Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 3

We had Day 3 of this project and we got to present right at the beginning of the day (Well after a Kid President video--he's hard to follow!).  We shared the key points of our action plan...almost like what I posted previously, but not the "why?" part.  I figured that part would be better to share verbally if the conversation went that way.

But I have to admit I was totally wrong in my assumption that people wanted to know why.  Most teachers are totally on board with the plan.  They want to see it happen, they just need help figuring out the logistics.  What was best about presenting was all the questions that came from this.  Everyone is trying to figure out how to make it work and so not all of the questions were addressed to us, some of them were addressed to others, too.  And that helped us realize some of the things we still have to figure out.  What great collaboration!

For the rest of the morning we split into groups:  Math teachers, Special Education teachers, and AEA staff. As Math teachers we continued our work to unpack standards in Unit 1 and find appropriate assessments.  We were working with 1-2 other teachers on a standard of our choice.  I worked with a teacher I had never talked to before, and we picked a standard she had worked on previously.  I felt as though it was much more productive this time.  She and I communicated well together, and I was able to be a little bit more flexible about the whole process.  I tried to avoid the things that had stressed me out too much previously.  We made some progress and we will continue to work on Unit 1 and maybe Unit 0 next time.  I hope that we can get the first part of the year planned prior to the beginning of the school year!

In the afternoon we discussed standards based grading in a little bit more detail.  This is one area that I feel like I have a good start to because of our school's PD, but there are lots of flaws that we need to work through.  I felt like the conversation we had around this were good, but I feel pressure to iron out the flaws prior to next school year.  I have to put my grading plan in my syllabus, and I want to have something fair figured out the communicate to students and parents.  This is a big challenge that I discussed with some of the AEA people.  They understand and also want to work to find a solution for us, however not all participants are going to fully jump into this shift next year, so it is going to be challenging to meet the needs of all the schools/teachers represented.

To conclude our day we got to be students in the lesson DVR Dilemma from Yummy Math.  The purpose was to get us to think through the practice standard that we are working on improving.  We have been challenged to work to improve our teaching strategies to better address this for our lesson plans in the upcoming week.  I will be working on teaching students to multiply's really hard for me to think about how to use this to help students "Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them."  But I've been thinking about it a lot after that challenge...maybe I will post again about what I decide to do and how it goes.  Going to be a big risk!

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