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Professional Growth – Reflections 2014

This is my second year of posting my end of year professional growth reflections on my blog (last year’s post is here), and my 14th year of using four categories to frame my thinking:
1. character;
2. community;
3. creativity;
4. competence.

I have completed 1 1/2 years as mathematics consultant for my school district, and I have found the relationships with teachers, administrators, and students to again be the most significant in influencing my growth in all four areas. Conversations are the lifeblood of education, and it is this qualitative data that consistently pushes me to strive to become better.

Though last year I spent a good deal of time reflecting through words, this year I find my reflections gravitating towards four key people – and four key quotes from those people. It is these quotes that I will share as my year-end reflection, as I contemplate beginning the new year as principal of Oakenwald School.





Wishing you all a reflective, relaxing, and rejuvenating summer.

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Marvelous #Math Monday – Connecting via Social Media

This blog post I’m taking the opportunity to highlight a few people who have blogs and websites that I continue to look to for inspiration and ideas (at EY, MY, and SY levels). There are hundreds of people that are part of my PLN on Twitter and through WordPress blogging, these are a tiny selection of the good people you can connect with through social media.


Early Years (K-4): Talking Math with Your Kids is a wonderful place to start when contemplating the musings of supporting early years mathematical development, and how to support parents in this task. Author Christopher Danielson is based in Minnesota at Normandale Community College, and is a great person to follow on Twitter.

Tales of a Traveling Teacher is the blog of Lori Emilson, a Manitoban who supports K-8 teachers in numeracy and technology. She too is a great person to follow on Twitter.

Middle Years (5-8): Number Loving Beagle is the blog of Megan Schmidt, based out of the States. She has an eclectic mix of upper middle years algebra and statistics for struggling students and senior years mathematics explorations with various levels of entry points. Lovely collections of geometric explorations too. You can find her on Twitter too (of course!).

Daily Overview is a site that posts one picture a day – either an aerial or satellite view of “something”. Gorgeous imagery that can promote/provoke mathy explorations. Daily Overview is on Twitter too. Easily used in any grade level, IMO.🙂

Senior Years (9-12): Robert Kaplinsky’s collection of mathy lessons are brilliant examples of how concepts in senior years can move away from delivering content and move towards explorations that deepen understanding. His collection covers all grades, but I highlight it here in senior years as it’s such good stuff in particular at these grade levels! He’s also on Twitter.

If you’re wanting to push thinking in (pre)Calculus and upper senior years, Professor Kate Owens from South Carolina has a blog with musings worth multiple readings. She’s on Twitter, and I appreciate her mix of conversation around the courses she teachers, the learners with whom she interacts, and her musings on early years mathematics development.

Up and Coming (any grades): Keep your eyes on YouCubed, a site based on the work of Professor Jo Boaler at Stanford University and “providing free and affordable K-12 mathematics resources and professional development for educators and parents”. So much good stuff coming from Jo these days, including the online free student course “How to Learn Math”.

Also keep your eyes on Mathbreakers. This is a virtual mathematical world that is currently a Kickstarter project, great potential for supporting all learners in mathematics through game-based play and supporting teachers through all sorts of analytics online!

Lastly, Amy Lin has just (re)started blogging. Based out of Ontario, she’s a math teacher and coach at Craig Kielburger Secondary School in Milton and is trying to blog regularly about her “math-ish” musings.

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