Today is the last day of a regional conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Educators from as close as Oklahoma City and as far as Australia have been leading upward of 200 workshops since Wednesday to examine how to analyze what students do and don’t understand about math and then use that information to teach them in more effective ways.
Among the presenters is Taft Middle School’s Heather Sparks, who became the state’s Teacher of the Year last month. She led a session yesterday involving robots, and is leading one this afternoon incorporating puppetry into algebra, spokeswoman Gaye Dillin told me.
What creative ways of learning math do you use or remember learning in the classroom?
-PERSONAL LOOK AT DISTRICT LAYOFFS: More than 60 central office employees in the Dallas school district were shown the door at the start of this week, and more cuts – including teachers - could be on the way later today as officials try to remedy an $84 million budget shortfall. Here’s a view on the situation from Donald Claxton, who briefly headed the communications department at Oklahoma City Public Schools under former Superintendent John Porter after working in the Dallas district.
-BOYCOTT MOVES TO THE BALL FIELD: An Illinois state senator from Chicago took his stab at school funding reform to last night’s playoff game between the Cubs and the Dodgers last night. Sen. James Meeks also led a student boycott of lower performing schools at the start of the year.
-CONFUSING STUDENT ASSESSMENTS: This Washington Post story talks about a literacy program’s assessments that start on a seemingly arbitrary scale of 2 to 16 and then switch to the letters J through P. I’m not questioning the scale or the program there, but the article did make me think about whether parents can always understand how their students are evaluated.
The reading time with students is part of a national effort to break the world record for the number of children reading the same book with adults on the same day.
Some of my favorite books to read at the age of Garrett’s audience today — prekindergarten through second-grade children — were the “Amelia Bedelia” stories.
What are your favorite childhood books?