Thursday, May 10, 2012

Follow-up on Planning for Hybrid PD (part 6) - Final F2F Feedback

I am feeling like a proud parent after my final face-to-face meeting with my two teacher cohorts.  After 6 months together, this final meeting was all about them sharing what they each have been doing in their classrooms with Sketchpad and Sketchpad LessonLink and focusing on Common Core Standards while integrating technology into math instruction. Just like a parent, I merely started them on the path and guided as needed. They, through personal motivation and interest as well as with the support and guidance from each other, have personalized what they have learned, adapted it to fit their needs, and shown change not only in skills but in confidence about teaching the Common Core Standards, teaching with technology, and listening to their students and helping students deepen mathematical understanding.

From my most recent post, my final lesson was:
Lesson Six: Provide the opportunity for sharing, presentation and peer feedback to model the professionalism, collaboration, and support that will be needed to sustain use of PD learning.
We spent a good portion of the time together having everyone share a lesson they had chosen and done with students.  Everyone had picked a different lesson, which was nice.  Teachers who were resource teachers had actually collaborated with others in the class, so a few presented as 'teams', which was really exciting to see.

What struck me most was that everyone was so supportive of each other, asking questions, sharing their experiences, connecting what they had done to what was being shared. It was a truly collaborative environment.  I also was struck by the diversity of how everyone is actually using Sketchpad with their students.  Some are doing whole class demonstrations for just review, others have students at the computer doing activities individually, while others are doing things with small groups of students or creating centers for students to rotate through.  Each person was definitely taking what they had learned and using it in a matter that fit their comfort level, teaching style, and students needs.  But, what was strikingly similar was all of their descriptions of their students - how engaged the kids were in the math, really focusing on the different way they have been forced to question students and help students develop their understandings.

If I had to sum up what I think the biggest changes that have occurred in all these teachers as a result of this long-term, hybrid professional development it is the following:
1) They are more confident in their own ability to provide students with different ways to learn mathematics
2) They have more focus on questioning students, are more willing to let students struggle and discover, and are more focused on understanding student misconceptions
3) They WANT to use technology because they realize how powerful engagement and visualization is in helping students understand mathematics

One final note that almost everyone in each group said - they were looking forward to summer and having the time to really plan for next year because they wanted to try to use Sketchpad right from the very beginning. I am excited!

More in a few weeks, after we finish the final component - the last online unit.  At that point, I will do a bit of summing up and share some of their personal goals as a result of participating in this long-term pd experience.  

For the complete Hybrid PD series, click on the links below:

Planning for Hybrid PD - Comfort Level and Confidence First
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD - Day 1 
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD - Day 2
Hybrid PD - Online Community Development Pt 1 
Planning for Hybrid PD (part 2) - Develop Community and Supportive Environment 
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD (Part 2) - F2F Feedback 
Hybrid PD - Online Community Development Pt. 2 
Planning for Hybrid PD (part 3) - Make it Relevant 
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD (part 3) - F2F feedback 
Hybrid PD - Online Community Development Pt. 3 
Planning for Hybrid PD (part 4) - Teacher Input  
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD (part 4) - F2F Feedback 
Hybrid PD - Online Community Development Pt. 4 - Student Focused!
Planning for Hybrid PD (part 5) - Make the PD Learning Their Own 
Follow-up for Hybrid PD (part 5) - F2F Feedback 
Planning for Hybrid PD (part 6) -Sharing and Collaboration

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