Our agenda consisted of:
- Discussing Math Portfolios (the principal had asked the AP to talk to us about this)
- Teaching strategies that should be used across all grades so they are ready for Algebra I
- What are our department goals?
- Where are we now? Where do we want to be?
- Looking at our data?
- How often do we want to meet?
Together the three of us went though each of these points and discussed our responses. We had the agenda up on the Smart Board and as we collaborated, we added to the document. For each of the points, we discussed next steps. This was important to me because (1) we had an "official" working document from our meeting, and (2) our next steps were practical things that we would bring or do during our next meeting. (I can attach our "final" agenda in another post.)
We decided that Wednesdays overall seemed to work best for everyone, and meeting every other week would be a good start for us. Due to upcoming PDs, we decided to meet the following Wednesday, November 9th.
What am I learning about collaboration?
It feel really good to actually get the chance to meet. I think our agenda also helped to keep us focused, so that we didn't get off topic. We had specific goals to accomplish and we were able to speak about all of them. For our next meeting, in addition to addressing our next steps, I want to actually do some math with my colleagues. Using the "Teaching Math in the Middle School" article about Teaching Circles, I have decided to use the Frog and Toad problem. I even found a website that we can all go do.
I am a little worried that we might be trying to do too much during our meetings. Personally I would rather do less deeply, than try to cover too much, however I want everyone to feel like they are contributing to these meetings, and it's not just me. I think the Google Doc agendas that everyone can add too will help with that.
Looking forward to our meeting next week!