Meet the Teachers Roundtable

CONNECTING FUTURE TEACHERS WITH ROLE MODEL TEACHERS

The Meet the Teachers Roundtable is a half-day highly interactive workshop, where prospective teachers participate in exemplary math and science lessons taught by talented K-12 teachers, learn how to present those lessons, and make appointments to observe in the classrooms of role model teachers. The word "Roundtable" in the event's name reflects the fact that the teachers present their lessons to small groups of eight or nine future teachers at round tables.  The intimate roundtable grouping is an innovative feature, which enables the role model teachers to interact on a more personal level with future teachers. Beginning in 2004, Meet the Teachers Roundtable was designated as one of the Washington Mutual Future Teachers Workshops.  Current information can be obtained at www.futureteachersconference.org.

The Planning Team

A planning team of two to five college faculty can organize a Roundtable event.  Faculty with connections to K-12 teachers and who can identify excellent role models for the teaching of K-12 math and science are indispensable members of the team.

The Planning Process

The active planning process takes two to three months; but normally the reservation for a large room must be made farther in advance. A single large open room works well for the event.  Having a raised platform at one end is especially useful for the welcoming remarks and introduction of the teachers.  Large round tables placed around the edges of the room provide ideal workspace for the model lessons.  Allow six weeks to secure the K-12 role model teachers and several more weeks to obtain information about their lessons. Begin publicity about six weeks before the event.

Sample Lessons by the Role Model Teachers

Typically 10-12 lessons take place concurrently.  Students attend three lessons each 30 minutes in length.  Sample Roundtable lessons are described below.

Genetic Jewelry - learn the structure of DNA by making DNA earrings

Bears in the Forest - look at limiting factors of a population of black bears

Dominant and Recessive Genes - toss coins to observe the frequency of dominant and recessive genes

Reducing Fractions with Linoleum Tiles - see what “reducing” fractions really means

Bird Beaks - experience how adaptions play a role in the development of bird beaks

How Fair is This Game? - experience probability in games

Exploring Math and Science Concepts in Simple Machines - investigate the concepts of mechanical advantage and ratio of Lego Dacta gear kits

Discover My World:  GLOOP! - participants will mix 3 common ingredients to make "gloop" and investigate its properties

Where Do I Belong? - describe and classify different types of leaves

Evaluation

The teachers and attendees are asked to complete an evaluation form at the end of the event.  Comments from participants include:

"I really like the idea of the camera out of a Quaker oats container!  I think that kids would love this project!  By doing a hands-on activity, students realize that light doesn't bend and that pictures are taken upside down!  I also like the idea of using M&M's to learn about probability - this way kids can relate math to every day activities!"

“I feel great knowing that I can call these teachers for future resources and for observations.  They were all very helpful and encouraging.”

"This roundtable gave a lot of opportunity to get a feel for what's going on out there in different schools.  I really loved it!"

 “It was nice to have a variety of grade levels since I am still unsure of the grade level I would like to teach.  I liked that even though I wasn’t able to attend every lesson – could still get a lesson plan.”

"This has been one of the best workshops that I have attended regarding education…because we were able to take part in the activities rather than sit and listen to speakers and how they do it.  The half-day format was perfect."

 

Planning Handbook

A handbook detailing the event and the planning process was produced with support from the Los Angeles Collaborative for Teacher Excellence (NSF-DUE #94-53608).  The handbook was revised in 2003 with support from Washington Mutual.  The Meet the Teachers Roundtable Planning Handbook (REVISED in 2003) is also available on-line at this website in PDF format.

 

 

Future Teacher Conference Meet the Teachers Roundtable
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