This is the latest in a series of blogs from the teacher cohort.
By Kristen Fischer and Wendy Steiner
It has been 5 months since our last “dear data” conversation. Since then, we have added a few pieces of data to our Fluency Journey together.
462 miles or 744 kilometers we traveled from Pittsburgh to Chicago for our first site visit.
26- the number of pictures I took at YouMedia in the Chicago Public Library. I was so inspired by
their work that I pitched the idea of replicating the space in our library here at Carlynton.
3-we visited three different schools in Chicago-all doing wonderful work with kids. I was particularly
impressed with the food lab at Schurz High School.
3- the number of Café con Leches I had at Cafecito, the little coffee shop near our hotel.
-2 the high temperature in Chicago on Thursday when we were there.
336-the number of e-mails in my “Fluency Project” folder
It’s hard to believe 5 months have passed! The year is flying, as it does when you’re busy. My report offers some numbers as well…
285 miles we traveled from Pittsburgh to Detroit for my second site visit.
8 - the number of pages of handwritten notes I took during our sessions in Detroit, with Allied Media Projects and Detroit Future Schools, to name a few
2 – the number of fluency-inspired elements in my 3rd quarter Academic course
3 – the number of different notebooks I have Fluency notes in
I was so upset to miss out on Detroit! I am looking forward to spending another few days networking with the folks in Philadelphia & New York. Here are some more numbers of interest:
5- the number of co-teaching opportunities that I have participated in during the second semester
using Fluency ideals
24-total kindergartners that I will be teaching coding skills to today at Carnegie Elementary
12-robots built with the Hummingbird Robotics Kits for my Frankenstein Robotics Unit
8-Fluency Values that are always present in my mind when designing lessons
1-Donor’s Choose Project I received funding for to start our Trout in the Classroom Tank
6-days until Spring Break-boy do we need it!
11 - Detroit Future Schools “Essential Values” that prompted dialogue and consideration both during our trip and following it; they include observation, curiosity, innovation, metacognition, collaboration, grit, empathy/solidarity, purposefulness, critical consciousness, foresight, and optimism/hope. In their Humanizing Schools guide, DFS asserts that these values “will prepare individuals to solve real world problems, imagine new realities, and build movements that span communities across the world.”
3 – According to Jeff Duncan-Andrade, there are 3 types of urban educators: Gangstas, Wankstas, and Ridas. According to Duncan-Andrade, “Ridas are people who would sooner die than let their people down,” and educators in this category hold the most potential for improving a school and fostering student achievement. The “Rida Framework” is the basis that drives the work of Detroit Future Schools. Reading the handbooks provided by DFS prompted me to research the roots of the term “Rida,” and led me to Duncan-Andrade’s 2007 article, “Gangstas, Wankstas, and Ridas: Defining, Developing, and Supporting Effective Teachers in Urban Schools.” I found his article intruiging and thought-provoking, and it also clarified why DFS would adopt this term for their work.
4 - Track meets I’m working/coaching in a 7-day span…yikes.
7 - Random piles of work to grade or file in my room that are piling up due to the advent of track season---yes, we need a break desperately!!