Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Principles to Actions Book Club [phases]

Inspired by Kaneka Turner's #ShadowCon16 talk, I decided to form a Principles to Actions book club during the summer of 2016. Sorry, the club will be comprised of teachers in my district. I'm excited at how it is shaping up in the past week. I broke it into three planning phases before we actually start reading NCTM's Principles to Actions. I recommend you start your own. Here's why:

Phase 1:
I created a goal for the book club (inspired straight from Principles to Actions):
Collaborate with other TUSD teachers to strengthen our math teaching practice and improve the learning of mathematics by engaging students in mathematical thinking, reasoning, and sense making.
I reached out to a small group of (K-12) math teachers and coaches in my district to generate interest.
10 teachers replied with interest. We're ready for Phase 2.

Phase 2:
I will tap into the wisdom of these 10 teachers to help structure:
  • HOW we will accomplish our goal.
  • WHAT tools we will use to accomplish our goal.
I'm confident these 10 teachers will help structure how we discuss the book, how much time we spend as a book club, how we will collaborate (virtually or in person), etc. I also know these teachers will help suggest what tools we might use to help assist in the virtual collaboration. For example, Google Docs, Google Classroom, Padlet, etc. 

I asked them for input via Google Forms. Here are the questions I asked.

Once I hear back from this small group, I will move forward in structuring the PtA book club along with setting up the digital tools and spaces that make the most sense. Phase 3 is next...

Phase 3:
I plan to do a district-wide invite to the Principles to Actions book club so anyone who teaches math is invited. More importantly, I am counting on the small group of 10 teachers to reach out to other colleagues at their site and throughout the district to personally invite teachers to the Principles to Actions book club. I'm confident their reach and influence will make the collaboration more meaningful and fun for all invloved.

I've never done something like this before, but I'm excited because I am confident in the 10 teachers who have already expressed interest. I encourage you to find something mathy you can invite others to be a part in. Maybe it's a Principles to Actions book club. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or tips!



  1. This is very cool. I would consider making a mission statement or call to action similar to the way this is structured: http://gregmckeown.com/blog/read-one-platitude-filled-mission-statement-ill-scream/. I am using this knowledge for all my calls to action and have found it exceptionally useful.

    1. Thanks amigo!
      Thankfully Principles to Actions lays out some focused Calls to Action at the end to guide our discussions too.

  2. I'm planning a book study with P2A for the fall. And am planning on a hybrid f2f and online model as well. I was considering using Google Docs/Hangouts and/or Slack for the online collaboration piece. I was going to set it up so that teachers would receive CPD credit for the book study. I like the idea of starting in the summer though b/c there is just more mental energy available. Your post is super helpful and I love that you've decided to take it on. I would also check out #NCTMp2a b/c it might give you some good talking points to consider.

    1. SLACK!!!
      I totally forgot about that. I immediately added it to the list. Great idea!
      I will check out the #NCTMp2a.
      I really appreciate the suggestions, Bridget!

  3. What a great idea bro! This past year we have focused on Math Teaching Practice 2, 4, & 5. In our pull out PD days, we have read exerts from Principles to Action. So it would be super fantastic to now have my teachers read the research for themselves and be part of figuring out what this look like in Fontana. As a matter of fact after reading your post yesterday I emailed all the principals asking if they would be willing to purchase PtoA for all their math teachers. Just about everyone has responded with a resounding YES! I would love to find out more about the structure you are going to use as you conduct the book study.

    1. That's awesome that your admin are responding with support. I love the idea of reading excerpts at Professional Development. Someone on Twitter shared how they made Principles to Actions the structure for their math department. What a great idea, right?

      Keep me updated. I'll post soon about my proposed structure so the #MTBoS can give me some feedback.

  4. Thanks for this post! I am a math liaison in my district (my first year in this role) and I have been dabbling in running some book clubs this year, but really want to do some more next year - I think book clubs are a really powerful place for teacher learning. I am definitely stealing some of your planning ideas to get the ball rolling this spring. I appreciate that you shared this!

    1. Thanks Tamara. Please share any insights, feedback, or suggestions.