Friday, February 6, 2009

I met with my PLP group on Wednesday night (the night of yet another snow day... which means the last day of school is pushed to June 8 - yuck!) for some yummy Thai food. I left my leftovers at home for my hubby, though I'm hoping he forgets about them so I can finish 'em up tonight! We needed to cement plans for our project that we'd be hemming and hawing about.

After quite a bit of discussion (and again, some yummy food!) I think we came to a consensus. Our project will be connecting. We started with a more specific idea of connecting with teachers in other countries to try and complete a project/have kids work together. The English teacher, Spanish teacher, and Social Studies teacher in the group were excited and seemed to have quite a few ideas. As a math teacher, though, I was struggling to come up with what I could do to have my kids work with others and make it a true learning experience (and worth our while!). Then we backed off a bit and decided that it would be ok to just make connections for our own personal/professional benefit. Through my PLN I feel like I've made some connections and gotten some good ideas (Especially Twitter, it seems! And to think that I was about to give up on it.) and I'm hoping to just extend this a bit.

So now I just need to reach out some more and see if other math teachers have ideas or would like to connect. If you're up for anything, let me know! I'm planning on having quite a bit of free time here lately as my student teacher takes over more of my classes (and as of next Wednesday, all of them!).


montgorp said...

Hi Kristen

I am a middle school maths teacher from Perth West Australia.

I am in the process of tidying up my PLN. I am basing it on twitter. We are twitter "friends". So I will be checking to see what other social networking tools you have accounts with and adding you to my contacts/friends on those. SO please don't think I am stalking you.

I agree with you about connecting maths classrooms. Humanities classes lend themselves very nicely to international collaboration. It just fits. But school math is different. Its about specific content and ideas that are not easily matched across borders.

That said, however, I am looking forward to finding away to working collaboratively with other schools. Yet, as you say, it will have to be real and worth while.

Any way. I hope that we (as maths teachers) can collaborate somewhat and help each other build worthwhile PLNs

Anonymous said...

Having taught college a lot, I have seen international students interact with American students. I have found that there are a lot of interesting differences that make for great discussions. Students in your class, Kristen, can connect with other students to discuss the different ways they learn concepts.

For instance subtraction - Americans are taught borrowing. In some countries they are taught reverse addition. Notation varies and is pretty interesting - instead of 3/4 some countries use 3:4. Of course there is always the decimal represented by the period or the comma difference.

There are lots of fun ways to connect with other math learners.

Hope this helps.