Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Promising Practices

When I woke up on the Saturday of Promising practices I was exhausted and nervous about what to expect of the day. I got ready early so that I could look presentable for the day’s activities. I have never really been to something like this before and I wondered if it would be boring or not.  When first arriving I checked in and the process was quick and easy. After that I sat down and had some of the breakfast that was offered to us. I thought the Don was nicely set up then how it usually looks. I also thought there would be many more people at the conference then there was. My first session workshop was D- Christy/Goodrow: The Elementary Math Specialist. When I first saw this I wasn’t really that excited because Math isn’t my favorite subject, but that workshop ended up being my favorite. The Curriculum Resource Fair I found very useful and it had a lot of things that would be useful in the classroom. My second session work shop was L- Thompson: Destination Fun. Seeing this I was very excited because with a title like Destination Fun I thought it would be a fun workshop. But it turned out being not what I expected, the presenter mostly talked at us and her co-presenter just sat there and didn’t say much. Also when we did a group project she expected us to know exactly how to find longitude and latitude on a map which I haven’t done in years.  After this session it was lunch and I thought it was good and better then what I expected. Finally it was the keynote address by Dr. Dennis Shirley. I thought that Dr. Shirley was very insightful and interesting to listen too. He talked a lot about the struggles teachers face in the school systems and didn’t sugar coat it. He didn’t say teaching is easy and you will never encounter problems. He made it real by saying yeah there is going be problems and struggles but if you have a good support system you can make it through.
My favorite workshop was in session 1 workshop D- Christy/Goodrow: The Elementary Math Specialist. At first I didn’t think I was going to like it but as the workshop went on I enjoyed it. The first thing we did was fourth grade level math problem. These are the types problems we had to do at the beginning of the workshop. It showed us 35x25 solved in three different ways. We then had to explain how each student got their answer.  After that we were asked what method would be correct to use at all times and the answer came to be all three methods could be used every time. When the class was asked what method we used majority of the class answered the same way. But no one knew why we we’re taught that way, we just were. This made me think of Delpit. When we were in third or fourth grade first starting to learn about multiplying two digit numbers most of us never wonder why we were taught it that way, that’s just how it was and we didn’t ask questions. But now students learn so many different ways to solve the same problem which can cause confusion. After the worksheet we went over a power point of research experiment they did. They wanted to try out how effective a math specialist would be in a fourth grade classroom at the beginning of the school year. A math specialist is a teacher who specializes only in math and comes in the classroom to only teach math.  In this experiment there was both a control group and an experimental group. The experiment was taken place B.F Norton Elementary School in Cumberland R.I who’s scores were 30% below basic rate in Rhode Island. After the experiment was over the scores of the students went up from the previous years and the students became more efficient in math.  After listening to the presentation I believe that schools should have math specialist and every other type of subject specialists. I think if schools had this students would be learn about each subject better. This is a website that the presenters gave us that has a lot of helpful teaching advice that would help us in our classrooms one day. I was really happy with this workshop and felt that I learn a lot from it.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like you actually got a lot out of this. Hope you will attend again!