Sunday, October 13, 2013

NBC Sunday #4 - Entry 3: Integrating Science and Math & a Freebie!

Hello all!  I'm going to start today's post by quoting directly from NBPTS on Entry 3.

"In this entry, you submit a 15-minute video recording of and instructional materials for an integrative learning sequence designed  to deepen children's understanding of mathematics and science topics through unifying concepts and processes in science and to develop children's skills in using mathematical and scientific ways of observing, thinking, reasoning, and communicating.  You provide a written commentary analyzing the video recording and instructional materials, including your use of technology to support children's learning."

What I didn't know until I started investigating this process is that if you want to "get your feet wet" and try it out, you can do so with this entry.  They call it "Take One!"  Basically you are ONLY doing this entry.  None of the others would need to be completed and what you pay would be much less.  For some people this works. You get a good idea of how the process works and with much less stress and much less work to focus on.

For me I decided to rip the band-aid off and just do it all in one year.  I figured I might as well give the whole thing a shot and if I don't pass a particular area I can just retake that portion the following year. 


I did not pass this entry.  So what I wrote below may not be useful to you!  I learned that I may have focused too much on math in my writing when this was clearly more science with math support.  I may have also spent too much time/used too much space in my writing on literacy related activities.

~For my entry 3 ~
I used the following CA kindergarten standards: 

Science 1b: Water can be a liquid or solid and can be made to change back and forth
Math K.MD.1: Describe measurable attributes of objects by weight
Math K.MD.2: compare 2 objects with weight in common for more or less

We spent a full week exploring water and ice.  Here are some pics that I included in my entry:
 This is 2 snapshots of documentation from my Smartboard.  The top half was the student predictions of what would happen to the water when we placed it in the freezer.  The check marks were after we checked the water the following day.  Those with checkmarks predicted correctly.  The pitcher is words we came up with to describe ice.

This pic is of the journal we kept for rate of evaporation.  (Want a copy of this? Go here!)
We kept track of the cup of water that was left out.  We also put one in a ziploc bag.  Obviously the one in the ziploc didn't evaporate so it helped the kids to see that air is what caused the water line to go down in the cup we tracked.

Here are some of the activities we did during the week:
  1. Introduction - What is Ice?
  2. Sensing Ice (using the senses to describe ice)
  3. Weight and space of water and ice - which one takes up more space?  which one weighs more?
The Video
I taped every lesson I did and then selected the one I felt would work the best.  It ended up being the very first introduction to water and ice.

What you NEED to know is they aren't looking for perfection.  Let what really happens in your school day show in the video.  If the intercom interrupts while you are teaching the lesson that is something that really happens so don't stress over it and feel like you will have to retape it.  If you were to see my video entry for #2 you would CRY!  Not only do I have intercom interruptions but my neighboring teacher (whom I have a connecting door with) came in to ask a question PLUS my special ed visitors had missed the previous day and were EXTREMELY noisy in the back of the room working on what they needed to catch up on to do the activity with us and I got a phone call.  It was CRAZY!

I'll wrap this up by giving you a few key questions to ponder when you are putting together your lesson plan and executing it:
  1. What do you know about your students?
  2. What is the goal of the lesson?
  3. How will you evaluate their learning?
Then reflect:
  1. What could you have done to teach it better?
  2. How effective were the strategies used and your resources?
  3. What is the next step?
Lastly, if you missed the freebie up above I've got it right here once again.  It's my Water Observation Journal.  Just click HERE and you will be taken to the google doc to download it. Have a great week!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

NBC Sundays #3 - Entry 4

Good morning everyone!  So I hope you had a better week than I did. Mine started off with this little find:
My USB thumb drive had gone through the washing machine!  Not just once either.  I had been missing it for a couple of weeks so it likely went through quite a few washings.  I didn't have the courage to put it together and see if it still worked until yesterday.  I decided to face the music and if you can believe it, it worked!  I transferred ALL my files to my external hard drive immediately!

So on to the topic of the day - entry #4.  This entry is all about your accomplishments as a teacher.  They will be looking specifically at your

parent communication 
your ability to be a teacher leader 

and how well you collaborate with your colleagues.

You will have a total of 16 pages to demonstrate this and can use up to 8 events to fill up those 16 pages.  More often than not though, you won't be able to get to 8 events.  What you write about each event will take up more space than you think.

You will also need to think about what you will use to verify each of your accomplishments. Data, pictures, emails, etc.

I'll share with you the accomplishments I chose.  

I wrote about being grade level chair.  This addressed all 3 aspects and it covered 3 different accomplishments.   It included things like how I led my kindergarten team to write a document for parents to help them know what would be expected on the upcoming report cards; leading them to create a curriculum "map" for the school year; and how we worked together to learn writers workshop. The documentation I used was one page of the actual expectation document; a page from the curriculum map we wrote and student work samples for the writers workshop accomplishment.

I also wrote about a community art show our kindergarteners participated in (I used pictures of the event as documentation) as well as leading my team in a kindergarten academy. (The academy was like-ability grouping of students for ELA across the grade level.  Every morning we would switch the kids and 1 teacher would take the high group, another the medium and another the low.) This particular entry I used data to demonstrate its effectiveness.  I got data from 2nd grade that showed the first group of kids were still excelling as well as showing that each year kids left kindergarten with greater success than previously.

In total I had 4 accomplishments and it took up ALL 16 pages.

Your task for this week: write down what you think could be considered accomplishments in these 3 areas.

If you're not sure what you think of your accomplishment, write a comment below.  I'm happy to offer help if I can!

Have a great week!