Winding Down and Revving Up

June 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

It has been a busy past few months!  We wrapped up our school year with professional learning opportunities for teachers of grades 3-5 on implementing the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, as well as some sessions with kindergarten teachers.  All of our session were well attended and I think the conversations were worthwhile.  While we still have many questions, and teachers have many concerns and anxieties about teaching with these new standards, I truly believe that these standards will be powerful for our students as they develop into critical thinkers and problem solvers.  It’s difficult to be at the end of a school year and think ahead to the next school year when all teachers really want to think about is the summer break they’ve worked hard for.  However, our teachers in this district continue to be excited about another year and even with all the concerns and anxieties, they continue to put students first!  So as teachers were cleaning up their classrooms, closing up closets, and packing away resources for the summer, my partners and I have been busy planning our professional learning opportunities for the summer!

We have a jam packed June and July, but that’s not such a bad thing as it will get me that much closer to my due date with this baby girl arriving in August!  This year we adopted a new math textbook, and we are thrilled about the resource our teachers (majority) chose.  Our district went with Investigations in Number, Data, and Space.  We had our first session yesterday with half the day training with a Pearson rep diving into Investigations, and the second half of the day my partner and I led continuing to look at CCSS implementation, problem solving, and integrating the use of digital portfolios in math workshop.  Based on the feedback we received thus far, the teachers were a little overwhelmed, but overall excited and just hungry to get their own Investigations materials to absorb all of the “newness” of this resource. While implementing digital portfolios is very new, and only a few of the teachers in this first session had used traditional portfolios before, their response to that part of the session was positive.  Teachers shared in my own excitement about how powerful digital portfolios can be, while they also have valid concerns about storing students’ work, publishing it on the web, and complete strangers having the ability to view students’ work online.  It’s a different world we live in, however I do believe students’ safety has to be a priority as we continue  implementing technology.If you have been using digital portfolios I’d love to hear from you how you implemented, where you store them, and what mini lessons you taught students in getting started.

How was the end of your school year? Are you winding down for the summer or revving up to learn more?

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The 80/20 Rule Are You Grading or Reporting?

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Kristen Hahn

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