Curating for Colleagues…

I sort of missed this post this week, so here it is.  In my search for things to curate, I came across two pretty cool sites.

Get the Math:  http://www.thirteen.org/get-the-math/

This site has Algebra related challenges for students to solve within various fields.  I would probably create some sort of handout to go along with this for accountability purposes, but the site does a nice job of laying out the problem and making each challenge engaging.  They use diverse examples of how math is used in various careers!



ClassFlow:  https://classflow.com/

This site looks AMAZING.  I'm not sure I have the time to integrate it this year, but if I still have Chromebooks next year, it would be awesome to use this.  I have the class blog, where I post all assignments, but this is even better.  I really like the real time assessment aspect as well.  I can see what kids are thinking immediately and adapt instruction based on individual needs.

 


Curating for Colleagues…

I sort of missed this post this week, so here it is.  In my search for things to curate, I came across two pretty cool sites.

Get the Math:  http://www.thirteen.org/get-the-math/

This site has Algebra related challenges for students to solve within various fields.  I would probably create some sort of handout to go along with this for accountability purposes, but the site does a nice job of laying out the problem and making each challenge engaging.  They use diverse examples of how math is used in various careers!



ClassFlow:  https://classflow.com/

This site looks AMAZING.  I'm not sure I have the time to integrate it this year, but if I still have Chromebooks next year, it would be awesome to use this.  I have the class blog, where I post all assignments, but this is even better.  I really like the real time assessment aspect as well.  I can see what kids are thinking immediately and adapt instruction based on individual needs.

 


Search 7 Sunday!

As I continue learning about connected learning and equity, here's what pops up!

1)  YPAR - In this week's reading by Nicole Mirra, YPAR popped up again.   She discusses doing YPAR work in an after school program through UCLA as well as with English students in a teaching role.  She did this YPAR project while still working in a standards based curriculum.  This gave me hope that work like this is possible even when you must prepare students for a standardized exam.

2)  Mentors!  It is vital that we have mentors especially in making our classroom more equitable to give all students access to quality education.  In the schools I have been in, there aren't many other teachers who sees value in making education equitable or even know what that looks like in a school.  For that reason, it becomes important to stay connected with people outside of school and maintain digital relationships with mentors :)  Brother Mike Hawkins talks about the impact of mentors in a video from this week.

3)  Student relationships - Shout out to Eric for taking the time to recognize every student's birthday in his classroom.  This may be the only recognition some kids get on their birthday.  It is a small and unexpected gesture that builds relationships.  Next year…!

4)  I talked about it in a previous blog post, but I feel strongly that taking more class trips and bringing kids into the world is the best way to facilitate learning.  A colleague of mine planned an exchange trip to bring 15 Arab-Israeli students to Cheltenham for this week.  I was honored to be a part of a pop-up getting-to-know-you session yesterday and am very excited to go into Philly with them on Friday.  Even in the hour or so we were playing games and greeting each other, both the Arab-Israeli students and the American students were learning a lot about just being human beings and being welcoming.  I am so impressed with my colleague who made it all happen.

Here's a photo from yesterday…


5)  I appreciate #2 especially on the list of the Activists Share Seven Key Insights:  Create a Safe Space.  I know from experience that if this does not exist, not much valuable work will happen with youth.  You might also end up doing more harm than good.  Students must feel comfortable.

6)  This one stuck out to me too: Commit to diversity and include a broad range of issues.  I sometimes get hung up on wanting to expose my students only the issues that are happening in the US to people that look like them.  After talking to the teacher of the Arab-Israeli students yesterday, I was reminded of how valuable it could be to bring up issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to open students minds and give them a global perspective.

7)  Lastly, I don't think we value pop-up thoughtfulness enough.  A short note, a surprise gift, just small gestures can brighten someone's day.  There is a program called Secret Pals for the teachers at my school.  You are assigned a fellow Secret Pal participant and you buy small gifts or cards for them.  It's such a great feeling when a gift pop-ups in your mailbox :)  The world needs more Secret Pals!

Alright I'm poppin out!

-Lizzy

Search 7 Sunday!

As I continue learning about connected learning and equity, here's what pops up!

1)  YPAR - In this week's reading by Nicole Mirra, YPAR popped up again.   She discusses doing YPAR work in an after school program through UCLA as well as with English students in a teaching role.  She did this YPAR project while still working in a standards based curriculum.  This gave me hope that work like this is possible even when you must prepare students for a standardized exam.

2)  Mentors!  It is vital that we have mentors especially in making our classroom more equitable to give all students access to quality education.  In the schools I have been in, there aren't many other teachers who sees value in making education equitable or even know what that looks like in a school.  For that reason, it becomes important to stay connected with people outside of school and maintain digital relationships with mentors :)  Brother Mike Hawkins talks about the impact of mentors in a video from this week.

3)  Student relationships - Shout out to Eric for taking the time to recognize every student's birthday in his classroom.  This may be the only recognition some kids get on their birthday.  It is a small and unexpected gesture that builds relationships.  Next year…!

4)  I talked about it in a previous blog post, but I feel strongly that taking more class trips and bringing kids into the world is the best way to facilitate learning.  A colleague of mine planned an exchange trip to bring 15 Arab-Israeli students to Cheltenham for this week.  I was honored to be a part of a pop-up getting-to-know-you session yesterday and am very excited to go into Philly with them on Friday.  Even in the hour or so we were playing games and greeting each other, both the Arab-Israeli students and the American students were learning a lot about just being human beings and being welcoming.  I am so impressed with my colleague who made it all happen.

Here's a photo from yesterday…


5)  I appreciate #2 especially on the list of the Activists Share Seven Key Insights:  Create a Safe Space.  I know from experience that if this does not exist, not much valuable work will happen with youth.  You might also end up doing more harm than good.  Students must feel comfortable.

6)  This one stuck out to me too: Commit to diversity and include a broad range of issues.  I sometimes get hung up on wanting to expose my students only the issues that are happening in the US to people that look like them.  After talking to the teacher of the Arab-Israeli students yesterday, I was reminded of how valuable it could be to bring up issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to open students minds and give them a global perspective.

7)  Lastly, I don't think we value pop-up thoughtfulness enough.  A short note, a surprise gift, just small gestures can brighten someone's day.  There is a program called Secret Pals for the teachers at my school.  You are assigned a fellow Secret Pal participant and you buy small gifts or cards for them.  It's such a great feeling when a gift pop-ups in your mailbox :)  The world needs more Secret Pals!

Alright I'm poppin out!

-Lizzy

What is Academic?

I've been sitting here reminiscing with my brother about a French trip to Montreal/Quebec that we both went on in 8th grade.  And it got me thinking about where I could take students that would be as fun and memorable as I remember the Quebec trip being.

It was easy to find cool trips that would be super fun and interesting for students (and for me).  My brother even remembered the company our trip was through, Jump Street Tours.  I was thinking about a trip to Atlanta or maybe DC.  Despite finding a lot of wonderful trips, I couldn't help but think that none of the trips were very relevant to my content area, Algebra I.  Relevance is on my mind being that my supervisor subtly questioned why I was chaperoning the Philadelphia Zoo trip today...

All of this led me to really question what is "academic" and who gets to decide.  Taking kids to Atlanta has no real math specific relevance, but the itinerary was well rounded and would expose kids to many new experiences.  Going out into the world and interacting with it is meaningful.  I'm not sure what biological processes kids learned today at the zoo, but I am positive that they made discoveries.  They were curious and eager to see different species and learn their names.  I also saw kids who never talk come alive around their friends.  I likewise saw kids who are normally the center of attention humbled when they had to make new connections with different kids on the trip.  They were learning!  On so many levels!  Even just a short trip down 76 opened their minds at least a small bit.

Today made me really question what I'm doing.  Not because I don't see the value in learning Algebra I, but because I don't see the value in making learning Algebra I into a race that ends at a disappointing standardized test finish line.

I could remake my curriculum.  I could make it realistic and useful and relevant.  But not with the current set of standards.  The standards are too many and too deep to remake them ALL to fit into a school year.

When my brother and I thought about high school class trips we took, we didn't come up with much.  I have resolved to take my students on one class trip per year...although it might be too late for this year.  It is so vital for kids to travel outside of their comfort zone and experience the world.  It's so unnatural to keep them cooped up in a school for four years and then let them loose to the "real world."  One of the most academic advantages we can give students lies in exposing them to this world.

Here's to more field trips!!  :)

Chilling with a peacock.


This blog post was inspired by this post by Dan Meyer:  (One Of Many Reasons (Why Students Hate Algebra

What is Academic?

I've been sitting here reminiscing with my brother about a French trip to Montreal/Quebec that we both went on in 8th grade.  And it got me thinking about where I could take students that would be as fun and memorable as I remember the Quebec trip being.

It was easy to find cool trips that would be super fun and interesting for students (and for me).  My brother even remembered the company our trip was through, Jump Street Tours.  I was thinking about a trip to Atlanta or maybe DC.  Despite finding a lot of wonderful trips, I couldn't help but think that none of the trips were very relevant to my content area, Algebra I.  Relevance is on my mind being that my supervisor subtly questioned why I was chaperoning the Philadelphia Zoo trip today...

All of this led me to really question what is "academic" and who gets to decide.  Taking kids to Atlanta has no real math specific relevance, but the itinerary was well rounded and would expose kids to many new experiences.  Going out into the world and interacting with it is meaningful.  I'm not sure what biological processes kids learned today at the zoo, but I am positive that they made discoveries.  They were curious and eager to see different species and learn their names.  I also saw kids who never talk come alive around their friends.  I likewise saw kids who are normally the center of attention humbled when they had to make new connections with different kids on the trip.  They were learning!  On so many levels!  Even just a short trip down 76 opened their minds at least a small bit.

Today made me really question what I'm doing.  Not because I don't see the value in learning Algebra I, but because I don't see the value in making learning Algebra I into a race that ends at a disappointing standardized test finish line.

I could remake my curriculum.  I could make it realistic and useful and relevant.  But not with the current set of standards.  The standards are too many and too deep to remake them ALL to fit into a school year.

When my brother and I thought about high school class trips we took, we didn't come up with much.  I have resolved to take my students on one class trip per year...although it might be too late for this year.  It is so vital for kids to travel outside of their comfort zone and experience the world.  It's so unnatural to keep them cooped up in a school for four years and then let them loose to the "real world."  One of the most academic advantages we can give students lies in exposing them to this world.

Here's to more field trips!!  :)

Chilling with a peacock.


This blog post was inspired by this post by Dan Meyer:  (One Of Many Reasons (Why Students Hate Algebra

My Make: Faces of Gender



This week I made an animation using Flipagram!  I originally was going to just make an animation of how my face changes when I put on make up, but then thought PUTTING ON MAKE UP IS WACK!  Now I know I don't HAVE to put on make up to go out, but there is something ingrained in me that says "Don't leave the house without make up Lizzy!"  I'm not someone who wears a ton of make up, but just the fact that I have that little voice makes me mad.  Like how much of my life do I waste putting on make up?  How much more time does my boyfriend (or most men) have because they don't?  I know there are bigger more important issues surrounding gender equality, but the unrealistic beauty standards that women are subjected to are pretty horrific.  There is part of me that likes putting on make up, even if deep down I know I don't have to.  Maybe I should try to go a week without and see how I feel - sounds like my challenge for the week.

Here's the animation I came up with!  Paired with Beyonce's song Flawless which I thought was pretty appropriate  :)



My Make: Faces of Gender



This week I made an animation using Flipagram!  I originally was going to just make an animation of how my face changes when I put on make up, but then thought PUTTING ON MAKE UP IS WACK!  Now I know I don't HAVE to put on make up to go out, but there is something ingrained in me that says "Don't leave the house without make up Lizzy!"  I'm not someone who wears a ton of make up, but just the fact that I have that little voice makes me mad.  Like how much of my life do I waste putting on make up?  How much more time does my boyfriend (or most men) have because they don't?  I know there are bigger more important issues surrounding gender equality, but the unrealistic beauty standards that women are subjected to are pretty horrific.  There is part of me that likes putting on make up, even if deep down I know I don't have to.  Maybe I should try to go a week without and see how I feel - sounds like my challenge for the week.

Here's the animation I came up with!  Paired with Beyonce's song Flawless which I thought was pretty appropriate  :)



What’s the Right Answer? Memorizing and Calculators in Math



I have recently got caught up reading articles about the role of memorization and calculators in math education.  This is a big debate and something that I see every day.  Many 9th graders do not know their multiplication tables which consequently affects their division skills.  These same students often cannot add and subtract positive and negative integers.  As we move through Algebra I, it becomes increasing difficult for these students to achieve at high levels without knowing these basic facts.  It must be frustrating for them and discouraging as the curriculum picks up.  I would equate it to trying to drive a car, but you don't know the rules of the road or what any of the street signs mean.  You are therefore going to make lots of silly mistakes and break rules and maybe get in an accident.  Eek!

These skills using basic operations are things that I feel should have been honed in elementary and middle school.  So when a student gets to me and doesn't have them I only have a few options.  Do I spend time trying to teach those basic skills (leaving many students who know the skills bored and losing interest)?  Or do I hand them a calculator and spend time teaching them how to properly use it?  It's a hard call to make.  I mostly leave it up to the students.  If they want to use the calculator, I'm not going to stop them.  But if they want to use their own skills and maybe hit some road blocks, I allow it.  I'm not sure if one way is better than the other, but I do wish that all of them came in better equipped...

I asked my boyfriend what his experience has been with memorization and calculators.  I wanted a different perspective and I know that him and math have historically not gotten along.  He was saying some really interesting things so I decided to record our conversation.  It seems that he was passed through and was not unlike some of my students now.  He never learned his multiplication tables as a kid...he got passing grades...and now still relies on a calculator as an adult.  Is that good?  bad?  Does it matter?  See what he had to say in my interview with him

.


What’s the Right Answer? Memorizing and Calculators in Math



I have recently got caught up reading articles about the role of memorization and calculators in math education.  This is a big debate and something that I see every day.  Many 9th graders do not know their multiplication tables which consequently affects their division skills.  These same students often cannot add and subtract positive and negative integers.  As we move through Algebra I, it becomes increasing difficult for these students to achieve at high levels without knowing these basic facts.  It must be frustrating for them and discouraging as the curriculum picks up.  I would equate it to trying to drive a car, but you don't know the rules of the road or what any of the street signs mean.  You are therefore going to make lots of silly mistakes and break rules and maybe get in an accident.  Eek!

These skills using basic operations are things that I feel should have been honed in elementary and middle school.  So when a student gets to me and doesn't have them I only have a few options.  Do I spend time trying to teach those basic skills (leaving many students who know the skills bored and losing interest)?  Or do I hand them a calculator and spend time teaching them how to properly use it?  It's a hard call to make.  I mostly leave it up to the students.  If they want to use the calculator, I'm not going to stop them.  But if they want to use their own skills and maybe hit some road blocks, I allow it.  I'm not sure if one way is better than the other, but I do wish that all of them came in better equipped...

I asked my boyfriend what his experience has been with memorization and calculators.  I wanted a different perspective and I know that him and math have historically not gotten along.  He was saying some really interesting things so I decided to record our conversation.  It seems that he was passed through and was not unlike some of my students now.  He never learned his multiplication tables as a kid...he got passing grades...and now still relies on a calculator as an adult.  Is that good?  bad?  Does it matter?  See what he had to say in my interview with him

.