Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Learning: Part 1

I just went through a two week training. My brain is full and I am excited to implement what I have learned. I have a little over a month before I get that chance, so while it is fresh in my mind I want to capture as much as I can here. I know it won't fit in one post so I am planning on at least 3.
This first one is to just share what I was lucky enough to be a part of.

There were a few organizations involved in putting this together. In Spring we were made aware of it and I applied for it. Honestly, the first motivation was monetary, participants were paid...but I had hoped to learn more about math. We all know, you can hope that with Professional Development, but it doesn't always happen. In fact, in the last few years I have had a hunger to become a better math teacher and really wanted to receive some training. As most of us in education know, not much is usually offered for math. So, I had no idea what to expect.

The participants were selected at random. At the end of the school year I received an email saying I was put on a waiting list.

Turns out with cancellations I was lucky enough to be chosen and found at just 4 days before leaving.

My first indication that this was going to be awesome was when I saw who one of my presenters were. This school year for a piece of our professional development we watched videos. When our first grade team saw the following video we were impressed. Listen to the number sense, knowledge and discussion in this first grade classroom.

Math Lesson

After seeing it I remember distinctly saying, "I want to teach like that."

So when I saw that Jeanne was one of our presenters I was so excited! Here is another one of her:


Jeanne and Mario were presenters from Thinking Math...which is associated with American Federation of Teachers. Thinking Math has been around for 25 years and I have a huge binder of the research behind this. It is not a program or curriculum. It is not an add on. It is research that shows how children learn best and gain an understanding for math.

Mario was a great presenter as well. He came down from Pennsylvania as a Thinking Math presenter. They made a great team, and I consider myself blessed to have been placed in this room.

My greatest reflection I gained about myself as a student of math, and therefore a teacher of math; I was taught the process. I never had an understanding. It explains when I became lost in the process in 8th grade my attitude about math changed. I couldn't keep up with the steps. It makes me wonder how I would have been different had I understood math. I do think some people do tend to look at things more mathematically than I do. I have always been a reading/writing girl. This then showed up in my teaching.

That has all changed. I do now have a better understanding. I have more to learn. I am excited to start digging in deeper. I am ready to spend a lot of time trying. I am prepared to stumble some and learn along the way. I feel I will have support and this will be a year ahead of learning and growing. I am much more prepared.

One of my goals is to write a weekly post on Thursdays....Thinking Math Thursday. (Hold me to this!) I want to share and reflect on this new adventure here. I am sure out there we have others who can support me, challenge me, or test the waters with me.

Stay tuned for part 2....some examples of what I learned and discovered.