Tag Archives: reflection

Goals for Spring Semester #MTBoS12Days Post 4

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Saw Elissa’s tweet and wondered… which lead to this conversation a couple of days ago…


So, what were those SMART goals again?

SMART-goals

So, to take this…  Be intentional with planning formative assessments, develop and focus on vocab with roots-weekly system, and… more open questions in assignments & assessments. Are those measurable?

Elissa’s question – how do you measure intentionality?  Hmmmm.  If its a goal, I should be intentional with it right?  So, how do I measure that?  By asking someone to review my unit plans to ensure that I am including these in them?  By weekly self-accountability?

All of these things are related to my planning – I constantly use formative assessments, they are just not formally documented in my plans as they should be.  How do I know they are actually assessing the desired learning outcome?

At the beginning of each unit, I have a Words Worth Knowing Vocabulary Survey – that I modified from Sarah’s here.  I walk around the room and observe students’ assessments of their knowledge of these terms.  Towards the end of the unit, we revisit and they re-assess, hopefully being familiar and knowing more than they did in the beginning.

Yes, they are exposed to the terms within the unit, but do they have a deeper understanding of the words?  When I taught geometry, I did a lot with the etymology of the words.  I am wondering how I can develop a list of latin/greek roots, etc. relating to our intended vocabulary?  And someone develop a weekly system like my science colleague to help students truly build a foundational understanding.  I started a list just before Christmas Break, but have not spent much more time with this task.

I have included open questions often within a daily task, and tried to include in unit assessments.  But not at the level to truly elicit student thinking and frequency I would like.

The focus of these goals will all be one section of Algebra I.  My other Algebra I class uses the Springboard Curriculum – a completely different order of topics and pacing.


For the Spring 2018 Semester, in my 4th block Algebra I class, I will increase (currently, I do not link them in my plans) my planning of formative assessments for each learning target listed / linked in my unit lesson plans.  Twice per week, I will take time to formally reflect (written) the student work and devise a plan for next steps.   Currently, I only informally reflect / plan next steps, without formal documentation in my plans.  I hope this work will lead to better quality formative assessments that are truly at the level and integrity of the standards.

Over the course of the Spring 2018 Semester, I will develop a list of common Latin / Greek roots as related to our content in Algebra I.  Through the collaboration of my colleague, I will develop and implement a weekly system to help students learn and make connections within the content to the roots, etc.   The list, weekly quiz results and study tools will be documented in lesson plans.  At the end of each month (January – April), I will reflect on our progress, analyze the impact on student learning and adjust, continue.  This list should grow throughout the semester.  List to students, implement study tool, report student progress.

I will revisit Small & Lin’s book More Good Questions for ideas on creating Open Questions.  As part of the formative assessment tools, I will begin to include these on a weekly basis in our lessons – for feedback only and incorporate on every unit assessment (after discussing with my content team teacher).

If I have a sheet in my planner for weekly reflection…  Suggestions?

goals 2018

 

 

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Newly-Ed #blogitbingo #coherentvision

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Old. New. Borrowed. Blue.  Commitment.

The past 2 days have filled my brain to overflowing.  I left GRREC both days feeling… alive.  Overwhelmed.  But alive.  That sounds weird, I know.   But I was not surprised, just saddened, with the a statistic shared from Gallup:

Only 31% of our teachers are fully engaged in our schools.

The people who are supposed to be engaging young minds are not engaged themselves.  And I was one of them.

I’m not sure what happened, how I ended up in that place, when it happened.  I”m not even sure I knew I felt that way until yesterday.  My realization began with this question posed on the opening slide of our 2-day venture.

Are Your Best Days Behind You or Ahead of  You?  Chicago Tribune 2002

I left yesterday with a smile on my face, excited to call home and share some of what I learned with someone!  And when I looked so forward to returning to our session “Leading and Sustaining a Coherent Vision for Mathematics Teaching and Learning” – I knew this was a turning point for me.

Defining our vision.

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Is our vision coherent?  What we hope to become…but we must be patient because it may take a while to get there.  These are the non-negotiables, our professional duty.  Are we compelled by our vision?

Do we mean it or not?  Do our actions / ways honor it?  Does our instruction / behaviors advance our vision?  We agree to the vision, do we hold each other accountable?

I was reminded of a reflection our department did several years ago, what we wish to see in a dream math student and what actions can we take to support students to reach our dream student?  Here was our poster from 2014…

dept vision dream math student

Like so many other things, I’m not sure we ever had follow-through with this task.  But I wonder how differently our reflection would look if we repeated it today?

Here are a couple of examples of other groups’ work on Monday… They used the acronym DRIVE and SOAR.  Other groups used CARDS (school mascot) and MATH.  He shared one with Math Teachers lend an EAR:  Equity, Assessment and Reflection.

My big takeaway – that we arrive at consensus, an image / tag that we can quickly share / refer to with parents / students / other stakeholders.  Then we make every decision – based on our shared, defined vision.

Within the discussion, Dr. Kanold defined consensus as – everyone’s voice is heard but the will of the group prevails.  If I’m honest, I cringed.  Am I willing to let go of new things I want to try and do?  What if an idea is outnumbered?  What if I never get to try anything new?  So I presented a question on our parking lot.

His response today – we are constantly in action research in education.  Part of the team can try a new idea.  But our agreed upon vision becomes the authority.  IF we want to try something new, we must ask IF it advances our vision?  Does it exceed our opinion?  Why?  Provide evidence / research.  Try it.  Compare.  If it works better for student learning, everyone agrees to use it.  If not, then stick with old way.   In the end, I (we) have to sacrifice my opinion(s) in an effort to advance student learning.

Over the next several days, I plan to revisit my notes and share a summary to reflect / process / plan considering these big ideas from the past couple of days:

  • Instruction / Planning Whole group vs Small group discourse
  • Check for Understanding vs. Formative Assessment
  • Common Assessments & Tools to evaluate quality
  • Homework
  • 4 Critical Questions of a Collaborative Team Culture
  • My Intentions for the upcoming year…

On a 1-5-10 scale of Stinky, Good, Great – I will give our #coherentvision days a 10!

 

Do you have a successful PLC?  Please share some things that made it work for your team!

 

Closure Activities for Learner Reflection

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Closure is a big area of needed growth for me.  Since I plan to focus on student reflection of their learning, this list may provide some great structures to implement:

22 Powerful Closure Activities

I’m thinking I need to set a reminder timer on my computer to begin the wrap-up for the day.  Or even set up the musical transition cues… 

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I need to find a couple of blogs on how to do this…if you have suggestions… please share!

I wonder if I used the #phonespockets these first couple of weeks, in 1 or 2 classes per day, how that would help my plan/implementation?

To-Do List for Next School Year

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During the school year, I just don’t have the time I want to read the amazing ideas teachers are sharing through their blogs.  Sure, I can capture a great idea here and there, but time to really immerse myself, processing ideas and working through how I can tweak for my students, nope. A tweet from @burgess_shelley suggested to read blogs from 3 people you follow each day.  So I started at the top of my list and have begun to work through it by reading 3 a day…my hopes are once each week, allow myself some time for reflection, adding to my to-do list for next school year.

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In Whiteboarding Wins and Fails @borschtwithanna, it was the last item noted in her fail list.  I love the idea of snapping pics of group whiteboards and posting on class page, assigning reflection as hw…even offering prompts at the beginning of the year:
I liked ____’s strategy because….
Which strategies are most alike/different…
How can we connect the ideas…
One way to improve our strategy…
A question I have for the _____ group is…

Please offer ideas for other relection prompts!

In the comments of the post, Max/Anna discussed allowing students to classify mistakes and offer suggestions for helpful feedback.  Again, another great idea on my to-do list for next year!

@mathequalslove posted Vocabulary Knowledge Survey, a strategy suggested in the book Styles and Strategies for Teaching High School Mathematics.  I appreciated the simplicity of the task, but when used purposefully, in my opinion, can have a great impact on student learning.  Vocabulary and literacy strategies can offer struggles for math teachers, but this is a very reasonable way to a) assess students’ prior knowledge b) opportunities to discuss connections to their prior knowledge c) allow them to self-assess, seeing where they are in their learning d) allow them to track their own progress throughout the unit of study.  Thanks for sharing this, Sarah!

I Shall Never Play a Review Game Again, @nathankraft1 offers his version of Grudge, a fun game of revenge on classmates for those who correctly answer a question.  What’s so great is how students who are out of the game can still participate by taking on a zombie role.  Sounds fun, engaging and I cannot wait to try it out in the fall!