Today through Saturday morning, I am in Denver for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting and Exposition.

I spent the full day today in a Response to Intervention workshop, where many of my district’s initiatives were indirectly affirmed by what the presenters were using as good practice for math teaching generally, and for supporting struggling learners specifically. I know I will dedicate a full blog post to respond to this workshop in the near future, suffice to say now that I found it very affirming to hear the discussion on diagnostic testing of students as formative assessment:

Tonight I also listened to the keynote address from Mayim Bialik on the influence one teacher can have on a student.

Tomorrow and Friday I will attend various sessions. Some are research based, some focus on specific methods or tools I have heard of and want to know more about, but in all sessions I will have the following two questions in my mind:

1. what are we already doing that is good practice? (And how can we improve consistency of implementation of good practice?), and

2. What does research say is good practice that we need to include, but haven’t yet, to improve student learning?

For me, “improving student learning” doesn’t mean improved test scores. It means increased engagement that comes from teachers focusing on creativity, problem solving, and real life explorations… And invariably from this the increased scores follow.

Here is my listing of workshops for the next two days, with reflective blog posts to follow next week!

Thursday:

1. The Math behind the Heavens and Earth (historical understanding of cosmos thru math)

2. Proportional Reasoning: Creating Viable Arguments Through Inquiry and investigation

3. Cracking the Code of Algebra Without Cracking One’s Head

4. Math Journal: Jump Start Student Reflections

5. teaching Math Through Real World Topics

6. Saving the Planet with Math (sustainability math)

7. Increasing Equity Awareness and Transforming Practice

Friday:

1. How Big is a Carbon Footprint

2. Singapore Visual Models to Reason and Make Sense of Problems

3. Reaching Students of Various Abilities through Flipping

4. Scan it, Solve it, Show it (QR codes in math)

5. Journal article writing, journal refereeing

6. Powerful Online Tools to Promote Powerful Math (Desmos calculator demo)

7. MOTO – NCTM’s first online tool with lessons for RtI Math Students

Busy, brain stretching days! Looking forward to both affirmations and challenging thinking!