Thursday, October 17, 2013

Oct 17 Inservice Day

Today was a great day of professional development for our teachers.  We were able to participate in a number of activities that helped us get a better understanding of what formative assessment is and looks like, what specific feedback looks like, learn about technology resources for supporting claims and evidence in the classroom, and how to recognize the math practice standards in a problem.

Teachers started out learning how to hit a forehand in two different settings.  Half of the teachers were in the gym being instructed, using individualized formative assessments throughout the lessons with specific feedback. The other half of the teachers were in the media center where they were exposed to a close reading, videos, and teacher modeling about the forehand with no formal assessment or specific feedback.  Teachers who learned in the gym with formal assessments and specific feedback were very enthusiastic about their learning experience. Those in the media center were a little disappointed that they missed out on such a fun activity.  Both groups were exposed to effective teaching strategies, but the group in the gym had reinforcement and feedback along the way which allowed for a much more effective experience.

Later, teachers were presented with the results of a survey that was given prior to the inservice to determine the understanding of the faculty and staff when it came to formative assessment and feedback. Approximately 70% of the faculty and staff had a good understanding.  Others had some misconceptions about the topic.  Following this activity, teachers were asked to determine whether or not assessment items matched or did not match specific content standards.

Next, teachers split up into two groups.  One group was made up of K-2 teachers and the other group was made up of 3-5 teachers.  K-2 teachers worked with our media specialist on age appropriate resources (Google Drive apps) and activities to help student support their claims with evidence.  The 3-5 group stayed in the media center and worked with our ITS on similar resources (Lucid Charts, Voice Thread, etc...).  Teachers were very engaged in these activities
and resources.  The resources generated some great conversation about other resources and strategies that can accomplish the same thing.

Our final session involved teachers experiencing the eight math practice standards in various ways.  We first asked teachers to accomplish the daisies in a vase activity.  This activity generated some passionate opinions and questions about the boundaries of the problem.  It was a great way to have teachers experience the math practice standards.  We then watched the Education Channel video about Leprechaun Traps.  The video sparked some great conversation.  Finally, we watched a Ma and Pa Kettle math video that reinforced some of the practice standards in a humorous way.  Teachers spent the last thirty minutes in their grade level or team groups discussing the days activities and completed a feedback survey to help us determine our next steps.

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