Saturday, July 23, 2016

#TMC16 Reflection, TakeAways, #1TMCThing (#TMC16 Series Part 10)

I think 10 might be a good place to end my TMC blog posts.  I have typed up all the fun ones, now it is time to process what I have experienced.  Easier said than done.  There are a ton of posts already shared that recap TMC16 so I am just going to try to touch on my thoughts as a first-timer and my takeaways from TMC16.  This was by far the BEST PD I have ever attended.  Up to this point, I have said that Twitter was the best PD I have ever have so it makes sense that meeting these tweeps in person and learning from them would be even better!  I can't wait for next year in Atlanta!

I have known about TMC since its beginning but have never been able to make it.  I followed the hashtag from #TMCjealousycamp big time.  I would use things and it is still a great place to be, but actually being there is SO amazing.  I don't think I can do it justice.

It is definitely a lot to take in.  Just think about meeting up with someone.  Maybe they look familiar to you from their Twitter profile pic.  You have to try to remember or get to know there first and last name, their Twitter handle, the blog address, where they are from, and what they teach.  It is a lot to keep straight.  It actually might make a great Desmos card sort.  I was happy to have my colleague Kathy @kd5campbell with me so we could help each other remember all our new tweep friends or point out someone she had met or I met or we wanted to meet up with.

I was so happy to have Kathy as my roommate.  I didn't get a chance to catch up with Lisa Winer but I read her TMC reflection blog post and this piece resonated with me:
"It's really important to go with someone from your school, in my opinion, because you can constantly bounce ideas off of each other and remind each other of what you can apply in the classroom throughout the year."
It was also helpful because I knew at the end of the day, we could head back to our dorms and be ourselves, process our day that day, and decide what we would attend the next day.  Thanks Kathy!

I was also so grateful to get to meet and spend time with Marissa @viemath.  She is a sweetheart and we took her under our wings and she gained two mothers.  We hung out all the time.  Thank you for taking us to Walgreens and to the mall.  Thanks for playing Pokemon, too.  Look forward to seeing you more on Twitter and reading your posts.  

For my morning session, I attended TalkLessSmileMore and that is exactly what I want to be able to do.  Now I feel I have a structure to do that.  I will train the kids the idea of "My claim is ___." "My warrant is ____."  I will be using this in the classroom.  I will also use Talking Points with Agree/Disagree/Unsure and going around 3 times to have a discussion.  I will also ask kids more opinion questions like "What is the hardest one, easiest one, weirdest one?"  "If you could change one number to do something, which would it be and why?"  I am going to work on making my problems more debatable.

I've got a lot of new places to look for problems: Crossing the River with Dogs (from Wendy's session), The Mathematics Vision from Kerry and Tony's session, and the Exeter problems.

I like the Color Square game from Wendy's session.

I need to check out for Sam's ideas on mini projects.

I want to read Make It Stick.  I think I need to read it thoroughly before I can really digest it and jump into some of the big ideas.

I learned about an app called Zoom that can have kids use the teacher's ipad to send work to the teachers' computer projected screen.  Need to look into this.

I did learn from Kerry and Tony's session "5 Practices for Orchestrating Math Discussions" that I kind of already use this structure - Anticipate, Monitor, Select, Sequence, and Connect.  Again, another structure to use in my room.

I loved Joel's The Fun Math Game with the Lame Name Game.  I will be using this in class.

I will become a member of NCTM.

Denis Sheeran spoke about seeing math everywhere and a new book that he has coming out in the fall.  I went to the mall and saw math in the Peeps store. Today, I went into Boston and saw math everywhere.  I will try to get my students to see Math everywhere and share it.  Maybe our own class hashtag?

I will use more Open Middle problems.

I can't WAIT to try Desmos card sorts.  Well, I did try them in Max's session, but I can't wait to try them in my class.  Very cool and so exciting!

I am going to print out and start doing some Exeter problems, both for my own fun, but also for some of my class's problem sets. 

A HUGE thank you to Hedge for SnagIt - I won an e-subscription.  I can't wait to try this screen capture and editing tool in my class.  I will share when I make some cool things.

I need to look up Deb Boden's blog post about Robert Kaplinsky's Ms. PacMan Transformations.

I want to give more thought to my pre-assessments.

I need to check out the Don Stewart problems and #donaday

I need to watch Sue Vanhattum's video on relaxing math anxiety.

But, I think the place where I am going to start is my #1TMCthing will be VNPS and VRG - vertical non-permanent surfaces and visual random grouping.  It will change the flow of my class. I usually do a Do Now exploration, like a 3 Act or a WODB, then move into a lesson with vocab and explanation of processes and then trying problems, all in notebooks.  I will have the kids up and working at the boards.  I have a big white board at the front and one at the back.  I have gone to Lowe's in the past and had them cut the bathroom board to make me 2'x2' white boards for group work, but I am going to make some new ones.  I need three more, so I can hang them.  I will use velcro on the to and a command strip hook at the bottom to hold the weight.  I do think my accelerated kids are going to struggle with not having everything in a nice linear space in their notebook, but I think the process and discussion is more important than just doing it quietly and individually at their desk.  I can still put my powerpoint lesson with the class problems on canvas so they can do them later on their own time if they insist.  I think it is going to be a huge, positive change in my room and I am so excited to try it!  We will check in on Oct 19th to make sure I am doing it.

Okay, last Saturday, I was at TMC and at midnight we were looking at little ripped up pieces of paper with Andy @rockychat3 work on aligning and creating an Algebra 1 curriculum.  This Saturday, at 8 pm and I am typing up my final blog post. 

I went to York Maine and into Boston this week. Next week I head to Martha's Vineyard and NYC, followed by a visit to Salem to see Tina Cardone and finally in two weeks I will be on our family vacation.  I can't wait!  Thanks for reading!

Food and Fun at TMC16 (#TMC16 Series Part 9)

Ahhh, makes socializing better and easier.  At TMC16, there were social events planned for the evenings that involved food and then of course, we had our meals to socialize at as well.  Our school doesn't allow food anymore which makes me sad because it really can bring people together.

Friday night, Desmos held a Happy Hour at the Republic with light appetizers.  Kathy and I were milling around with Allison whom we met at the airport because she came in from Brookline.  Marissa joined our table and we got to know each other.  We checked out the menu and the first thing I noticed was "Cheese Curds".  At first, I was thinking, "Gross" but Marissa said they were yummy, so we ordered them.  They were delicious.  Kind of like a less breaded mozzarella stick and the cheese isn't mozarella.  There was a different sauce too, so good!  I had a juicy bison burger that was great as well.

Saturday, for lunch, we went to Jimmy John's.  It was a short walk from campus on the corner.  Kathy and I thought it was just a Mom and Pop shop.  Allison and Carol Munro @chieffoullis joined us.  Carol said her daughter was working at Jimmy John's back at home at the same time.  It was a sandwich/sub show and it was yummy.

Saturday night was MY FAVORITE PART of TMC16.  We went to Pizza Luce.  I love any and all pizza.  This dinner was intended for first-timers to TMC16 as well as some members who have come for a while.  I was an early person in and got to pick my table.  I almost sat at the table NEXT to Sam Shah @sam_shah, but I had been really wanting to meet him and to get to know him better, so he invited me over, yippee!  Kathy found our table and she invited Connie @CHaugneland over.  We had the coolest table if I say so myself.  We jumped into the menu and Sam had been there before so he suggested some for us.  We learned he is a vegetarian who doesn't like vegetables.  He likes cheese and carbs, so he basically ordered a bowl of cheese.  Not really, it was a vegetarian pasta dish, but I didn't see much pasta in there.  He loved it though.  We all shared a delicious watermelon salad.  Kathy, Connie and I settled on two pizzas - The Athena and the Spanish Chicken - all wonderful.  We almost got the cheesecake but then I learned it was coffee and I don't like coffee so we went with the chocolate peanut butter brownie sundae that was fabulous!  It was huge and so big for all of us to share.  The conversation never stopped.  We learned we all had a ton in common.  Sam wanted to find a trait that each of us had that no one else had - a fun way to get to know each other.  Mine was I love fishing.  We shared some fishing stories, but I was alone in my love of it.  Connie has never been to a drive in theater even though there was one near her growing up.  Kathy loves tennis.  I can't remember what Sam's was.  I have been wracking my brain.  I think it might be that he is a vegetarian.  Then, came the love the musicals!  And, young adult novels.  Sam lives in NYC, Connie lives in TX and we are in MA.  It is about 3.5 hours for us to drive to NYC to see shows on Broadway.  We also have many shows around us.  We compared stories.  Yes, Sam has seen Hamilton (jealous!).  He recommended a show to us....shhh, don't tell anyone...Dear Evan Hansen.  I want to go see it now, but tickets aren't available until November.  Thanks Sam and Connie for making us feel so welcome and part of this great math team.

Here are some 3D printed toys from dinner.  From one direction, they look like circles, turn it 180 degrees and it looks like squares:

Sunday afternoon, Kathy, Marissa, and I went to Sewards.  Before lunch, I asked Sara VanDerWerf if she knew about it.  Apparently there are a lot of them and they are know to be "granola".  Yes, they were.  The wait was long and it was pricey, but it was good.  I had a salad and a fruit bowl with a yummy smoothie.  Kathy had a huge sandwich and fruit bowl.  And, Marissa had the "Earth Breakfast" - looked like an omelet with a mountain of broccoli on top.  She said it was good.

Sunday night, Trivia was planned, sponsored by Mathalicious (Thank you!)  I love trivia and am super competitive but we lost.  We were going to have some free appetizers, but we thought we might get dinner first, so Marissa talked us into trying Ethiopian.  People had been there and said it was really good.  Let's just say, "It's not just a meal, but an experience."  We had a huge plate with a sponging Naan bread on it and lots of different globs on top. Then we had naan bread on the side that you rip off and use to scoop up the food.  Marissa made the mistake of asking for a plate and he said we already had one.  So, it got a little messy.  I will say it was flavorful.  Not sure I will go back and I will say I was happy to have the appetizers at trivia later.

I may as well tuck Trivia in this spot.  We had myself, Kathy, Marissa @viemath (from Chicago area), Norma (from MA) @normabgordan, Jess @jesrice, Maggie @maggietenneyson, Jeremy (from MA), @greenblock, and Allison Hansel @ms_hansel (from MA).  Our name was TMC Virgins.  We did great in the first round of Movies - listen to and watch one line of a movie and name it.  We got 10 out of 10.  Second round of Name that Calculator - tough, we didn't do so well.  Third round "Culinary Math" - things like how many flavors were in the original life savers package or how many rat hairs are allowed in 200 grams of peanut butter?  Lots of interesting stats/data/facts can be found at the FDA website.  You might NOT want to look.  We didn't do so well again.  And, the last round was Random Crap, we continued to stick, but at least the pressure was off and we could partake in the loud singing led by the front table group.


Monday for lunch, I found myself heading back to Pizza Luce.  I hooked up with our group of four - Jennifer, Keely, Kerry, and Tony from Montana who were responsible for hosting the trivia.  I also went to Kerry and Tony's session so it was fun to catch up with them and get their take on things.  I also got to try a new pizza, The Bear, with lots of meats on it, so delish!

Monday night, Kathy and I went to Acadia.  Nothing formal was planned.  Well, they did try to organize a trip to dueling pianos but we learned it was closed on Mondays - big bummer.  We went in and saw three guys from TMC.  We joined them.  I already met Jim at my morning session @MrDardy.  We heard Brian share a My Favorite @TheMillerMath and Alex Wilson @fractallove314.  It was also $5 snack hour.  We got our cheapest, yet yummy dinner of more cheese curds, fish tacos, and beef quesadillas.  The conversation was so great.  Here we were after 3 long days of amazing sessions and we were still having great math conversations.  We further discussed Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces and Visible Random Grouping.  I continued to learn more and more!

On Tuesday, our last session was a great 2 hours of My Favorites followed by The Song and The Announcement for next year: TMC17 will be in Atlanta, GA!!!!

We checked out and then squeezed into Marissa's Mini Cooper with three people and three people's luggage.  We traveled to the Mall of America.  We grabbed lunch at Twin City Grill.  We decided we didn't want a chain food restaurant but something local.  This fit the bill.  Yes, there were cheese curds on the menu but we didn't get it.  I had Fish and Chips that was Walleye, just perfect finish to my TMC meals.  Thanks for the ride Marissa!

Food helps with our memories!!!!  Thanks MN food.

TMC16 My Doodle Notes (#TMC16 Series Part 8)

I have seen more and more doodle/sketch notes around Twitter and figured I would try it at TMC.  I didn't know how many notes I would be taking.  I bought a pretty new notebook and 4 colored gel pens - green, red, blue, and purple, and off I went.

As I started to take them, I thought, hey this is pretty cool and fun.  Then, I continued to take them.  Then, I started to comments on them.  Then, I felt the pressure to be sure to capture everything the best I could because now I wasn't only taking notes for little old me but for everyone in my session, people who couldn't make the session and even the person giving the session.

Thanks came in the form of tweets, of course:

I apologize in advance if I spelled someone's name wrong or quoted something incorrectly.  I will post all my notes in order of appearance.  In another post I will do my take aways.

BTW: I loved the schedule.  True, it was a lot, but I loved having three mornings of the same session to dig into, to get to know the presenters and my classmates, to get to come back and follow up on the conversations from the day before.  I loved the 5 minute My Favorites - get a quick glimpse into something cool and allow to me to follow up and research more.  And, then the afternoon sessions were a nice hour long to get some more goodies in.  I liked the variety of the length of times.  

  • Opening Newbie Session by Julie Reulbach and Glenn Waddell: 
  • Morning 1/3 of TalkLessSmileMore by Chris Luz and Matt Baker: 
  • Saturday keynote: Jose Vilson:  
  • Saturday My Favorites: 
  • Saturday pm hour session "Get Triggy With It" by Kristen Fouss:
  • Saturday 2nd pm session "Problem Solving" by Wendy Menard:
  • Sunday morning My Favorites: Heather Kohn, David Sobol, and Anna Blinstein:
  • Sunday morning 2/3 session: TalkLessSmileMore:
  • Sunday afternoon My Favorites: Sam Shah, David Wees, and Connie Haugneland:
  • Sunday keynote: Tracy Zager: "What Do We Have To Learn From Others":
  • Sunday afternoon session: Make It Stick by Anna Vance:
  • Sunday 2nd pm session: 5 Practices for Orchestrating Math Discussions by Kerry Gruizenga and Tony Riehl:
  • Monday morning My Favorites: Joel Bezaire, Greg Taylor, Edmund Harris, The Math Forum:
  • Monday morning 3/3 session:  TalkLessSmileMore:
  • Monday afternoon My Favorites: Sara Vaughn, Brian Miller, Denis Sheeran:
  • Monday keynote: Dylan Kane: More Than Resources:
  • Monday afternoon session: Hunting the Elusive Rational Functions and Other Minds-On Rational Function Activities by Max Ray-Riek:
  • (I really like the picture with the folders.  He broke a polynomial denominator into its factors so you could see what was missing.  As he was explaining it to me, he thought it might be a better idea to make the -2 on two pieces of papers as 2 and -1. )
  • Monday flex session: Exeter Problems by Elizabeth and Jasmine
   = Two Hours of My Favorites:

PokemonGo and #TMC16 (TMC16 Series Part 7)

Yes, I am playing PokemonGo.  My oldest two, ages 24 and 21, were super into it when they were little, so I know a lot of the names.  Plus, I love a good scavenger hunt and I love being competitive.  I also love learning something totally new.  Whenever I had a question about how something work, including how do you catch these things, I read about it online.  Three of my four boys are playing Pokemon so we can talk about it.  My 17 year old even said, "I never thought my mom would be teaching me about Pokemon."

When we were in the airport on the way to TMC16, Kathy told Tracy Zager I was playing and Tracy said I was the first in-person person she knew playing it, so we started discussing all the stupid things associated with it, like 2 boys playing it falling off a cliff.  In line at Starbucks, a grown woman had it on her phone, so I said, "See, she is playing it."  So, we discussed it.  Her kids were playing it too and she wanted to get some different ones while away.  The young girl in front of her chimed in as well.  I love that it is an easy conversation starter.

On Friday night, Kathy and I went to Desmos' Happy Hour with Allison (who we met on our plane ride, from the Boston area).  A young woman named Marissa joined our group for dinner.  As we were getting to know each other, I asked if they played Pokemon.  Marissa did and voila we had a connection to discuss for the rest of the weekend.  She was a higher level than me, but it kept me going.  We compared who had which Pokemon.  We would tell each other when there were Pokestops or Pokemon around.  As we rode the Light Rail to the Twins game on Friday night, it was going slow enough for us to get some Pokestops and we learned some history along the way as a lot of the Pokestops are cool statues in the area.  One was right on campus, outside our dorm, the French Fry statue, so we could always go out and stock up.

Kathy and I went to dinner on Monday night at the Acadia and met up with Brian Miller, Jim Dardy, and Alex Wilson.  We had some great teaching conversations but then I asked if anyone played Pokemon.  It was a nice opener into Alex's world.  He was a level 15 at that point. I was a level 10.  He taught me that you can change the name of each Pokemon, so I named a Ratatat a Kathy :) and a Psyduck a Marissa.  Which Pokemon would you name as yourself?  I am still thinking - maybe Jigglypuff?  By the way, to change the name, you just click on the name and start typing.

We would see our Twitter feed with people strolling looking for Pokemon.

I would like to figure out a way to bring it into the classroom. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

TMC16 Exercise and Touring Minneapolis (TMC16 Series Part 6)

My colleague, Kathy, and I arrived Friday night in MN for #TMC16 and wanted to run on Saturday morning.  A few people were tweeting it out.  I wasn't 100% committed because I didn't know how tired I would be after Friday night at the Twins game and how early 6:30 am would come.  But, I forgot about the 1 hour time change and BING! my eyes were open at 5:30 am on Saturday morning, so met the group out front of the dorms. We also ran on Sunday morning.  What a great way to tour the city!!!

I hope I get everyone: Picture below is from our second morning, but people who joined us on both:
Lisa @lisabej_manitou, Jamie Rykse @jrykse, Bob @MrJanesMath, Sadie @wahedahbug, Marissa @viemath, Maggie @maggietenneyson, Connie @CHaugneland, Kristin @Mathminds, Kristin @Fouss, Kathy @kd5campbell
The second picture is called the Mississippi Mile.  It is atop the Stone Arch bridge.  We weren't quite sure where we were going as we ran but it was all just amazing.  If you ever get a chance to go to Minneapolis - GO!  I am from a suburb of Boston and sorry, Boston - but you are gross.  You are old and dirty, scary to walk and drive in, and just not friendly.  Yes, I get it.  You are important and historic and old.  But, I think I have a new crush on Minneapolis.  It is a city that doesn't feel like a city.  There is no hurried feeling to it.  There are not a million people, cars, and buildings everywhere.  It is so clean and green.  It is so bike and walker friendly.  There is the road, then a bike lane, then a walking lane - everywhere.  There are even street lights that have the regular green, red, and yellow for the cars but then a separate one for the bikes with lights in the shape of bikes.  So cool.  There are bridges and rivers and restaurants everywhere.  More on the food in another post.

There was someone for each person to run and chat with and it was a great way to get to know another group of people.  Thanks for being my running buddies.  If you want to run next year, don't be afraid to send a tweet and get it going.  Although our Atlanta group tells me it will be much hotter there next year!

On Monday, I decided to try out the bike share system and see a little more of the city.  It was so fun and easy!  This group was Kathy, Maggie, and Ellen @n922 joined us for our city tour.  We headed to the Stone Arch Bridge and went across the river.  The other side seems a little older, but so quaint with many outdoor seating restaurants.  I wish we had time to eat there.  We went around a little electric plant and down closer to the falls.  Then, we circled around beautiful Nicolette Island.  The houses and gardens reminded me of Martha's Vineyard.  Then, was time to head back.  We went over our hour pay time so we continued on to Starbucks and got a new few of Augsburg College. 



Peeps in the Mall: See the Math (TMC16 Series Part 5)

Four posts already and I haven't eaten a thing.  I need to eat soon.

At the Mall of American, there is a pretty cool Peeps store.  I will say I don't really like Peeps, but they had some cute shirts like "Kickin' it with my Peeps".

I saw this giant box of Mike and Ikes and saw the math.  Do with it what you want.

Let me start with the last one and a question I put to Twitter:  Which one would you buy?  I didn't even notice one was Zours.  I was going for the different sizes.  Think about it - the bag, the box, or the cylinder.  

Here is the box that started it.  It is 1.5 pounds and the price is given:

Then, I found this really cool pound with the measurements right on it, only to find out a few minutes later it was the workers bag for people who were making their own bags.  The pricing is also included as well as getting a free pair of earbuds.  The bag fills to 2 pounds then you would put it into the little plastic cans to buy it.


Then, I found the cool cylinder.  Also included are the size and the price.


Now what would you buy and why?  What is the best bang for your buck?