Monday, July 25, 2016

My #TMC16 takeaways (Post #2)

I'm still working through my #TMC16 thoughts, so bear with me...

One of the keynote speakers, Tracy Zager, pulled up this comic:

(It's from a post by Ben Orlin here.)

Honestly, it makes sense to me. I feel pretty confident in my content knowledge but struggle with the pedagogy (which I think of as the "why" of teaching). And stereotypically the elementary teachers aren't as knowledgeable but have great ideas in how to run their class. (Although my kids have had several excellent, strong math teachers... and yes, I totally feel bad about stating that stereotype.)

Tracy's point was that we have a lot we can learn from each other. I agree. But how do we get there?

My biggest takeaway from Tracy that I would like to incorporate into my classes this year is the idea of a closing activity. Nothing major, but just giving the kids the opportunity to think about what we'd done, what they'd learned, what they had questions on, etc. Not necessarily an exit slip (been there, tried that) but a chance to reflect. And not pack up their stuff with 10 minutes left. :)

My travel buddy Pam Wilson told me about an idea she'd heard in relation to using a closing activity. If you're anything like me, time totally gets away from you. So what Pam suggested is to set your fitbit (because so many people have them!) alarm for 5 minutes before the end of each class. That silent alarm won't disrupt the kids because they won't hear it, but it would be a great warning that time is ending soon!  And 5 minutes gives plenty of time to wrap up the activity, reflect, and pack up stuff.

(BTW, I really enjoyed the 12-hour drive with Pam! Such a sweet lady. And I kept sending myself emails of Pam's ideas on the way home so I wouldn't forget anything!)

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