I love that when I told everyone I was going to Twitter Math Camp that they didn’t believe there was such a place. Oh but there is! And it was fantastic!
I missed out on day one due to a teaching commitment and I am so disappointed about what I missed, but have loved reading about it on the blogs. If you didn’t get a chance to go this year, definitely go next year! Car, bus, train, plane, I will be there!
My favorite part of TMC 13 was how welcoming everyone was…you could just wander down to the lobby and join a conversation, head out to breakfast/lunch/dinner with whoever was leaving. It was just as easy to start a conversation with anyone during “camp” about math teaching, grading, planning, or any random topic. I was able to meet lots of people whose twitter handles I recognized, and many who I’ll recognize now. There were several people like me, who are just getting started on Twitter, and it was great to feel so welcome despite that!
Some of my highlights:
Middle School Group-
Again, I came in on day two…Julie and Fawn started off with the agenda, and when the group thought they might like to make problem solving more of a focus, they reordered what we were doing so that would work. How often have you had the chance to be a part of Professional Development that was flexible! (I’ve sat through numerous differentiation sessions that were most definitely not differentiated, for example!)
I really liked the reminder from Fawn that when problem solving with students, we really need to make sure that problems are accessible to all. What manipulatives/vocabulary might help to clarify understanding?
Organization session- everyone shared their ideas of how to organize their digital files and webpages. I’m still not sure what/if I’m going to change from my wikispace, but I love Fawns idea of restricting activities to a “top 5” for each concept. I think doing something similar would really save me time in the long run, and really make me look at the activities/problems and decide which are the best for my students. I might have to go with top 8 though…not sure I can keep it to 5- maybe just put my top 5 at the top of each page (so hard to throw away anything…might be a candidate for “digital hoarders”!)
Cooperative learning and groupwork- lots of great ideas from Anna and Jessica- I especially liked the idea that when groups are sharing out of solutions and strategies- give each group a role or a “look for” while the group is presenting. So often groups aren’t engaged in what the other groups are presenting so I think that would work great as a strategy.
This was definitely my absolute favorite part of TMC! I’d like to see this as a regular part of PD everywhere! Everyone has lots of small things that work really well for them in their classroom- this is a great forum for teachers to share for just 5-10 minutes about an idea/method/activity/website/whatever…. I’m wondering how if this could be something that could be incorporated with students as well “My favorite strategy” or ???
Of the my favorites, some of those I definitely want to incorporate:
David Wees- “Stop Thinking Questions” “Proximity Questions” “Start Thinking Questions”. Give students tools for thinking rather than giving the answers to the first two types of questions. I love his idea of playing a ukulele for slowing down the first two types- I am musically inept, but maybe I could look busy walking around with my ipad (but not playing CandyCrush, of course, that would be a distraction, right?)J.
Chris Lusto- each group comes up with a definition of something (circle) They read their definition out loud, and everyone else has to create something that matches their definition but is not a circle. “What is a ____” and see what they come up with. Reminds me of a “peanut butter and jelly” lesson where students have to describe in detail how to make a pb&j and you try and make it EXACTLY how they describe it. Love that this idea is so easy to use, and definitely zero entry for students.
Glenn Waddell- y=a(x-h)+k Connect point slope form to vertex forms of other equations. I have to admit- I’ve never taught beyond Algebra 1 (and a very light Algebra 1 course at that). I really hadn’t thought much about the importance of point slope form of an equation. We focus so much on slope intercept and standard forms that it is so easy to brush over point slope form. I am reminded about how I need to find a good “everything above algebra 1 for middle school math teachers” class. I’ve taken lots of higher level math courses, but all many many years ago!
Jasmine Walker- (my fantastic TMC13 Roommate) programming using the TI to output type of quadrilateral given- but mostly I loved the idea that its ok to set students off down a path that you as a teacher are unfamiliar with and be honestly unhelpful to help them persevere.
So many others were fantastic…I have little notes here and there and plan on sharing more as I figure out how they fit in with what I want to do with my students this year. I am so appreciative of those who shared a my favorite, or planned a full session. Just one week until teachers go back in my district, and students are back in just under two! Always exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time to start a new school year J