Saturday, June 29, 2013

July Currently

Linking up with Farley for July currently.  Can't believe this is my second post of the day!  My middle son is in a BB tourney and he won his first game today.  YIPPEE!  My youngest was supposed to have a LL game this morning and it got cancelled even though we had no rain (well just a couple sprinkles). He has now had more games cancelled than he has played this season.

Looking forward to checking out what everyone else is up to this July.  The summer is flying by way too fast for this girl, but I am relaxing and having fun to the fullest degree.  Join Farley's link up.  It's a fun way to meet other bloggers.

Minds on Math Book Study-Chapter 1 "Minds on Math Workshop"

Minds on Mathematics Book Study

Thanks everyone for joining our book study on Minds on Mathematics Using Math Workshop to Develop Deep Understanding in Grades 4-8. by Wendy Ward Hoffer. There is no formality to joining this study other than creating and linking any posts you write about the given chapter. Details on the book study can be found here.  Please feel free to join the book study at any time.  You are also welcome to share ideas in the comment section or on twitter using the hashtag #momathchat. As we progress in the book study we will choose a specific time to chat on twitter, but for now just use that hashtag for anything related to minds on math workshop.  I look forward to reading all your posts.  Please link them up at the bottom of this post and add the button code to your posts.  Thanks again everyone!

Discussion Questions:
1)  What were your biggest ah ha moments from this chapter?
  • All students are capable of brilliance.  I think sometimes we underestimate the ability of our own students to engage in rich challenging tasks.  I know I have been guilty in the past of not allowing students to struggle so they can achieve their own understanding of a task rather than me holding their hand step by step.
  • What makes workshop model instruction unique and distinct from typical classroom instruction is the focus on student thinking before, during, and after work time.  I think in the past I focused on this mostly during work time or when students asked me individual questions.  I need to really focus on student thinking at all times.

2)  What components of math workshop are already present in your classroom?
  • Challenging Tasks- Our district adopted Carnegie Learning Middle School Math Curriculum.  We used the curriculum with all our classes this past year.  The consumable text is filled with rich challenging tasks.  Also there is an abundance of problems that scaffold nicely for differentiating.
  • Community- I think the structure of our lessons this year really built a sense of community in the classroom.  
  • Collaboration and discourse- My students worked in collaborative groups last year.  By semester my accelerated students were really fully immersed in working in their collaborative groups.  I had a harder time trusting it would work in my other math classes, but by the last quarter my other classes were working in collaborative groups.  The discourse was amazing to hear.  I became a facilitator of their learning rather than a dispenser of mathematics knowledge.

3)  What are your next steps for planning for math workshop in your classroom this coming year?
  • Focusing on how to manage conferring in my classroom.  I attempted conferencing with students and did from time to time, but nowhere to the level expected in the minds-on workshop.  
  • Looking at the structure of my class I need to be more purposeful in the opening.  I will be working on creating minilessons to share with students prior to them collaborating in their groups.  Getting the whole group back together every lesson for sharing and reflection is an important component I need to focus on.  I was really good with formatively assessing my students via exit slips, but I need to improve on having students share solutions and challenges as a whole group so they can see the thought process of other students and be able to explain their own thinking.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Minds on Math Book Study-Blog Post Schedule

Thanks everyone for the great response to the upcoming book study.  We will start this coming Saturday 6/29 so we can jump right in and get going.  I know some of you head back to school at the end of July.  Lucky me, I won't be going back until the last week in August.  I wanted to get the book study started so we can finish up in the beginning of August.  We will be posting two chapters per week, on Tuesday and Saturday, that way each post will be devoted to a specific chapter in the book.  You can certainly jump in and post on previous chapters at anytime so don't feel like you can't join in if you don't have your book yet.  Just start posting as soon as you get it.  I will be attempting to have us all link up together (another new thing I am trying so if anyone wants to help me with that let me know).

If any of you have experience with making a blog button please contact me.  I have a button on my sidebar for this book study, where you can paste in code, but for some reason if you click on the button itself if does nothing.  I was able to upload a clickable button, but could not get the text code to copy below it.  If any of you could assist me in getting a clickable button that would have the text code pasted below I would be extremely grateful.  The button is all made, I just am having HTML issues getting it to function the way I want it.  I am a little out of my comfort zone when dealing with HTML. 

The way the book study will work is every Sat and Tues I will post about the assigned chapter with some possible discussion questions for you to think about as you post.  You are free to post about anything you want related to the chapter.  If you have any related stories or classroom experience that would be great.  Everyone will link up their blog posts and then we can read each other's posts and share comments.

More details will be coming about a twitter chat related to our book study.  Please let me know the best day/time for you to do a chat if you are interested.  If you are not currently on twitter it is very easy to sign up.  My twitter id is @luvbcd so feel free to contact me with any questions about the book study or thoughts about the chat.

Thanks everyone for being so will to dive in and join the first book study I am hosting.  I look forward to collaborating with all of you!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Minds on Mathematics-Using Workshop to Develop Deep Understanding in Grades 4-8 (Upcoming Book Study)

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**UPDATE 6/27**- Please see this post for information about the Minds on Math Book Study including the blog post schedule.  We will be starting this coming Saturday 6/29.  Please order your book ASAP and start posting as soon as you can.

**UPDATE 6/24**- There seems to be enough interest in doing a book study so we will move forward.  Please purchase a copy of the book as soon as possible if you are interested.  I purchased my book at Amazon and it arrived in less than a week.  I would like to get the book study up and running next week.  Of course you can join in at anytime, but it will be easier to stay on track if you get your book sooner rather than later.  I will be doing another post on the book study with more information in a few days.  We can try a hybrid study where you can post thoughts on your blog, but we can also try a chat on twitter for more.  I spent more time than I would care to admit making the Book Study Button on the side of my blog.  HTML is not my forte at all.  If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions for the book study please leave comments.  Thanks for everyone interested in joining in.  I am looking forward to a great exchange of ideas!

Hello to all my dear blog friends.  I am trying to find out if there would be enough interest to do an online book study  of Wendy Ward Hoffer's book:
Minds on Mathematics 

I purchased this and other books a few months ago.  I have skimmed the book several times, but am looking forward to doing a more in depth reading of it this summer.  I am trying to see if there is enough interest to do an online book study via blog posts or twitter chats.  I am open to doing either or both.  I would love to connect with other math teachers that are moving to a workshop delivery model of instruction in middle school math.  I have yet to find any teachers that are doing the workshop model for math that aren't elementary teachers.  

I will be taking a graduate class on math workshop model this summer with my entire 7th grade math team.  I am hoping to have the book finished by the time I take the class.  I know if I am doing an online study or chat that will keep me accountable, plus it would just be awesome to share ideas with other like minded math teachers out there.  I am lucky enough to be able to collaborate with my real life content team members.  The online book study would be a chance to connect globally with other middle school math teachers.

If you have any interest in either a blog book study or twitter chat please let me know in the comment section.  If there is enough interest we will proceed.  If not, I will still plan on reading the book and sharing what I learn on my blog.  I know it would be much more fun to collaborate with some of my amazing blog and twitter followers!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five for Friday-June 21st

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday to get myself back in the blog posting mode.

I finally finished school last Thursday.  We have a staff cookout on the last teacher day where our PE teacher cooks burgers, brats, and chicken and everyone brings in a dish to pass.  There is always a ton of delicious food and it's a nice way for the whole staff to get together one last time before leaving for summer.

I spent the day getting my room all packed up.  This summer our rooms are being used for summer school which meant we really had to pack up and cover everything.  I am lucky because I know the teachers that will be using my classroom so I don't have the worry about things getting lost or broken.  Much better than a random teacher coming in.

This is the cart full of goodies I brought home for the summer.  Everything is still sitting in the foyer and living room so I need to get things organized.

All packed up and ready to turn off the lights one last time.

Just call me the bag lady.
Took my three boys to the Milwaukee Public Museum on Monday.  Mondays are free for Milwaukee county residents and this is on my summer bucket list every year and then we seem to run out of free Mondays and don't end up going.  This year I was determined to do it right away.

While we were walking through the Streets of Old Milwaukee Exhibit, my oldest son's shoe fell apart.  He has Adidas slides and one fell apart.  Luckily the kind woman working in the candy store had some clear packing tape so we were able to wrap that baby up and it held up fine.  

We had a great time and then walked to a Spanish tapas restaurant for lunch.  The food and service we less than stellar so we won't be returning, but I was proud of my boys being adventurous to try something different.

My youngest had me take numerous photos of himself at various exhibits.

The butterflies loved our oldest.  I think he wanted to come see a Comets game.
Love the igloo.
Friday night we had our end of the season LAX picnic at a park.  Ben won the big raffle prize of a beautiful framed photo of the prayer they did before every game.  Ben and Drew each also won $25 from the fundraiser raffle.  This was the first season of the boys playing Lacrosse and we could not have had a more enjoyable time watching them.  It is such a fun and entertaining sport to watch.  Both the boys loved playing and all the parents were great.  I am a total LAX convert and it is by far the most fun sport to watch IMO!

Ben won the big raffle prize.  That was the prayer they said before every game.

Drew before his game.

Ben facing off.
Father's day was spent doing lots of yard and housework as it was our first free weekend since LAX started back in April.  We have been gone every weekend day for either LAX games or select BB tournaments.  It was kind of a chill day for us.  We went out to lunch at Red Robin and then had my parents over for a dinner of grilled salmon, crash hot potatoes, and grilled romaine salad.  I finally made fruit pizza which my middle son has been begging me to make for a couple of weeks.

It was a beautiful night so we ate outside and then Greg threw the LAX ball around with Ben, while my dad played catch with a Cooper. We ended the evening with a neighborhood game of kickball in our backyard.  It was such a great day celebrating my dad and my husband.

Papa with his boys.

5th:  I was out of school less than a week when I went back for a day of math planning for Carnegie.  It was really hard to feel like I was on summer break after spending 8 hours on planning.  I am so looking forward to this coming year as my good friend Charla is going to be a 7th grade math teacher.  She will make a great addition to our content team and I look forward to collaborating with her.  No photos of the math planning day, but I'm sure you can all picture how exciting it was.  LOL!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Currently June

I'm linking up with Farley for her June Currently.

Listening:  My boys drive me absolutely crazy because they seem to be physically unable to play the Wii together without arguing.  Sometimes I get so annoyed we unplug it completely for several days.  Watching the new show Motive.  It's OK.

Loving:  How much fun this weekend was.  Both my older boys had a LAX tournament in IL so we stayed overnight at a hotel.  Each were supposed to play three games, but the final games got rained out.  Everyone signed up to bring different food so we had five tents with an impressive spread of food.  The boys all had a blast.  This is the first year my sons played LAX and it had become my favorite sport to watch.  It also helps that it's such a great group of parents to hang out with.

Thinking: How school ends in less than two weeks.  It has been another great year and I cannot believe the days left with my kiddos are in the single digits.  We have had such a great year as we implemented our new math curriculum Carnegie Learning.  I am so proud of all my students accomplished this year and how they have grown as students and individuals.  I will definitely miss them.

Wanting:  Someone else to pack up my room for me.  It is my least favorite task to do, other than making seating charts.  I have started to declutter as much as I can.  This year we are having summer school classes in our rooms which stinks because I have to pack up every little thing and lock up as much as I can.  Much more work than other summers.  Boo!

Needing: To get to sleep earlier tonight than last night.  The boys all swam in the pool while the adults had some cocktails on the patio outside the pool.  My boys were in heaven hanging out with their friends at the hotel.  It was a late, but super fun night for all of us.  Today we spent nine hours outside in the fresh air and I am spent.  The boys both played two LAX games and unfortunately got rained out for the last one.  My 7 yo has a LAX stick and so he was playing around all day.  He fell asleep on the car ride home.