Improving Communication and Collaboration in Math Using Blogs and Digital Tools: TLLP Resource & Final Reflections

This post marks our team’s final TLLP sharing. For me, it marks the end of a series to TLLPs that helped create the community we all belong to today. But more importantly, the TLLP helped make me the educator I am today.

Every day we take ideas and turn them into realities for our students, and for ourselves. We inspire. We take risks. We fail -often. And I learned that when we share our failures with others we open ourselves up to building trusting relationships that make us better, together. The teachers I work with every year make me a better teacher. And I hope, in turn, I help others focus on their strengths, be their best, and provide support to move forward. Without your ideas, your inspirations, the risks you take, the failures you endure, and the lessons you champion -and most importantly share- without you, there would be no AMDSB EdTech Learning Community. So to sum up my learning over the last 3 years would be to say that the TLLP has not only taught me how to be a better teacher, but the TLLP has made me a better person.

Moving forward I’d like to encourage you to seek out relationships in this community. If every teacher connected with even just one other teacher in our board, the power of those conversations would inspire new ideas, new innovations, and even more powerful learning opportunities for kids.

In a culminating task our TLLP Team created a slide deck showcasing examples of how teachers are using their blogs to share learning activities, increase “Math Talk” and work towards improving communication and collaboration in math. And as our practices continue to evolve -as we learn more and do better- our focus remains the same: we always do what we believe is best for kids.

TLLP Final Teacher Reflections

Charlene Stein

It was helpful today to put the finishing touches on our collaborative project “Improving Communication and Collaboration in Math using Digital Tools”.  This will be a valuable resource moving forward as it provides a collection of resources from each group member.  We also made a wish list of resources to support our professional development in math.  I am interested in the Leaps and Bounds resource by Nelson and we talked to a representative from the company and asked specific questions.

We looked at Chapter 3 from A Rich Seam by Fullan- “The New Pedagogies – Deep Learning Tasks”, discussed and recorded our learning in Padlet.  We heard more about the Deep Learning Tasks that some schools were a part of last year.  We talked about different subjects that lend themselves naturally to deep learning tasks in various grade levels.

Next Steps:

I would like to purchase the Leaps and Bounds resource and continue to fine-tune math assessment and intervention in my grade 1-2 class.

I am motivated to continue to provide opportunities for Deep Learning tasks – this seems to happen most naturally in science, during our morning walks.  I would like to investigate this more fully in other subject areas, i.e. math.

Nicole King

What is my new learning today?

There are many new resources that I would like to acquire but they are costly. Creating a wish list for purchase and a wish list to order through the OCT will be a lot new reading coming up and professional learning.

There are so many great ideas and tweeks to pedagogy that I want to implement into my practice to make math more meaningful to students. I can sometimes feel overwhelmed or inadequate as an educator as we sit here and come up with all these things that we should be doing. I promise that I am trying but the list gets larger of what we should be doing and almost unmanageable or unrealistic. We all need an overhaul to keep up with the change in needs, but sometimes it is a lot at once and it can be only one subject area.

I have found this TLLP very worthwhile. Sometimes it does just takes sitting and collaborating with other educators in order to find a simple ‘teaching hack’ that makes things more manageable. It can be simply the time that was granted to do some of the research and inquires for ourselves. Time is also running low so this has been fantastic to explore, examine, ask questions and struggle through the productive discourse to problem solve some of the things we do as we teach and blog. The connections made in this TLLP have been fantastic and the professional connections are made in order to have ‘help’ when we struggle through and knowing there is someone else in the same position has been very comforting, especially for those of us that are very passionate about math, blogging, and high yield teaching strategies.

What are my next steps and commitments?

Here are some next steps that I want to work through:

~ Following other teacher’s blogs to gain ideas for collaboration and communication in math

~ Connecting with blog buddies through google hangouts

~ Committing to more regular 3 part math lessons and cycling back to math concepts so it becomes more embedded in student’s schema

~ Keeping a running list of ideas to add into my program as I can – meaning that to do one well rather than a whole bunch at once and not done well

Allison Plumsteel

As we wrapped up our final TLLP meeting, we were able to add more ideas into our slide deck that we began to create about Math ideas for improving communication and collaboration. We were also able to discuss beneficial Math specific resources that we might be able to order for our professional development. During this meeting, we were able to have a meaningful conversation based on Michael Fallan’s How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning (NPfDL). We completed our survey and we reflected on our learning together this past year and how we have changed/improved our own practises for the better. This has been a meaningful TLLP group!

Jenna Lange

My new learnings from today were recognizing the importance of creating and implementing deep learning tasks with students as this allows them to continue to develop ownership of their learning in a meaningful way. In addition, these meetings have continue to demonstrate the importance of using digital tools within the classroom for student engagement and understanding. My next steps are that, I need to continue to develop assessment tools that are reflective of concepts that students have learned that are not accessible via internet inquiry. I am looking forward to heading back to my classroom and taking all the ideas and concepts learned over this past year!

Hilary Reinecker

I am sorry to say that this is the last of our meeting. Today our discussions about deep learning tasks have inspired me to create more authentic tasks in my classroom, especially concerning my inquiry questions in language. I have to put a lot of thought into how to do that more effectively in math. I am excited to review the slide show of math blog ideas that we created individually in the group today to get ideas. This process has been so educational and engaging and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity.


We would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts, questions, ideas, and reflections below and join the conversation!

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