Tuesday, July 24, 2018

My #TMC18 Experience

I just spend last week in Cleveland at #TMC18.  If you get a chance to go to Cleveland, I recommend it.  It has so much character.  The houses are so cute, all with little front porches, all different designs.  There are so many restaurants, cafes, breweries.  It is a very walkable city.  It is right on Lake Erie.  It has all sports areas.  It has an airport.  All right there.

My husband, Rick, and my colleague, Kathy, and I rented a car and drove from Hopkinton, MA to Cleveland on Monday, June 16th.  We left around 8:30 and arrived about 7:30 after stopping for lunch, dinner, and one more bathroom break.  It was literally Rt. 90 the entire way.  It was quite boring, but easy.  I will admit I only drove for about an hour.  I get so sleepy when I drive.

Tuesday was our sightseeing day.  We went to The Christmas Story House (highly recommended) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Wednesday was the Desmos preconference where I spent time with the Geometry aspect of Desmos.  I am very excited for the new snapshot option in Desmos.  I use snapshots all the time on my apple, but this looks really easy to use within the teacher dashboard.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning Kathy and I presented.

Here is the blog post: My #TMC18 Morning Sessions

Here is my blog post: My #TMC18 Favorites and Keynotes

Link to My My Favorites

Link to a Google Doc of all my Memes for Geometry

The food was so good.  It deserved it's own post: My #TMC18 Food

And, a blog post about: My #TMC18 Afternoon Sessions

Thank you for reading.  I had to get it all out now before I forget.  I love to look back on these blog posts throughout the year.

As we leave #TMC18 with a ton of good things, we are asked to pick just 1 and make it our #1TMCThing and check in in October to see if we are following through.  Two years ago, it was to use VNPS and I have done that a million times over.  Last year, it was to use Clothesline Math which I did not get to.  I bought the stuff but just didn't have the time to spend with it.  I still hope to.  I will be honest, I am not sure what my 1 thing will be.  I think it will be to play more in Geometry.  I teach an Accelerated Geometry course which doesn't have much wiggle room, but I will have a new to me College Prep class this year. I want to play with geometry more - I will have them draw the eyeball I did.  I will have them make Islamic Art in class.  I will have them use Desmos Geometry.  Yep, I just convinced myself.  My statement:

My #1TMCThing is to play more in Geometry class.  Thanks for reading.

My #TMC18 My Favorites and Keynotes

I love the schedule of #TMC in general and My Favorites is one of my favorite parts.

It is 3 days long with 3 morning sessions that you commit to.  They are two hours each day.
From 9-9:30 am each day, we have My Favorites sessions where people can speak for 5 or 10 minutes on a My Favorite from their teaching.

There are more My Favorites from 1-1:30 pm each day and we finish with 2 hours of My Favorites on the 4th day from 9 am - 11 am.
It is a great opportunity for people (new and old) to get a taste of what it is like to present in front of people.  This year went really smoothly because Jami Packer @JamiDanielle put each of the sessions into a google slide show and had each presenter just link to it.  In the past years, each person would bring their computer up and hook up and hope the technology worked.  It was so smooth this year.  Thank you.

There is also a keynote speaker each day.  I didn't get many notes on the first one because I was just trying to listen and be present.

I love to take color coded notes, so this is what I have.  I did include a link to mine on Friday morning.  One thing I spoke about (yes, it is My Favorite, but I mentioned 3) was using memes each day in Geometry.  I will be putting together a google slide of my memes and sharing soon.

Wednesday was Desmos pre-conference and they brought us Robert Q. Berry, III, PhD, also known as the President of NCTM.  Here are my notes on his keynote: (It should say Desmos Pre-Conference Keynote, not Twitter keynote) 2020 will be NCTM's 100th birthday:

Wednesday's Desmos Keynote by Eli Luberoff @eluberoff - brief but fun as he revealed the ability for teachers to take screenshots of students' work in the dashboard and snapshot it in order to further facilitate discussions:

Thursday pm My Favorites:

Friday am My Favorites:
My Favorites Link

Friday pm My Favorites:

Friday Keynote: Julie Reubach @jreulbach

Saturday am My Favorites:

My Favorites Link 

Google Link of Memes

Saturday pm My Favorites:

Saturday Keynote: Edmund Harris @gelada, John Golden @mathhombre, Glenn Waddell @gwaddellnvhs

Sunday am My Favorites:




Thanks for reading!

My #TMC18 Morning Session

A few years ago, my colleague, Kathy Campbell, @kd5campbell and I heard Alex Overwijk @alexoverwijk speak about vertical white boards #vnps.

At our first TMC, #TMC16, Kathy heard him speak again on the subject and we both decided to make it our #1TMCthing for the school year of 2016-2017.  We went to Home Depot and bought the 4x8 feet shower boards, super strong velcro, command strips, and duct tape for the edges and we outfitted our rooms.  We started teaching with it here and there that school year. We loved it so much, Kathy and I wrote a grant to the HEF, the Hopkinton Education Foundation, and received the grant.  It allowed us to buy permanent whiteboards and materials for our classrooms!  Thank you HEF!

At our second TMC, #TMC17, we presented on Going Vertical: Our First Year Experience with Whiteboards in an hour session.  We loved sharing together because it really lent itself to conversations both ways, us talking in the session, but also great ideas coming from our session participants.

In school year, 2017-2018, I was to teach Accelerated Geometry.  I taught Geometry years ago and was excited to try VNPS in this class.  I went into it trying to find situations where oral directions from the teacher and students standing at the board would provide opportunities to discover geometry and practice it.  Not every lesson used VNPS, not even every unit.  I might sit down and try it and it just didn't fit, or it would take too much precious time to describe where direct teaching might be better.  Often, I would look at the section in the book, the content, the vocab, and the example problems and just change them to oral directions with kids at the boards.  Totally different experience than sitting individually at their desks.  The oral directions allowed the students entry into the problem.  With everyone at the board, the fishbowl takes effect and I can see all their work and they can see each other's work.  Mistakes can be caught and discussed early rather than repeated without knowing it is wrong.  The conversations are priceless.

As I began to teach the class this way, I knew I wanted to share the next step in my thinking classroom at TMC, so Kathy and I proposed to do a morning session at #TMC18.  She hasn't taught Geometry in a long time, but we share rooms and I taught that class in her room so she got to experience it as well.  And, it turns out she is teaching it next year.  She got a preview!  Our proposal was accepted.

I would often take pictures of my students' board work and then blog about it.  Having my scripts, student work pictures, and blog posts really help me put my session together.

Kathy and I worked on the presentation at the end of the school year.  We had three mornings, 2 hours each, from 9:30-11:30 am to really dig in and share.  Our plan was to have them right up to the boards doing problems on Day 1.  On Day 2, we would analyze.  I showed them a video of my Alg 2 class doing the Law of Cosines at the board.  I had every intention of videotaping my Geometry classes this year, but it just didn't happen.  We also discussed how we bought the whiteboards first, then got the grant for the boards.  On Day 3, we wanted to flip the class.  We would have the participants brainstorm ideas for which they wanted to create a lesson and then give them time to go through that process and finally, they would read them scripted lesson to their classmates to practice being the teacher.

I will admit, I was nervous/stressed/anxious, all of the above.  It was just the not knowing.  We didn't know how many people would be in our session.  I had planned 4 problems for the 1st day and 4 for the second.  Would it be too much, too little.  Well, thank goodness, it all went so perfectly if I say so myself.

We had 10 people in our session.  This lent it so well to great conversations.  We had them take a survey first thing to see what they were bringing to the session - how long, if at all, have they been teaching geometry, and have they done whiteboards.  Here are the results:

2.) How many years have you been teaching Geometry:
9, 6, 20, 11, 12, 8, 3, 8, 10, and have in the past and will again this year.
Look at those numbers!  Remember, me - 2 years, Kathy 0 years, presenting to these people with years of experience!  But, we kept in mind, they chose to come to our session to learn about VNPS.

3.). Was to explain their interest in the session.


Day 1: We went through this Google Slide 1 with links to the 4 problems.
We came up with our own hashtag #vnpsgeo.  If you happen to use VNPS with Geometry this year, please use it so we can all share.
It was a classroom of Geometry teachers with TIME - imagine that.  We could talk about what is important to us.  I am pretty picky with notations - is it a lower or upper case A?  Do you need arrowheads?  If I state the units as inches, do they have to write inches every single time?  To some teachers this important, to others, not so much.  One thing I learned at a conference a while ago, if you mind, it matters.  I go by that rule.
We had such great conversations that I just don't have the time to have during the school year.  Kathy and I were learning from them as well.  Each of the teachers chimed in on how they have taught that lesson and how they might be able to change it to oral and vertical.  They all offered ideas for ways to label points around the room, to what to use to erase the board, to how to ask a question or make a statement different so it worked better.  We were tweaking lessons together!
Away slipped the nervousness and the anxiety.  It was going to be okay.  This was good!

We ended with handing out an exit ticket asking:
1.) What did you learn today?
2.) What are 2 questions you have?
We went home that night, and read through them, entered them into our Day 2 Google slide and thought about how we might answer them.

Day 2: We did this Google Slide Day 2.
Within this google slide, I included two links, that I will include here:
Link to all my vertical board problems for Geometry.
Link to my notes for this 3 day session.
Everyone showed up again, plus one who couldn't make day one and the awesomeness continued.  I loved it.     
We did not get to the last circle problem, but that's because of so much great conversation.
Oh, and I baked cookies for Days 1 and 2.  Had Hershey kisses for Day 3.

Day 3: This Google Slide 3.
We brainstormed what we might try to convert into a vertical/oral lesson:
Cavaleri's Principle
Polygon Interior Angle Sum
Area of Polygon Formula
They worked on this for about 45 minutes in groups of 2-4, then we took a break and then they practiced on their classmates.  They were getting to practice being teachers and trying out their lessons.  It was so fun.  I wish we got to collaborate like this all year long.

I hope our participants got as much out of this session as Kathy and I did.  I can't wait to hear what they share throughout the year.

Here's our group on the last day as we became a family over our 3 mornings together.
By the way, we were lucky enough to get to work in our #TMC18 host's room, Dave Sabol.  Thank you!
Shout out to our Geometry morning session family:
Elyssa Miller @misscalcul8, Barb Lynch @Stelladuma, Todd Feitelson @Toddf9, Philip Taylor @phitau13, Lisa Henry @lmhenry9,  Andre Sasser @MrsSasser, Melissa Allman @MAllmanAHS, Brian Cerullo @bcerullo12, Carolyn Fisher @FishercMHS, and Maggie Mocete @MMocete.

My #TMC18 Afternoon Sessions

This is to share about my afternoon sessions at #TMC18:

The Desmos Preconference was on Wednesday.  I don't have notes of the first two sessions because I was playing with Desmos, but the third session I went to was about using Desmos to give assessments by Julie Reulbach @jreulbach and Jonathan Clayton @rawdimus.  They presented this at the 2nd Desmos fellowship but I didn't get to go to that session so I was happy they presented it again.  Thanks.

My takeaways: Give this with a paper and pencil as well. Be sure to take the test itself to make the answer key within the dashboard. Can randomize choices. Make new codes for each class.  Hit PAUSE at the end to stop kids from doing more later.

Thursday Keynote by Marian Dingle: @Dingleteach
My takeaway is we need to de-center ourselves so we can see the genius and gifts of all our children.

My first session on Thursday afternoon was by Amie:

I chose this session because I wanted to do math, so my notes are some thinking.  I will use the checker board problem - Prove there are 204 squares on a checker board and the dice problem.  If you stack dice, what will the sum of the bottom and unseen middle sides be.

My second session on Thursday was by Brian Miller:
I drew an eye.  I will be using this in my Geometry class.

My afternoon session on Friday was:

Got to play more with Geometry on Desmos - no notes.

My second afternoon session on Friday was:

Super secret - no notes to share as they were showing us a sneak peak behind the scenes of the HS math Illustrative Mathematics.  It isn't ready yet, but we looked at their curriculum - the order, the questions, the activities.  Can't wait for it!

My first session on Saturday was:

Bob was showing us how to use games to "get to" the more boring type of math like playing a dice game to build a need for compound inequalities, a bead activity to graph and look at rational functions and the Mystery Number Game to discover e.  Again my notes are a lot of playing and may not make sense but you can reach out to Bob if you want more.

Page 1:

Page 2:

Page 3:

My second session on Saturday was: a Flex Session (last minute)
I went to Annie Perkins, Megan Schmidt, and Stephen Weimar's session on Islamic Art.  I made this and I WILL be making more.  This is one picture's progression:  I will be doing this is Geo as well!

Thanks for reading.

My #TMC18 Food

Oh my!  The food in Cleveland is so good.  It is so flavorful!

We stayed in an airbnb so we did save some money on making breakfast at "home".

On Monday night, arrived in Willoughby Brewing Company, and went to a delicious brew pub in the pouring rain for dinner - burgers, mac and cheese, and I had bruschetta chicken.  So good.

Tuesday was our sightseeing day, we went to The Christmas Story House in the morning.  It is my husband's favorite Christmas movie and we had the best tour guide ever.  She was young, passionate, and knowledgeable.  I told her she would make a great teacher.  We picked up Amie Albrecht @nomad_penguin and Mary Williams @merryfwilliams at the hotel for lunch at Melt.  My husband has been to Cleveland before and wanted to be sure to get to Melt again. Heaven!  All different grilled cheeses. 

On Tuesday night, we wandered around and had a hard time finding a place that was actually open.  We ended up at Cleveland Bar and Grill.  We tried meatball bombs for an appetizer at the waitress's recommendation.  So delicious.  It was a meatball, wrapped in mozzarella cheese, then flash fried!  We had pizza, burger, and flatbread among the three of us.

On Wednesday, Desmos provided breakfast and yummy lunch.
Dinner on Wednesday was at the Market Garden Brewery for Desmos Happy Hour.  My husband, Kathy, and I shared 3 appetizers.  Jen Abel @abel_jennifer convinced us to try Scotch Eggs:

And, the mussels.  Oh, it was all so different and flavorful!

On Thursday, we had lunch at Great Lakes Brewery.  Kathy and I connected with Annie Fetter @MFAnnie, Anna Scholl @mathteachscholl, David Petro @davidpetro314, Kevin (don't know your twitter handle), and Michelle Nadeu @park_star. I had a great chicken pesto sandwich and while trying to save the french fries as the waitress handed me my plate, I lost my Coke and wore it all in my lap.  Oh well. 

Thursday dinner was our 1st timers' dinner and I was Becky's @BeckyNftP mentor.  So bummed I didn't get a picture of us to share.  Thanks for Sam @samjshah2 for organizing this dinner again!  Dinner was at Flannery's Pub.  Also at our table were a few other newbies.  Edmund Harris @Gelada and John Golden @mathhombre, and Jason Kissel @MrKisselMATH and then - was it Brad and his wife - I think that was your name.  Let me know so I can update (I'm embarrassed to not remember)

Friday, lunch was at The Flying Fig We had lunch with Mary Williams again and Pam Wilson @pamjwilson.  We had pork tacos.  My husband had a chicken shnitzel sandwich and I had a turkey sandwich - again, huge and flavorful.  I think everything we had all week had bacon on it!

Friday dinner, trying to squeeze it in before 7 pm trivia, we stayed local and Kathy and I joined Nicole Hansen @nleehansen, Wendy Menard @wmukluk, and Allison Krasnow @allison_krasnow for a repeat dinner at the Great Lakes Brewery because it was close, outside seating, and so tasty!  Now that I look back on dinner with Allison, we were asking each other where we thought #TMC19 might be and I don't know HOW Allison kept that poker face and did NOT spill the beans.  Kudos to you for keeping this huge secret. 

Saturday lunch, we hit Cosmic Dave's for subs with the cosmic sauce.  These were juicy, messy sandwiches that were so good!

Saturday night, we went back to near Flannery's Pub and went to Zocalo for Mexican.  They even had mango, bacon guacamole!

I think I gained a million pounds, but so much good food with good friends, so it was worth it.
Oh, and don't let me fool you with all these names - I am doing this the day after TMC so I don't forget but I still had to go to Twitter and the @tmathc list for names and handles as well as the TMC program.  I am terrible with names.  :)

Time to exercise!