3 Act Presentation to K-8 staff

Last week I presented to the K-8 staff at my school about using Dan Meyer's 3 Act Lesson format with their students next year. My principal requested I do this about a week prior.

The initial sit-down with my principal went something like this:
Principal: I'd like for you to present to the staff about the 3 Act lesson format you've been using this year.
Me: Really?
Principal: I think our school can get a lot of mileage out of it.
Me: Sure, I'd be honored to. When? (please don't say tomorrow)
Principal: Next week at our staff meeting.
Me: Okay (gulp)

In between countless other responsibilities, I spent about a week putting the Keynote presentation together and practicing. The last thing I wanted to do was bore, scare, or upset anyone on staff. Especially if I plan to show something as lovely as this to them.
From McDougal Littell Algebra 2 (2007)
I really wanted to do the 3 Act lesson format justice. Besides the fact I said, "umm" a hundred times, I feel the presentation went rather well. I captured it on video so check out the video presentation.

With blogging, I've found it easier and more constructive (I think) to stick to 3 solid points/goals/objectives. For the presentation, my goals were to:
  1. Convey my enthusiasm, passion, and excitement for 3 Act lessons
  2. Do Dan Meyer's 3 Act lesson format justice via applicable examples
  3. Generate some interest
Enthusiasm. It felt very effortless to convey my enthusiasm and excitement for these types of lessons. I hope I was able to convey this in the video. I'll admit, I reviewed a few of Dan's presentations, including his TED talk and this recent presentation. Dan sells his stuff and ideas really well in my opinion. I don't feel I need to reinvent the wheel and gladly found myself referencing some of his examples, ideas, or sayings. I mean this with all sincerity and respect: Why try and find a new way to sell it, if it's been effectively delivered before? Furthermore, I have no personal or monetary gain by presenting. Students can be the beneficiaries here.

Justice. I hope from the video that my work does Dan's work justice. This can only be determined by the viewer or attendee. There were some strong points. The message was conveyed. I'm not a professional speaker (hence all the 'umms'), and I mainly recorded this to make improvements in the classroom or in case I ever find myself doing presentations in the future. I had to email Dan and ask for some feedback. It felt like the right thing to do. He was spot on! Dan recommended I place the basketball clips before the iPad answers during the Act 3 payoff segments. Great tip! This really did generate a sense of understanding and closure.

Interest. Generating interest can be tough, especially when presenting at the end of the year to both multiple-subject teachers and non-math single subject teachers. Furthermore, it's a staff meeting, enough said, right?
Many teachers left the meeting quickly, which is to be expected. I wasn't sure if I hit my mark, generated any interest, or bothered them. However, the next morning about eight teachers emailed me with interest. Furthermore, many of them noted how passionate I am about this and for some, even inspiring. That made my day! I also had some teachers in English and Social Sciences expressing interest. Cross-curriclar 3 Act lessons? Woah! This week I'm meeting with those teachers who are interested to see how we can possibly incorporate 3 Act lessons into their curriculum next year.

Lastly, the highlight of the presentation was from a kindergarten teacher. She showed her class File Cabinet - Act 3 and her student asked, "What about the bottom?" The kindergartner teacher continued to say that they actually tried to calculate (estimate) the stickies on the bottom. I find this amazing for two reasons: First, the level of abstract thinking by a kindergartner is astounding. Secondly, the teacher allowed her class to explore this question with her students, applying Geometry standards with her kindergarten class.