The end is bitter sweet ! This has been a long and challenging journey and many sacrifices were made along the way. There were also so many wonderful parts of this journey especially my cohort. I have realized for a while now I have really been wanting to branch out and to collaborate with other teachers it has been something missing for me. I team taught with the same person for 18 years and when he retired I pulled back and became very much an on my own make it happen with the kids gal. It worked for me for sometime but for the past couple years I knew I needed to grow and I wanted to collaborate. This cohort has been the answer to that need I had and I appreciate you all and hope we stay connected. We must we have to change the world of education together a revolution.
Being a student really made me realize the importance of clear expectations, meaningful feedback, attention to details, and being fully prepared for your class. It was valuable for me to experience this first hand and I am going to be a better teacher because of that experience.
I am feeling a crazy wave of emotions coming over me , my eyes are filling with tears I did it I have earned my Masters. This was something I always wanted to do and never thought it would happen I have been so busy putting my girls through college. Thank you Napa Learns this would have never happened without your financial support.I will make you proud and create real change thank you for this opportunity.
It is a amazing feeling to know that we are only a week away from completing our Masters of Innovative Ed. We have covered so much and my brain is very full. After a much needed mental break I look forward to going back reflecting and rereading on my own time with the purpose of creating an Innovative Classroom. I am very excited to implement what I have learned to to really have time to plan well thought out lessons.
The Capstone Website seemed so huge and now I am done and it feels amazing. The video was also huge and I am happy with my finished product but it was quite and adventure I grew many brain cells. Then there was the poster which really seemed crazy but wait the executive summary which I somehow forgot being mentioned. Well I just set daily goals for myself after summer school and I stuck to it and I now think I have finished everything I will just need feedback on the video, executive summary, and my poster. This is where I wanted to be, time to make improvements or adding extras. Setting goals and sticking to them really makes a difference.
Below is a picture of my Capstone with my video on it.
Somehow I forgot we had to blog so consumed with the Capstone and everything else.
This is a great topic when I hear the Touro values I feel good i chose this school their values align with my life values. Touro was founded on the universal values of commitment to social justice, intellectual pursuit, and service to humanity. As teachers these are the values we strive to serve everyday. I have often felt that as teachers this would be a pledge we make to uphold these values our students deserve nothing less.
On my very early teaching adventure while student teaching at Vintage I found myself drawn to the students who were falling behind, struggling, wondering why , what I could do to help. At one point I was told I cared too much we can't save them all. That was a life changing moment, how can we not ? As a very young teacher, young mother, and a person who channels the optimism of Polly Anna I was really doing some serious soul searching about what I really wanted to do as an educator. There is a plan out there for us all. I was offered a science teaching job at Vintage and I turned it down I was worried that I was making a huge mistake as a brand new teacher but that was what I did. This is when the opportunity that has shaped be as an adult educator happened. I took an evening job at the Adult School helping adults earn their high school diploma. This was such a rewarding experience and many of the students were 10 to 15 years older than me. I learned many valuable lessons from these students and I am forever grateful. Their struggles were real and it was inspiring to help them reach their goal to graduate.
One of the best things that has ever happened to me was when I accepted a job at Temescal partnering with Chris McCluer in the Second Chance program. This was the experience that grew me as an adult educator. Chris was the best mentor I could have ever asked for and the students who have been in my classes have taught me so many life lessons. My work at Temescal / Valley Oak is very much the work of social justice, acceptance of diversity, and compassion and service to society. Everyday as challenging as it can be I know I am making a difference in the lives of students who felt like they were running out of options.
The area that I have been growing in the most recently is collaborating with my peers. I have always been open to collaborating but now I really feel like I have more to offer, I have strong thoughts about education, and have learned so much in this program. I have spoken to my principal sharing with her how I would like to work wit her to provide some professional development as well as working to develop the collaboration among our staff. I have spent most of my years working with my students developing Friday Night Live and our ASB. My interests are shifting to working with my peers because I feel that is a big area of need at Valley Oak. So my goal is to continue to develop as a life long learner, to develop a more collaborative environment as I continue to respect and value of each individual.
The work of my Capstone will continual to be a central part of my work throughout my career. How can we as math educators not have increasing students passing rates, increasing understanding, and developing a love for learning math not be a top priority. Students should not be failing math at such high rates we need a Math Revolution. I will continue to seek out training, resources, and new innovations to support my math students. I will continue to work with my principal, Napa Learns, and the district to increase math scores. I will also continue to work with Professor Harry Cheng at UC Davis, he said he would like to post my Capstone on his website so I will look into how I go about doing that. This program was just what I needed to get me rejuvenated as an educator giving me important work to continue as I wrap up my teaching career . So much to do so little time ! Thank you Touro for the shared values it has made the purpose for working towards my Masters even clearer to me.
Filming is much harder than it looks. My students kept looking into the camera and smiling and I didn't think much of it until I watched it. Now I understand what my daughter meant when she said breaking the forth wall. I was also having a hard time keep my camera from shaking. My daughter did have me shoot extra B roll and boy it is lucky I did because I had many shots out of focus. The solution to this problem will have to be editing out all my mistakes and hoping I have 60 - 90 second of footage. Mistakes Grow Brain Cells and I make so many mistakes my head should be exploding because of all the brain cells I make everyday. This project is another lesson in perseverance which is good it helps me think about how my students feel. The show must go on so off to the editing board.
The 90 second video for our Capstone is a real test of story telling and video skills. I really want to get my message across to my audience in the 90 seconds I have their attention. This week I brought my daughters camera to Summer School and explained to my class what I was doing , they were excited to help. So we first filmed them being bored and frustrated with Math. They enjoyed acting mad or bored with their heads on the desk or even better being on their phones. Then they were very engaged with the linkbots as they worked on understanding integers running their linkbot on a number line with longer adding and subtracting problem like 10 -12+- 5+-6+7 the students would code the linkbot with these numbers and it would land on the correct answers. The students were very engaged doing the assignment they didn't really notice me , some were funny trying to show me so I could film them. My daughter told me after she watched my footage that I should try to not have them look into the camera. My daughter also told me to take the camera to get some extra footage B roll is what Lisa called it I think. My goal is to have the video edited and ready to add to my Capstone this week. My biggest worry is how do add the voice over and then how to upload the video into my site. I will ask questions tomorrow night about those 2 things. I am excited to learn some new skills editing my video.
I find it interesting that I have really never heard of TPACK until now , seems like a great topic for professional development. These topics are important for all our staff to know about and our admin can't be the expert of everything. Rafa and I were discussing that is where we all need to come in and teach our peers as challenging as that maybe sometimes.
The TPACK Model is one example of how my learning is evolving. My driving question is focusing on Math 1 students who have failed multiple semesters. Using the Math 1 standards as the driver of content my students are experiencing success learning that content while coding. They are benefiting from my pedagogical approach of developing growth mindsets while they learn the content of Math 1 in a new and engaging way. My observations and data support that this approach of teaching Math 1 to students who have previously failed is reaching the sweet spot on the TPACK middle and my students are experience success in math for the first time in high school. I will continue this research and work long past this Capstone due to the serious need for change in teaching math. It is clear our current approaches are not effective enough in our district, state, and country math scores are dismal. I believe we can do better and intend to keep trying to improve student success in math .
oFor me it is all about getting that creative idea and I think I have that and am ready to start creating. I am very grateful I have summer school those kiddos who are going to STAR in my video. The script is always a huge challenge I know what I want to say, I am still a lot unclear about what I need to say, I am concerned 90 seconds is very short, and I want it to be fun and informative. The story board is very important a rough draft in a sense which means all details need to really be thought out. I am close but still working out some parts of my video storyboard. It is hard to gauge the time that is by far my biggest struggle.
I have decided that I want to push myself to learn some new video skills and since my daughter is home from college she has offered to help me. I am going to use her Cannon camera and then she is going to help me use Adobe Premier she has a subscription. This will be a bonding time for us ( hahah), I am sure I will make her crazy . If all this creative stuff doesn't work out I will then create in Spark I am comfortable with that program. I feel like the more challenging problems for this project are going to happen when we start actually making the video. Some thought I have to help elevate some problems that I know will arrive is to give myself enough time. Time is so important if you feel rushed nothing ever really seems to work. I also need to remind myself that I am learning this is all very new to me and most importantly Mistakes Grow Brain Cells. This whole process is getting pretty exciting I can't wait to see my final Capstone !
When I read the prompt my first instinct was to visit the technology page to see what there mission or goals are for the district. That search was disappointing and interesting what is this "School Dude Quick Step Guide" ? School Dude ?
While taking Scott's class we established that our district needs more information on digital citizenship it should be a huge portion of the technology page. Schools need to focus on educating staff and students on digital citizenship.
There also at first glance appeared to be no clear mission statement involving technology. Why train teachers to be innovative with no clear mission except BYOD.I I would like more of a plan from technology that supports innovative teachers creating classrooms that inspire students to create with technology. I was also at a meeting with other fellow innovators who shared the focus for PD next year is on pedagogy. This made me decide to read through the Strategic plan. I was pleasantly surprised as I read through the plan. This did take some digging it wasn't just there to be easily found but within the strategic plan I found this goal #2
2. Students experience responsive, engaging pedagogy
a. Implement inquiry-based learning grounded in State standards utilizing high-impact instructional strategies.
b. Establish a District standard for technology purchases and use in the areas of front of classroom, student/staff devices, blended
learning portal/Intranet, and social media.
c. Use of District-supported technology tools, devices, platforms, resources and applications to support student creativity, collaboration,
critical thinking and personalized learning.
d. Provide professional development and support for culturally and linguistically responsive teaching.
e. Ensure English Learners access to English language development throughout the day.
f. Promote and expand opportunities for NVUSD students, such as dual immersion and the Seal of Biliteracy, to instill multicultural
competency and bilingualism.
So I highlighted and italicized the areas sound encouraging and innovative. The front of the classrooms I believe speaks to an investment into projectors/boards for all classrooms. After at first feeling discouraged I am going to focus on the potential that these lines offer, the room for growth and interpretation. I feel that there is a need to grow our use of technology in meaningful ways and I believe Cohort 16 is going to make some noise and get attention establishing innovation in our classes.
This was a process that really intimidated me I spent a lot of time thinking before I even started. I also must say I really appreciate being able to look at other peoples logo in the Innovators Lab I actually look at the pages, the info graphics it is just a nice guide it makes me feel supported.
One thing I realized as I was looking at other logos was that I like simple clear right to th point logos. I want my logo to reflect my Capstone work as well as being a hook in itself to draw people in. Obviously I would be reaching out to fellow math teacher, academic specialist, and administrators looking for ways to improve math programs. As I did some research on some visual meanings I realized that the images inside the light bulb refer to coding. I am concerned that most people may not know that but the light bulb clearly represents learning or understanding both my daughters agreed with that idea. I am still thinking about adding a tag line under my logo and also wonder if it should be outlined like a badge or something ?
I really enjoyed playing and creating with Logomakr it was very user friendly and saved right to my computer. I like that we were asked to create a drafted I created many and I am hoping for time to have some critical friends discussions and feedback.
My final Capstone appearance really matters to me so I want to really take my time and make sure everything I place on my Capstone reflects directly to my research and teaching philosophies. I have also appreciated looking at completed logo and info graphics from this class to give me ideas about things I like and things I want to do differently. I am still unsure about what I want on my info graphic that is going to take me forever since some present results/findings and others philosophies/ pedagogy.
I do enjoy the creativeness of this process and I wish I had more time to explore other logo creating websites I am sure there are many great ones each offering something a little different` My daughter wanted me to try Adobe Illustrator? Maybe for my info graphic. It is pretty exciting to start seeing our work all start to come together in our creative projects and our Capstone. We are getting close.
I have been searching for ways to grow my students mindset around Math for most of my teaching career. When I first started teaching we had the Exit Exam and I always taught the class of seniors needing to pass that test so they could graduate. It was a painful experience that seemed so unfair by April and May the students in my class who were left were almost always our second language learners. These students were excellent math students who struggled with the vocabulary on the test not the math. Then we added 10 units more of math as a graduation requirement . The students that I teach at Valley Oak who enter my Math 1 class are are often juniors or seniors who have earner between 0-5 units of the 30 math credits needed to graduate. Ten of those credit must be Math 1 .Some challenges I have faced as a teacher are adopted curriculum doesn't fit my students needs, pacing calendars move too fast , my students are defeated after repeatedly failing Math 1. I always have my radar out for innovative ways to teach math when one day I heard about C-Stem Math Curriculum create by Professor Harry Cheng at UC Davis. Press the button to watch
When I watched this video I knew this was someone I needed to talk with and I was very fortunate to be invited by Napa Learners to be trained to teach the C-Stem curriculum to my Math 1 students at Valley Oak High School. I just completed my second year teaching wit C-Stem and I am encouraged by the results I am seeing. My students are more engaged, they are learning coding, and they are experiencing success in Math for the first time for many of them. My students are also showing growth in their MI scores they are still testing below basic but for many they have increased their scores by hundreds of points.
My masters work has inspired me to do more we must improve the way our students feel about math as well as our district math scores. My work is very relevant to an area our district must channel more resources, research, and energy into. Our students are capable of learning math at high levels and there are exciting changes happening at our lower grades so the middle and high schools need to prepare for these students and increase student success. I became a teacher to help struggling learners and I am determined to create an innovative classroom that produces strong, confident, higher scoring math learners. I have given up a couple pretty big thing I have had on my working plate for a few years now just so I would have ,more time to develop an innovative math program at Valley Oak to support our Math students. My work will continue to grow, my research will continue, and our Math Program at Valley Oak will evolve into a district model.
Julie Lovie Is a Math and Science teacher at Valley Oak High School with 25 years experience in teaching at a continuation high school. Julie Also teaches at Napa valley Adult School in the High School Diploma Program. She is passionate about the environment, loves gardening, and learning.