Friday, August 9, 2013

Highlights of TMC13 (finally)

So many people have done a wonderful job of re-capping the events of TMC13. I am pretty sure I have nothing original to say about the (most amazing) conference I've attended. EVER.

I decided to focus on the aspects of TMC13 that made the biggest impact. This is not even close to a comprehensive list of take-aways:

Rich Problems/Tasks:  It started with Max's presentation on noticing and wondering. The simplicity inspired me. Two powerful questions can bait our students to dig into problem solving. Glenn's session was the perfect follow-up. He showed us how to extend any problem by listing its attributes, changing one thing, and then see where it goes. Then we worked through a couple of tasks with Karim from Mathalicious. I can't wait to use these and others. These sessions all worked together to boost my confidence about implementing these types of problems in my classroom . . . This will be my main goal and focus for this next school year.

Interactive Notebooks:  I will admit to dragging my feet when it comes to INB's, but Megan's session won me over. I learned that I can modify much of what I already have, so my fear of starting from scratch was dispelled. I also learned that INBs are particularly affective in engaging lower-level students and helping them stay organized. I'll be incorporating these into my regular Algebra 2 class this year.

SBG: I might be the only math blogger who hasn't implemented standards based grading. I do not know why, because the philosophy totally aligns with what I believe about education. It was good to talk to people who are using SBG. They don't want to ever go back. It was good to hear that there are a hundred different flavors, not a right way or a wrong way. I figured out where to start. From there, I will make it work for me. I'll be incorporating SBG into my calculus class this year, but I suspect I will be expanding it to the others before long.

The People: Finally, a few words about the social aspect of TMC. Even though I have been blogging for a while, I have had a limited presence on twitter compared to most. I did not know many people going in. Add to that the fact that I am an introvert . . . I had some anxiety at first.

But I was determined, so I carried my introverted self down to the lobby where I folded paper and made plans for the evening. I went to karaoke expecting to stay for an hour, and ended up staying until closing time (and singing!). I had amazing meals with interesting people, and everywhere I went people could not have been nicer.

I decided not to name names because I will surely forget to mention someone. But I truly appreciate the generosity of those who gave me rides, brought me bagels, and included me in their plans . . . Thank you. I am thankful for every conversation, every walk from here to there, every meal, and every thoughtfully prepared session.

This tweet I sent from the airport sums it up pretty well:

I don't want to ever miss this again. And I am really going to TRY to spend more time on twitter for lots of reasons, but especially because all those faces now have really amazing people attached to them.


  1. It was so great to meet you Amy! I'm so glad that you got to come! You are still the cutest teacher I have ever met! :)

    1. Thank you, Julie. It was great to meet you, too! Your enthusiasm is truly inspiring. :)

  2. "I don't want to ever miss this again." Me neither. It was wonderful meeting you, Amy, because I've followed and loved your blog for a long time. You're too adorable in person. May I pick you up and spin you around next time though? Forget it, not asking for permission, I'm just gonna do it! :)

    1. You know what? I believe you! Love you more . . . :)