Super Saturday for Atlanta Public Schools – TI-Nspire Learning

I spent today, Saturday, January 22, 2011 learning with 25 teachers from the Atlanta Public Schools.  Today was Super Saturday. 

From the flyer:

Atlanta Public Schools
High School Mathematics and Professional Learning
Super Saturday

High School Mathematics teachers are invited to attend an Inspire graphing calculator training delivered by Texas Instrument trainers. This session will include ‘just in time’ useful activities to be used within the classroom utilizing these calculators. Each teacher will receive a class set of TI-Nspire calculators to use within their school. Calculators will remain property of Atlanta Public Schools.

Mathematics teachers interested in attending can register for the Super Saturday- Learning Experience Academy. Interested teachers should complete online registration by Friday, January 7, 2011.

So, there are a couple of really important things you should know.  There were 25 seats in the workshop.  Within 48 hours of the flyer being released the session was full and had a waiting list of 22 teachers.  These dedicated teachers were not paid a stipend.  They volunteered to come to learn to use this technology.  They gave their time and energy on a Saturday to acquire technology for their learners, the children in their charge.  They sacrificed their family and free time to provide new and different learning experiences for their young learners.

It was awesome!  I do not usually enjoy one-day workshops; there is not enough time to build community and to get to know each other.  I will repeat; it was awesome!  They were a warm group.  They wanted collaborative learning.  They wanted to experiment and investigate instead of being directed.  They wanted to think and process. 

Usually I have to fight off comments and questions like “do you have this written down, step-by-step?”  No one – repeat – No one asked me that question on Super Saturday.  It was a first for me, and I’ve been facilitating workshops on handheld technology since 1990.  Wow!

We worked together to learn.  We discussed technology to support learning, formative assessment, Bloom’s Taxonomy, the language of mathematics, lessons with endurance and leverage, differentiation, and many other best practices.  The agenda below looks simple.  The learning was complex.  Pedagogy, assessment, math knowledge, and technology skills were weaved together to form the tapestry of our common experience.

Our Basic Agenda

Since we are into multiple representations, I also submit our agenda in images from the TI-Nspire.

  • Basic calculator work

   

  • Tangent to a Curve

 

 

  • Circles, analytically and geometrically

Dedicated teachers volunteering their time to learn, to acquire technology, to improve learning experiences for children…Now that is a news story!

It was a Super Saturday.

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