Showing posts from June, 2017

End of the Year: Reflections & Celebrations

The end of the school year is a natural time for reflection and celebrations. Around the 8 schools in my district, I've stopped in many classrooms these past few weeks to sweaty kids just back from "Park Day" or tired teachers just back from a field trip. I've seen high fives, hugs, and dance parties. One of the classrooms I worked with the most this year even gave me a handmade card and flowers on our last day working together! Taking the time to recognize the hard work of others and letting them know the impact they had on you is important. Not only does it make someone feel good, but it's also important professionally to know that your work matters. One of the most impactful "gifts" I ever got was a card from 3 teachers I mentored where they wrote down "Annie-isms" that they called "Words of Wisdom." Just knowing that they remembered things I said to them during our work together meant so much to me. More than tha

Using Desmos with Primary Students!

Like so many math teachers , I LOVE Desmos! I tell everyone who will listen that they should be using it. I used it myself when I was in the classroom teaching middle schoolers. The graphing calculator is such a fabulous tool and the Desmos created activities are so engaging and awesome. As I've learned more about activity builder and moved into a K-8 instructional coaching role, I started to think about how it could be used in younger grades. I love the power of card sorts for all levels, so having that option in Desmos really sets it apart from some other platforms that teachers might already be using like ClassKick and Formative (which I love as well!). Recently, I was asked to model a few lessons in classrooms. I started in a 5th grade classroom, and it seemed like a good fit to use Desmos as part of an activity. I included a card sort as well as some open response questions. It went well! Next, I was headed to a 1st grade classroom. They were learning

The Perfect Student Seating Arrangement?

This is a strange time of year to be writing about seating charts... I mean, it's almost the end of the school year! No one is making seating charts right now. ...or, is it that strange ? This is the time of year that is perfect for reflection . Thinking about what went well and what you want to change for next year. This actually might be the perfect time as you are thinking about how you might want to set up your room for next year! So, what are you thinking about trying for seating next year? Are you a desks in rows kind of person? Pods? Partners? Do you have a rug where kids come for math talks? Do you want to try flexible seating ? No assigned seats? Randomly selected partners? Carefully chosen groups? There are SO MANY choices and decisions to make when it comes to classroom environment and seating arrangements. I wanted to share something I tried with my middle school students. If I had a class of my own again next year, it is what I would be doing. Now, it's