TMC15 My Thoughts

This was my second year attending Twitter Math Camp (TMC). This year I traveled to Claremont, California for four glorious days of math professional development.

This year I attended the middle school morning session that was for two hours for three days. I was not real sure of what this session all entailed as the description was “Do middle school students have the math skills to survive an apocalypse?” By the end of the first day I was texting two of my 7th grade team members saying that I had a great idea for a culminating 7th grade activity that we could do. The session started with short news clips saying that a meteor had struck Los Angles and that so many people were killed and then infected with the toxins in the air. People were turning into zombies. A question posed to us was how fast would this move? If we could have any car up to two in the parking lot to leave with what would we pick and why? We then had to decide how far we could travel and such. I really enjoyed these six hours of learning about how I could incorporate this topic with middle school students.

In the afternoon I had many sessions to pick from. The first session that I attended was by Andrew Stadel “Math Mistakes and Error Analysis: Diamonds in the Rough”. During my time with Andrew we talked about how you could take errors made by students or by the teacher and teach a lesson from those. For example give students a paper with 5-10 problems stating that all are incorrect. Students can work on finding the correct answers and give reason as to why the original problem was incorrect and why their way of thinking is correct. This really gets at students justifying an answer.

After this session I gave my presentation on “Creating a Family Math Night”. I felt proud to tell teachers who attended this session about Shenandoah and what we are doing with Family Math Night.

The next day I attended two more afternoon sessions. The first session I attended was by Sadie Estrella and Mitzi Hasegawa titled, “Supporting Small Group Instruction with Math Workstations”. I have been trying math workstations in my math academy classes and wanted to see what new ideas I could get. I did find that I need to keep my stations to 2 students if possible. I did get some ideas for activities to do during those times and can’t wait to try them out.

The next session I attended was titled, “SBG for Beginners and Beyond” by David Petersen, Anna Hester, and Lisa Soltani. They talked about how they got started with SBG and how they work with it in their classroom. A lot of it was the same way that I go about SBG in my classroom and that helped me feel better with what I am doing.

On Saturday I attended two more afternoon sessions. The first one was by Andre Stadel, “Getting Students to Argue in Class with Number Sense Activities”. During this session we had to guess if Andrew’s water bottles circumference would be as tall as the bottle, shorter than the bottle or taller than the bottle. Then we had to make a number line and place our guess on that line. We continued with this line of thinking with two more problems. Can you tell he is the Estimation 180 guy???

My last session for Saturday was “Number Talks for Middle and High School” by Chris Harris. Chris talked about the book, Making Number Talks Matter by Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker. I am currently reading this book and am really enjoying it. Chris then went on to model how to do a number talk. I can’t wait to use this in my math academy classes.

Each afternoon there was time for people to present their favorites. I am not going to talk about all of them here but will address those that I hope to use in the classroom this year. Tina Palmer talked about using Smart Pals with her students. Smart Pals are plastic like folders that students can write on that are much easier than getting out huge whiteboards. It was mentioned that you could buy automotive shop ticket holders from Amazon for a much cheaper rate. I hope to get a set of these as it is a pain to get out my large whiteboards all the time.

Heather Kohn talked about using Desmos for 3D printing. She did some amazing things with her students. She also talked at more length about 3D printing while we were having lunch. While we were discussing this more at length Erin Daugherty mentioned how she was using 3D printing in her stem club. That got me to thinking that this might be a good way to incorporate 3D printing and coding in Shenandoah by creating a Stem Club.

Anna Blinstein talked about using Google Classroom and how she is mostly paperless now. I can’t wait to use Google Classroom this coming year but was not sure how math students would show all their work using a computer. Anna said that her students still do work on paper but then take a picture of the work and upload that to the classroom.

Bob Lochel talked about an activity that James Bush uses with students at Waynesburg, PA that deals with probability and eggs. Bob talked about how he would modify this activity for high school students and also threw out some ideas for middle school. I believe that this is an activity that we could do when we do out unit on probability. It would be a great hook for students.

Julie Reulback showed us Kahoot. This is something that I could use from time to time as a new review with students.

Matt Vaudrey talked about using music cues with students to get them to transition in class. He provided us with all the music he already has and I can’t wait to see how I can use this in the classroom.

Princess talked to us about her students making videos about math concepts. With us going more one on one I have been thinking about this and can’t wait to show some of Princess’s student videos to my students as examples. One way I am going to incorporate student videos into my classroom is through retakes. Before a student can retake they have options of what they can do to show me new learning and one is to make a video to demonstrate how a topic works.

This is only a small part of what goes on for four days at Twitter Math Camp. This is a community that I am happy to call my family. I will continue to make connections and talk to my new math peers via twitter until we can meet again in July of 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



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About martinsarah

7th grade math teacher in Iowa

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