Tuesday, July 11, 2017

MfA, Student Surveys, Summer Math PL & the 100 Day Summer Challenge

I can't believe that it is already July 11th!  Where has the summer been going?  Even though we are on summer break till the day after Labor Day, one of my goals was to keep writing on here (I only blogger three times last summer) so here I am with my first post of summer break 2017:

Math for America
After packing and cleaning up my classroom for the year and saying goodbye to students for the summer, I got some pretty awesome news... I am a Math for America Master Teacher!  Yes, after applying and not getting in last year, I applied again this year, and earned a Master Teacher Fellowship, which I was super happy about.  Even better, the Living Environment teacher at my school also got in, so now our school is lucky enough to have not one, but two MfA Master Teachers, which means great things will happen over the next four years!  Too bad it happened after we had said goodbye to students because I had shared my experience applying to MfA the past two years with them.  I already signed up for orientation in September, and cannot wait to take in all the new learning and experiences to come from other MfA Master Teachers!  I worked hard for this, and man does it feel good to have finally earned this.  One thing I am a little jealous of is that since I just got in, I am missing out on the first MfA Summer Think going on this week. I have been following along on Twitter, and even though I can't participate this summer, seeing everything going on only makes me more proud thatI am finally a part of this amazing group of STEM educators!

EOY Student Surveys
Before the school year ended, my students took their EOY surveys for me.  Unfortunately only 81% of my students responded, but I did get responses from all five classes I taught this year.  I hope to spend some time in my next post really reflecting on what they said and how I can improve for next year.

Summer Math Professional Learning 
I had the first of three math PLs that I am going to this summer yesterday, on Enhancing the Math Classroom: Using Authentic Tasks to Support Conceptual Understanding (6 - 12) and next week starts Algebra for All for 12 days, which I couldn't go to last year because I was getting my Gifted Certification at Hunter College.  I was inspired to start the next year with a Dan Meyer 3 Act Task.  I did at least one with my 7th graders last year, and a couple with my 8th graders.  I think it will be a rich way to kick off the new school year.

I also signed up for The Art of Origami in Your Math & ELA Classroom at the Japan Society next month, which sounds fun.  I also hope to participate in the CAMI summer book club, which starts today.  We are reading Fostering Algebraic Thinking: A Guide for Teachers, Grades 6 - 10 by Mark Driscoll.  Lastly, I want to continue (and hopefully finish) becoming a Google Certified Educator this summer.  It was another one of those things that I started last summer, but never followed through.

100 Day Summer Challenge
Finally, this summer  Brilliant.org is hosting the 100 Day Summer Challenge, and even though I am slow to start (I was still teaching until June 28th), I finally got into this week, and I am loving it!  Every day from June 1st - September 8th they post a math problem or puzzle.  Like, I said I am behind, but currently up to day 5 and am on a 4 day streak.  I love this idea and wonder how I can do something like this in my classroom?  I already use the Math Counts Problem of the Week in my class, but find that it's always the same students who try it and would love to get more invested.  Since I am 36 days behind where they currently are, I am going to try and do at least 5 a day, which would bring me up to date by next week (yes, I had to do some math there).  I really do think that a essential part of being a good math teacher, is always being a math learner, and this challenge (as well as my MfA presentation last month) force me to push my own mathematical thinking, which is pretty neat.

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