Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 6 - We Will All Be Numeracy Teachers

This past Friday was a PD Day - and since the new push in the board (and the province) is numeracy, we got to kick the day off with some numbers fun. I was part of the cross-curricular numeracy committee that was charged with planning the morning sessions of our day. We are lucky to have some very passionate teachers and administrators and came up with a plan that we were hopeful would achieve our goals.

We set out to do two things:
1) Try to get everyone to relate to numeracy and realize that it connects to their subject area
2) Accentuate the connection between a growth mindset (which was a focus of ours last year) and success in mathematics - ideally getting staff to recognize how our culture is fine with saying "Oh, it's OK, you're just not good at math" but would never dream of telling someone it was OK to not be good at reading at a young age.

Here is what we came up with:
- Fishbowl: Numeracy team discusses their attitudes toward math and how they got there
- 4 corners: image of 4 different weather that staff chose to match their math attitude - discuss these attitudes within these groups
- Create a graphic organizer to compare "Mathematics" and "numeracy" in cross-curricular groups (ah-ha moments were shared with the whole group afterward)
- Sort skills as "Literacy" or "numeracy" (these came from board/ministry documents that we cut up and gave to groups in an envelope, ah-ha moments were shared with the group)
- Break
- Shared reading of our board's Balanced Mathematics Instruction K-12” poster
- Online mindset inventory to get staff thinking about their own mindsets
- Brief video clip of two different student mindsets when asked a question in class & share some quotes about mindset
- Brainstorm ideas of how to improve mindset within our classroom, school, and parent community (gallery walk to share)
- Brief Michael Jordan video & his story

It seemed to go pretty well. There was a lot of discussion throughout the morning among the different groups of staff for many of the items listed above. It seemed to evoke a lot of thought around the ideas we were hoping for and allowed a lot of them to relate personally to the overall ideas. We have asked everyone for feedback via Google Forms and the responses I have seen so far have been more positive than negative. We are hoping to be able to come up with our next steps from this feedback so that we can keep things as relevant for our staff as possible.

If you have any ideas or suggestions to share with us please leave me a comment below :)

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