Thank you to the #EdcampBOS staff. You did an amazing job and held it in a great facility at Microsoft and provided a delicious lunch. Thank you.
This was my third edcamp and my best experience yet. Edcamp is a conference for teachers by teachers - all grades, all subjects and is free.
It all starts with "The Board" and because we were at Microsoft the board was glass. A grid of times and rooms is made and then we add the sticky notes - what we want to learn or what we want to share. Here is the start. Then, they type it into a google sheet and share it out.
We would have five sessions, about an hour each with an hour for lunch. For my first session, I went to one about Common Formative Assessments run by Rik Rowe @RoweRikW. We had a great discussion about the benefits and challenges of formative assessments along with some websites to use.
I put up a sticky for the 2nd and 4th session - - I didn't want to go too early or too late - jussssstttt right. My 2nd session was on Desmos. I love to share it. I had about 8 people in the room. It seemed the consensus was they have heard of Desmos but hadn't really played with it. One just started using the activities and one has been using some of the activities. I was like a kid in a candy shop wanting to teach and show them everything. I started with just the calculator part and showed them the graph of a line, added sliders, added a constraint to the domain, showed the wrench to go to projector mode and how to change the window size. We played a little. I then switched them over the student.desmos.com and I was on teacher.desmos.com. We started with polygraph lines, walked them through it, explaining the need for asking yes or no questions, showing them the teacher dashboard so I can see their use of vocabulary. We moved on to marbleslides, my own teacher created factor sort, and Land the Plane. It was so fun to share and walk around and see their abilities. I met Sadie @relativelythink
For my third session, Sadie and I moved on to one on what to do with snow days. I just wanted to hear ideas. It was a mix of challenges with putting into place a system that would have kids doing school work on snow days. Some of these challenges are the inequity of teachers having to do work, but what do others like nurse, guidance, janitorial staff do? They could do PD work? Other challenge is the difference in levels of technological skills among staff. If you have a staff member is low tech, what can they do? Is a blizzard bag the answer when this might be a random filler of activities. A better idea is to have it be current material for this day. Get creative - have them take a picture and explain their snow day, write a blog post, write a tweet, do a small project. It was food for thought.
Off to lunch. I was so happy to see #mathletes and #mtbos for a lunch room. I grabbed a delicious lunch of pizza, salad, drink, popcorn, and a cookie and made my way to the room with about 6 of us math teachers. Two had their knitting and I was bummed I didn't bring mine. It was a knitting and math share session. We shared our must follows on twitter, must read bloggers, and websites. Thank you to our lunch bunch:
The next session I put up on the board. I thought I would share online games like Kahoot.it, Quizizz, and Quizlet Live and see what other ideas people had. They added flippity.net which I use for random groups but have not looked at the other templates. We played a bunch of movie related games to test them out.
I'm not sure how, but we got off on a book tangent - have you read this - have you read this? Since I love reading Young Adult, I didn't mind. Everyone had something to contribute. My list of books to read was drying up, although I have two on my desk waiting for me to start but now I have a new list to read. We switched from game club to book club and I swallowed it up! Thank you all!
It was 2:30 and time for the last session. There was nothing jumping at me. I felt like I had been at a Thanksgiving feast and was comfortably full. I didn't want to go to a dud and wanted to leave on my high, so I used my feet (edcamp jargon) and left. (It's also my husband's birthday, so I wanted to get home so we can go to dinner)
Thanks #edcampBOS for a successful 2017 edcamp. Nice work!