well and invest tremendous time and care into their education. The conferences give us a time to discuss each child's unique profile and progress. I always learn a lot, and the conferences result in refining the curriculum program too.

PARCC Test Results
I'm waiting for the PARCC scores. I'm anxious to see how last students did since I did embed the standards into the math curriculum regularly and we focused on the deep problem solving that PARCC requires. Yet in looking at some similar problems yesterday I was reminded of the level of depth and precision required to do well on these tests so I know it's not easy to do well. Nevertheless review of the data will inform my teaching this year as I look at where the class in general did well on the test and where they struggled. I'm also interested to see if students scored as I expected they would.

More Math
The place value unit includes many, many activities, problems, and practice. We'll continue on that learning path which is outlined on our Magnificent Math website.

University Students
The university students will continue to explore the use of literature in the math classroom, discuss relevancy with regard to math learning and teaching, share lesson plans and learning experiences, and continue to build their blended learning math chart and knowledge.

There's a big football game this Friday night. I'll be cheering for our team.

Instructional Rounds
Last year I wrote a lot about instructional rounds as colleagues and leaders from throughout the system embarked on our school to watch children learn with a focus on perseverance. Tomorrow I'll join system-wide staff at the high school to partake in a similar event focused on a single question, a question I'll review tonight as I prepare for the event. As an educator, I didn't gain a lot from the event last year since there wasn't a lot of specific focus with regard to teaching, but I imagine I'll gain more as an observer and participant since I'll be able to see what the high school teachers do with greater depth, and I'll also be able to hear what system-wide staff have to say about teaching and learning in general. It's good to gain a broader perspective with regard to the K-12 progressions and multiple viewpoints with regard to teaching and learning.

It's another busy week, a hybrid-week of teaching and learning. I actually really like the blend of professional and classroom events that make up this week. I think it's a good model for what teaching/learning can be like in order to teach children well and continue to develop professional learning.