Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ramping up for Professional Development

As I plan and get ready for summer PD, I can't help but think there needs to be much more PD.  We can setup the best program in the world but without proper instructional techniques to back up the program, what is the point.  We are getting ready to implement a new elementary program for next year and prior to it going into place I want to see all the assessments created, enrichment at multiple levels (that is of good quality), enhanced writing skills, and strong remediation.

For most elementary teachers, the remediation is easy to do.  It is typically what they are best at.  However, enrichment is seen as an after thought and the instructional release of responsibility that goes with all of it is a tough road to climb.

So my question is this.  What is more important. 
     A strong instructional program that the best will soar with and the average teacher will do just fine.
     Strong instructional techniques that all teachers know what to do but how they do that is very inconsistent.

I choose both but fight this fight on a regular basis.

Friday, May 3, 2013

WMC Day 2

Just got home from the WMC.  Some really strong offerings this year.  I especially like NCTM president Linda Gojak.  She spoke about the mathematical practices.  It confirmed my thoughts and only allowed to take things a little deeper.  I strongly believe in tasks as entry points in a classroom, as enrichment, and as application.  However, while walking through the vendor area it is amazing what they feel are still tasks.

I want to see literacy, engagement, visuals, etc...  Publishers still give make believe problems sets.  I would think that would be harder to do than actual tasks.  Maybe they will get there someday.  Until then, send me your tasks and I will gladly add them to the database being developed.  I might modify them or reformat but I will get them on there.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

WMC 2013

Saw some great Ignite sessions tonight - a rap to the different levels of DOK, lots on engaging students with tasks and great discussion about the SBAC.  The common theme is reading,  reading, and more reading.  If we don't engage students in reading math,  then they will not succeed on the SBAC.

More to come tomorrow.  Hopefully seeing sessions on more tasks, the  daily 5 for math and presenting my own on we to begin and focus on when moving towards the CCSS.