Thursday, July 30, 2015

Math Rocks Mission #3- Goal Setting

Because my role this year is not as a classroom teacher, my goals are more related to my professional growth and work as a mentor teacher. 

First, I would like to challenge myself to read more professional books. With all of my graduate school work, it is challenging to find the time to read for my professional pleasure; however, there are lots of great books that people have been buzzing about lately and I feel left out of "the know." So, even though it will be hard, I am challenging myself to read at least one professional math book each semester. 

Second, both myself and the other mentor teacher with whom I work have expressed a desire to work more closely with our mentees. After year one of this grant program, she and I both felt like we had difficulty consistently supporting the needs of all of our teachers. This year we have decided to have a daily schedule so that teachers know when to expect our support. I'm really looking forward to this structure as I feel that it will help me get to know each teacher and the needs of his/ her students better. 

Third, I want to spread my knowledge with the campus teachers and staff with whom I work. While many teachers know that I have a passion for math, they do not know to what extent. In fact, 95% of the teachers do not know that I even have a blog or that I write math curricular materials for fun in my spare time. So this year I want to challenge myself to speak-up and offer to deliver a training on a useful math concept or topic. 

In terms of obstacles, my biggest challenge is my graduate school work. After working all day, my evenings are filled with night classes and homework. I very rarely get any additional time to work on other things. On top of that, I am a newlywed and need to make time with my new hubby a priority as well. Clearly, time is not something that I have an abundance of; however, since I am anticipating these potential roadblocks, I am spending the last few weeks of summer front-loading as much work as I can so that I can be ready for the new school year to begin. Over the past few weeks, I have been cleaning up my blog, creating new activity packs, scheduling new blog posts, and reading in my spare time so that I will be ready to shift my focus once I am back at work and at Baylor in August. 

What are your goals for this school year? What obstacles do you anticipate? Please share. 


  1. The obstacle of time! Every teacher will agree with you on this one. Time was also my obstacle. I give you props!! You have a lot on your plate, but with preparation, you can do it!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Anna! I'm looking forward to our group collaborating this year!

  2. I love that we are getting to see math education from different perspectives. It is great to remember that teachers aren't the only ones educating.

  3. I agree with Danielle. I'm excited about all the different perspectives in our Math Rocks group. Not only do we have grades K-5 represented, but we also have TAG, intervention, coaching, dual language, inclusion, one-to-one devices, and probably a few more I can't remember off the top of my head. Such a great group!

    Trying to read one math professional book each semester seems reasonable. I've got a stack of books I'd like to read, but honestly one per semester is probably realistic. I'm hoping that one of those books you read will be a book we're reading for Math Rocks, of course. :-) We've got Intentional Talk as well as Connecting Arithmetic to Algebra. We'll actually probably only read parts of both, so if you do that you can at least say that you read a complete book across those two.

    I like the idea of the daily schedule. It helps hold yourself accountable but at the same time it gives the teachers the support of knowing when to expect you. Since time is something we don't have an endless supply of, knowing in advance when you're going to visit is probably going to help those teachers out a lot.

    Good luck with your goal to provide some PD to teachers. That's great! If you're looking for where to start, don't forget that the site has PD materials ready to go to teach about different math routines. I bet you could even take the Powerpoints they offer and make them look a lot nicer. Right now they're a bit dry and uninteresting. I look forward to hearing how this goes!

    1. Thanks for this opportunity Brian! I'm already excited about the new school year and how this group can help me affect change with the teachers with whom I work. I already considered the readings for Math Rocks in my schedule. In fact, I read the first three chapters of Intentional Talk when I completed some research in the area of mathematical discourse last fall. In addition, I'm interested in the other book as well. Last summer, I completed an independent study on connecting arithmetic to algebra and have been writing an article for publication. I'm interested to see what insight the book will add. I've decided to read Jo Boaler's What's Math Got to Do With It? for my fall book. Have you ever read it?