At the beginning of this second year as a Math & STEAM Coach, I identified three goals for the year.
-Make systematic changes and support in math content knowledge and instructional practices in teachers through PLCs, Learning Walks, and Lab Days.
-Complete the Maker Mobile proposal and get ready for its launch after securing funding from the district's fundraising organization.
-Facilitate workshops on NGSS and begin the 3-year rollout of the Next Gen FOSS modules.
How was my year in relations to those three goals?
1) I focused a lot on a systematic method of engaging grade level teams in a standards mapping exercise to identify, understand, analyze, and map the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. Each experience was a powerful, collaborative, and collective revelation of CCSS-M. The grade level teams were able to identify a progression of each standard and domain to address throughout the school year. Teachers gained a better understanding of the concepts that are important to assess and the building blocks of those concepts. Some teachers even shared, "I didn't know that that's what the standards said," "We've been teaching things that are no longer required in our grade level," and "I don't think my study of the standards was as complete as what we just did." This standards mapping exercise is definitely something I want to continue bringing to grade level teams across the district.
2) For the second goal, the Maker Mobile didn't come to fruition. However, the point of the project was to bring the Maker Movement to schools across the district, with a big emphasis on mobility. This goal was accomplished, not by the Maker Mobile, but through a partnership with the district's Advanced Authentic Research Department (AAR). The AAR Department brings a powerful experience of an authentic research experience for students at the two high schools in the district. As my colleague, Leslie Faust, and I shared our goal of bringing the Maker Movement to the elementary schools in the district, Dr. Jeong Choe of AAR jumped on board with our project of establishing the "Creativity Project" for elementary students to engage in creating, exploring, and making. The Creativity Project brought Maker Carts (a K-2 cart and a. 3-5 cart) to three elementary schools for our phase one of deployment that began during the winter trimester. Four more schools received carts a couple months later. Three more schools received their carts through a grant I wrote through the district's fundraising organization. Dr. Jeong Choe and her team decided to complete the project by funding the remaining elementary schools. It was truly incredible to partner with the AAR Department to bring a modified version of my second goal to the schools.
3) NGSS and the workshops my colleague, Leslie Faust, and I facilitated were indeed successful. We carefully planned the theme of studying the Science and Engineering Practices (SEP) with the teacher leaders at our STEAM Inquiry Group meetings. The teacher leaders were able to then take the learning back to their school sites to share with their staffs. The TOSA Team also planned and successfully facilitated two district-wide NGSS workshops, one in August called NGSS 101 focusing in SEP 1 and the other in February called NGSS 102 focusing on the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) and the Crosscutting Concepts (CCC). I was also a part of the South Bay Science Collaborative where we delivered three workshops during the school year on Science Notebooks, Design Thinking, Design Challenges, and Breakout EDU. It was an incredible year continuing to be immersed in the Next Generation Science Standards and STEM/STEAM Education. Having the chance to attend the California STEAM Symposium in October in Anaheim was indeed a fantastic way to immerse myself. [And of course, I got to meet Kelly Martin, a fellow co-creator of #TOSAchat, for the first time.]
It has definitely been a tremendous journey serving as the Math & STEAM Coach for the Elementary Education Department for my second year. Successes, challenges, courageous conversations, shortcomings, careful planning, missteps, #eduwins, errors, and everything the year brought are all reasons to celebrate. Celebrate what has been the journey - every part of the journey.