I wound up choosing the session by Michelle Naidu (@park_star) on using a "Just Enough" approach to intervention. I will give a brief descriptor of each day's session in each day's blog post, but the first day's session discussed what differentiation is and is not. We, as a group, discussed what accommodations and modifications were and how they were used.
One idea that Michelle used that I really liked was the bullet point method. We were grouped and sent to different chart paper areas around the room. We were asked to write down the difficulties of implementing differentiation in our classrooms, and we were required to use a open bullet point. We used this in later days to fill in our comfortability and level of understanding. I thought this was a good and quick way to formatively assess.
Another idea in the session was to do the snowball activity. Someone writes an idea on a piece of paper, crumples the paper and tosses it in the classroom. Then another student or group participant picks up the paper and can respond, write a question, or add an idea to the paper. Then that person tosses the paper again and writes another idea or question. Then the ideas are shared out loud. This was another idea for formative assessment, and I really liked the idea that it was anonymous.
Yet another great idea in the session was for teachers to take their standards and print them out on cards and sort into common groups for structuring a course. I really liked this idea. Also, go and check out #TMCdifferentiate to read our feed.
Our first session of My Favorites was right after lunch, and I really enjoyed listening to Jonathan Claydon (@rawrdimus) talk about Varsity Math, Hedge (@approx_normal) discussed Snagit, and Deb Boden (@debboden) discussed Pac Man Transformations. I really liked what Hedge said about TURDs. Wait for it...Truly Unfortunate Representations of Data.
Then we had Jose Vilson give the keynote address after lunch. Mr. Vilson discussed issues with math and social justice. I liked when Mr. Vilson said that we all share students, regardless of whether we do so or not. I also liked how he mentioned that standardized testing is having many negative consequences on low income school, which makes me extremely, extremely sad. Below is a slide that Mr. Vilson shared with us, and I wanted to share it with you.
“Showing Your Work” Meets “Doing The Work”
Math teachers ask critical questions
Math teachers ask these questions of themselves and others
Math teachers prepare for teachable moments
Math teachers expect non-closure
Math teachers stand on principles of inquiry and openness
Math teachers allow for multiple pathways
After all of this, the day was far from over. I went to Julie Reulbach (@jreulbach) and Julia Finneyfrock's (@JFinneyfrock) session on Pear Deck. After this session, I felt much more comfortable with Pear Deck, and I can't wait to use Pear Deck in designing student lessons!! After this session was my own session, which I will discuss in the next post.