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Monday, September 30, 2013

Loving What I See At Our School

Today I was able to get into a few of our math classes. I started with two of our 6th grade classes. Since they plan with me and we all plan together, I knew that they would be teaching the exact same concept but we really push the idea that every teacher is their own person and can teach in whatever way they feel comfortable.

The concept: Finding Greatest Common Factors and Least Common Multiples with Venn Diagrams

In the first room our teacher was starting with a video rap about multiples. His surround sound system with max base had the class rocking. Then he projected a blank venn diagram and asked for students to explain how a venn diagram worked. With this still projected he brought up a video explanation with the video venn right where the other had been.

The students, meanwhile, were taking notes and following along with the videos that were embedded in our LMS (Learning Management System) called ECHO.  When I left, the students were engaged and actively working on this:



Across the hall I went to the other classroom where I found the teacher engaged in an explanation of accessing something on the iPad - in Spanish. We are happy to have many bilingual teachers in 6th grade and with dozens of students who have Spanish as their primary language, it sure helps.

As I entered the room I couldn't help but notice that the activity (above) was up on the board.  The students had their iPads open and were busy working.  As I scanned the room I noticed some QR codes on a board for each period with "Answers to Friday's Quiz" written about them. Since I was in 3rd period I scanned the 3rd period QR and it took me to a Padlet that was blank.

The teacher told me I should scan the ones for 1st and 2nd since they had worked on this and so I scanned the QR's.  There I found students had placed the problems from the quiz that they had worked out using Educreations.

Two different classes. Two different teachers. But the same content. Both classes were steeped in technology use but were using different apps and/or sites. I went to these classes randomly and I left feeling really good about the math instruction our 6th graders are getting. A teacher, new to the school, asked me as I walked back to my office, "Would you have your kids at this school?"  That's a resounding YES!