In the process of flying back to California from our Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Spring Meeting.
- Talk in the classroom: Most Fellows (self included) started off thinking that kiddos talk a lot in their classes. It’s tricky thinking about how to get a classroom of 20 English Language Learners to talk to each other in English (especially since about 20% of them have arrived since January). This meeting has been pushing me about how to come up with questions based on anticipated solutions based on the learning goal for the day. A lot to think about, especially with planning time (any time) being scarce. But important.
- Rigor of tasks (and how I hinder and help that): On a related note, we also talked about how it important it is to maintain the rigor of tasks (in order to spur the aforementioned talk), but how often teachers undermine that with the types of questions they ask. Scaffolding and support is important, but I need to think about how to scaffold helpfully without taking away from students thinking and making sense of the math.
- Using social media to document and connect: Despite having been on social media since forever and despite my documented inability to quit, I’m always on the fence about social media. That being said, I wanted to challenge myself to document this meeting while staying engaged and without being obtrusive. Check out the Twitter feed and this storify (which shows some other Fellows documenting the meeting). We also did some exploring with Vine (a 6 second video editing tool) and came up with a way to process our cohort norms and a video about Newton’s 2nd Law that we shot and edited at 9pm in our hotel lobby. It took longer to edit the video than to shoot it.
It’s been a good meeting. I think I’m ready to start school again on Monday. We have a Professional Development Day for the math department on Tuesday and spring break is the week after.