Some final thoughts on #NAISAC13… FINALLY!

photo 2We are officially on Spring Break now. Phew. This blog post has been on my “to-do” list for more than two weeks.  It’s the first time that I can exhale.

Aside from the conference itself being an amazing professional development experience filled with inspiring speakers and terrific workshops, NAISAC13 afforded me the opportunity to achieve a professional goal I set for myself– to present! I thank my Head of School for supporting me in this endeavor.

photo 3

Although I was really nervous leading up to the session, once we got started, it was as if I had presented with Chris Bigenho and Jason Kern many times before. Truth is… I “met” them for the first time on Wednesday night when we arrived in Philly. Here’s a link to our presentation: NAIS 2013- To Flip or Not to Flip: Practical Lessons Learned We had a standing-room-only crowd and the time flew by! The Q and A portion included some insightful questions and we received positive feedback when it was all over. It was an experience I won’t soon forget! Thanks guys!

Here are my top take-aways from the rest of the conference. They come from my tweets and notes.
(I hope I attributed these remarks with the correct people.)

1) Manage Up, Manage Down: (Re)volution in Middle Management  was a perfect start to my NAIS experience. This “leading from the middle” session really hit home. Here ‘s a link to my tweets throughout the hour. I have looked at these four or five times since I have gotten home, a sure sign of a worthwhile session!  Four snippets, in particular, stand out for me:

  • “You have to learn to manage “up” to your supervisor. It’s worth becoming a student of leadership.”
  • photo 4“The Head of School is the Head of School. Your role is to implement the vision of the Head of School.”
  • “Change is inevitable, adaptation is optional.”
  • “These mantras are worth looking at! Great stuff here!

2) “The difference between a good leader and a great leader: humility… combined with an utterly ferocious will.” -Jim Collins

3) “Signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.
Don’t grab the new silvery thing… every 3 years try another one. chronic inconsistency
Look at the good programs, and make them GREAT…
what are we passionate about? what can we be the best at?
stay focused with great consistency.
no greatness happens in one step!
discipline alone is not enough
discipline AND creativity AND  innovation” – Jim Collins

4) “A great institution meets 3 tests:

  • superior performance relative to your mission,
  • makes a distinctive impact on the world it touches  (if your school went away, would it leave an unfillable hole? who would miss you, and why)
  • achieves lasting endurance… beyond any leader. Your school cannot be great if it cannot be great without you.” – Jim Collins

5)  From 12 Questions for leaders:

 “if you have more than 3 priorities you have too many. what should we stop doing?
do we have the right people on our school bus? are 95% of the seats filled with the right people?”– Jim Collins

6)   “You must vow to get comfortable each day in shoes that are not your own.” – Sekou Andrews

7) “Leadership is comprised of four things: aspiration, inspiration, perspiration, and respiration.” -Soumitra Dutta

8) “We give way too much credit to technology. We almost want technology to drag us into change.” “Technology, as a practice, means not only that new tools change, but also that we can change the practice. We want to see technology as an independent force, but it’s not. It’s ubiquitous.”-Alexis Madrigal

9) “Let go of the old metrics… ROE(rules of engagement) is the new ROI “-Alexis Madrigal

10) “On Madison’s leadership: do the homework, work the network!, communicate frequently and clearly, change course as needed”- photo 1Pat Bassett

11) “Your dreams will never have greater meaning if they are not connected to your community.” – Tererai Trent

12)  “Pat Bassett … distinguished educator turned champion!” RT @raventech: @PatBassett Your leadership & vision has provided ed tech folks in #indyschools a voice we didn’t have. Thanks!”

Thanks to Kim SivickProof Group and Travis Warren, CEO of Whipple Hill, for arranging meet-ups. It felt good to meet people “face to face” and not speak with the constriction of 140 characters. 😉 PLN- Thanks for sharing  from wherever you were! You added another dimension to my conference experience. I’m sad I couldn’t connect with everyone I wanted to… hopefully next year!

NAIS Conference Committee-   I loved the conference, the wifi, the conference app and the online community. I did, in fact, “Think big and Think great!” 

And Philly! You were an awesome venue. I felt so comfortable here.

Note: The week following NAIS, we dedicated our Thursday 9PM EST #isedchat to an #NAISAC13 Recap. Here is the archive from this chat.

Pi Day was super fun!

I admit it. I’m a corny math teacher! Pi Day provided me with a great excuse to share my enthusiasm with my students outside of the curriculum. I wasn’t really sure what to expect since this was the first time in many years that I was officially celebrating. Here was my Pi Day Plan.

I was really happy with the pi recitation contest. One student was able to recite up to the 30th decimal place. I will post that video soon. Students seemed to like the musical representation of pi and, while they thought some of the jeopardy questions were over the top, we laughed and it got them thinking!

My favorite part was the scavenger hunt. I love to get out of the classroom and so do my students. They were racing around campus and had so much fun! We ended with pie for dessert in the caf.

We had a blast! Here are some pictures.

My Pi Day Plan

NCTM Illuminations

Tomorrow is Pi Day! (March 14th) It’s been many years since this date did not fall during our March vacation. I am super excited that I

can celebrate it with my students. It gives me a great excuse to have some “math fun” and step outside of the curriculum!

Here’s my plan for tomorrow:

1) We will start with a video on the musical representation of Pi.    What Pi Sounds Like

2) Then we will have a pi recitation contest. The student who recites the most decimal places of pi will get 5 bonus points on the test they took today.

3) We will divide into teams and play a few rounds of Pi Day Jeopardy

4) Then I will give the students 15 minutes to complete a Pi Day Scavenger Hunt.

5) We will meet in the caf  to have pie for dessert!

That’s the plan. Let’s see how it goes.

Here are some links to resources that helped me pull this all together:

Pi Day Activities on Pinterest
PiDay 2012 Wikispaces
Education World Pi Day Party
Scavenger Hunt adapted from Mrs. Burke’s Pi Day Activities