Showing posts from December, 2015

Ed Tech Myths

MYTH 1: Teachers are just trying to show off on social media, like Twitter and blogs.

There is an aspect to social media that promotes sharing our "best selves." I do it with my own personal Facebook page. An example would be the 35 pictures I take of my daughter so that I can post one cute, smiling picture. I don't post the ones that are blurry as she scoots away or with a frowning face. I post the best. The same can be said for what I share about my classroom. However, the motivation behind sharing isn't just to show off or get attention. The reason that most teachers share is to reflect on their own practice, share resources with others, or get feedback.

Reflection is an important part of being a good teacher. Asking myself how a lesson went, what went well, what would I change, are ways that I improve. I either do this informally (like think about a lesson on my drive home) or formally (by writing a blog post). Reflecting doesn't always mean that I only share …

Assume Positive Intentions

I don't know where I first heard this advice. It might have been a social and emotional learning PD, it might have been from another teacher, it might have been an article. Wherever I learned it, it has turned out to be one of the best pieces of advice for teaching that I have ever learned. It can be applied in so many situations.

You can probably imagine situations with colleagues, parents, students,  or administrators where there are challenges. Assuming the person you are dealing with has positive intentions really can turn a negative interaction into a productive one.

I'm not saying that this mindset will completely change something negative into positive. However, changing it from negative or contentious to productive or problem-solving is huge. I constantly remind myself of this advice when I'm confronted with a tough situation. (If you haven't read about finding marigolds and avoiding walnut trees, read it now!)

However, most of us can't avoid the walnut tr…

Presenting in 2016

There are a few great conferences that I am really looking forward to in 2016. Here is where I'll be in January and February:

January 23- iMATHination

Presenting two sessions. One about "Math Discourse" and another about "Using Social Media in the Math Classroom"

January 26- Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago (MMC) Conference

Presenting about using "Tech and Social Media in the Math Classroom." Also doing a 10 minute presentation at a special after lunch session where each of 6 presenters get 10 minutes to present about a topic. I haven't decided yet... suggestions?

February 20- Students In Technology (SIT) Conference

This conference is for students and the presentations are by students as well! I am helping to organize the conference and will serve as a sponsor for student presenters.

February 26- Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) Conference

A tech conference, this is new for me! I'm presenting again about "Using Social Media in Math …

Excited To *Add* to My Family!

The Forest family is about to get a new mathematician! I'm due with my second kiddo June 6th. Because of the power of science, I also already know that I'm having a boy. Oh boy!
My daughter, Natalie, is 18 months. She loves babies but doesn't really understand what is going on just yet. When she saw the ultrasound pictures she said, "ROAR!" which is what she calls dinosaurs. So, I don't know if she thinks her brother looks like a dinosaur or "Roar" is a name suggestion. Either way, it was pretty cute.
So bear with me as I occasionally blog about my growing family (and stomach). I promise to try to relate it to math, at least a little. :)

In Anticipation of Hour of Code

This will be my third year having my students participate in the Hour of Code. (year 1, more year 1, year 2) If you haven't heard of this initiative before, basically, it is a week dedicated to getting students at least 1 hour of coding in school. Most schools, including mine, do not teach computer science (CS) or computer programming (coding). In addition, there is a lack of diversity in professions that use CS. Female students and students of color are underrepresented in the field. Hour of Code aims to give students an opportunity to learn about coding and to improve diversity in CS.

One of my goals this year is to get my students to see math as a creative subject. Many people naturally see art, music, or even english-language arts as creative subject, but have a hard time imagining what is so creative about mathematics.

A few ways I'm addressing this goal are getting my students to think creatively using lots of the #MTBoS resources or even just creating products that show t…