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Why, you ask? Well, because we are all looking for ways to improve our practice to better meet the needs of our students. In order to do so, we usually seek out some kind of professional development. So, today, I am going to share with you one of the BEST professional developments I have ever discovered!

First, let's breakdown PD's for a minute. Basically, there are two types of professional development (PD) –

- Tend to be long, boring (gasp, yes, I said it), lecture-like sessions
- More often than not, we learn very little
**new**knowledge - Doesn't necessarily cover a topic we are interested in adding to our teaching strategies, but administration recommended we go anyway
- Time-consuming - possible outside our contractual hours

- Expensive
- Several days of sessions (hey, our time is precious!)
- Sometimes requires travel (even more expensive)
- Did I mention expensive?

I’m not saying PDs are bad. Not at all. We, as teachers, do need to be lifelong learners and grow in our profession. In fact, I crave to learn and explore more innovative ideas, BUT, in general, my experience with PDs is that the negatives out way the positives, especially if you are on a tight budget.

Well, what if you could attend a PD where you learned a new idea, was free, and required less than an hour of your time? Would you do it? I know I would!!!

A few years ago, I stumbled upon Jennifer Gonzalez’s blog post on Pineapple Charts. It was probably one of the most valuable blog posts I have ever read because it solved my PD problem. I teach at a private, international school that has limited access to professional development due to location and expense. After reading her post, I realized I don’t need to fly back to the States to learn how to be a better teacher. Nope, all I have to do is walk right next door and observe a fellow teacher who has already gone to PD's and is implementing the techniques in their classroom. Yep, you read it right. The PD I have been seeking all this time was right next door all along.

So, what do I mean? I recommend you read Jennifer’s blog post about what Pineapplinng is, because quite frankly, she is an amazing, attention-getting writer and I don’t think I could ever summarize it any better than she already has.

Now that you've read Jennifer's blog post, and understand what Pineappling is, here is my breakdown of the benefits:

In lieu, of Jennifer’s blog post, I decided to implement Pineappling at my school, not just for myself, but for all staff members. I created a powerpoint explaining what Pineappling is, how it’s helpful, and how to use the Pineapple Chart. This is our third year using it and it’s been AMAZING! Teachers love having the opportunity to learn from their peers and also show off their talents. Below is an example of our Pineapple Chart:

- FREE
- Less than an hour
- Observe EXACTLY what you want to learn about
- Opportunity to ask questions one-on-one
- No traveling necessary
- Do it whenever it’s convenient for you

In lieu, of Jennifer’s blog post, I decided to implement Pineappling at my school, not just for myself, but for all staff members. I created a powerpoint explaining what Pineappling is, how it’s helpful, and how to use the Pineapple Chart. This is our third year using it and it’s been AMAZING! Teachers love having the opportunity to learn from their peers and also show off their talents. Below is an example of our Pineapple Chart:

I know what you are thinking....I love it!...but I don't know how to start implementing it at my school. Don't worry! I have you covered. I am happy to share my professional development resource with you! The resource is **100% editable** and includes the following:

• Powerpoint presentation explaining what a Pineapple Chart is, the benefits, and how your school can implement it. (7 slides)

• Pineapple Chart (1 slide)

• Peer Observation Form that may be helpful in assisting teachers with their thought process while observing other teachers. (1 page)

Click on the image below to go directly to the resource:

• Powerpoint presentation explaining what a Pineapple Chart is, the benefits, and how your school can implement it. (7 slides)

• Pineapple Chart (1 slide)

• Peer Observation Form that may be helpful in assisting teachers with their thought process while observing other teachers. (1 page)

Click on the image below to go directly to the resource:

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]]>iMath is a series of activities designed with the intent to engage students in math by putting a fun twist on their favorite phone apps* - Facebook, iMessage, Instagram, and Tumblr. Each iMath Activity covers different skills in a unique way. Students add each activity to their phone/tablet template that can be on display in the classroom. Below is a description of ERRORGRAM, which is meant to model Instagram

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Error analysis is a method used to identify common mistakes made in mathematics and the cause of the incorrect answer. According to Robert Marzano, error analysis is at the top of the higher level thinking skills and an aid in conceptual understanding. This ability to check for correctness is a big key to achieving math proficiency. It’s awesome to see the critical thinking that happens during these activities!

Again, just like Doodlr, this activity can be used in various ways. I have used it in a station, after an assessment, or when a student has completed all tasks for the day and needs an extra activity to work on. Print some off and have them available for whenever your students are in need of some extra critical thinking!

Errorgram is meant to be similar to Instagram, which has rapidly become one of this generations favorite apps. Errorgram is an engaging way for students to determine the mistake a famous person made in a math problem they posted on their Instagram feed. Of course, that person didn’t really post it, but it’s fun for students to feel like they are fixing a mistake by someone they like or admire. Students need to explain the mistake and then correct it. Students can even add hashtags that are fitting for the post.

Students will…

Step 1 – Need one Errorgram sheet.

Step 2 – Analyze the worked out problem and find the error the person made.

Step 3 – State the error and find the correct answer by working out the problem.

Step 4 – Add the sheet to the phone/tablet template and hang the activity on the wall or bulletin board.

Oh, yeah!…students become analytical thinkers using Errorgram! Add more iMath activities to show mathematical growth and use for review at the end of the year.

- iMath phone/tablet template
- 10 Errorgram sheets
- Answer key

Read about them here:

MATHBOOK (Facebook)

iSTEP (iMessage)

DOODLR (Tumblr)

iMath is a series of activities designed with the intent to engage students in math by putting a fun twist on their favorite phone apps* - Facebook, iMessage, Instagram, and Tumblr. Each iMath activity covers different skills in a unique way. Students add each activity to their phone/tablet template that can be on display in the classroom. Below is a description of DOODLR, which is meant to model Tumblr.

*

Making connections! Sometimes students can best understand concepts when they connect visual graphs, symbols, etc. with words. This activity gives students the opportunity to do just that in a creative and fun way. If your students already love doodle notes, then they for sure will love this activity! Students are able to let their creative side shine in this activity.

This really can be used at any time, which makes it an amazing activity to have available. I have used it in a station, after an assessment, or when a student has completed all tasks for the day and needs an extra activity to work on. Hey, anytime can be doodle time!

Doodlr is meant to represent the Tumblr App. Students are given a sheet to connect symbols and words. Ok, maybe Tumblr isn’t the most popular app among this generation, but doodling is definitely trending right now!!!

Presto...students are able to make valid math connections both visually and verbally! Add more iMath activities to show mathematical growth and use for review at the end of the year.

- iMath phone/tablet template
- Doodlr sheet(s)
- Word bank - depending on topic
- Answer key/example

You can! I will be blogging about each activity. The next post will be about Errorgram (Instagram). Check out the other posts on Mathbook and iStep.

iMath is a series of activities designed with the intent to engage students in math by putting a fun twist on their favorite phone apps* - Facebook, iMessage, Instagram, and Tumblr. Each iMath activity covers different skills in a unique way. Students add each activity to their phone/tablet template that can be on display in the classroom. Below is a description of iSTEP, which is meant to model iMessage.

*

COMMUNICATION! Often students can solve a math equation, but have a difficult time verbally explaining what they are doing. This activity addresses this problem. Each student is to “text” with a friend who needs help with a math concept. Their classmate asks how to solve an equation and the student has to explain each step needed in order to get a solution. Then their classmate “texts” back showing the algebra they did to complete the step. I LOVE how these activities have transformed how students think and discuss math in class!!!

The day before an assessment I set up review stations. Each station has an activity that covers a different concept students will see on the assessment. I use iStep at one station and other stations may include Battle My Math Ship, Name That Function, or an activity from some of my favorite TpT friends: All Things Algebra, Mrs E Teaches Math, Free to Discover, Scaffolded Math and Science, or Math Giraffe.

iStep’s design is similar to texting in iMessage, WhatsApp, or any other form of texting app. Let’s face it, texting is one of the most popular ways people communicate with each other in this day and age. So let’s have students do it with math too!

Each student will…

BOOM...students are able to communicate with each other on how to solve math equations! Add more iMath activities to show mathematical growth and use for review at the end of the year.

- iMath phone/tablet template
- 30 iStep sheets
- Answer key

You can! I will be blogging about each activity every week for the next few weeks. The next post will be about Doodlr (Tumblr). Check out the last post on Mathbook.