Today all of the secondary math(s) teachers met and had a mini-conference. At least, I guess that’s what you would call it. We had several sessions to choose from during 6 different time blocks. I was presenting during 2 of those blocks, so I was able to attend 4 other sessions.
The first session I attended was about Smart Amp. This appears to be a pretty neat platform with lots of different collaboration options. We did run into a few technology glitches, but those had more to do our with our district filtering. It was a great session. I don’t know that I will use Smart Amp this year just because I have several other new things I will be implementing this year. I will keep it in mind for later.
My second session to attend was presented by an Algebra 1 teacher at another campus and how he uses standards-based grading and Workshop Model. I found this to be very informative because I plan to incorporate SBG this year. At this point, I still have no idea how I am going to implement it, but I still have a little over a week to figure something out. My mind has been struggling with this idea for a few weeks. I want the grades I give to show what students know, not whether or not they can turn in work. Yes, they need to turn in work for me to know what they know, but I don’t want to give them a zero just because they didn’t turn inn an assignment. The teacher that was presenting used some spreadsheets to help him keep track of grades and then he would add them to the district gradebook later. I am looking for something that might be a little easier to track. I have looked at haikulearning.com and created an account to play with. I really have very little idea about how to proceed. I am reading Marzano’s “Formative Assessment & Standards-Based Grading.” I have barely started it, though. Lots of reading to do in the next few days.
After lunch, I attended my friend Mary’s session on Modifying Problems for Workshop. She did a great job!! It was encouraging to hear that I don’t have to have a “juicy” problem for every day of the year. I was really kinda stressing about that! Mary shared some great examples of problems to use and some great resources (#MTBoS). I know I have a great resource to go to this year as I am modifying problems for my students to use as rich mathematical tasks. Thank you, Mary!
The final session I attended was Google Math. We looked at different Google Apps and how we can use them in a mathematics classroom. I already use most of the ones we talked about, but I did notice a few new things in some of the Add ons that I hadn’t seen before. Time to do some more playing around.
Today was a great day of learning. We have some amazing, growth mindset teachers in Amarillo ISD! Thanks to all who shared their knowledge today!