TMC14 My Favorite Takeaways

I love My Favorites from TMC14.  Here are some of “my favorites”:

Bob Lochel @bobloch
  • Meaningful Adjacencies Icebreaker- Students write 5 of their favorite tv shows on index cards, then arrange cards so they are closest to the most people who share similar tv shows. Trying to maximize solutions.

Rebecka Peterson (@RebeckaMozdeh)

  • Friday Letters: On Fridays students can either answer a warm-up question or write her a letter (put letter in cute mailbox), if they write she promises to respond.  This helps her get to know all of her students better, especially the quieter ones. “Quiet people have the loudest minds” -Stephen Hawking

John Mahlstedt @jdmahlstedt

  • Let Students Know How Awesome You Are and Get Better Gifts-PPT answering questions about yourself,
  • Always writes the date as an equation on the whiteboard example: July 24 could be July 52-50
  • I also like all the nerdy math t-shirts John wore

Glenn Waddell @gwaddellnvhs

  • Use a styrofoam cup as a tri-pod.  Turn it upside down, put a slit in it, phone goes in slit.  Record your own teaching

Justin Lanier  @j_lanier

  • Read excerpts John Holt’s books:  “How Children Learn” and “How Children Fail
  •  These are daily reflections from a 5th grade teacher in 1968
  • Takeaways for Justin:  1. Look around. 2. Teach Crazy 3. Trust children. *point out to children that some things are crazy!

Pam Wilson @pamjwilson

  • Plickers-poll your class using cards (similar to QR codes)  from website. Students show cards orienting them  depending on their answer. Teacher uses camera to record and see the results on your whiteboard. Julie  @ jreulbach had idea of using contac paper to attach to back of students INB then students just hold up their notebooks
  • Chalk Talk: No verbal, all written.  A question is asked and students write the answer. Make it fun by using special highlighters and black lights. they write with highlighters under black light.
  • Making Thinking Visible-quickly mentioned, but she said there was a pdf also Nathan Krafts Grudge Game
Meg Craig @mathymeg07
  • Equation Editor 3.1 – you don’t get missing numbers when you print!, helps make shortcuts for symbols and you can also create your own autocorrect for commonly used fractions, radicals
  • Link is

Sebastian Spear @Sebastian_S

  • 99-card game; object of the game is to not go over 99.  Good for strategies and adding and subtracting numbers.
  • Zilch-red cards are negative and black cards are positive. Cards must add up to 0. Begin game with four cards for each student then change to five cards

Jasmine Walker @jazmath

  • Tabletop Twitter- Posters on tables with questions 1) Why do We learn math? 2) What makes a good math teacher? 3) What is a good environment for learning math? 4) What makes a good math student? Teacher rotates around room answering questions on posters and responding to people with hashtags also using their handle @student name  (create their own hashtags)

John Stevens @Jstevens009

  • Would You Rather Blog a blog that asks students to “choose their own path and justify”

Elissa Miller @misscalcul8

  • When she catches students insulting others, she makes them “say two nice things”

Sam Shan @samjshah

  • Started a publication at his school called Intersections  Students submit (coerced with lunch pizza party) articles about math/science.  Gives students to write and celebrate with artistic contributions

Kathryn Belmonte @iisanumber

  • Uses a personality test “True Colors” to get to know her students. She blogs about it here.

Dylan Kane @math8_teacher

  • Shared a great blog called Five Triangles that has lots of interesting problems for grades 6,7 & 8



Pondering The Meaning of Selfish

I live in a small town and we don’t have panhandlers here. When I do go to a city and am confronted with people asking for money, I usually avoid them, or turn away. I’m not sure why.  I feel uncomfortable and and I usually do what most everyone else does…pretend like they are not there and walk by. Last month I was in Boise with my husband. We were driving and stopped at a stop sign exiting Whole Foods.  There was a man on the corner holding up a cardboard sign.  My husband reached for his wallet, pulled out some cash, then handed it to this man.  I was surprised because I had never seen him do this before and asked him, ” Why?”  He said, “Because there are a lot of people who are just trying to get by.”  I got all choked up and wondered, “Am I selfish?  Why was I doing what everyone else was doing?  Who would ever want to have to stand on a corner and ask strangers for money unless they were really down and out?”

Yesterday as I was  heading home from TMC14. I was in Boise again at a stop sign.  A young man stood on the corner holding up a tattered piece of cardboard. “Please help, trying to get back to CA.”  I started wondering about him and the girl near him that slept on the grass.  What was their story? I thought about the lone five dollar bill in my wallet.  Then the car ahead of me rolled down their window and handed the boy some money. I did the same. He gave me a smile and a nod of thanks. I wondered what would happen if everyone helped him out? How long would it take him to get home?

Okay, so then I thought of TMC14 and about how I’m a panhandler trying to get stuff from all these kind, brilliant, and  amazing teachers.  They/you are all so generous and I am so grateful. You have inspired me and continually help me to become a better teacher.  I have been selfish, but this is a good thing, because really even if I just keep it to myself, I’m still giving it away to my students right?  But what about all the other teachers that are “just trying to get by”  wanting to panhandle but not knowing where or how? It’s time for me to roll down my window again.

So, for those of you who were not at TMC14, here’s the beginning: Twitter Math Camp 2014 wiki

Here we go again…..

Well, I started a blog last year, wrote about two posts and then stopped. Yes, felt intimidated by all the amazing math bloggers out there. But here I am again. And I’ve just decided that I am not going to worry. I’m just going to write. Because I want to reflect on my practice and I also want to share all the ideas that I have learned from other bloggers.

I didn’t really leave….I have been actively spying. I love the MathTwitterBlogosphere because it is my professional development. I remain a fervent follower because like the Big Marker tagline says, I don’t want my class to “suck the energy from students”.

I have learned (and stolen) a lot of ideas and lessons. I remember reading a post that suggested the book Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. steal like an artist I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s on my list.

In addition to my goal of keeping this blog going this time, I do solemnly swear to comment more on blogger’s posts and give thanks. For right now I’d just like to say thanks to Julie Reulbach for all your posts and wiki ideas, Fawn Nguyen for everything especially ideas on problem-solving, Sarah Rubin for all your ideas for Interactive Notebooks, Dan Meyer for the 3-Act Tasks and Sarah Hagan for her great ideas and lessons.

The TWBOS is so amazing because it is where I first learned about SBG. Because of the multitudes of posts that I read, including Sam Shah, Shawn Cornally and the book Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading: Classroom Strategies that Work by Robert J. Marzano, I have changed my grading completely. WOW. Yes the BTOS is life changing. Okay so that’s it for now….that’s what I’ve learned from the MTBOS and I’m hoping to keep it going…