I am so thankful to be a part of this PLC with Paul and Bob. We had our first conversation tonight, and it was very helpful to hear what others are doing and what they are struggling with.
I have many venues to share ideas within the state of New York, (through the Master Teacher Program), but I was so pleasantly surprised to hear different points of views from Paul and Bob. It gave me much to think about and consider.
I am looking forward to the growth that is sure to come by being part of this PLC!
As one of the others here in this PLC and thought I would post my goals for the year here. Not sure about if this is what I should do but will summarize on what I elaborate more on here.
A new year is upon us and I have decided to make a few changes. I think it is important to verbalize and express some goals for this coming year. So here are a few things to be checked on at the end of the year and see how well I did.
- Provide better Feedback to my students.
Feedback to students is key to help them understand what went wrong on the quiz. The score alone is a distractor. So I plan to provide only written feedback on quizzes and record their score 24 hours later in ActiveGrade. To master a math skill or standard takes some understanding what you do right and what you do wrong. I have a saying that “Math is a game of failure”.
I plan to use Gradeable in order to help me implement this goal. It is an interesting web based app and we will see. I believe it will save me time.
- Better know the Rulebook.
This comes from my many years coaching baseball. It takes time, but you need to really know the rules of the game. There were many times I won a game or changed the outcome because I knew the rules. The umpires incorrectly applied a rule and had to reverse their call – in my teams favor. But if you don’t know the rules, then you’ll just go along with those you think are the experts. I need to be the expert.
Recently someone posted an ad on twitter wanting to collaborate with others who teach 7th grade math. He was interested in starting something that could benefit those involved. In order to bring my teaching to a higher level of effectiveness collaboration with others is essential. It is easy to get into a rut. I don’t want to be in a rut. So here I am to share what I can with some others and receive their feedback. I’m a little nervous about it but am very open and excited. This leads to my final goal for the year.
- Make a Roadmap.
I plan to blog once a week about what I am doing in my classroom. I need to record and summarize in order to document where I have been. Keeping it all in my mind is not possible. This roadmap includes things that work and things that don’t work. I believe it will give me the ability to improve upon my reflection of what is going on and if we are getting there as a classroom. As the year progresses, this can be expanded upon and it will.
These are my 4 simple goals for the coming year.
As a teacher heading into my 2nd year of math, I have already come face-to-face with my inability to lead a class of 7th graders into a deep and indwelling love of ratios, integers, algebraic expressions, and probabilities. For sure, in my first year of teaching math I had winning lessons. I developed a lesson that involved flipping coins, connecting that with a video from Khan Academy, and had it tied to an example problem from the practice assessment given by the state. That, was a win. Then there was the day that I was being observed and two students put their heads down and pretty much fell asleep. One of them was sick, the other unengaged. That, was a non-win.
In light of this, I reached out into the #MTBoS with this want-ad. A couple of people responded to the challenge, and more may join in, and this journey of an online PLC (Professional Learning Community) has come from a glint in one man’s eye to a virtual reality.
My hope is that we can document our journey together, one a newbie teacher, others who are seasoned veterans at this profession, and provide some light to the very dark evenings before the next class. Those evenings when you are searching desperately for a lesson, a hook, something to make the day in the classroom more bearable can often be the loneliest nights on the planet. Maybe, just maybe we can provide something to make a difference in a teacher’s life which translates to a student’s life, which then changes the world as we know it. Even in just writing this first post, I think my world has already changed.
Welcome to my math PLC.