For the past week or so, I have tried to hold on to every last detail and every last feeling from TMC13 (Twitter Math Camp). Reflection is a great way to make those moments last and allow each one of them to sink in. Eager to share my thoughts, finding a starting point was a challenge for me. The task seemed overwhelming. With so much to tell, where would I begin? Then Julie emailed me (and everyone else who attended the middle school planning sessions) about a “MS Favorite Three for TMC” initiative. Since writing from a prompt is way easier, and so is sharing only three thoughts, I was ready.
TMC was such an incredible experience! It was two amazing days learning from and networking with a group of creative, talented, passionate and knowledgeable educators. TMC grew out of the mathtwitterblogosphere, an online professional community of middle school and high school math teachers, a community I discovered no more than a year ago, and a community that has greatly enriched my teaching and learning. The opportunity to mesh my virtual world with the real world was awesome! It kind of felt like meeting a rock star and long-lost friend all wrapped into one. We bonded while walking to dinner, watching windows being broken, answering trivia, folding origami, lunching by the food trucks, sitting in the courtyard, and claiming the hotel lobby as our own (who knew math teachers were so loud and rowdy?). We exchanged ideas, shared enthusiasm, asked questions and offered encouragement.
These are my MS Favorite Three.
1. My Favorites: 4 to 1 – As a lover of all things whiteboard, Jenn Crase’s favorite was right up my alley! Students simultaneously solve questions, each answering in one of four sections on the board. The sum of the responses is then recorded in the center box. Simply check the center box. Groups with an incorrect sum work together to find and fix the error. What an awesome way to engage all students in practice!
2. MS Math Session – Aside from making some great connections and meeting some incredible people, my biggest take away from the session (thanks, Fawn!) was the importance of incorporating problem solving into the classroom routine and not making it an afterthought. Relevance to the current concept or topic not required!
3. I Notice, I Wonder – Who knew that two little questions could lead to such rich discussion?! Max Ray demonstrated that regardless of the simplicity or complexity of the problem, everyone has something to contribute. Furthermore, by recording every response, everyone’s ideas are valued. Use at the beginning, middle or end of a task, and is a rich feedback opportunity.
With a new year on the horizon, I am excited and ready to put my learning into practice (and am early waiting for TMC14). Thank you to all of the planners, session givers, and my TMC friends. How I miss you!
Are you hungering for more? Click here for more MS Favorites. What favorites do you have to share?