Monday, April 29, 2013

MCTM Decompression

First of all, welcome to all new readers.  I suppose when you run a full session 75 deep (with many turning away at the door) you're bound to get a new reader or two.  If you were part of that group, THANK YOU SO MUCH for coming.  I thought it was a really thoughtful collection of teachers who asked all the right questions and made all the right comments.  Some of you even offered suggestions we may look to implement in the future at our school.

To the new readers, let me give you a quick highlight reel of my life online:
Basically, I'm just a small fish out here somewhere trying to do whatever I can to help kids and stay sane while doing it.

I have some thoughts on this weekend's MCTM conference that I'd like to share.

First of all, holy smokes there were a lot of flipped classroom sessions.  I mean a LOT.  I don't know what that says about us as a community but it truthfully makes me a little queasy.  I know it's tough balancing individual needs with a shared learning experience, but it scares me that so many have completed flipped.  I'm hoping we find that equilibrium in a more "blended" classroom, but until these pioneers have recognized and fettered the pitfalls I'm not going to jump in.

Second, I love it when someone has something randomly cool to share.  Bryan Freyberg had a really fun session asking this question of the 1969 selective service military draft: was it truly fair?  A broad question with many avenues of attack that truly had a huge effect on people's lives.  He also taught me Benford's Law.  How is it that this was my first exposure to it at age 34?  Big thanks to Bryan for a really fun session.

Third, it's really cool to see experts in the field be awesome.  I was lucky enough to get to buy Christopher Danielson a beer on Friday night.  My friends were worried he'd be super-weird and it would be awkward, but we had some really nice conversation.  Impressive guy.

I thought the Oreo session (Are they really doubly stuffed?) was a lot of fun.  I have a working hypothesis that a unit of stuf in the regular Oreo is not equal to that of the golden Oreo.  But I have to think about that a little more to be sure.  He could have a whole blog just on Oreos.

Another cool thing I picked up from him is this fist to five thing.  A cool way to measure class confidence quickly without even talking about the answers yet.  I suppose I've used variances of it throughout my life but this version could work well in many situations.

Last thing: unless I'm on a panel, I'm retiring from SBG presentations.  That's my declaration to you.  I need some new material.  And I think booze math could be perfect.  You think MCTM would allow me to have volunteers consume tequila on stage in the name of mathematics?

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