I’ve recently made myself a part of the #MTBoS. I skipped the week 1 blog post, because every time I sat down to write it, I couldn’t find the words to describe what made my room unique. The most unique thing I could think of is that I teach my boys how to shake a hand and tie a tie and help them turn into young men. I’ve had a really hard time blogging, as I keep trying to find the perfect words, or perfect scenario to blog about and it’s just not coming to me. However, this week I can definitely comment on as I just started using twitter professionally and it’s changed how I’ve been teaching.
First off, since using twitter, my eyes have been opened to all the programs, websites, and tech options that are out there for teachers. I discovered DESMOS for crying out loud! I’ve incorporated DESMOS in some way/shape/form into my lessons since I’ve found it. What an easy way to teach transformations of functions. I let the students play with the sliders and make conjectures of their own. They are in charge of their learning.
I’ve also discovered Geogebra which completely transformed how I teach the geometry unit (get it…transformed). The geometry unit was new to us this year and through a huge wrench in my system. Initially I was having the students graph and perform transformations to see the patterns…which became completely irrelevant if they performed it wrong. Once again, I used Geogebra to pose questions about what they think will happen, performed the transformation, and they make a conjecture (i hope i’m using that word correctly). They are in charge of their learning.
Probably one of the best sites i’ve discovered is Estimation180. My students come in every year with little to no number sense. This site has been a great way to briefly build in number sense every day. And best of all, my students LOVE it! Just the other day, we did an estimation on the number of pieces of paper in a ream. Just as I was about to reveal the answer, I told the students “I’ll show you tomorrow”. This was greeted with a unanimous NOOOOOO! It was great to see the students excited about something math related.
Finally, and probably the best thing that Twitter has offered, is a connection to other teachers. I’ve gotten a view into the classrooms of teachers from all over. I’ve been able to see some great things that are going on in classrooms. I’ve gotten tons of ideas on how to improve my teaching. Most importantly though, I’ve gotten to see and hear that I’m doing things correctly. That I’m going about teaching in the correct manner. Twitter has rejuvenated me, and made me excited to go in and teach and try new things. I’m excited to get the chance to share some of my ideas, and hopefully return the favor.