Wednesday, June 15, 2016

GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL

 I've been watching the American Cup, and in NYC as far as I can tell it is only broadcast on Univision in Spanish. One thing I've learned is that the Spanish-speaking broadcasters have *incredible* lung support. Their sustained vowels are incredible. When I went to write the title "goals" on this post.. it came out in my head, well, like "GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL."

And perhaps, like the O's in my title, this list has too many items already.  I've been reflecting on this year, and I'm too antsy not to think about how I will improve for next year.

More instructional goals will likely come as I see my students' Regents scores. (Disclaimer: I recognize test scores are not the only or the final measure of learning, but passing this test is required for graduation. And for the population's I've taught so far... I know how critical that can be. This might have been a crude goal, but it's been necessary.)

- Make Time for Student Reflection & Summary: I need to build in more time for this. A recent post on #MTBoS (sorry I didn't mark the link!) went through phases of a math class, and the most glaring element I noticed missing from my own practice was this. Students need a chance to cement their learning by thinking about what it is they've just been doing. They need time to work it into their schema at the beginning AND end of the lesson if it's going to stick. 

How I'll do this: 
.. I don't know yet ! I want to research how others are doing this. I want to find a book on it. I'll send out a tweet about it.. 

It's a start..

- Increase Parent & Family Outreach:  
This year I taught "true" freshmen for the first time. This was the youngest group of students I've ever taught. It might sound obvious but I've learned how valuable a lever parents can be for student engagement and achievement. I want to keep parents posted on 

How I'll do this: 
- Use Remind actively 
-- Thursday Nights - HW Due Tomorrow! 
-- Upcoming Unit Tests
- Weekly Class Website Updates???

- Build My Math Acumen: 
As a French major, Special Education certified teacher and former mathaphobic, I've certainly  had my own personal moments of doubt about my math abilities and acumen. However, two perfect scores on CLEP exams, a Math CST pass and positive interactions with some true math experts later... my confidence is building. I know there is still more to learn, and I don't want to stop learning. I want to know not only my craft (teaching) but my content -- inside and out. I want to know what my students need to know years after Algebra. I want to be sure that I prepare them for any level of math in their futures and that I can answer any of their questions with confidence. 

 How I'll do this: 
 Attend some type of Twitter Meet Up this Summer
 Keep up my blog 
 Take math classes -- any ideas on this??  I don't need to earn credits, I just want to beef up my skills. If credit comes with it fine, but free is better.  Coursera? Open SUNY? 

- Make Math Musical: 
I have *always* loved music and performance. I didn't always love math.  It just makes so much sense for there to be more of this part of "me" in my classes. I'm not saying this isn't student-centered. Teaching is a personal business. Teaching needs to be authentic. Passion can be contagious. Music is powerful and powerfully tied to memory. 


 How I'll do this: 
Identify the big skills, concepts and facts students need to know and understand then parody songs using lyrics about math. I will choose songs I love, as well as a few I hope students also know and love. (Sorry in advance to students who I will ruin songs for...) 

Be More Socially Conscious

It sounds obvious, but I'm coming back around to something I heard early on in teaching. I don't just teach a content -- I teach... soft skills - collaboration, community, citizenship. In a recent post I talked about wanting to make changes to my teaching with the hopes that small changes make waves.  

Here's one resource I found already on this:
https://sociallyconsciousmath.wordpress.com/

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