Showing posts from September, 2015

How Can Students Tweet?

Originally, I was going to teach 8th graders this year. I had plans to have them using Twitter to reflect about what we were doing in math class. I had the same students as 7th graders and we were blogging, but was excited for them to all cross the threshold of age 13, so they could use Twitter. Towards the end of the summer, it was determined that I would be teaching 6th grade. There are many things that I absolutely LOVE about 6th graders, but I was a little disappointed that their age would prevent me from asking students to create Twitter accounts. I read a post by Alice Keeler that suggested using a google form to collect responses from students, and explained you could limit the number of characters, similar to how Twitter limits characters. This inspired me to try it! If I could have students submit "tweets" to me, I could curate them and add to a class twitter page. I've been trying it and it works great! Here is how I do it: 1. Create a twitter accou

Inviting Teachers In

I have a new role this year. In addition to teaching middle school math (this year I have 6th graders), I am also doing some instructional coaching. This really is a dream combo for me because I still love being in the classroom, but I've been wanting to try math coaching as well. So, I'm teaching four periods, have a personal plan, a team plan, lunch, and two periods to dedicate to coaching. I am so grateful to the teachers that have been receptive to me popping in their rooms and how open they have been to feedback. But, it got me thinking, that if I want teachers to be okay with me coming in their rooms, I need to make myself open to that as well. So, I've invited everyone in the school to come to my room any day, any period I teach. Do I have some periods that have better behavior, or some periods will less challenges, sure! But I think it is important to be vulnerable myself and make sure I'm not just presenting a polished version of myself and my teaching.

No Objective?

I don't post an objective on the board. No "I Can" Statement either. Not only do I not do it, I won't do it. Does this mean I don't have a clear plan for learning that day? Do my students feel there is no purpose in my class? Is it a free-for-all? Nope! I do post an agenda, but no objective. While I certainly have a learning objective each day, I choose not to post it. Here is why: What if you went to see a movie and you saw this posted: "At the end of this movie you will find out that the neighbor is the bad guy."   or  "Today you will watch a love story of two people that will break-up but ultimately realize they are in love and get back together at the end." Can you imagine the ending being ruined before you even start? Certainly the writer/director of the movie knew where the story was going. They planned it. They took you on a journey, got you invested in the story, revealed things as it went along. You had moment

Being a Nursing Mom & Teacher

Natalie as a newborn... awww! Last year, I returned from maternity leave carrying my school bag and another bag... in that bag was a breast pump. I am taking a slight departure from my normal blog content. Today I'm writing about being a new mom and a teacher at the same time. I wanted to take a moment to blog about my experiences trying to work full time and breastfeed my daughter because I think it could help anyone that works in a school that might: -be a new mom that is nursing her child -work with a new nursing mom Being a full-time working mom has challenges, but you can do it! I'm defining my audience up front, because I think it's important for everyone to understand and be aware of what it is like to be a teacher going back to work, worrying about feeding her child, and trying to be super-mom and super-teacher at the same time. I'm going to break this post up into two parts. My advice for "New Mom Teacher" and for "Co-Worker

Sunday Letters

I'm participating in Big Time Literacy's "Sunday Letters." It's a fun way to add a little spice to my normally math-teachy posts. Plus, I just love reading Michelle's blog. Even though she's all about reading and I'm all about math, I still find inspiration in what she writes about teaching and coaching teachers. It just goes to show that teaching is not just about content! Okay, back to the letters! Dear New 6th Graders, You made it! You have gotten through a tough start to middle school with lots of schedule changes, all the while being new to a big school. We've had a great start and you all seem so sweet and eager to learn. A few of you made me laugh this week, which I captured in a Tweet: I'm looking forward to more learning and laughs this school year! Sincerely, Mrs. Forest Dear FMS Math Teachers, Thanks for being open to me being a math coach. I love hearing about your teaching goals for this year and I'm

Math Intervention Class?

A blog that I love to follow is Cult of Pedagogy . If you have never visited it, I suggest you check it out soon! So much great stuff about classroom culture, teaching, and, well, pedagogy! :) Recently, I saw on Twitter that Jennifer (@cultofpedagogy) was asking for feedback from math teachers about a question from a parent. Interested to see what the question was, I clicked over to find this question posed: A student was recommended for a math "reinforcement" class. The student wasn't happy to be missing an elective with friends. The parent wanted to know what to do. There are several things to consider. I wrote a comment on the blog and included it below for you to read. I would love to hear how other math teachers would answer this tricky question! My comment: First, how great that the parent is considering their child’s feeling in the decision. Many times I see adults making decisions for kids and ignoring their feelings in that process. As for the math “re