Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#TMC15 Recap

I got back a few days ago from my first Twitter Math Camp. I've been to lots of math conferences, but this one is special. I think I'll just make a list of thoughts. If you want the resources, go to the TMC wiki page.

All of us are smarter than one of us.
It's about the community, stupid.
No one cares.
But, everyone cares...
Some people are introverts and need a break. It's okay.
The way teachers talk about instruction is important.
How can you change your questioning to avoid yes/no answers?
Elementary teachers have a unique and difficult job - high school teachers can learn from them (and want to!) - we need to engage in more vertical conversations.
The conversations between the sessions can have the biggest impact.

A few personal revelations:
@wahdabug is taller and less blonde than I expected.
@mathymeg07 is sweet and kind (and probably a good driver at home).
@bstockus knows what he's talking about, but is nice about it.
@gfletchy uses different vocabulary late at night.
@JSchwartz10A needs think time, but has lots to say that makes me think.
@mswright2 is fun to travel with.

Twitter Math Camp was a guilty pleasure. I have a similar community with my Oregon Math Leaders and OCTM connections. But, seeing another way to run a conference is always good for me. And I loved meeting

Conference planning ideas (some are hard to do with 1200, but work well for less than 200):
Start on time (I tend to, but be explicit about it)
Flex sessions (add things that come up)
Speed dating (mix them up and make them talk!)
My favorites (kind of like our math-a-rama, but for anyone, not just pre-service teachers)
Social events
Slide show at the closing session (tell people about it and ask them to submit pictures)

Twitter Math Camp was like this salad, looks like cheese on the top, but there's plenty of good-for-you lettuce underneath.

Thanks to everyone that made TMC15 happen (@lmhenry9 in particular)!

K-12 Fraction Fun

So, I may have oversold this session with "fun" in the title, but 5 people showed up (still not sure why they weren't at Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces...). This was my original idea for a TMC (Twitter Math Camp) session. And it also came out of some Twitter conversations.

But, as it got closer, I thought, "wait, didn't I do something similar for Instructional Assistants in my district?" I had. So, I recycled that presentation. I loved the way my opener worked there and again at TMC:

Show 3/8 as many ways as you can.

This could be the basis for the whole progression of fractions K-12...  But, I did include some other problems.  I should have snapped pictures of their work (on the Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces - white boards on the walls).

At the end, I asked for reflections on Twitter using #TMC15 and #fractions. I only got one, but don't they say that one person that responds is representative of the 20 that didn't bother?  I appreciated the participation of everyone that came (especially the one that should have ran the session...).

My PowerPoint and the article we read are on the TMC Wiki.

Comings and Goings

At #TMC15 (that's Twitter Math Camp, 2015 in California), I got to work with another math coach, a high school math teacher, and a master debater (and teacher) to create a place for discussing shared understandings of K-12 math.

The idea started in Twitter conversations and grew. I had done sessions like it at Oregon Math Leaders, so I had a vision of what it could be, but our collective thoughts made it better.  Brian brought a Big Ideas article for us. It helped us see that our task was way to broad, so we focused on the big idea of equivalence (#equiv) and the specifics of the distributive property and proportional reasoning.

Watching high school teachers ooh and ahh over an elementary example was a highlight. In the end, we agreed that the conversations and process were more important than any products, although, we did talk about using similar tasks in multiple grade levels (like Andrew Stadel's cup stacking example: http://mr-stadel.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-ultimate-task-for-vertical-planning.html).

My group talked about using the Ant Man trailer in multiple grades as a hook for proportional reasoning and similarity tasks. We talked a lot about what could be done in early grades without getting too far into geometric similarity, but just using ratios.  We quickly agreed that using manipulatives for students to explore these concepts was very important.  If you want to see more, our thoughts are in the Google Folder on the TMC Wiki page for our morning session.

Resources on the TMC Wiki Link

Peer Pressure

I've decided to create a blog because I need 1 more thing to do (not really!).  But attending Twitter Math Camp with the #MTBoS convinced me that I should at least have a place to share things that are longer than 140 characters.

Why Bridging Math?
I live in the Portland, Oregon area and we have a lot of bridges. Bridges have great math connections. And in Scouts, bridging ceremonies were a part of moving to the next level. I believe we all have bridges to take in learning to be better.

So, this will be a place to post resources from my workshops or reflections on my work as a K-5 math coach. Thanks for reading (but don't expect frequent posts...).