Sunday, May 4, 2014

MCTM 2014: Day 1 A.M.

MCTM (Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics)

Just got back from the conference late last night.  It is always a rejuvenating experience.  I come back with great ideas for next year as well as ideas for tomorrow.  I also presented this year, and that went pretty well.  I will post on that later.  Below is a summary of the fabulous sessions I experienced on the morning of day 1.

Day 1 Morning Sessions

Keynote: Cathy Seeley
Overall, the keynote format is tough, but she was good and it was a good reminder of how to get students thinking, and the ways we unintentionally shut down their thinking.  She also talked about the I-We-You model, vs the You-We-I model of teaching.
I will show you.
We will practice
You will do it.

This is compared to
You will try it.
We will discuss it.
I will bring out the math summary.

I thought this was a good and simple way to remember students need to think and discuss mathematics.

Session #1: Peer Instruction Troy & Rob from Byron
Troy and Rob are part of Byron's award winning flipped math classroom.  They discussed how they use peer instruction in class to extend the learning beyond the videos.  I love peer instruction but am kind of a novice at it.  They had some great tips and examples to help me implement this in my classroom better.

Session #2: Sara VanDerWerf talking about Math Pictures
Sara is always a fun and engaging speaker.  She spoke about using pictures to help students engage, discuss  and learn math in a deeper way.  The quote she stressed was "“He who does the most talking, does the most learning.”  She had some great examples of using pictures to get discussion going.  She said phrasing is important to students when looking at a picture and trying to get them to ask questions.  
Phrases she highly recommended:
"How would a mathematician describe this picture?"
"What words would a mathematician use?"
"What do you wonder about this picture?"

She mentioned this amazing video by Annie Fetter.  It is short, and amazing.  She demonstrates simple strategies to get students wondering, thinking, and discussing mathematics.  

The afternoon of Day 1 will come later:
Desmos & MetaCalculator
Flipping a Junior High Math Classroom
Potato Chips & Absolute Value Inequalities
How the small conversations before and after sessions can be just as amazing as the sessions themselves.


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