Annual ASSM, NCSM, and NCTM – A Week of Math Ed Leadership & Collaboration

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Just returning from a week of fun in San Antonio where the annual math leadership and teacher conferences were held. Casio was a proud sponsor of a few events and at NCTM we had such a blast showing off our new graphing calculators (both approved by College Board for use on the PSAT, SAT, & AP exams), the CG-50 Prizm and the CG-500 Prizm CAS (3D graphing anyone?!) Not to mention the added bonus of blowing TI out of the water! (Side note: I will be doing specific posts for each of these in the next couple of weeks showing off some of the new and exciting features).

Thought it would be fun to highlight some of the moments we had sharing math education and technology with the dedicated math leaders and teachers we met throughout the week.

ASSM & NCSM


For the second year, we were honored to sponsor the opening session of ASSM (Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics). Mike Reiners, one of our amazing math teacher leaders and Casio user from Minnesota, provided some technology talking points after the main speaker and then everyone enjoyed some good food and conversation.

DSCF3005At NCSM (National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics) we were able to connect with many math leaders at our exhibit booth. We had a great time sharing our new calculators at our Showcase workshop and everyone walked away with a brand new CG-50 prizm to explore

 

Benjamin Banneker Association Reception at NCTM

It was a privilege to sponsor the BBA Reception at NCTM for the 2nd year in a row. What a great group of math educators who work so hard to ensure equity for all students. We were excited to continue our scholarship for a deserving student to support their future education endeavors.

NCTM & The Calculator Face-Off Challenge

NCTM was a big endeavor, with game-show stage and podiums, screens, lights, calculator displays. Thanks to the amazing team of Chris and Lionel from Events Special Effects and our own Casio Exhibit gurus John and Jason, the vision was made into a reality and it was a pretty beautiful booth if I do say so myself. Kudos to the team – it’s hard work designing, building and creating everything, but they did an amazing job. Some behind-the-scenes photos:

We had some crazy fun at the booth with hourly game-shows, and T-shirt spotter program where we gave away Kindle-Fire to those spotted in our t-shirts. We had G-shock watch giveaways, calculator prizes for our volunteer contestants and a magician, Mark Paskell, doing some magical give-aways and tricks. (My mind is still blown away by the reproducing bunnies….) 

We loved all the connections and interactions we had with math teachers, showing offthe amazing capabilities of all our calculators, but definitely our newest CG-50 and CG-500 graphing calculators. The look on our game-show participants faces when our CG-50 just blew the TI competitor out of the water was priceless. I know I am excited by the number of converts!

Here is a slide show highlighting some great moments from the games, demonstrations, sharing and talking with math educators, winners of our T-shirt spotter program, and some magic as well. Thanks to all the great math educators who came by and participated! Big shout out to our Casio teacher contestants, Jennifer North Morris, Tom Beatini and Mike Reiners.

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Proud to be a Sponsor – ASSM, NCSM, BBA

CIMG3737I and the Casio Education team just got back from San Francisco where we were part of the Association of State Supervisors of Math (ASSM), National Council of Supervisors of Math (NCSM) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conferences. Each conference and experience was different, and gave us a broad perspective on what is happening in math education around the country and the hard work education leaders and teachers are doing to support the teaching and learning of mathematics. I am going to do a IMG_2635NCTM specific post later this week, and would like to devote this post to the three events where Casio had the privilege to support ASSM, NCSM and the Benjamin Banneker Association (BBA). Each event/sponsorship provided a unique opportunity to learn about the mathematics community and all these educators do to ensure students are getting a quality mathematics education.

CIMG3731We started our time in San Francisco hosting the opening reception for ASSM. After the Keynote speaker, Gail Burrill, I was honored to be able to say a few words regarding the state of technology in mathematics classrooms. This was my first time meeting and getting to know some of the current and former state supervisors of mathematics from all over the United States. It was clear, from their great questions during the Keynote and engaging conversation and sharing of information at the reception, that they are focused on ensuring their schools districts, educational leaders and teachers are getting the support they need. One thing I learned was how incredibly busy these ASSM members are, and, in fact, many of these were retired supervisors still working with their states and teachers – now that’s dedication! While I am still finding out more about ASSM, I know that they are a CIMG3743group of math leaders dedicated to ensuring that mathematics education is getting needed funding, math teachers are getting the support and training, and schools are getting a clear understanding of both state and federal expectations for students to learn math effectively.  It’s a big job, a very political job, but clearly a very dedicated and focused group of educators willing to do the job.

IMG_2633Our next adventure was in Oakland, CA for the NCSM conference. I have to say it was pretty cool walking around and seeing all the volunteers wearing Casio t-shirts and everyone carrying a Casio bag, both part of Casio’s sponsorship.  (If you were there and got a bag, don’t you just love the water bottle holder!!!??!) This was the first year NCSM was not in the same location as NCTM (which was across the bay in San Francisco), which was a little concerning, knowing there might be fewer attendees as a IMG_1987result. However, there quite a few participants at the conference, and I know as I popped into several sessions, the rooms were full with math educators ready to learn. As part of our sponsorship, we hosted a Sponsorship Showcase the first morning, presented by one of our fabulous mathematics teachers, Mike Reiners. It was a fascinating workshop, based on the game show, Wheel of Fortune, which Mike was an actual contestant on. It was fascinating to learn and calculate the probabilities of landing on certain values and the probability of things like losing your turn or hitting the million dollar wedge. I, like many others in the room, thought that the probabilities remained constant, since each spin of the wheel is independent from the others, but apparently, not the case!  It was also great to actual see real video footage of Mike’s actual appearance on IMG_1989the show and make predictions about what he (and the other contestants) should have done, and then see the real results.  It was also hilarious to see the teachers in our workshop trying to guess the word/phrase themselves – there were some pretty quick responses! Mike used both the fx-991 Scientific Calculator, with it’s natural display and spreadsheet capabilities as well as the Prizm graphing calculator, to show the statistics and probabilities. All the participants had hands-on with the calculators as well, so they could do some of the calculations themselves. That’s always fun to see everyone’s reaction to these calculators and how excited they get about their functionality (yes – we are math teachers!). All the attendees walked away with a free Prizm, which was exciting….some new Casio users!!

After a busy few days in Oakland, we ended back in San Francisco, ending our week with the NCTM conference at the San Francisco Conference Center. This wasCIMG3868 so much fun with so many math educators over the course of three days.  In fact, it was such a great time I am going to devote an entire post to just NCTM later this week.  What I would like to focus on from NCTM here is the Benjamin Banneker Reception Casio had the privilege of sponsoring on Thursday evening. It was BBA’s 30th year celebration and we were so excited to be able CIMG3880to be a part of this great group of leaders who dedicate so much time, resources, and support to ensure equitable educational opportunities for African American students. At the reception there were several outstanding local area educators honored for their outstanding efforts on behalf of their students. Hearing their stories, where they work diligently, tirelessly, and at all hours of the day giving of themselves to ensure their students succeed in school and have support was inspirational. There were also three students honored, two of whom relieved a $250 Book Award from BBA to support them as they went on to college, and one student received a $1,000 scholarship from Casio towards their college endeavors. It brought tears to my eyes as I listened to these three students talk about their struggles and perseverance, encouraged to “make a plan and see it through” along with the the support they received from their principal and their parents. To top it off, there was a great musical group that had everyone clapping along. It was a lovely to meet, support and get a sense of the powerful work the BBA is doing to support equitable education opportunities and resources for students. Casio is certainly excited to be a part of their work in the continuing years.CIMG3861

All in all, sponsoring such great organizations is something Casio is excited we have the opportunity to do. ASSM, NCSM, and BBA are dedicated groups of educators who are striving to improve mathematics education and education in general. Being able to meet and support these groups was a rewarding experience in itself and for me personally, inspired me and made me more aware of the hard work these groups of educators are out there doing every day to make a difference in students’ lives. Hopefully this gave you a small glimpse.  Next post I will talk about the fun we had at NCTM – lots of pictures to come!

ASSM, NCSM & NCTM – CA Here we come!

It’s math conference time – San Francisco and Oakland in April.  Can’t wait! For me personally, it’s been two years since my stock-photo-59142328-new-san-francisco-oakland-bay-bridgelast math conference attendance. My hiatus was for personal reasons – little things like defending my dissertation among them.  I have to say, I have missed the conferences – the energy, the reconnecting with friends and colleagues, the learning of new things and exploring the host cities. There are teachers out there that say face-to-face conferences are losing their appeal and are not relevant, but I disagree. While these conferences may not be as intimate and personally focused as say Edcamps, which are one of the new professional learning non-conferences, I do think they still have value and purpose.

One thing national conferences do is bring together people from all over the USA as well as other countries, so there are opportunities to get national and global perspectives.  Another value is the ability to “pump up” and inspire teachers with new stock-photo-77760809-bay-bridge-and-san-francisco-skyline-at-sunsetideas or strategies or tools that allow them to go back to their classrooms rejuvenated and excited about teaching again. It’s also a great venue for asking questions and getting information about educational changes – for example, the new ESSA law, assessment changes, and standards.  If you can meet one new person, learn one new strategy, get excited about changing one thing in your classroom, then the conference will have value to you.

Are there things that NCSM/NCTM could do better? Sure – free wifi everywhere would be nice, as you find at an ISTE conference. This allows everyone to tweet and connect during the conference, making the whole experience more collaborative and informative. Perhaps that is happening this year – I don’t know. More informal “meet ups” would be nice too –  where people of like mind can get together informally in a designated area to discuss a topic.  Like a blogger meetup, or a Twitter Meetup area, or even an Edcamp meetup.  These things may be happening – it would be nice to see.

I am excited the conferences are in the San Francisco area and that I get to be there to interact with state leaders at ASSM, district leaders at NCSM, and then teachers at NCTM. It will be an interesting experience this year with NCSM being in Oakland and NCTM in San Francisco, but that’s what Bart and Uber are for, right? Having worked for Key Curriculum for KeyCurriculum_NCTM2012-0528seven years, I grew to love the Emeryville/San Francisco area, so coming back feels like coming home.  And most of my Key peeps are still there or are working for companies that are represented at NCTM, so it will be a reunion of sorts. Family time!

Going as a consultant with Casio will be a new experience for me, but I absolutely love being part of the whole exhibitor end of NCSM/NCTM because there are so many ways to connect with and share ideas with educational leaders and teachers. Casio is going to have a fun interactive booth this year – doing math and helping show the power of technology integration. We have lots of fun things in store – game shows, workshops, hands-on take-away activities, lots of prizes (Gshock watches, calculators, keyboard, projector).  All to support math teachers, the Common Core, real-world math applications, and teaching with technology. Check out some of what will be going on at Casio here.

Looking forward to some new experiences, new connections, meeting up with old friends and colleagues, and most importantly, learning something new to improve my own practice.  Collaboration, sharing, and learning – that’s what it’s all about.

Curve Fitting with Prizm Pictures

I’ve been thinking a lot about the upcoming NCTM conference in April, the theme of which is “Building a Bridge to Student Success”.  I am excited to be heading back to NCSM & NCTM this year after having a years hiatus from math conferences.  Can’t wait to meet up with old friends and colleagues, check out what’s happening in math and math technology, and be a part of a vendor booth again. Believe it or not, I actually like being in the Exhibit Hall – it’s very invigorating and I get to connect with math teachers from all over and find out where the “points of pain” are, to use the words of my friend Stephen Reinhart.

I’ve been involved in the Casio planning for NCTM, so bridges have been a big part of my thinking these last few weeks. With that in mind, I have been looking at the Casio Prizm calculator and the built-in picture resources, and found one that is reminiscent, if not actually, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Which led me to playing around with curve fitting and looking for applicable lessons.  There is a whole lesson sampler for the Prizm available free that provides several curve-fitting to picture lessons. You will find not only key strokes for creating the curves and using the pictures, but also questions and resources for the students.

What I love about curve fitting and using real-world pictures is that students are able to see how the math they are learning is actually used and apparent in the world around them. For example – no bridge is built without a lot of math! Prizm has an amazing number of pictures built in that would fit any level of student working with equations and curve fitting – i.e. linear to trigonometric. You can have them plot points and determine their own regression or have the calculator do it, or a combination of both. Lots of options. The point here is that the pictures and line fitting capabilities allow students to problem-solve in a real-world context.  Always a goal in any math class!

I encourage you to check out the Prizm Lesson Sampler yourself. If you don’t have a Casio Prizm of your own, you can test out the emulator free here (fx-CG Manager Plus).  I’ve included a short video showing the basics of accessing the pictures, plotting points, and fitting a regression line.

If you live in Virginia, you can actually attend a free dinner/Prizm workshop in the next two weeks and experience it for yourself. Should be a lot of fun.  Here are the Virginia workshop/dinner dates and links to register:

  1. February 1: Washington County, VA – click here to register
  2. February 2: Roanoke/Salem, VA – click here to register
  3. February 3: Danville County, VA – click here to register
  4. February 8: Rockingham County, VA – click here to register
  5. February 9: Dinwiddie County, VA – click here to register
  6. February 10: Fairfax County, VA – click here to register

Have fun playing!