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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Teaching Well: Endless Opportunity to Learn

The opportunity to learn and better oneself in today's world is truly endless. The focus lies in our priorities and efforts--what matters to us. Thus the action of prioritizing again and then again is a vital process in today's world.

What's on your agenda? What matters? Where are you pushing ahead, staying the course, and perhaps even retiring from?

There's lots on the horizon as I look from this week to the next.

3D Printer Exploration
FSU tech specialists and students are joining me in this exploration as I tie math instruction and 3D printing together in exploration and project work.

Number Posters
Fifth graders are completing their foundation unit with a number poster project and assessment. I'm looking forward to viewing their number animations, personification, and fact cards in our 0-100 display.

Place Value
We'll dive into the place value unit which includes the wonderful, classic Eames film on the Powers of Ten, model making, problem solving, and perhaps even a base ten line dance--an active way to experience the value changes from one place to the next in the base ten system.

Math Curriculum Planning 
Some members of the system-wide fifth grade team will meet to review standards and teaching strategies related to division in October. I'm looking forward to growing and deepening this unit of student learning with colleagues and the math coach.

Math Enrichment
The youcubed site is proving to be a wonderful source of math inspiration, instruction, and enrichment. I think I'll find myself visiting this site often in the year ahead.

Edcamp Malden
I'm looking forward to learning with educators this Saturday at Edcamp Malden. There's nothing like an edcamp to inspire your teaching/learning efforts.

I continue to learn as much from my University students as they are learning from me. We're about halfway through the semester, and next week we'll explore coding and the math classroom with an emphasis on SCRATCH. We'll also play a lot of online math games and discuss where and when games like this are beneficial in the math classroom.

Portfolio Day
In preparation for upcoming parent conferences, students will have a chance to update their showcase portfolio with reflections, examples of signature learning, and a few assessments too. There's some teacher prep to do to make this possible.

Parent Conferences
Our team will meet with parents in a couple of weeks to discuss students' school start, goals, and other questions and ideas important to support a successful learning/teaching year for each child.

Teacher Leadership Initiative
This continues to be both a challenging and beneficial process. One that takes a new and deeper turn in the week ahead at our local cohort ZOOM meeting and capstone review and refinement. There's also lots to read and study in this regard, and I expect that much of that will take place in the early months of 2016 once the FSU course is complete.

MTA Presenter Workshop
Dan Callahan will once again lead his presenter's workshop and this time I hope to be there. Who can miss an opportunity to learn with Dan! Hopefully there won't be any unexpected family needs on that Saturday in November.

Computational Thinking

The plate's a bit full, but all the activities and initiatives are positive and proactive. The key is to stay the course right now and not anything else. Onward.