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Showing posts from February, 2016

Move Your Bus #D100BloggerPD Book Study

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((Must wear hat, gloves, and dinosaur shirt while eating a cracker and holding Momma's book!  Future Runner for sure!))
Welcome to the last post in a series that studied the book, Move Your Bus, by Ron Clark. There have been wonderful posts by other bloggers in my district. Check out this post on Literacy Loving Gals that has links to each one!

By the time you get to my post, you have learned all about the metaphor of a bus that Ron Clark uses to describe an organization. There is the driver, runners, joggers, walkers, and riders. We have learned what might motivate each person on the bus and Clark's philosophy on keeping the bus moving along. If you have a chance to read the book, I do recommend it. I think it has some great insights. It's also a pretty quick read, so it's manageable to read it in a day.

This book study is coming to a close as I am writing about the last two chapters: "29 Enjoy the ride" and "30 Conclusion: Where do we go from here?&qu…

My Life (right now) In Numbers

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697- Followers on Twitter!

279- Likes on the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Facebook page that I manage. Have you liked it yet?

26- Weeks pregnant

15- Days until Pi Day. Find some ideas here!

8- Ed Tech Myths... read about them here.

6- Presentations I've done since the new year! (check them out here)

4- Times I've made this banana bread recipe. Obsessed. Pregnancy craving?!

2- Times my daughter has watched Frozen (she calls it "Olaf") in the past day. Let It Go...

1- Times I've been to the Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) conference. I went on Friday and it was a great day connecting, presenting, and learning!




Instructional Coaching is Needed

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Many school districts use instructional coaches to coach teachers, provide PD, and work to improve student achievement. Coaches might be content specific (math or literacy) or they might be general pedagogy or technology. However, when budgets are tight and it's time to make some tough decisions about where to trim spending, it might be tempting to think about cutting coaching. Or maybe a district hasn't implemented coaching, yet, and is trying to make the case for using precious and scarce resources for this purpose.

I can understand the perspective: "we haven't always had coaches, we survived before, we can again." I've even heard the argument, "well, they don't actually work with kids... and what do they do all day?"

So, why can instructional coaching have this public relations problem? Why does something, that can have such an impact, feel like a luxury to be first on the chopping block? I've taught for 12 years. During that time, I'…

Valentine's Day: I Heart Math

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If you teach middle school, brace yourself for the craziness that is Valentine's Day celebrated at school tomorrow! Heart shaped suckers, teddy bears, chocolate, and a few (hopefully minimal) tears.

Instead of fighting it, embrace the mathiness that can be squeezed out of this heart-filled holiday!

Here are a few resources to use:

1. Send a Math-o-Gram.
Love math? Love Desmos? You can send your students (or friends) a heart themed graph!

2. Make a Mathy Valentine
Use transformations to rotate your way to your students' hearts.

3. Check out these other heart-shaped graphing activities
I found these NCTM Illuuminations graphing actives a few years ago.

4. Graph this equation in Desmos:

(this was a fun one for my 6th graders... just to figure out how to type in the correct symbols!)



5. Mobius Strip Hearts?! Yes!



Happy Valentine's Day! <3





Update:

More Valentine's Day Activities Added:

Early Childhood Ideas: Spark a Love of Symmetry

STEAM Activity: Balancing Heart

Where Do The Inspiring Teachers Get Inspired?

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I had an opportunity to present at the Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago's conference on Saturday. It was a great event full of learning! I really look forward to this conference every year.

Besides doing a regular session about using technology in the classroom and for professional learning (find the slides here), I was also one of six teachers asked to do a 10-min "ignite-type" session after lunch. I was actually more nervous for these ten minutes than I was for my 75-min session!

((talking with my hands, as usual!))
In the end, the 10-min talk went great. I got a lot of good feedback and teachers told me they were inspired to try out Twitter because of what I shared. So awesome! If you are interested, here is a screencast version of my talk encouraging teachers to try out Twitter and become involved with #MTBoS.

Another great part of the day was being able to learn alongside two of my mentees, Anna and Alix. Not only did they give up their Saturday to go to a …

#WhyITeach

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I am going to be asking my staff this question using the Teacher2Teacher #WhyITeach Storytelling Toolkit. I thought I should gather my own thoughts about this, too!

The project asks teachers to put their reason on a bubble. That means about 1 sentence. Ahhh! How can I fit my complex thoughts about this in one sentence?!

If I'm forced to boil it down to a sentence, it would be this:

"I teach because I want students and teachers to feel empowered, capable, and important."

Why do you teach?