Today marked the day when almost all of our seniors declared which college or university they will be attending next year. Called "Decision Day," it was celebrated with a drum-led march through our back yard, cafeteria, and into our auditorium for a group photo and pizza party. It was enjoyable although a bit haphazard in planning and our students still loved it. We are glad to see them grow up and move on and hope they come back to share their futures with us.
On Friday I got a chance to visit Urban Academy Lab School, a transfer school located on the Upper East Side, and a partner of Brooklyn Collaborative as part of the Performance Assessment Consortium. While there I visited their computer programming and Arduino classes and loved to see the students actively working the way that they did. Additionally, I spent time in their math department and learned of their graduation requirement: the Calculations Prerequisite. In order to leave their school all students must master 80% of the test pictured below without a calculator. As you can see it is not the most high-level mathematics but there are many topics that often stump our teenagers. This is definitely something I appreciate and would love to see happen in my own school (or some version thereof).
I am a math teacher in the New York Department of Education. I infuse technology and real-world problems into my curriculum in order to prepare my students for the future. I would love for people across the country to recognize we teachers can't do it alone. If you don't believe me, come visit my classroom!