Monday, March 10, 2014

Recognizing Our Implicit Assumptions

I'm reading The Teaching Gap with my EDI 331 students (again) this semester. Every time I read it, I find something different that stands out for me. First, it was the perspective I gained by comparing "typical" lessons from Japan, Germany, and the U.S. The second time, it was focus on improving teaching rather than improving teachers, which coincided with all the voices in 2012-13 clamoring for attracting better, smarter, more biz-savvy people into the teaching profession, because--the voices loudly proclaimed--the teachers we have now are just not cutting it.

This time around, what struck me was the discussion of the culturally embedded assumptions of what it means to "teach, learn, and do mathematics".

Some of my students have been tweeting about that:

With that context, let's get on with the post.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

SBG Targets: Rubric or Checklist?

As I prepare learning targets for my next unit of instruction, I am contemplating whether it might be useful to split my targets into two categories: Checklist Targets and Rubric Targets.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Reflecting on your Coaching Session

When I supervise student teachers and teacher assistants, I use cognitive coaching to frame my classroom visits. Students fill out a pre-observation action plan, using their goals for professional growth to identify a focus for the observation.

After the observation, we use a coaching reflecting conversation to reflect on the lesson and construct new learning. Students then reflect on the process by writing a blog post on the subject.

They are invited to use one of two formats for their written reflection:

Option 1: What, So What, Now What?
  • What? What are some of your main takeaways?
  • So what? Why are those important to you? 
  • Now what? What are the implications? How? When? Who?
Option 2: Mirror the reflecting conversation framework.
  • How did it go? (Were you successful? How do you know?)
  • Why was it so? (What caused it to go that way?)
  • How did you grow? (What have you learned? How will you apply this in the future?)
  • How did this help you know? (Be meta-cognitive: Reflect on the process.)
Here are a few sample posts from a few of my students to show how this might look.
So, how do you go about reflecting on your teaching?  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Coaching Session - Who's Engaged?

I recently completed a couple of classroom observations with student teachers who had identified student engagement as one of their personal learning goals on the action plan for the observed lesson. We agreed I would collect data on student engagement at five-minute intervals using an annotated seating chart.

Here's the diagram from one of the classes. Letters "A" through "H" mark students who I judged were not on task at at least some point during the five minute time index of the survey.

What do you notice? What questions do you have?

Here's the diagram from another class at a different school. The seating arrangement shifted mid-lesson when students began to work in pairs; these pairings are indicated as bolded connections on the diagram. 

Again, letters "A" through "H" mark students who were not on task at that time index of the survey. You can see a chronicle of this lesson below the chart.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

How Am I Doing? EDI 331, W14

In EDI 331 - Mathematics Teacher Assisting, I engaged each of my students in a one-on-one Cognitive Coaching session aimed at setting goals for their teaching practice this semester. I have found that setting goals focuses my efforts, and I make an effort to set two or three explicit goals for every course I teach.

Well, I have been having my students blog about their teaching goals, so I thought I might take some of my own medicine and share mine too. So, without further adieu...

My goals for EDI 331, W14 are:
  1. To provide home workshops that are relevant, useful, and engaging.
  2. To make sure our in-class workshops connect with the home workshops and extend them in a meaningful way.
  3. To foster appreciation for the math-twitter-blog-o-sphere as a means of professional growth.