January 28, 2017

A Dream Come True

It happened!! As a student in college, I always wondered what it took to be the one at the front of the room. They were filled with such wisdom and offered loving support to all who asked. I listened and watching with admiration as they artistically carried out their role in teaching me how to become a great classroom teacher.

I was finally able to take that role on, thanks to Seidlitz Education and Dr. Monica Lara. It all started when she was invited to our district to coach a team of teachers. Right away, she complimented me on all the strategies she witnessed in my classroom. She helped me tweak some specific areas and then invited me to speak at the What's Working with ELLs in Texas annual conference in Austin.

I showed up eager and excited to finally experience what it would be like to lead a group of adults through a workshop designed by me. Admittingly, it was very different. Believe it or not, adults seem even more reluctant than students to participate in activities during workshops. Perhaps it stems from the fact that most of us were educated in the traditional, lectured style. Or maybe it was because the coffee hadn't kicked in, or in some cases we were just too full from the amazing meals during our vacation outside of the classroom! No matter the case, I was able to urge a handful of participants to experience the hands-on, interactive workshop I had hoped for and imagined, and received great feedback for it.

I walked away with many new ideas to implement in my class which will definitely benefit the ELL kiddos. I have opened myself up to the realm of professional development for teachers, by teachers. I am humbled and grateful for this amazing opportunity and know that this was the first of many presentations to come!

Side note- I've noticed that there are so MANY educators and PLCs on Twitter! I had not been very active on Twitter before this conference, but am really starting to explore and make connections. Look for me on Twitter @MataHCISD

January 06, 2017

Mystery Pictures Get Them Working!

It's the end of the first week back after New Year's 2017! Although we've only been in class since Wednesday, this week felt especially long. Thank goodness I had this Mystery Picture to trick them into doing tons of math!

Instead of generating equivalent numerical expressions for random exponents, these problems take it a step further. Each number has two exponents the students have to add, subtract, multiply or divide. The activity also includes powers of 0 and 1, which are always tricky.

It was neat to see how each students' work looked a bit different, depending on what shade they were coloring the Mystery Picture. Like a good math teacher, I made sure the students showed their work for every problem! Some stapled an extra sheet of paper to the activity to ensure they received full credit.

Give one of these Mystery Pictures a try in your classroom and remember to leave feedback to let me know how it went!