We are Better Together

We are better together.  Say that out loud.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

We are better together. 

I just returned home from Edcamp Math and Science at Eden Prairie High School.  (Beautiful campus, by the way.  Thank you for hosting us.)  I’ve made a conscious decision over the last year or so to only attend conference sessions on topics I’m already using so that I can refine and improve.  It’s too easy for me to get swept away in the glitz of new classroom tools that draw me in with edu-buzz-agogy like “classroom engagement” and “streamlined feedback.”  Instead, I focused on two things:  Number Talks and Desmos.

I attended Christy Pettis and Terry Wyberg’s session on Number Talks at the state math teacher conference last May and learned a lot, so you didn’t have to twist my arm to get me to listen to them again.  A quick survey of the room revealed that the group ran the gamut of novice to expert when it came to experience with this transformative classroom routine.  I’ve used these in my classroom regularly and was still able to gain many useful strategies to make this process even better.  I loved how Christy was able to turn the strategies into area models so that students make that connection.  That was something I had not thought of but will definitely be implementing starting Monday.    Again, it’s worth repeating:  We are better together.   Here are my notes:

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Next up:  Desmos.  The program speaks for itself but it was lovely to have someone on their payroll available to demonstrate its flexibility.  Thanks, Christopher.  Who knew projector mode was so amazing! And I never knew how to create a dragable point.  Child’s play, I know, but new to me.

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Right before lunch, I joined Seth Leavitt for a conversation on race in math and science.  An overarching theme was that students of color are over-represented in remedial math classes.  Seth encouraged a continued conversation with leaders from our school districts on equity and access in mathematics and science.  I’m committed to this ongoing discussion in St. Francis and to ensuring our students of color have opportunities to take high level mathematics.

Thanks, Casey Rutherford, for organizing this again this year and allowing us to get together and get better.  Teaching is hard, but we are better together.

 

 

 

 

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