Saturday, August 16, 2014

#MTBoSChallenge: First 5 days plan for this math support teacher

When I started blogging this June, I knew I would be more motivated and enjoy the process more if I was part of a community.  I quickly found @druinok's blog Teaching Statistics, and joined her #July2014Challenge.  For the school year she has set up a weekly blogging challenge.  The first prompt is to write about your first five days plan for this school year.  Middle School Math Rules has a really nice description of her first five days, as well as more details on the challenge if you are interested.

I am starting my second year as a math support teacher for my district, so a first 5 days plan will look very different from years when I have my own classroom (lots of meetings, goal setting, tech support for new website, etc.)  I am using this blogpost instead to help me think about 5 types (or a menu) of demo lessons that I can offer to teach or coteach this school year.  

Possible Demo Lessons:

1.  Formative Assessment Lessons from the Mathematics Assessment Project.  Several of the course teams tried out these lessons last year, so I am hoping to continue with the effort this year.  I am also hoping to curate the experience using a district blog since it can be tricky to arrange peer observations.  Not sure how this will go, so wish me luck!  

2.  3-Act Math Lessons by Dan Meyer and others.  Twelve of the math teachers from my district chose to attend a two day workshop with Dan back in March, so I am hoping there is some interest here.  We have also written some of the 3-act lessons into the pacing guide for Geometry.

3.  Formative Assessment Strategies.  I'll send out a survey in a week or so to the teachers in my district to see if there is any interest in a PD series on formative assesssment.  The formative assessment professional development module from the Mathematics Assessment Project has given me a lot of ideas for this series, along with a summary of John Scammell's formative assessment presentation at TMC14 written by Elissa Miller.  My plan is to purposely integrate formative assessment strategies into my demo lessons this year, regardless of whether or not we end up having a formal PD series for this topic.  

4.  Technology Integration for the purposes of instruction.  I'll let teacher preference drive these choices.  So far there has been a lot of interest in using Geogebra to support instruction.  I started designing premade Geogebra tools last spring that are ready for use with minimal preparation.  One example of this is the Geogebra presentation that I made to graph angles in standard position.  I recognize the value in allowing students to construct objects on their own in Geogebra, however there are time constraints and teacher comfort level with technology to consider.  I'm hoping the premade Geogebra tools will be helpful for teachers that find themselves worried about time or not comfortable with the technology themselves.  If you end up using any of these premade presentations, please let me know how it goes.

5.  Students using technology.  I will consider it a failure if I don't get a chance to teach at least one lesson from the Desmos class activities list this year.  The latest lesson called Central Park might be my favorite yet!

On a final note, I hope to incorporate ideas from Jo Boaler on learning math into my lessons this year.  I haven't had a chance to read her most recent email or update from, but it is on the top of my list.  

1 comment:

  1. Just had a chance to preview the update from and it is amazing! They include a list of Jo Boaler's favorite back to school messages to help create positive classroom norms. There is also a list of 10 formative assessment strategies to consider, created with help from David Wees. Another great reference for formative assessment PD this year.