What did I forget to talk about?
Where could I have been more explicitly clear?
Where coud I have used a better strategy? ...and so on.
I use an estimation task (Day 127) to kick things off, providing teachers with the handout Michael Fenton created for estimation180.com and my students. The handout has been through many revisions and I think we have a final version that's a winner.
I use the whiteboard to write the "Too Low", "Too High", and "My Estimate" of a few teachers, asking for reasoning along the way. We watch the answer and discuss.
8:15 is a precious moment where a teacher asks, "Wait a minute! What was it (the song length answer) really?" I love how a teacher is demanding more information. I wish I spent more time expressing the importance of her question. I feel rushed because of all the workshop content I have prepared. I wish I had allowed the other teachers to address her question more. I do with my students, why didn't I do this here?
Active Notebook Part 1: 10:15-12:55
Teachers glue their Estimation 180 handout to the inside cover of their workshop Blue Book and the Table of Contents to the first sheet while listening to Can't Buy Me Love.
Preview of Workshop: 12:55-20:50
I attempt at working on the following question throughout the workshop,
What's our role as we reshape the classroom with the Common Core State Standards?I share with teachers what today will not be and what today will be. On a parallel universe I share with teachers what I perceive the CCSS to not be and what I perceive the CCSS to be. Then I share a few personal items from this past school year. Seeing that I'm doing a workshop with multiple grade level and content teachers, I'm expressing the focus of the day to be the 8 Mathematical Practices and what we do in the classroom. How do we help facilitate the learning?
Estimation Task #2: 20:50-26:45
We use Day 129 where teachers see that the song length is also the track length. Listen to their reasoning. I love this! Hearing this reasoning from teachers and students is one of the many joys I get from doing these daily estimation tasks. However, I wish I did a better job (23:50) of getting the teachers to justify their reasoning and "argue" a little more than I did. I wish I created a little more tension. Check out (25:00) the excitement of the teachers as they watch the answer.
I introduce the language of creating a task that has a low-entry point and could see that many teachers had no idea what I was referring to. Not their fault. However, I like their reaction when I translate "lower-entry point" to being easier. I wish I explained "low-entry point" better. I wish I had explained it as creating a task where most, if not all students have an equal opportunity to engage with the task, regardless of their mathematical proficiency. I wish I expressed the importance of providing students with a task where math vocabulary and thinking come as a natural result of solving the task.
Math Tools & Two Uses: 26:45-33:55
I ask teachers to glue a picture of a math tool to the front of their Blue Book and write down at least two uses for each tool. They have two minutes to complete this task. After We Will Rock You, I ask the teachers for their uses instead of telling them. This serves two purposes. Yes, I have a list of uses that I anticipate them to come up with, but I want to hear from them first, selfishly providing me with additional uses that I didn't anticipate. Secondly, I'm using this activity to illustrate how students need to provide the answers in the classroom. I wish I could have given this more time in the workshop where the teachers actually used the tools in the manners they suggested. I also should have had the teachers write down all the uses we came up with.
Introduction of 8 Mathematical Practices 33:55-1:04:00
Again, I'm feeling rushed for time! Yes, I said it, "Let me talk about these 8 Math Practices real quick." Real quick? How silly of me. These practices are not something to gloss over. Don't worry, we spend ample time doing a Jigsaw activity so teachers are out finding information about them. I provided the teachers with the handouts found at Jordan School District's site. The practices are presented in a manner representative of the grade level you might teach. Thanks Fawn for this link. I could have explained and facilitated this a lot better, but the redeeming value is hearing teachers that were appreciative of this specific activity because they were "forced" to explore the practices instead of just receiving a handout with the information embedded. If I were you, I'd skip the section (39:30-52:00) unless you want to hear some of the teachers talking in their groups as they rotate around the room to their four different stations. I'm proud of the rotation table I provided and how teachers travel together according to their "math tool." DON'T miss the "perfect high-five" at 38:10. I love that a teacher commented that "perfect" is subjective. I say this all the time to my students.
At 52:30 I give teachers time to regroup and complete the practices by receiving information from the other teachers in their group. I recap (1:00:00) and then show teachers how to create a pocket (1:01:00) inside their Blue Book so they can store a Quick Reference "teacher" version (I referred to as "adult") of the 8 Mathematical Practices.
I wish I gave more time for reflection. I wish I reviewed each practice with the whole group by having them share out loud something they learned. During the Jigsaw activity, I was told that my time with the teachers was cut short by about ten minutes so I had to hurry things along. Arghh!
Find My Mistake: 1:04:20-1:13:00
I made an executive decision to skip the model lesson I had prepared for the worksop. I'm glad I didn't skip the Find My Mistake segment of the workshop. I'm very adamant about teachers finding the mistake quietly here. I encourage them to share with each other before we review with the whole group. I give props to Michael Pershan for mathmistakes.org. You can hear kids in the hallway, alerting me that our workshop is coming to an end very soon. We listen to each other make corrections or talk about the misconception and why us teachers are good at knowing the content we teach. We're constantly telling students what their mistakes are and telling them how to fix it. Let's switch that role. Make the students find, correct, and tell each other what the mistakes are, especially items that use algorithms. Remember, most of the teachers here are elementary teachers. I also point out that I haven't been jumping for joy every time a teacher gets an answer correct. Instead, I try my best to throw it back on the class for what they think, allowing them to critique the reasoning of others. I love how estimation and number sense is addressed with teachers on how to help encourage students to avoid these mistakes.
I hit a nerve (1:10:45) when I was asked, "What about simplifying?"
I could very well be wrong here, but my current understanding is we (as teachers) are to allow for multiple representations of the correct answer, unless explicitly instructed otherwise. In other words, ten-eighths is just as acceptable as five-fourths.
I wish I reviewed with the teachers the importance of doing an activity like this quietly and individually first, before group discussion. I wish I expressed how much I love group work and collaboration, but need to remember both teachers and students need that quiet time FIRST. The worst is being in a group where one person dominates the conversation and you don't have time to think or worse, problem-solve. I wish I had covered this with the teachers.
I provide teachers with a fill-in-the-blank handout to glue to the inside of the back cover. Again, watch their reaction when we get to "low-entry" point. I hope I drive it home when referencing the "Cent-ed Whiffle Ball" task I recently did in Geometry. I remind myself and the teachers to listen to the students. I'm constantly working on allowing students to finish their thoughts. Don't cut students off or finish their sentences for them. I ask teachers to create a couple of goals. I provide the teachers with a list of resources found here. I like how they (at least some of them) want another in-service/workshop.
I wish I emphasized the importance of knowing the 8 Mathematical Practices better and to use the summer to better prepare for next year. I wish I had more time to pump up these points in the summary. I wish I had more time!
Unleash yourself in the comments if you will.