Sunday, September 25, 2016

Reflecting on the week

  PERSONALIZED  Learning : What I've been doing has a name. Well, I corrected the second unit’s quiz on multi step equations. The class average was between 70 and 77%, not as good as the first test, but WAY better than last year. Unfortunately the Internet is not working now for the past week, so I'm not going to be able to continue my personalized videos until they resolve it. But I am showing videos in the front of the class and having kids come up to the board to do problems. The training they got working on their own seems to be continuing anyways.Thank God! But I am plagued by questions like “ are we using Chromebooks today? And when will the Internet be fixed? But I have no answer.
    I presented for the first time at the GAFE summit in Bloomington. I had a lot of anxiety, but it turned out fine. I learned sooo much. I'm already thinking about what I'm going to change for my CMC Math conference presentation . One thing I hadn't thought about was who would be my audience. I only had 2 math teachers in my group. The rest were English , History, Art, Science, and Foreign language . I ended up showing them some things that weren't planned because I wanted them to take away something more. The Art teacher stayed late after the session to discuss Art and math, and how she was having her student’s draw 3-dimensional cubes, prisms, and other math shapes. She was an amazing artist! I also made a new friend/colleague….Mr Bee! I asked him for some feedback on my presentation, and he made some great suggestions. It's good for someone to be honest ,so you can improve.
    Yesterday I went to EDCAMP Azusa 2016. My Tech.Coach Paula shanghaied me into helping. I had to be at her house at 6:30 am. It actually was fun helping and checking people in. In one of the sessions I got to demonstrate Quizizz. I also investigated Adobe Spark with another teacher I've never met before. My favorite session was on making videos. Paula had an amazing idea . She talked about how she had kids do test corrections by making a video on the problems they missed, having them explain how to do it on video. I'm definitely trying that. I love that idea! An added bonus, during the raffle I won the book “Instant Relevance”. Nice that I don't have to buy it now. I've been wanting to read it.
   Today I'm thinking about non digital lessons.I just can't go back to powerpoints and worksheets.I've come too far for that. I'm considering asking for my old portable whiteboards back from the Library.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

An amazing week

 What a week! Well it's official my unit tests averaged at 80% which has NEVER happened since I've been teaching the common core. I'm gonna keep going with the videos  and the hyperdocs  to see if it continues. Also just a few days ago someone I really respect @ alicekeeler  featured some of my blog posts on her blog. I pretty much learn something from her posts almost every day.  It's so wonderful  to have what I'm doing be validated. Being on Twitter has changed the way I teach.
       Now to gear up for the GAFE conference next weekend . My presentation is finished. I'll be talking about my digital assignment folders on Google slides, and the transformation project on Google slides.  I'm excited and a little nervous to be a first time presenter.  It seems amazing that I just attended my first GAFE conference this summer in July, and now I'm a presenter. What's even cooler is that my Tech. Coach Paula , and Estefania who I've been collaborating with this summer are also presenting.The Chaffey district will be well represented!
      I'm really excited to have my students use my two step equations Hyperdoc . It has my adapted Kasey Bell template for Magnetic equations. I hope the students enjoy dragging the stuff onto the fridge to make equations. I made 5 videos today , and need to make many more. I really LOVE using videos. It gives me time to walk around and help individual kids. Also one side benefit is that I have more energy in the classes because I'm not teaching the same thing on the document camera for 4 classes in a row like before. The videos teach it for me, so I can check for understanding.  The kids can watch the video over again while I get to another student. I don't feel as though I can't get to everyone like before.
     Here is a link to the guest blog feature @alicekeeler. What a week!…

Thursday, September 1, 2016

What is going on in my classroom?? Something is working!!!

My students test scores on the first two tests are higher than they have ever been in the last 3 years since we started the Common core. What's going on???? This summer I decided to make very short  2 minute videos on my iPad to teach the skills and concepts. My students come in, grab their computers and log into Google classroom where I've posted the videos and digital assignments. I've done very little direct instruction, and almost NO NOTES! I only had them take notes on a Nearpod presentation that was also interactive. They don't have a formal notebook either. I didn't make flip books like last year. But somehow they are learning, and much better than before. Today I gave a Unit test. I remember it taking two days last year. This year most of them finished it in 20 minutes, only five students per class need to finish tomorrow. I'll have the others move onto the next lesson while they finish. It's more  individualized. I mostly walk around and help individuals . I have them sitting in groups. There's more discussion. The class is noisier .They aren't doing much homework either. They only have homework if they don't finish in class. I've considered that maybe I have students with more ability, but I have 11 special Ed students in my 5th period, and a 1:1. My teaching partner is on leave, yet these students are also performing well. Yes it is only the 3rd week of school, and we have had our share of internet problems . It's been unpredictable, but we persist. I'm not sure why this is working. I’m wondering if there is any research on this. My class isn't flipped. They watch all the videos in class.WHAT’s Happening? Why is this working? I'm going to continue this. When the material gets harder will this stop? Will they be less engaged? Will I need to change and rethink it? Lots of questions, only time will tell. But I'm loving this!