Friday, December 21, 2012

Pinterest Love

I've created Pinterest boards to keep track of math activities I find.  Check them out!

Math Activities
Middle School Math

On Our Way!

My colleague, Shaheen, and I met with the principal and assistant principal at one of our district's elementary schools yesterday afternoon.  We wanted to discuss with her the possibility of meeting with all of her teachers when we return from Christmas break.  It was so exciting to meet and collaborate and to discover that we are on the same page and have the same goals for math education in our district!  When we do meet with her staff our main focus will be to just get everyone fired up about becoming part of the solution.  We want to make sure that elementary teachers realize how important they are to our math program and that any changes we try to make to the program will have a greater impact the earlier they are implemented in a child's math education.  This means that those K-2 teachers, the ones who don't currently have a standardized test to measure student achievement, are going to play a key roll in our evolution!  We discussed ways to recognize these teachers - having seniors write letters of appreciation to their elementary teachers, recognizing elementary teachers at graduation, even having the elementary teachers sit with the graduates during the graduation ceremony!  We also want to encourage communication between teachers at all grade levels so that we're not constantly "re-inventing the wheel" when it comes to figuring out what works for specific students or groups of students.  We want us all to feel the weight of what we're trying to accomplish.  When a student succeeds, we want EVERYONE to celebrate that success, and when a student fails, we want EVERYONE to be involved in coming up with ways to help that student.  It's a lofty goal, but one that we believe is completely attainable.  We just need to get buy in from everyone involved - administration, teachers, parents, and students.  It's so exciting to feel like we're finally moving towards making real change!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I've become such a fan of my google reader and all of the blogs I subscribe to - dy/danmisscalcul8Math = LoveEverybody is a Genius and many more (see my blog roll) - that I've been inspired to start my own blog, so here we go!
I'm the math department chair at the only high school in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas.  We are a 3A high school, which in Texas means we're not too big and we're not too small.  We have about 950 students in our high school (grades 9-12).  Our district has one junior high, one intermediate school, and two elementary schools.  We face the same challenges that many schools across Texas and even the United States face, a major challenge being effective math education in our district.  So this year, a colleague of mine and I have decided to tackle the daunting task of creating a cohesive, vertical, K-12 alignment of math instruction in our district.  And no, that doesn't mean that we're sitting down to write a scope & sequence.  Our goal is to align our instruction - how we present material, expectations we have for our students, communication between grade levels about what works for a group of students (and what doesn't), the whole shebang!  My goal with this blog is to document our pursuit in hopes that we can provide valuable insight to other schools.  I'll also be blogging about my personal experiences as a classroom teacher - activities, lessons, interactive notebooksstandards based grading, and flipping my classroom.  Wish us luck and let the journey begin!