Several of my math classmates and I were lucky enough to be able to attend the NTCM 2013 regional conference in Las Vegas. It was an exciting and informative experience. It was a relief of sorts to realize that many of the main topics discussed, such as explaining the meaning behind why a short cut might work and incorporating literacy into the mathematical classroom, were things that we had already been covering in our Methods and Curriculum courses. I was in dire fear that everything I heard at the conference would be completely different from what I was currently being taught.
The last few days have left me run down, yet exhilarated. My boys are thrilled because I came back bearing awesome gifts such as pencils that read “I love math” and posters that say “Math is pi-ping HOT.” My four grader was the one that pointed out to me that hot could stand for ‘higher order thinking.’ so much for my higher order thinking skills.
My companions and I spent hours talking about how we could incorporate literacy into our classroom, differentiating our teaching for gifted students, which supplemental materials we would use in our classrooms to encourage deeper thinking in our students, and debating the differences between calculator brands. We spent even longer collaborating and brainstorming ideas that would take Dan Meyer’s advice to “make math more like a video game” to heart. (More on our ideas in future posts.)
For now, I just wanted to say that I am excited and proud to be a small part of a collaborative, inviting, and instructional group that are known as math teachers.
Ps. I would post some sort of crazy “I went to Vegas” picture here. But we don’t have any. We were in our jammies by 8, and in bed at 11. We spent the night doing our homework and chatting over pizza. What a wild and crazy bunch, huh?