Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Happens to the Thinkers and Tinkerers?

My favorite chat on twitter right now is #satchatwc which is a bunch of educators who gather at 7:30 am pacific time to chat about education.  This morning's topic was about telling our stories and the stories of our students, and others in our organization.  The thing that I have greatly appreciated about #satchatwc is that it gets me thinking, reflecting, scheming and plotting.  The rich conversation and sharing of resources and ideas sticks with me throughout the weekend as I contemplate my place in the education world and how I can affect change in my organization.  Synchronicity often keeps me company throughout the weekend as I proceed through my mundane activities and find interesting connections to the morning's conversation.  Here is the story that slammed me in the face as my son and I took a morning stroll shortly after #satchatwc ended.

We live in the Sierra Nevada foothills above Sacramento and below Truckee/Tahoe, so a stroll for me is my daily workout with lots of hills to get my heart rate up.  For Skyler a stroll is a chance to look for bugs, scat (various animal droppings), plants, and a connection to nature and time with Mom.  Today on our walk, I had many brick in the head moments that made me pause as a parent and as an educator.  I will try to share the conveyance of many different events that culminated on our 30 minute walk.

What happened on the walk...
As I headed outside with my Google Glass on, Tater was jumping on/from rocks waiting for our Saturday stroll.  I had just set up an app that would track our walk and provide us with important data on our "workout".  We began our walk and I had glass on to record the logistics of the walk.  As we traipsed down the driveway, I could tell that Tater wanted to try them out so I swiped down to get to the home screen and handed them over to Tater.  He gently put them on and started the usual conversation one has with glass... "Okay Glass"... We stood and I coached him to speak slowly, pause between statements and after many head bobs, tapping, swipes, and yelling a picture was finally taken.   We continued to walk slowly and Tater continued to tinker with the new tool.  He was slightly frustrated but continued to try.  I was giving him input and advice because I wanted to speed the pace of our walk and to "help" him.  15 minutes and 100 yards later, Tater was yelling, "okay STUPID Glass" over and over and I knew we needed a do over.  We stopped and I turned on screencast from glass to my phone so I could see what Tater was seeing and we went through the process of taking a picture and recording a video calmly together.  He handed glass back to me and we went on our merry way.

What my brain did as a result... (and the connection to thinkers and tinkerers)
I started thinking about Tater's impatience with glass

  • My son has learned in his short 3 years of school that if you can't do something quickly - read, math facts, worksheets, etc... then it is not worth learning or doing.  
  • He is a thinker/tinkerer and needs more time to learn, create, and do.  Unfortunately for him, his strengths have not been valued in his classes at school.   
  • Movement is integral to his learning and understanding as he works to make sense of what is going on around him. 
  • Unfortunately he is shutting down in school and losing interest and perseverance because being thoughtful makes you look stupid.
  • As a result, he gives up at the drop of a hat and expresses anger and frustration.  At home we spend a lot of time pausing, calming down and re-starting embracing the process rather than the product.
  • As a middle school math teacher I saw this behavior everyday in my classes when I asked my students to problem solve, explain, write, and be thoughtful - huge resistance that took many months to break down.
As a curriculum coordinator, I need to find ways to help our teachers value the thinkers and tinkerers and support them as they re-imagine their classrooms by creating "Innovation Teams" (another blog post).  I am so thankful for my PLN who shares ways they are changing the students learn and I will be calling on you for your ideas and support!

My thoughts on being a Glass Explorer
I became an explorer not because I am a gadget lover but because I am infatuated with all things Google.  I normally do not spend exorbitant amounts of money for things especially as an educator, but I knew I had a month to "tinker" and then I could return them.  At first I thought I would definitely return them but I have changed my mind and here is why:

  •  The Glass Explorer program is about thinking and tinkering with a new technology tool to make it better and usable for the general public.  
  • It is a process that takes time which goes against what most technology consumers want - they want something that will make their life easier, more organized, efficient (plug in your own adjective) and they want it NOW
  • Glass explorers are taking their time and tinkering, reflecting, sharing, creating, building and innovating and sharing some more and it is invigorating to be a part of that energy.
So I will be keeping my Glass not to be cool or a first adopter, but to learn from and about a new technology and how it will become a tool for me and my school district.  





Saturday, March 29, 2014

Did the Mountain Lion Catch the Mule Deer? A Lesson Draft

The other day my son and I were walking on our property, we have a few acres in the sierra foothills above Sacramento.  It had been raining and we found something interesting... deer tracks with mountain lion (cougar) tracks right next to them.  Our first question to ourselves was, Did the Cougar Catch the Deer?  Being the crazy teacher who is always looking for ways to connect real life to learning, I began scheming in my mind and I am sharing the results with you here.

Because the tracks were so close to our home and I have an 8 year old son, I wanted to find out as much as possible about our neighborhood mountain lions.  I also thought it would be interesting to create something for the K-8 students in my school district which is located in cougar country.

I created this interactive image on Thinglink one of my new favorite teaching tools.


Lesson Plans for using the above Thinglink: CLICK HERE

I am in the process of creating K-8 Real Life Math problem solving questions using the facts about mountain lions and will post those soon.  Here is what I have for K-2 so far (very rough): CLICK HERE.  

This is just a draft of my ideas that started flowing after participating in #satchatwc this morning.  It will be tweaked and changed.  Feel free to make a copy of the Google Doc and make it your own.  You will see my edits as I make them if it is added to your Google Drive.

The goal of this activity is to model for the students so that they can create their own Thinglink (or other tool) to teach their classmates something interesting and/or pose an interesting question for exploration. This could also be a #geniushour "mini-lesson" or "mini-20% time" project.  There are numerous ways this can go depending on your willingness to let your students run with the process and make it their own.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Modeling Standards Based Learning by "Failing" a High Stakes Test

On February 13th I took the California Preliminary Administrators Credential Exam (CPACE).  On March 13th I received my results, and I did not pass, I scored 217 and 220 was the passing score - OUCH!  Instead of wallowing in my perceived failure, I decided that it would be better to use this as a Standards Based Learning #sblchat teaching moment.  I knew when I opened the email attachment that I had not passed because there was a score staring me in the face.  After reading the score reporting information, I knew that if a score was showing, I had not passed.  What I did not realize was the score report would give me some useful standards based information that would enable me to work on my weak areas and allow me to celebrate the things I did right (we will get back to this shortly).

First I have to say that my ego really thinks it sucks to fail.  When I saw the score instead of the word: PASS, I felt embarrassed, stupid, angry, and just a little confused - three points, really?  I thought about all of the people I would have to share my results with: my superintendent, the principals in my district, and all of the other folks I had told I was taking the test.  It was a grueling 4 hour test that was made up of 50 or 60 multiple choice questions, 2 short essay questions and a case study essay question.  It was a brutal test that took every second of the 4 hours to complete.

Although my ego was battered and bruised, my enlightened educator knew that failure is necessary for growth, learning, and understanding.  If I truly believe that FAIL means First Attempt In Learning, then I need to model and share this experience with those I am attempting to lead in my district.

Standards Based Grading Feedback
The best part of this experience is that I received useful feedback that will help me prepare for re-taking the test in June.  I have attached the pdf. of my test results as an #sbgchat example of useful feedback.  The first page gives the scores for each domain that was tested using a + system.  The second and third pages provide explanations for the scores received.

Here is a summary of what I learned from the feedback:

  • I scored 4 out of 4 (the highest) in "Visionary and Inclusive Leadership" 20% of the total score - Thank you Twitter PLN!
  • I scored 3 out of 4 (passing) in "Systems for Capacity Building" 30% of the total score - Thank you Twitter PLN!
  • I scored 2 out of 4 (not passing) in "Student Learning" 30% of the total score and "Resource Management and Educational Law" 20% of the total score
  • I also passed the Case Study portion of the test which counted for 16% of the total score (which was dispersed into the other four domains) - good and painful at the same time - so close to passing yet so far away...

Here is the pdf with my results.
Kristen's Administrators Test Results

My takaways:
  • I really appreciate the meaningful feedback I received on my test performance
  • I know exactly what I need to do to improve my performance when I re-take the test
  • It is difficult to share "failing" experiences
  • Remember that it takes a good 24 hours of sitting with the results and letting the ego have it's temper tantrum before a person can begin meaningful reflection on a graded assignment
How will this experience help me educate others - Administrators, Teachers, Students, Parents, etc... about Standards Based Learning (#sblchat) and Standards Based Grading (#sbgchat):
  • Even high stakes tests offer redo's - FOR FULL CREDIT (I get to take the test again in 45 days).
  • Help others understand that no matter how you score student work, even if it is a letter grade, some sort of meaningful feedback needs to be provided with a chance to have a "redo".
  • When handing back test results, don't immediately jump to asking the students to reflect on their performance - use WAIT time - at least a day for the results to settle and the students to be in a better mental place.
  • Continue sharing this experience and other similar ones here on my blog and in discussions I have with folks in my district and with my Twitter PLN.
Concluding Thoughts
One last thing I would like to share is my "learning style" because it affects not only me, but how I see the learners in my district.  When I took the CPACE test, I spent about a total of 10 minutes studying and/or preparing for it (I did not go in completely cold, I have been working in a leadership role for the past 6 months, and that provided much of my knowledge). I knew I could take it over if I did not pass and I went into the test knowing it would be a learning experience as well as a testing experience.  I need to consider this because this is how I look at everything I do as an educator.  I have faith, take what I know at the time and jump...  I know that when I land I can evaluate everything that happened, make adjustments and "revise" and go again.  I used this "learning style" when I jumped into using #sblchat and #sbgchat in my classroom and revised and edited as I went.  

I have to understand that many people do not prefer my way of learning, in fact is scares the heck out of them.  It brings up interesting conversations especially around standards based learning/grading.  So, in light of all of this, I am going to go back to my beginning implementation of sbl/sbg and think about my beginning steps, revisions, etc...  and share here on my blog.  

Thanks for sharing my "failure" experience.






Sunday, March 2, 2014

How I Taught my Middle School Math Students to Blog

I posted this information last summer, however, it was embedded into a post that had other parts and pieces.  I am thinking it would be a good idea to post it individually so here it is.  This is not only how I start student blogging but also how I begin the exploration of student passions that will transfer to connecting their lives to mathematics and the start of #geniushour

Unit Overview:
It is my goal in the 2013-2014 school year to have monthly writing assignments that will become blog posts for each student in my math classes.  Each writing assignment will be tied to the 7th grade Common Core writing standards and the 7th grade Common Core math standards.  Since we start school August 20, our first assignment will need to be completed by the end of September.  


At the beginning of the year I like to build a classroom community of learners.  To do this successfully, we need to learn about each other and build a supportive environment filled with passion, empathy, and understanding.  This will enable us to create a collaborative classroom environment (either online or face to face).  The students will work together in a variety of ways, with a variety of people, and will look for commonalities rather than differences.  With this in mind our first writing assignment will be a “Passion Paper” which will address the Narrative Essay Standards:


Writing Standard 7.0:
The student will write grade-appropriate narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences (W.7.3):
• Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally
and logically (W.7.3a)
• Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters (W.7.3b)
• Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another (W.7.3c)
• Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events (W.7.3d)
• Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events (W.7.3e)


Activities:
  • The students will create a heart map that will require thoughtful reflection on the things and people that are important to their lives.  They can create digital or hand made heart maps and we will post them around the room for inspiration and so that the students do not forget their hearts.  Heart Mapping and Inspiration Station Questions/Ponderings
  • I will introduce online discussions through Schoology by having students share what is important to their hearts and practice commenting (to at least 3 others) appropriately to each other by 1. writing a relation 2. asking a question 3. making a prediction 4. commenting appropriately
  • The students will create a “dot” that represents their mark on this world.  This activity is based on the book “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds.  Link to International Dot Day Again those can be digital creations or hand made
  • The students will use Schoology to explain their inspiration for their dots and comment on at least 3 other’s explanations.
  • All of these activities will lead to the writing of their 3 paragraph passion paper.


Passion Paper:
Based on the Common Core Standards for writing a Narrative, I will provide instruction and practice in all of the areas:
  • Interesting lead or begin by grabbing the reader
  • organization of events/paper
  • varied techniques: dialogue, pacing, description (showing not telling), development of characters, experiences, events
  • use of transitions and varied language to make writing interesting and varied
  • how to write a conclusion


Formative Assessments:
I have found that the best way for students to consider and revise their writing is to provide opportunities for them to “revise” someone else’s writing.  So my formative assessments will be on Schoology.  I will post a paragraph and ask the students to “revise” the writing keeping in mind the standards we are working towards.


Formative Assessment #1: Writing an Interesting Lead
  • I will provide three different leads and ask the students to “vote” on Socratic for the one they like the most.  I will evaluate their votes and note which students are struggling and need more instruction and/or support.
  • Then I will have the the three leads posted on Schoology and have the students critique and then revise using the standard rubric as a guide.  The students will see what others have posted and then discuss with each other.  I will provide guidance and questions.  I will evaluate the revisions and base my instruction on their understanding of what makes a strong lead (introduction) to their writing.


Formative Assessment #2: Using transitions effectively:
  • I will provide three different writing samples with transitions and ask the students to “vote” on Socratic for the one they like the most.  I will evaluate their votes and note which students are struggling and need more instruction and/or support.
  • Then I will have the transition examples posted on Schoology and have students critique and then revise using the standard rubric as a guide.  The students will see what others have posted and then discuss with each other.  I will provide guidance and questions.  I will evaluate the revisions and base my instruction on their understanding of what makes a strong lead (introduction) to their writing.


Formative Assessment #3: Showing vs. Telling
  • I will provide three different writing samples with showing and/or telling and ask the students to “vote” on Socratic for the one they like the most.  I will evaluate their votes and note which students are struggling and need more instruction and/or support.
  • Then I will have three samples of showing and/or telling posted on Schoology and have the students critique and then revise using the standard rubric as a guide.  The students will see what others have posted and then discuss with each other.  I will provide guidance and questions.  I will evaluate the revisions and base my instruction on their understanding of what makes a strong lead (introduction) to their writing.


Formative Assessment #4: Putting It All Together:
  • Using a Google Form I will have students write examples of an effective lead, varying transitions, and showing instead of telling.
  • This will enable me to evaluate each individual student and know where he/she is in his/her understanding of the important components of a narrative essay.
  • I will use the results of this formative assessment to group students and provide instruction as needed.


Summative Assessment:

After their Passion Papers are in final draft form with all revisions and editing done, the students will turn them into a word cloud and then into a paper blog (see example below) and then they will become the first blog post of the school year for each student using either Blogger or Kidblogs.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Take Aways from #CISC14 (Curriculum Instruction Steering Committee)

I have been struggling with my transition from 23 years in the classroom to the district office.  It is strange because when I started my career as an educator, I always knew I would make the jump and I had imagined it would be after around 10 years in the classroom.  I stayed in the classroom for 23 years because I loved being with my students and I felt that as an instructional leader my credibility came from being able to say "this is what I did with my students last week..."

Ever since taking my job in August, I have been struggling to find my place as a curriculum coordinator. I have paid close attention to the educational leaders I follow on Twitter (and elsewhere) to notice how they model educational leadership in their various roles.  I see it being done everyday, but I was still missing how the transition would evolve for me.  It has been six months and finally I am beginning to understand how my role has changed and the impact it is having on my growth as an educator.

This past week I attended the CISC Symposium in Monterey CA. (my home town from age 3 to 29).  CISC - is short for Curriculum Instruction Steering Committee and was attended by 1200 education leaders from all over California.  For some reason my attendance at this conference brought clarity to my understanding of my new path as a district leader.

Here are some random quotes:

"People are smart and they WILL figure it out!" - Liz Wiseman
"Ask questions and let others find the answers." - Liz Wiseman
"The person doing the talking is the one doing the learning" Sarah Brown Wessling
"Ask questions rather than saying yes or no..." Sarah Brown Wessling
"If we traded brains, what would I understand about you?" Sarah Brown Wessling reminded us to think about this in regards to our students.
"Getting teachers from a zero to a 1 (on a rubric) is movement and growth that will positively impact student achievement" Dr. Robert Marzano
"Do you have a place (at M.I.T.) or in your classroom for a student from a migrant family, who works in the fields when not at school, helps take care of siblings, speaks English as a second language, and has a 3.7 GPA." Consuela Castillo Kickbush

Reflections:

  • Building capacity in our students requires builing capacity in our teachers which requires building capacity in our leadership team
  • When in doubt, ask a question rather than tell someone what to do, make others the genius by asking them questions.
  • Instructional rounds seem like a powerful tool to use with leadership and teachers.  It can be used to deepen knowledge base of individuals and their understanding of how our district works
    • can be used to change instruction (coaching teachers)
    • can be used to build understanding of the district as an organization
    • must be reflective participants need to ask WHY 
    • used to build "learning organizations"
    • teachers pick 2 areas of growth they would like to work on each year, requires admin to coach rather than evaluate
    • involve the board, parents and community in the process of instructional rounds
Final thoughts:
  • Work to be a multiplier in our district
  • Ask more questions
  • Believe: People are smart and they WILL figure it out!
  • Build the expectation that all adults will be learners in our district.  They need to reflect and ask why.
  • Be a talent finder, liberator, challenger, community builder, and investor in the folks working in our district
  • Be purposeful; ask how; question, question, and question again; be explicit; develop deep conceptual understanding; model how to make a difference
This post is a reminder for me to not forget the information I learned while at #CISC14.  It also somehow helped me understand how to go from creating capacity in my students as a classroom teacher, to building capacity in the various groups of people within our district organization.  I will continue working to make the shift and connection between my classroom experience and my new role as a district leader.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fluency Does Not Equal Speed

As an educator with 23 years in the classroom I used to give math timed tests to build automaticity in the basic facts.  After attending many math projects and teaching middle school math the past 10 years I learned that problem-solving, critical thinking and explaining are the foundation for student fluency in mathematics.  I also know that the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) specifically cite "timed fluency" in the third grade standards.  As I deal with this issue personally with my 8 year old son and as an educator who wants teachers to re-visit their practices around timed tests, I have drafted this letter.

Dear Second (or Third, or any grade) Teacher,

I understand that you are working hard to prepare your students for future learning in mathematics.  I also know that you would not want to discourage your students or make them want to quit learning.  That being said I would like to ask you to look at your timed test practices.  I understand you are trying to build fact fluency in your students, however, fluency does not equal speed.  There are many more foundational skills that need to be developed to support fluency.  I also acknowledge that the timed tests are a small part of your math program.

A wise person once told me that if you want to complain about something be sure to offer alternatives or ideas for changing course or forging a new path.  So here are some ideas or alternate ways of giving/using timed tests to build automaticity.

First I all, I would like to request that you actively involve the students rather than continue to have them be passive participants.  By passive participants I mean they take the test, hand it in, it is corrected then given back to them with a score.  As passive participants, the students can pass off their performance or lack there of easily and the poor performers can justify giving up - "I can't do this, the teacher just proved it" might be one such justification.  I am suggesting that you involve the students in every step and make the timed tests a learning experience rather than an assessment.  So, I hope you are Let me share some ideas in how you can do this:

When the students take the test, set the timer to stopwatch instead of counting down and project the timer so all the students can see it.  When the student finishes they record their finish time.  Just like an athlete (it is Olympics time), you can remind them that they are racing against themselves rather than each other.  Their goal is to decrease their individual time rather than competing against other students.  This is the first step in actively involving students in the process.  Have them graph their times and see their growth each time they test.  It is also a great way for you to track individual growth.  You and the students will be focusing on increments of improvement and perhaps the students will see the need to practice rather than giving up or feeling stupid

After the students are done and have recorded their time, correct the test together or have the students correct their tests with an answer key (if they are all on different tests).  Then discuss (or provide reflection questions) successful strategies students use, patterns in the problems that the miss of find difficult, ideas for improving, etc...  You can also ask the students "How are you thinking about these problems?" and "What are your shortcuts?" which will allow the students to learn from each other.  This will actively involve the students by having them share successes and struggles with the intent of promoting improvement and having the students take responsibility for where they are in their learning.

You can also have a "Timed Test Station" where students go and complete the process of setting the timer to count up, take the test, record their time, and then correct the test.  Then the discussion with the teacher or a parent volunteer needs to take place so the student reflects on where they are.  If you want growth and improvement the students have to know where they are and see their growth (or lack there of).  Then they can set goals for improvement.  Because they are a part of every step of the process, they cannot pass off the responsibility to anyone but themselves.

My last request would be to set a "reasonable" time for the students to achieve.  Perhaps it is 100 in 10 minutes.  You may be thinking that is not a rigorous level of performance.  I would argue that it allows for the diversity of your class.  Since the students are recording their times as they finish, the one who want to be the "fastest" can still aspire to that level.  The ones who have struggled or are considered "slow" have an attainable goal that allows for success rather than failure and giving up.

I understand that timed tests may be mandated in your school/grade level/district, but please consider being brave enough to try a new approach and start a new dialogue with your PLC.  With your team of educators you can explore new ways of building fluency and automaticity in your students.

Marilyn Burns stated in 1989: "Speed with arithmetic skills has little to do with mathematical power."

I am including some resources and research for you to review and consider:

Can We Please Consider the Evidence? The Ways in Which Assessment Policies and Practices Create Math Anxiety in Young Children.

Math Solutions: Faster Isn't Smarter

GOOD NEWS: MISSILEERS ARE CHEATING TOO.

I have one final request:  Please do not tell me my thoughtful, problem solving son is "behind" in math because he is one of the slowest at the timed tests.  Instead, sit down and have a conversation with him at least once a week and ask him to explain his thinking and problem solving processes.  Find out how he thinks about numbers and how he takes them apart and puts them back together.  Ask him what strategies work for him and which do not.  Fluency is more than automaticity or speed or memorization.

Thanks for your consideration,
Sincerely,
Kristen Beck - Mom and Educator





Wednesday, January 1, 2014

More Homework Meme

So, this Meme has been going around twitter and although I have not been officially nominated by name, I have taken the invitations from Bill Ferriter @plugsin, Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp, and others to participate in this endeavor to share more about myself as a person.  I have read many posts by some of my favorite bloggers: Bill Ferriter's Homework MemePernille Ripp's Homework MemeJosh Stumpenhorst's Homework MemeBrett Clark's Homework Meme and I know there are many more.  After reading these, I felt the urge to share and be a part of this process because I am all about reflection and building connections with other educators.  Here is Bill's "nomination":

INSERT YOUR NAME HERE.  (Everyone should show us their human side, y'all.  Jump in the Memestream and let us get to know you better.)

Here are the 11 random facts about Kristen Beck:
  1. My husband and I find Seinfeld quotes that apply to our lives EVERY Day, and we finish each others sentences using the same quote... SICK!
  2. The #NWP - Writing Project changed my life as an educator way back in 1992 in my second year of teaching.  That is when I became a teacher of critical thinking.  That is also when I built my first personal learning network - it was old fashioned, but it worked the same as my twitter and online PLN!
  3. I often cry when I speak of my students to others.  They make an imprint on my heart.
  4. I received a sports scholarship for SAILING to a top ranked school, but did not go because I would have been sailing with all of the people I grew up sailing with at home. 
  5. I have gone cubing (riding on huge cubes of ice) on the 6th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Course just for fun... I also rode on cafeteria trays on the steep hills of Spyglass Hills Golf Course after a soaking rain, the spoils of growing up in Pebble Beach.  (The irony is that my husband is a golf course superintendent...)
  6. I miss my father so much that it hurts, but I am so happy that he is in a better place, and I know that he is with me EVERYDAY.  
  7.  I traveled to Nanaimo, British Columbia to bungy jump off of a 4oo ft bridge and I chickened out.
  8. I am a homebody, I love hanging out with my hubby and my 8 year old son on our 7.5 acres, working the land.
  9. I met my husband at a Halloween party and I had garbage taped all over me.
  10. I have perfect pitch which makes watching American Idol tryouts PAINFUL!
  11. In college my friends often encouraged me to go into teaching and I would laugh at them and say, "I don't want to be poor the rest of my life".  Then I realized it is not about the money, it is about passion and loving what you do.
I am now going to answer a mixture of questions provided by Bill, Josh, Pernille and Brett.

  1. Grande Soy Green Tea Frappuccino with Extra Whip or House Blend Black? Grande Soy Green Tea Frappuccino with Extra Whip and 3 pumps of Raspberry.
  2. What member of your digital network has had the greatest impact on your professional growth? Dan Meyer @dydan has had the greatest impact because his work has provided the foundation of my obsession with creating real life math problem solving activities for my students.    
  3. What is something you have always wanted to do but continue to procrastinate and make excuses as to why you have not done it yet? I would like to write a book and now that I am a connected educator and have many role models, I finding it more difficult to procrastinate and put it off.
  4. What was the first computer you owned?  (Double extra credit for visuals) Here is the first computer I used in high school: Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III, Introduced in 1980.
This is the first computer I owned and the last Apple product I owned:

5.  Android or iOS? Android for my personal preference. As an instructional leader I use both so I can share and help the teachers and students I work with.
6. If you were going to write a book, what would its title be? Mathematics is Everywhere, All You Have to Do Is Look.
7. What is most picturesque place you've visited? (Extra credit if you share a visual) The Fjords in Norway.


8.  What was the last book you read? Teach Like a PIRATE by Dave Burgess
9. The last song you turned up in your car or house was? Walk On by U2
10. Paper or plastic? If I forget my recycled bags I ask for Paper.
11. What is the last book that you passed on to someone else to read? I passed on "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown to my sister. It was an end of the year gift from a parent/friend of one of my students.

I am going to invite any/all who read this post to take on the Homework Meme and answer my 11 questions.

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
2.  Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?
3.   When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?
4.  What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?
5.  When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?
6.  What do you think about more than anything else?
7.  What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?
8.   If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?
9.  What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why?
10.  What was the best news you ever received?
11.  When do you find yourself singing?

So... Now it is your turn

Here’s how it works:
  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.