Yesterday I found out about a meeting I needed to attend today that all of the interventionists/specialists from the district were invited to attend. It is the first of four professional learning opportunities with Dr. Pam Rosa. Here is what I found out about her online, prior to attending the meeting: Dr. Pamela Rosa, a certified Danielson Facilitator, and a consultant of educational initiatives, specializes in teacher and principal evaluation, professional growth processes, as well as mentoring and coaching. She has worked as a teacher, literacy coach, principal, district administrator, and state board consultant. Her educational leadership and policy degrees are from Illinois State University and University of Illinois. I wasn’t sure what the focus of the meeting was going to be and because I only met my 6th grade students yesterday, I decided to attend the meeting for the morning portion and come back to teach my students.
We received the book Learning-Focused Supervision – Developing Professional Expertise in Standards-Driven Systems. Dr. Rosa talked about how the title should really be Learning-focused Conversations because Supervision makes it sound like we are higher than the teachers we are working with, which isn’t true. We had a lot of great conversations in our groups and I am excited for the next three meetings to continue the discussions. It sounds as though my district is trying to move towards having the interventionists also be “coaches” to work with teachers as well as the students we are working with. I LOVE this idea and it is something I think I will be good at, however I thing they should be separate positions. If the interventionists are really there to assist struggling learners across all grades in their school, then there is little time to really focus on helping teachers in an effective way. This isn’t finalized, just an idea I think right now, but I will be interested to see how it all pans out.
Today in 6th grade students completed a reflection on yesterday’s Pentomino activity for their warm-up and were given their composition notebooks for their Interactive Student Notebooks. Times have changed and students are not issued textbooks anymore because our math resources are fully digital. However, we still need to practice good note taking and have a place to show our work and practice, so the students and I will be creating our own textbook this year, called the Interactive Student Notebook (ISN). I have used ISN’s for a few years now and love them. It will be different working on it along side the digital math program, but I am sure we will find a process that works well.
I collected their homework from the night before which was the pennant about themselves. I had two students not color or decorate even though the typed directions said to and I had one student who didn’t complete it. When I asked him why and had him complete my missing homework form, he stated he had soccer practice and couldn’t do it. Seeing as though it was the FIRST assignment that required them to tell me a bit about themselves, I was a little surprised…I could expect that from an 8th grade student, but I wasn’t expecting it from a 6th grade student. I had a conversation with him about making sure he brought it on Tuesday and I debated the rest of the day whether I should use this as a first contact with his parents. I decided to let it go and see what he brought on Tuesday.
They completed their “I Notice/I Wonder” again for Friday and some of the things they wrote were adorable and insightful:
“That I am making new friends.” (I forget that the 6th graders come to us from 3 different elementary schools.)
“You are a really fun teacher.” (YIPPEE!)
“That you wrote back from yesterday.” (I heard them talking when they sat down that I wrote them back. I am glad they liked it.)
“Everything is organized! I love that!” (Awesome…a girl after my own heart!)
“There is a basket that looks like a basketball hoop.” (Yep, bought it last year for Trashketball!)
“You play music everyday for math.” (Yes and I need to get more music to play. I use an app called Seconds to organize music with breaks and this idea came from Mr. Vaudrey and I have LOVED it since I started using them! I think it will work better with the 6th graders too.)
“When we will have a party.” (Hmmm…this is middle school, no parties. Unless we are celebrating Math!)
“If I’ll ever memorize my passwords.” (Yikes, we even tried to make them easier for students by having most logins & passwords for multiple sites be the same. But this is all new for the 6th grade students.)
“If Math will always be this fun.” (ABSOLUTELY!)
“What digits is about.” (I need to explain this more. It is our districts adopted digital resource for our curriculum.)
“How many pages we will use in the composition notebook.” (All of the pages! Actually, good question, close to all I think.)
ISN Pages – I will link to my printable pages or where I found the pages.
Title Page – Math Coloring Page
Author Pages (in Pictures & in Words – Sarah Hagan’s Math Autobiography Foldable)
Study Buddies & Clock Partners
Table of Contents (TOC booklet – Shelli’s great one page TOC)
They seemed excited about the ISN and I was reminded that I need to get more tape dispensers and glue sticks. The materials I had from last year didn’t quite make it. I purchased new materials bins with lids that don’t come off, but they are smaller, so I think the tape and glue sticks will have to stay somewhere else.
I am looking forward to a nice long Labor Day weekend. I have planning to do for next week, but I will probably save it for Monday!