Sunday, October 18, 2015

Teach Well: Balance

I think that finding the balance between teaching well, professional learning, and family life to be one of the main challenges as an educator. I write so often about this and prioritize frequently making time for what's most important and eliminating those aspects of work and life that no longer hold value or depth. I imagine that this is a challenge for most professionals today in this age of endless learning and possibility.

With this in mind and a whole day ahead of me, I'm thinking about the focus of the week ahead. There's lots of great opportunities and efforts, and I want to make sure I focus on the importance of each.

Teacher candidates will explore and utilize SCRATCH this week to understand how students and teachers can use this medium to develop greater mathematical thinking, creativity, and problem solving.

Student Blogs
My university students are reflecting in blogs each week. I'm looking forward to reading and responding to their posts tonight. I enjoy the ongoing education "conversation" I am having with each student each week via their blogs.

Showcase Portfolios
Students will take their foundation unit final assessment, complete number posters, review their unit work, and complete unit reflections. All of their work will be placed in their showcase portfolios which will be shared with family members at upcoming conferences.

Online Games
The University students will also explore a number of great online games. As a class we'll look at the benefit of these games when it comes to deepening mathematical understanding with engagement.

Data Review and Math RTI
There's a number of math assessments that need review. The data will be added to our TeamFive data chart and used on Friday as we create optimal RTI groups related to computational skill and fluency for the first six weeks of our Math RTI (Response to Intervention Efforts).

Field Study
The students will engage in their first field study this week. The study will give students the opportunity to engage in a STEAM team activity in a wonderful Massachusetts signature location. This will be a great event for STEAM teaching/learning as well as team-building for our fifth grade student/teacher learning team.

The focus of TLI this week will be proving your point and supporting your capstone with evidence and persuasive discussion/talk. I look forward to learning about my cohort partner's project ideas and the reasons why they've chosen to develop their knowledge, skill, advocacy, and efforts related to those reasons.

I have a meeting with my education coach--love those meetings :)

3D Printer
Time to read up and make my math model design for printing.

Computational Thinking
I hope to steal some time away for Google's Computational Thinking course I signed up to. Similar to Devlin's Mathematical Thinking MOOC, I want to develop my understanding and language in this important and timely learning/teaching arena.

That's the week in review. Now it's time to ready the environment (all the at-home jobs and efforts that support this work) so that I can complete the work and effort above. Onward.