Revival Bar + KitchenThere’s a restaurant location in downtown Berkeley which has changed hands several times over the past few years.  It’s newest incarnation is called Revival and I must admit, it’s quite good.  Coining the name “revival” was a bit risky as it reminds us that this spot hasn’t been successful in years past, but their risk paid off.

I hope that pouring life back into my blog will also be sustainable.  This is the second time in my blog’s short lifespan that I have taken a long time away from it. Reconnecting with PCMI mathy friends (which made me just 1 degree of separation from a whole slew of other cool mathy folks) at NCTM in Denver, most all of whom blog and tweet regularly, made me promise to recommit myself to writing with some degree of regularity.

I have a few deadlines coming up where audience participation would be helpful:

Deadline #1: May 1 for submission for proposal to present at NCTM next year.  I would like to share some of the work that my department is doing developing lessons based on the FALS (formative assessment lessons) written in collaboration with UC Berkeley and the Shell Foundation.  Do you know of them?  Do you use them?  If so, what kind of presentation would help those unfamiliar with them learn to use this rich resource?  I would love to brainstorm this with someone.

If you’re unfamiliar with them, they’re found under the ‘lessons’ tab here.

I have piloted these lessons for the past three years and currently most of my department is piloting them as well.  While at NCTM this year I found that many folks have written ‘tasks’ which correlate to Common Core standards, but I found few which were as rich as the lessons produced by the Shell Foundation.  In my department we are using these lessons to explicitly teach the Mathematical Practices and are working on a series of videos to engage students around this work.  By the end of the year we hope to have videos of our students, grades 6-8, as they are exemplifying one or more of the practices.  We will show these to our new students next September, to help teach them what each practice looks like.

In the meantime, our first production is a video to engage students around one of the FALs entitled Sharing Gasoline.  Teachers in grades 6-8 taught this same FAL and together we made this video to hook them.  

Here’s the lesson: Sharing Gasoline FAL

If you have feedback about what would be most interesting in terms of sharing formative assessment lessons from the Shell Foundation, please let me know.

Deadline #2 is a Math For America forum where I need to present on my teacher-in-residency year at UC.  More on that soon.


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