Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘Teaching Resources’

Professional(?) Development

I attended a professional development workshop today.  I spent  three hours with  a roomful of 4th and 5th grade teachers who were being taught strategies from people who work with math, not with  students, math.  They are not teachers.  Yes, they go into classrooms and try out their ideas, but they do not teach.  I and my colleagues sat for three hours in a room, listening to  something we  could have been told  in an half-hour.  And let’s not  forget, the forced collaborative activities, just to liven things up!   They lost us in the first half hour. Have you ever been to a workshop in which teachers have no interest? Hushed, some not so hushed, conversations, doodlings scrawled all over agendas, eye rolling, and blank stares are witnessed all over  the room. Rude? Yes, I agree, but having been stuck in countless situations like these, I empathize.

Why not let teachers choose what they would like as professional development?  I would think that we would know what we need.  I am fortunate to be in a school where my principal values our opinion, however, that is not always true of the district. Not only is attendance mandatory, but then, you are forced to use what you are taught, good or bad.

I have to admit, the first half-hour of the workshop was beneficial,  but the entire workshop would have been even more beneficial and effective  if  the teachers in attendance from various  schools were able to  sit together and share ideas.  Who better to learn from, then another teacher who is successful?  Here’s another idea, why not let us work in our classrooms?  Three hours of classroom time in the middle of the school year?  Manna from heaven, seriously! Why are these options not available to us?  My colleagues and I have come to the conclusion that ” they” are afraid we are going to goof off.  So  like children, our time is monitored.

I’m not saying all district professional development workshops are horrible.  There have been some really good ones, where, I not only learned a lot, but I used what I learned in my classroom.  I would just like to see teachers treated professionally more often, and have our opinion count in the developing of our professionalism.

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Carrotsticks Online Math Game!

No not the food.  Thanks to “Free Technology for Teachers”. I have set my students up on the website Carrotsticks. I am a technology nut with a class set of laptops.  Anything I can use that engages my students, and integrates technology is a win-win for me. I like this site because it provides my student with drills in subtraction, addition, division, and multiplication.  My students LOVE it for so many reasons. The most important reason is that they can compete against each other, they love this.  We had indoor recess today, and you know what they did?   The majority of the class was on Carrotsticks Online Math Games.  It has everything they love, an Avatar they create, competition, and points, lots of points!!!! It does what I need it to do, drill my students on Math,  it can be accessed at home, and it’s safe.  I am going to see if this helps improve their mathematical ability.  The only drawback is that I have students playing at 9 p.m., when they should be in their beds! 🙂

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