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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Teaching/Learning 2017-2018

Teaching/Learning 2018 Short List Explanation

Mid-Summer 2017 Update

Where are you headed in your professional work?

Readying for an important conversation, I'm thinking about where I am headed in my professional work. I've mostly read the big books on my list--books including NBPTS What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do, Junger's Tribe, Friedman's Thank You for Being Late, and Darling-Hammond and others' Empowered Educators that gave me a broad look at education and society today and into the future. These books helped me to right my thinking and direction with regard to service and education for my students. I will meet the conversation as one more way to direct my teaching/learning efforts in the year to come.

Once the conversation is complete, I'll be ready to zoom in on the community, classroom and student efforts that will be the main focus of the year ahead, a focus that includes the following efforts:
  1. Attend MTA Union School and work w/local union team to update website, plan for year ahead
  2. Reading, research and writing to support our revised orientation efforts
  3. Reading and research to update math teaching/learning efforts for the year to come
  4. Good analysis of data points related to last year's efforts and this year's class
  5. Team collaboration to map the curriculum, plan orientations, review data, create initial materials and schedule special events including expert visitors and field studies
  6. Read new book about classroom set-up, draft grant for modern-day classroom supplies and signage
  7. Organize classroom materials, set up the room and purchase additional supplies
  8. Prep initial school lessons and signage
  9. Attend early-year meetings
  10. Embed systemwide goals into teaching/learning program
  11. Review mandated trainings
  12. Start the school year
Summer is a great time to think big and then to focus in on the year's efforts to come. Onward
As this years program rolls out, I see ideas for next year's program including the list below. I'll continue to add to this list as the year continues and next year begins.

Overarching Focus:
I love ideas, but ideas are often difficult to promote due to so many factors. Sometimes you just have to step back from those ideas and rework the teaching/learning path in order to find the arenas where you can do good work, work that counts.

One area I'm going to continue to invest my time and energy into is math teaching and learning. I have the time in the day, the inspiration, and multiple pathways to explore in this regard. I'll enjoy this challenge, a challenge that's embraced. I also look forward to working with my colleagues to embed STE and STEAM standards and activities into the curriculum.

SEL and Growth Mindset
Another area that I'm committed to is integrating SEL and growth mindset into daily lessons and the classroom community. This year I worked with colleagues on writing a bookIntegrating SEL and Academic Learningand I look forward to using many of the strategies in the book to help my students develop a good foundation for character development and emotional intelligence. I would like to match specific SEL lessons to specific academic lessons.

Teacher Leadership
A third area is my work to develop my repertoire related to teacher leadership. I'll be working with the MTA and NBPTS to dig into the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards as one way to lead teachers toward meeting their professional goals and expectations in ways that matter and are meaningful for teachers, families, and students. I'll also continue my work with DESE's Teacher Advisory Cabinet, the MTA's Teaching and Professional Learning  Committee, and our local union board.

Contributing to a Strong Learning/Teaching Community
I'll work with my grade-level colleagues, families, and students to continue to build a strong grade-level teaching/learning community. In that regard, I want to focus on our collective efforts related to relationship building, teamwork, signature introductory learning event, a welcoming curriculum night, showcase portfolios, field studies, project/problem based learning, targeted assessments, personalized learning paths, parent/student/teacher conferences, and more. There are so many ways that you can collaborate in order to build a strong teaching/learning community and I look forward to this effort. We will begin the process this year with a good effort to map the curriculum efforts and work on a thoughtful orientation/in-take process in order to establish very strong and fluid relationships with students and their families.

Cultural Proficiency
This year with field studies, classroom learning experiences and discussions, and other special events we worked to build a more culturally proficient program. Next year we hope to do the same. I'd like to build greater cultural proficiency into math learning experiences next year.

There are countless ways to develop the teaching/learning community. Working in collaboration with students, families, colleagues, and others is a good way to achieve this development. I've entertained many possible avenues in the past few months, and now I feel that the areas listed above are a good match for the teaching/learning year ahead.


The Classroom
The classroom is a cozy learning space. We have comfy chairs, good books, computers, and plenty of supplies. This summer I'll research to see how we might modernize the classroom more to reflect even better Earth friendly (less plastics), student-centered furniture and supplies. I will write a grant to purchase some of those materials early next fall. I reached out to the local grant organization and am waiting to hear about their response to my reqest.

Selfie Project
Work on start-of-year community building "Selfie Project" design and examples. We've designed a simple project in this regard--one that will help us to get to know students and share knowledge of all students with the entire learning community.

Professional Learning
My professional Learning will include lots of reading and research this summer. It also includes summer study with TeamFive educators, the NB Academy and MTA Summer Conference.

Field Studies and Special Events
We'll schedule field studies and special events this spring and in the late days of summer and early days of the fall. I suspect we'll stick with most of the great events we participated in this year.

Grants and New Efforts
Our grant process has changed so these efforts will be delayed. 
Possibly write some or all of the following grant proposals:
  • make the classroom a better learning/teaching center of learning including rolling tables.(rationale) (Resource)
  • Look for ways to broaden our inclusion of Latino/a culture in the curriculum.
  • Support inspiring SEL, Cultural Proficiency, and Growth Mindset signage around our school.
  • Math playground signage and play structures signage
Union/DESE Efforts/Teacher Collaborative
I hope to continue to support my local, state, and national union as well as my work on DESE's Teacher Advisory Cabinet and the newly formed Teacher Collaborative. My main focus as the local union secretary is to make the information easy to understand and accessible--our objective is to support our members in every way that we can, and part of that support includes making information related to our union events transparent. This summer I'll attend the Summer MTA Summer conference, re-draft the bylaws for Board review and membership acceptance, and remake the website.

Summer Recalibration
I've spent most of my days in the past many summers working on school/education efforts. I'll read a lot this summer and attend the MTA conference, and I'll also spend some significant time catching up on personal matters, matters that also affect the work I'm able to do with students. It's been quite a few years since I've been able to do this.

Math Teaching/Learning
Focus in on the overall math program w/the reading, research and study below.

I've used the chart below for the last few years to organize my efforts beginning in the winter prior to the school year and I'll use this chart again for 2017-2018:

Winter, Spring and Summer 2017 Professional Learning
Spring work:
  • Create new website for 2017-2018 TeamFive - update addition to school website -done
  • Write move-up letter (edit/update w/colleagues) - print letter, supply list, summer study list - done
  • Order supplies - done
  • Plan a student orientation - in progress

Cultural Proficiency/SEL/Growth Mindset

Review and re-organize math website - in progress
Revisit the curriculum night presentation with a focus on Lifelong Learning Competencies
Meet with team August 14-15 to plan year ahead, organize orientation, book field trips.
Plan Selfie Project/create exemplar - complete

Attend Summer MTA Conference 7/30-8/3 Focus on Union Efforts.
Start of Year Bulletin Board:

Look at classroom norms and refer to this Teacher's Top Three article.
Update Learning-to-Learn Website with a focus on student collaboration and team building. Ongoing Link work related to SEL study group too. Integrate activities into specific units when possible.
Determine classroom needs, complete order forms, shop for supplies, and keep receipts.  The PTO gives us a few hundred dollars for supplies, but we have to turn in receipts to get that. . Match with systemwide initiatives
Complete Mandated Online Trainings: This takes about a half day. Make sure that the trainings are up to date at time of completion. Summer/Fall 2017

Align curriculum efforts with new ISTE Standards
Summer Work Just Prior to Start of School
Complete Revision with grade-level colleagues.
Meet with special educator, to review student services and schedules.
Ordering: Check orders, put away all supplies.
Team Meeting Summer Date(s) : August 14 & 15
Review curriculum map, create weekly teaching pattern (embed reading specialist ideas), attend to other items listed on this page and our team planning page.
Review, revise, and set up Class Data Chart.
Assess MCAS scores prior to school year.
Create Math/STEAM homework pattern including student number, computation, problem solving, explanation. 
Incorporate system-wide and school goals into overall year’s plan and efforts. Coordinate teaching of learning to learn curriculum into first six weeks with colleagues. Analyze student standardized scores and make related changes to curriculum program.
First Weeks of School: Use these documents as guides:
Work on grade-level schedule and calendar with colleagues
Start of Year: Practice Routines that Matter

Set up notebook for important anecdotal notes, reminders w/regard to each student

Plan face-to-face student/parent meetings using a good intake process (see related post)
Complete The Selfie Project and Video with Students - an Identity Project focused on knowing one another, sharing what's important to you, saying your name, including an image and background you like, and perhaps your three words too.
Teach Students how to use Symphony Math, Khan Academy, TenMarks, math supplies
What's Your Number activity - math vocabulary
How to make, label, share math models - area models w/fact arrays
Early year assessments
How to use math tools: rulers, calculators, tiles. . . .
Math reflection/metacognition
Math Mindset
Begin First Unit
PLC Start: Establish overall focus, norms, roles, protocols. . . .
Curriculum Night: Establishing the Learning Community
Extended time: one hour in gymnasium with a presentation/sound
Share The Selfie Project
Parent surveys: Paper survey worked better than online survey last year.
Early Year Family Meetings (optional) - invitation in first newsletter
Update goals to reflect system-wide goals, summer work, review with admin., continue efforts to meet goals.
Learning to Learn Curriculum: Work with team to update and embed into learning.
Classroom Culture:
  • Set norms with students
  • Practice following norms
  • Discuss classroom community.
  • Work to empower student voice, respect, and contribution from start of the year.
  • Create guiding signage with students Be explicit. Ongoing

STEAM Workshop: Update STEAM Efforts
Naturalist Study Review and update. Consider system-wide updates.
Math Workshop: Work with team to discuss start.
Professional Learning for School Year 2015-2016
NBPTS Conference, Las Vegas
MTA Summer Conference
Reading and Study (see above)
Special Education Course (15 pdps) - online (if time permits)

This poster will continue to lead my work in the year ahead.