Saturday, June 11, 2016

Time for a change

I want to change the way I teach. I see a lot of students mindlessly memorizing patterns and procedures without any understanding the math I teach them. Technology into the classroom has forced me to do less lecturing and be more student centered and student driven. It is difficult though within the constraints of the calendar to make great changes. I'm expected to give tests and quizzes on the exact same day as everyone else.
      But I long to see more real understanding from my students, more discussion. I'm thinking about teaching equations in a different way next year. Maybe start with having students make up their own equations by writing word problem scenarios. I want to take Kasey Bell’s magnetic poetry, and change it to magnetic equations. Then they can drag expressions ( magnets) onto the refrigerator, write their own equations, solve them, and make them into a word problem. I think writing their own will give more meaning to it than just copying equations and learning the procedures to solve them. Once they write them I'll have them take a screenshot, and then post them on a Padlet so other students can see them. Its an experiment, but I just can't do things the same as last year. I used a lot of apps and experimented a lot last year within the constraints that I had. But I'm ready to bump things up to a new level, actually changing the tasks.
       I'm really excited to be getting a new room, and 1:1 Chromebooks next year. I'm thinking about how to use those tools and rearrange my classroom. I'm reading about Hyperdocs. I think they are a great way to create “student adventures “ in a creative and colorful way.
     I'm meeting with other teachers this summer to discuss ideas, share ideas, and collaborate. This is sooo Awesome! I love showing other teachers what I've been doing, and showing them how to do stuff. It's great to see what they have been doing and learn from them. They are so talented! It's good to get feedback on your own ideas to make them better.
     I'm going to my first GAFE conference in July. I'm curious and excited to see what goes on there. Also being part of the “Chromebook Cohort” is going to be amazing. We will attend a two day bootcamp, then have tech coaches in our classes next year observing and helping us. But the opportunity to help other teachers is what excites me the most! There is just something magical that happens when another teacher tries something new , and then sees how they can use it in their own classroom that is so satisfying to me.