Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cool Tools Thing 03: Twitter & Online Communities

As you can see by the title, I have started a Cool Tools professional development. For my first blog in the PD, I have decided to dabble a little bit more into Twitter. I created a Twitter account about 2 years ago, but it has been a very slow process of using it. At first I started following different teachers and reading their tweets. Being a math teacher, of course, I follow @fawnpnguyen, @jreubach, @ddmeyer and @joboaler. They help me get ideas for my classroom as well as reassure me that I am doing great things with my students. Being in a 1:1 classroom and now an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, I started following different leaders and innovators in the digital environment. I follow @davidwkwan (goFormative community manager), @adambellow (BreakoutEDU co-creator), and @E_Sheninger (Award winning principal) among many others. They have motivated me to start tweeting and showing others what I am working on and how I am helping my district. I have started tweeting and connecting with others while I was presenting at conferences as well as helping the Central Office twitter as our Superintendent Conducted a Town Hall Meeting. As you can see by my blog, I have also added a twitter widget on the right side of my blog. I am excited as I continue tweeting and embracing the connecting that I make through it. Follow me @yelena585.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Geometry Resources 1:1

Our school has implemented 1:1 environment for the last six years, but our district is a little bit behind. I can't blame them, our districts has 27 elementary schools, 14 k-8 and k-12 schools, and 25 secondary schools. This summer the instructional technology team asked me to compile the resources that I already use to teach in the 1:1 environment. They are hoping to share the resources with other teachers in other schools to help them get started with using chromebooks in their classrooms. We use buzz as our learning management system, so naturally I compiled the resources in their, but I wanted to make sure that if we stop using LMS or if I ever go somewhere else I can take the resources with me. So I ended up creating a google spreadsheet with links to the resources that I use. Most of the resources I have not created and tried to give credit to those people that did create them, unfortunately sometimes I don't even know where I got the resource from. I also organized the resources by topics because even though we use common core state standards, NYS has gone through 3 major math content transformations in the last 10 years of me teaching.  I am sharing the document here and would love for all to add more resources. I would also like to do something similar for Algebra as well. Let me know what you think,


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Need feedback for a presentation

I am participating in MTBOS Blougust, super excited. This post is to actually ask for some feedback. My friend and colleague and I are presenting at NYSCATE, AMTNYS and STANYS conferences. One of the sessions is called Are my students getting it? Find out through formative assessment with web tools.

Here is the description of the session:
Join two urban teachers as we share the free web tools we have used to monitor student understanding and ensure that our kids are getting it. Leave this session with a repertoire of strategies to enhance formative assessment, generate meaningful data, facilitate student feedback, and drive learning in your 1:1 environment.

We created an outline of the presentation but would like your feedback. Please leave any comments, suggestions in the google doc.

Formative Assessment Presentation

Also if you are interested here is a blog that we are keeping and will be updating as we present at the conferences.


Classroom Management

I have been revisiting my classroom management and rituals and routines in the classroom for the start of the year. I have came up with a list of items that I either do or want to implement this year with my students to help me with my rituals and routines.

Group Roles: I started using group roles at the end of last school year, can't wait to use them this year. I have the roles taped onto an index card and laminated.
Here are my roles:

FACILITATOR (“The boss”)
focus on group process

·      Reads the problem and the questions
·      Makes sure everyone understands each question before the team begins to discuss it
·      Enforces school CREST
·      Helps the team reach consensus
·      Calls the teacher over for a group question
MONITOR (“The nanny”)
focus on group resources and time management

·      Get & return all needed supplies
·      Keeps everyone on task
·      Monitors time
·       Moves the team along to assure that the tasks are done in the allotted time
RECORDER (“The writer”)
focus on group record

·      Keeps track of the team’s work
·      Writes down the team’s answers
·      Make sure everyone takes good personal notes
·      Sets aside papers for absent group members
PRESENTER (“The star”)
focus on group reporting

·      Makes sure the group discusses how it functioned during the activity
·      Shares information with other groups if necessary
·      Reports the group’s answers during the class discussion

Accountable Talk: I have a bulletin and table signs that address accountable talk. I have students use accountable talk stems when they are working in groups and talking to each other about their task.

Noise Level and How are we learning: I found on pinterest a how are we learning poster so I incorporated it with a noise level poster that my friend has created. See the posters below.
I also has this amazing "Turn and Talk" tips that I use as a reference when students are discussing their bellwork with each other. I also found it on pinterest. 
I created table signs that say group numbers and remind students what are the expectations are based on the kind of activity we are doing.
·       Silent (Level 0)
·       Stay on task
·       Raise hand for help
·       Take turns
·       One partner talks, the other listens
·       6 inch voices (Level 1)
·       Hold each other accountable
·       Eye contact
·       Give everyone group member a chance to speak
·       Respect one another ideas
·       12 inch voices (Level 2)
·       Do your part
Whole Class
·       Listen to others (Level 0 when listening)
·       Raise hand to speak (Level 3 when speaking)
·       Pay attention to your teacher
·       Participate in discussion – share ideas!

Job Roles: I like to have jobs in the classroom, it helps me stay organized and includes students in my classroom routines. I have a bulletin that is designated for the jobs. I do have to add the jobs that will be used this year and who will be doing them.
Here is the list of jobs that I have had in the past: Passing out papers/returning work back to the students,  collecting work from students and putting it in the bin, compiling missing work for absent students, passing out/collecting graphing calculators, passing/collecting supplies, cleaning tables/sweeping, answering the phone.
I would like to use these jobs but also incorporate some of them in my group roles.

Anchor Charts: In the beginning of the year I don't have too many posters on the wall. I have inspirational posters that of course I took from pinterest, but leave a lot of wall space blank. As the year goes on, the students and I create anchor posters to review concepts that we are talking about. I also love to leave student work all over the room. It's fun to see other students coming into my class and asking me what my students were doing.

8 Mathematical Practices: I have posters that I found on pinterest that I have posted in my room. I used the practices a lot in my planning but unfortunately I did not reference the practices posters with my students. Next time I might do a google doc reflection on 8 mathematical practices used, still need to think about this some more.

Daily Points:
In the beginning of the year I used a handout that was in their folder. Everyday I would give students at most 5 points for following rules and expectations in my classroom. This was very time consuming and I ended up coming across http://www.classcraft.com/. It was a game changer, students loved it. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.

Green, Yellow, and Red Cups:
This is a structure that I have not used yet. I see it being very beneficial when I do group work, which is almost every day. Read more about using green, yellow, red cups from this blog http://rockstarmathteacher.blogspot.com/2016/07/idea-smashing-for-my-collaborative-team.html

Monday, January 4, 2016

Formative Online Tool

One of the online tools that I have been using for formative assessment with my students is Formative. You can create questions for students to answer and then you can see exactly what the students do on your dashboard as they are completing the problems. You can create multiple choice and short answer questions, as well as white board problems. The most exciting tool on the site is being able to add a picture, such as graph paper and have students draw right on the picture. Students can even show all the work on the white board and submit it to me.

I have had opportunity to work with the Formative team to create some assessments. I and others took the Engage NY curriculum and rewrote the exit tickets into Formative. I am also working on rewriting the NYS regents algebra multiple choice exam questions into Formative. Check out the spreadsheet of teacher created formative assessments!!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Google Draw

I love using sorting and matching activities with my students. This year I started digitalizing these types of activities. I came across a website created by Mrs. Ferguson's. She had a great way of using google draw to create sorting and matching activities. Using her idea I started creating my activities. I share the activity with student via google classroom. Students work in pairs or groups on the activity, then they individually submit the activity back for grading. No more time spend printing and cutting out paper and now students have the activity as a reference in their google drive.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Checks for understanding

There are different ways that I check if my students understand what they are learning. Here is the list of my checks for understanding.

Exit Tickets - After my students watch a video on brainhoney I like to give them an exit ticket to see if they understood the activity. Sometimes I also use it as checks for understanding after students work in groups.
I don't just check if students understand the concept, but I also ask my students how well they focused in class and if they understood the learning target. You might wonder what CREST is, its an acronym for our school habits of mind. I modified this template from https://sites.google.com/a/leadps.org/lpshgeometry/.

Thumbs a meter - this a great quick way to see if my students understand what I am telling them. I ask students to show in front of their chest a thumb up, thumb sideways or thumb down. I usually use this after I give directions to see if students understand what they are suppose to do.

Fist to five - I use this to check students understanding of the learning target. I usually use fist to five check numerous times during the 45 minute class. I have a poster on my wall that I show to my students, totally stole the idea from pinterest.

Traffic Light - I use this after a hands on or group work activity. I give each student a sticky note and then ask them to complete one of the prompts based on the work they did in class that day.
Green - Today, I learned because...
Yellow - Today, I considered a question, an idea, or a new perspective...
Red - Today, my learning stopped because...
As they leave my room they post their sticky note on corresponding color of the poster that is on my door.

I came across this checks for understanding also while browsing pinterest, however after doing it for a year, I saw it in a video on teaching channel website. Here is the video: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/daily-lesson-assessment

3 - 2 - 1: I like to use this check for understanding after students watch a video. I ask them to write down 3 things that they learned, 2 vocabulary terms and their definitions, and 1 question that they had after watching the video. I have seen so many different variation of this check for understanding. You can have students define 3 vocabulary words, use 2 of them in a sentence, and 1 that still confuses them.

Socrative (Technology!!!):  Of course because we have technology I also use socrative. I like to ask questions on socrative after I do a mini lesson. Then we go over the results so I can clarify anything before students start working in their groups. This also helps me to see if I need to pull some students and work with them in a small group while others are watching a video or working in their groups. Sometimes its time consuming to create the quizzes on socrative, but I just came across a google sheet that has a shared quiz list. Check it out: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dtoP6ivVNJtqTw0d6OSKLEq5WlZZ7ak9onjU1kph0Co/edit#gid=1870625971

I am always open to trying new ways to asses my students, leave a comment with suggestions.