I am taking the plunge and actually taking part in the #MTBoS 2017 Blogging initiative. To be honest I have been very hesitant to write anything because this is an intimidating group. (Not your personalities but all the cool things you do and share…it’s hard to measure up) I have been stealing (borrowing) from all of you forever. I wanted to post something I actually created myself. So…here it goes.

I have done BTSN for the past 20+ years and it wasn’t until this past fall that I felt like I finally got it “right”. I tried many things to make my BTSN presentation worth the parents time…but let’s be honest, most (middle school/high school) parents come for one of two reason….

- The want to put a face with a name
- They don’t want to seem like they’re not interested so they show up (I am guilty!!)

So why have I bored them…going over procedures, HW policy etc.??? (Principal’s push this) while adding some humor and having bowls of candy at each table set.

I now teach at a middle school and our BTSN occurs the week before school starts. This year I emailed parents a link to my website where all my procedures etc can be found. My letter was upbeat, enthusiastic etc. (email me if you want a copy). Here is the presentation I gave to Intro to Algebra and Geometry grade 8 Here is the Advanced Algebra presentation.

They are pretty basic…After I introduced myself I use the 2nd slide with all of the quotes on it to talk about my philosophy of teaching math etc. (3rd slide is just our math sequencing through high school) The BEST part is the dot slide (…thank you Jo Boaler)

I told the parents/students etc. that I was going to put a slide up for about 2 seconds…they were to look for a pattern to find the number of dots I “flashed” up. I then invited those in the room to share out how they saw the dots. It was soooo cool. I had parents share, students share, and very young siblings share and there were so many different ways people saw these dots. The whole purpose of course is to let parents and students know there is more than one way to solve a problem. I then talked about how if they find a better or different way of doing something they needed to share it with all of us. Cuz…many times my students have a “better” way of solving problems than I do. I have learned so much from my students by having them share their thinking.

The feedback I received that night from parents was amazing. They loved it!! The kids loved it! Whenever I met with parents this year they mention how much they enjoyed and appreciated it. (That’s a first for me!)