Write Angles

April 13, 2005

Carnival of Education

Filed under: Carnival of Education,NCTM Conference — Damon @ 4:00 pm

Yesterday, I submitted my observations about the NCTM Conference to the Carnival of Education. This morning they posted a link to my site. So far, 21 people have followed the link to visit.

It’s really cool and kind of scary that strangers are reading my thoughts. I wonder if I should have taken steps to remain anonymous… Oh well, it’s too late now.

I suppose it will be fine as long as my principal doesn’t find out that other principals want me to move to New Mexico.

By the way, what is there to do on the weekends in ?

Update: As of 10:45 California time, I’ve had 41 visitors from the Carnival of Education.


April 12, 2005

Loitering at NCTM

Filed under: NCTM Conference,Teacher Expenses — Damon @ 7:28 pm

Last week I spent my spring break loitering at the math teachers conference in Anaheim. I learned so much it’s been hard to contain it all. Here are some of my observations:.

I learned that no-one checks your badge to see if it’s counterfeit.

If you stay at the hotels, the daily parking is $16 where if you only drive in for the day it is $8. And if you park in Garden Grove and walk, it’s free. I would think the nightly hotel bill of $160 would offset some of the parking expenses.

I was pleasantly surprised when the parking attendant remembered me from my visit two days earlier.

If you buy a hot dog and soda at the Anaheim Convention Center it costs $9.50. I would think the $180 registration fee would offset some of the hot dog expenses.

I learned that $180 is actually inexpensive for a conference of this size and that the many vendors probably made up the difference.

You can get a lot of free stuff from vendors who want you to spend your school’s money on a lot of expensive stuff.

There are schools that can’t afford the expensive stuff so their teachers spend their own money on less effective substitutes.

I learned that far too many teachers spend their own money on less effective substitutes.

A cheerleading competition was scheduled next door. (I assume it was to cheer on the math teachers.)

People came as far as Australia. (To the math convention. I don’t know about the cheerleading one.)

I met a principal that wants me to move to New Mexico. (I assume it was to teach there.)

I met a teacher from Compton, California that doesn’t think merit pay based on student performance is fair when she has Algebra classes with 40 plus at-risk students while other districts have more motivated classes of thirty students or less.

She told me that she is considering quitting.

I met a surprisingly large number of people who were looking for the boat show. (They must have walked in from Garden Grove and didn’t see the directions.)

I discovered there is free wireless available on the second floor of the Anaheim Convention Center but not anywhere else.

I did learn some math teacher stuff but won’t bore you with the details.

I learned so much I am definitely going next year when it is in St. Louis.

April 7, 2005

NCTM Conference

Filed under: NCTM Conference — Damon @ 9:27 pm

Today was the first day of the NCTM conference for math teachers.

There was so much information it’s going to take me awhile to process it and adapt relevant parts for my . I was hoping to have a ton of new ideas that I could use on Monday. However, it will take some time to adapt the things I learned to my own style and procedures. (Its also kind of unfair to my students to change too much in April…especially grading assessment policies.)

I did have one idea I could begin right away. There were dozens of seminars I was unable to attend. I decided to email the speakers to see if they could email me any of their materials. I’m especially interested in seeing other teacher’s rubrics for grading notebooks, journals, presentations, group work, etc.

At first I was only interested in getting those materials to adapt for my own classroom. Then I realized I could post them on my blog–with the author’s permission of course. I’m not sure if any teachers would be willing to, but it’s worth a try.

March 25, 2005

NCTM Conference

Filed under: NCTM Conference,Networking,Problem Solving — Damon @ 2:57 pm

Last weekend I received my materials for the NCTM conference. (For the uninitiated that stands for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics–or something like that.) It should be a wild party. You know how math teachers are when they get together. But remember, what happens in , stays in Anaheim…

I am looking forward to the networking opportunities. There are only 4 math teachers at my site and it will be good to meet additional people and see what they do in their classroom. (Who knows, I might also learn about available jobs… If my principal is reading this, I’m only kidding.)

I’m also looking forward to the seminars. We approach Math in terms of problem solving. The idea is that we give students real world problems and coach them through finding the solution. They develop their own strategies for solving the problem as well as their own understanding and appreciation of the math concepts. I think its called inquiry based learning.

Anyway, I’m still trying to figure out the best way to use this method. After all, I learned the old fashioned way with lectures followed by examples of applications when there was time. There are about 20 seminars related (in some way) to this approach. I wish I could attend all of them but I’ll have to settle for a few.

If I have time I’ll post the highlights here.

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