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Showing posts from September, 2016

Conference Evaluations for Feedback & Reflection

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One of my favorite things is presenting to teachers. I've fallen in love with working with adults that want to improve their practice. Nothing beats being in a room of educators nodding their heads as I share with them about topics I'm passionate about too.

Of course, there is a fine line between giving people what they want and presenting about topics you feel could push people's thinking and be about what the education profession needs. Dan Meyer wrote a post about this (and the comments are also important to read). It made me think, I'm certainly not just presenting to entertain people for an hour, but being entertaining helps get people's attention. I'm also not there to harp on reform and changes, but I wouldn't be my authentic self if I didn't slip a little of my progressive ideals into my presentation.

My formula lately is:
a little teaching philosophy (why) + resources (what) + pedagogy (how) + humor (I hope!)



There is a reason educators talk so…

Free Apps I Use in the Math Classroom

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There are SO many great ways to use iPads in the classroom. However, it can be a little overwhelming! Last year was my first year using iPads in math class. I tried a lot and learned a lot along the way. One big lesson I learned is that there are many math "games" out there that aren't much more than digital flashcards. In addition, many are timed which I think adds a lot of stress and not much in the way of getting students to think mathematically. Read Tracy Zager's criteria for fact-based apps.

If you are new to iPads, or just looking for some new apps, wanted to share some of my favorites. Many of the best apps I found are free!





First, if you teach middle school or high school, you NEED Desmos. Download it now and read more about Sara's love of Desmos. Although the activities aren't through the app, also take some time to check out the activities at teacher.desmos.com.





Next, check out ClassKick. You create assignments, kids work, you see their work while …

In Response to #iwishmyteacherknew

There are a ton of tweets with the hashtag #iwishmyteacherknew. The idea is, as a teacher, you ask your class what they wish you knew and you collect their responses. This idea is not new. I remember hearing about it two year ago. But, with the beginning of a new school year, it's come back around. Oh, and there is a teacher making money off of it, too.

What?! Making money, you might ask?

Yes, a teacher asked her class this question and turned the responses into a book (not linking to it, on purpose). Now, I'm all for writing about the profession. I have a stack of edu books waiting to be read. What I'm not into is asking kids to share their deepest thoughts, fears, and struggles and then turning around and sharing them with the world. Rafranz Davis says it great, read her post here.

You are their teacher. If they feel safe enough with you to share personal details,

DO:
1. read it
2. let it inform you as a teacher
3. and keep it private!

DON'T:
-share on social media
-…

Feeling Connected

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I am really lucky that I get to be home with my kids right now while I'm on maternity leave.


While on leave, I still want to feel connected to my work. I'm keeping up on Twitter and taking on a few PD leadership opportunities in my district. When I came across a great activity by Sara, I just knew it would be one I would want to try if I was in the classroom this year. So, I passed it along to all my middle school math teacher friends. A few teachers tried it out and were nice enough to send me pictures!

How amazing that I got to see the smiling faces of kiddos excited and happy to be in math class?! It makes me happy to be connected with teachers and classrooms!