Sarah Martin (@Sarah3Martin) and I met with the administrators from our school to share some of our highlights from #TMC14. I figured I'd give an overview of the things I shared as it will be a good summary of TMC.
Talking Points (shared at TMC by Elizabeth)
Talking Points was the biggest take-away for me. If you haven't already, please go here and print off the instructions and one of the talking points and find 2-3 other people and just DO IT! I am so excited to try this in my classroom. I love that talking points gives ALL students a voice and requires ALL students to listen to their peers. This is something we need to teach to our students, and talking points is a great way to facilitate this.
Math Maintenance (shared at TMC by Kathryn @iisanumber)
Kathryn used Math Maintenance as bellwork, but I am seriously considering using it as homework this year. It would help me to review older material with students regularly and to prepare them for what is coming in advance. It might also help me prepare students for a re-assessment on an older learning target to ensure retention.
Here is Kathryn's post on Math Maintenance.
I shared desmos.com and a little bit of what it can do as well as teacher.desmos.com. Mostly I shared their vision for providing these things for free forever. It isn't to the point yet where it can do everything I need, but the idea that there are people out there talented at creating this sort of thing for our students is awesome. And I believe it really helped to demonstrate to my administrators what kind of people go to TMC. It was a picture of how awesome our community was.
I shared a little with them about the session I led on intervention strategies. I wanted them to know that I appreciate the opportunities they have given me, and that not all teachers get those opportunities, but those are signs of how we care for our students.
After hours productivity
One thing that makes TMC stand out from other conferences (not that I've been to a bunch of national math teacher conferences) was that the after hours talk was productive. Outside of sessions it was always possible to find someone to discuss teaching math with you. At breakfast, lunch, supper, and well into the night there was always a good conversation to be found. And usually you had to choose which one you wanted to participate in the most, which was often a big challenge!
Sarah will be shared about Embodied Mathematics, plickers, Nix the Tricks, and Formative Assessment Strategies.
What was really cool about sharing with them was watching their attitudes change as they heard more about TMC. They were willing to admit that "Twitter Math Camp" didn't sound like much more than a super-fun weekend with geeky people, but at the end they were astounded and excited by everything we had learned. They were shocked by the wonderful community of math teachers that we have found and how that community can help us become better teachers. I think each of them walked away with something that they were still pondering and wanting to share with others. I call that a win! (Even though they might still think we are strange for enjoying talking about teaching math every minute for 3 1/2 days!)