## Saturday, October 28, 2017

### #MTBoSSundayFunday - Photo of the Week

Just a reminder that the #MTBoS Sunday Funday challenge is back!  This is a weekly blogging prompt that is hosted over at Julie's blog and this week's theme is "Photo of the Week"

Every week, Julie will push out a new topic, you blog about it and submit your blog post using this Google Form.  On Sunday, there will be a huge list of awesome blogs to go read! :) YAY!

As always, this is a no pressure blogging challenge, so if you don't feel like blogging, that's okay!  I've had many weeks already where I've failed at blogging, so I'm right there with you!  However, this week is one I just couldn't pass up :)

This week's theme is is "Photo of the Week", but this was a tough one for me.  I couldn't narrow it down to just one, so instead, I took a screenshot of this week's Instagram #teach180 posts! :)  (Can I just say that I LOVE using Instagram for my #teach180 posts... it's super simple to use and it's been a great tool for me to easily look back at my progress over the year!  Plus I shared it with my students, their parents, and my admin so they could follow us virtually!)

This week was great!  Last week was our Fall Break, so coming back on Monday was bit rough, but as you can see in the photos above, there were so many good moments this week!

To go chronologically, we'll start from the bottom right :)

Bottom right:  This was Monday in AP Stat.  After a break, we needed to do some mixed review over the chapter topics.  There were 3 problems, each one in a dry erase sleeve.  Students were up on the whiteboards working through the problems... so many good discussions!

Bottom center:  Tuesday in Geometry... You'll notice the little white box in the corner - we had a really active day!  This was a block day and we had color coded notes, some dry erase sleeve practice, and then a "Question Stack" set of cards on angle relationships.  So much awesomeness!

Bottom left:  Tuesday in Forensic Science... We had just finished a lab on the Bertillion Measurement System and read a great (yet lengthy) article on Bertillion, so we followed up with some summarization strategies.  This photo shows "Give One Get One", which is one of my favorite strategies!

Top right:  Wednesday in AP Stat... We had just finished z-scores and normality and were preparing for a quiz.  However, practice problems often get dull in worksheet format, so instead we did the same problems in card format.  Groups could choose to work on the vertical whiteboards or get one of the portable boards for their table.  So many good discussions and many of them scored perfect scores on the quiz!  yay!

** There isn't a photo for Thursday because my sophomores were taking the Pre-ACT and my Stat kids took their quiz... not a photo worthy day!

Top center:  Friday in Geometry... Thanks to the MTBoS, Friday's lesson plan was super simple... Katrina Newell (@MrsNewellsMath) had already blogged an Angle Addition / Angle Bisector foldable that all I had to do was print and use!  (Thanks Katrina!).  I do love foldables and add it to some color coded notes and you have a happy teacher on your hands!

Top left:  Friday in AP Stat... We've finished our unit in Stat, so next week we will be taking Test #2.  There were 10 stations posted around the room with 2 MC questions per station.  The students went from station to station working problems, checking with me, and going to the next station.  The hour flew by and on their exit ticket, several students even asked if we could do it again. :)

I know I didn't do quite what the prompt asked me to do, but it was such a good teaching week that I wanted to share! :)  Now to work on next week's lessons... hopefully it will be just as awesome as this past week! :)

## Saturday, October 21, 2017

### Reflection on my Professional Goals

Hope you don't mind, but I need to "talk" through something and well, that's what this blog is for, right?  A place for me to think, to reflect, and to get the random thoughts out of my head so I can figure out where to go from here. Plus, if someone out there reads it and has some feedback for me, then even better! :)

(Note:  This is one of those posts that is mostly just for me... but heck, why not #pushsend?) :)

For the past 17 years, my yearly evaluation has required us to set a professional goal and complete the PDSA (Plan / Do / Study / Act) paperwork that went along with our goal setting.  I've done a variety of things over the years, aligned them to my site and district goals, and tried to follow through with them.

This year, I've been chosen to be part of a pilot program, called a Professional Learning Focus (PLF).  Apparently, our state is moving from the traditional goal setting program to one that is more individualized with a focus on professional learning.  This year is a pilot year, with full implementation in the 2018-2019 school year.  I'm super excited about this overall, because anyone that knows me knows that I love professional learning and reading educationally focused books and journals.  In addition, I am the PD coordinator for my site, so I will have the chance to develop some great learning opportunities for our staff that align to their PLF.

The overall idea is that each teacher will choose one of the 20 indicators from our teacher evaluation system that they want to work on, then write a goal focused on that indicator, identifying the professional learning / research that they would need for their goal.  This might be a book study, webinars, traditional PD sessions, PLC, peer observations, etc.

Here's my dilemma... I don't know which of the 20 indicators to choose!  I've narrowed it down to 3:

Indicator #9 - Involves All Learners
This indicator seems right up my alley.  It's about active learning, student engagement, high quality questioning techniques, wait time, etc

Indicator #13 - Monitors
This indicator really gets into some of the Formative Assessment techniques that I've been working on for the past few years which leads to Indicator #14 with adjusting the instructional program as needed.

Indicator #15 - Establishes Closure
Closure has always been a weakness for me, but it is something that I've slowly improved on throughout the years.

All three of these indicators tug at me... I love researching active learning techniques as well as better ways to make thinking visible through formative assessment and summarization skills.  I know that I have room to grow with each one of these indicators, so it's really just a situation of "decision paralysis" :)

If you have any ideas or suggestions, including any good books, articles, etc that relate to these indicators, please let me know in the comments on catch me ton Twitter :)

## Saturday, October 7, 2017

### Favorite Education Books - #MTBoSSunFun

Just a reminder that the #MTBoS Sunday Funday challenge is back!  This is a weekly blogging prompt that is hosted over at Julie's blog and this week's theme is "Favorite Education Books"

Every week, Julie will push out a new topic, you blog about it and submit your blog post using this Google Form.  On Sunday, there will be a huge list of awesome blogs to go read! :) YAY!

As always, this is a no pressure blogging challenge, so if you don't feel like blogging, that's okay!  I've had many weeks already where I've failed at blogging, so I'm right there with you!  However, this week is one I just couldn't pass up :)

When I first saw this week's prompt, I was like "YAY!!  I've got this one!!!", but as the week went on, I stressed more and more.  I struggle so much with figuring out my "favorite" anything - be it song, movie, book, TV show, etc.  I have so many favorites!  So here goes... my top 5 must-read books for teachers.

Must Read #1 - Make It Stick

See the storified Book Chats here

Must Read #2 - Embedded Formative Assessment

Dylan Wiliam is one of the educational gurus on formative assessment.  This was one of my first Kindle edu-reads and I still refer to my highlights many years later.  Formative assessment has been one of my ongoing professional learning goals and this book is one of the best books out there for formative assessment.  There is a newer version called Embedding Formative Assessment while I own, but haven't fully read - maybe that's a book to tackle soon!  The original EFA (pictured) was one of those books that I recommended over and over and over again to colleagues and administrators.  Man, I wish it were summer so I could have all day to read again! :)

See the storified Book Chats here

Must Read #3 - Mathematical Mindsets

I doubt there is a math teacher out there that is unaware of Jo Boaler and her work with YouCubed, mindset shifts in mathematics, and innovative teaching methods.  This book was one of our EduReads last year - See the Storify on Beth's blog - and once I got into it, there were so many provoking thoughts that I sent a recommendation to our district curriculum director to read this book immediately. Dr. Boaler definitely pushed my thinking on several topics, but she also opened my eyes to some of the damaging methods that are commonplace in k-12 education, specifically in tracking and middle school advancement.  I'm definitely not in the norm at my school with my beliefs on open enrollment and Dr. Boaler's work really pushes the fixed vs growth mindset as it comes to learning mathematics.

Must Read #4 - Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction

This book was one of our very first Twitter EduReads, back in the summer of 2012, even before we had the #EduRead hashtag and we used different hashtags for each book (this one was the ultra creative #lit4math).  You can read my book reviews here (Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4) and the book chat was Storified over at Pam's blog.  This book is a small one, but it really packs a wallop.  In fact, I can see it sitting under my coffee table right now, ready for me to read it again!  (So.Many.Books!!)

Must Read #5 - Every Minute Counts

This tiny book (and its sequels - Making Minutes Count Even More and Motivation Counts) were some of the first educational books I owned.  At the time I purchased them (back in the late 90s), I picked them up for about \$5 each at my local teacher supply store.  That store has been closed for many years and these books now cost a bit more, but they are still some of my favorites.  For at least the first 10 years of my career, I read and re-read this book series every summer and every time I picked up new nuggets of wisdom.  Each of these booklets contains only about 70 pages, but so many ideas.  Some of ideas are now dated, but practical advice never goes out of style!  The author's down-to-earth writing style and ready-to-use suggestions are what originally drew me to this book and continues to draw me in 20 years later.

What are your must-read books?  Blog about them, tweet about them, share them with us on the #eduread hashtag - I have at least 3 stacks of books to be read, but after writing this post, I just want to go surround myself with some old favorites :)