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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NCTM Regionals -What’s the Point?

NCTM Regionals in Phoenix, AZ and Philadelphia, PA are going on this week and next (Phoenix, AZ is October 26-28, Philadelphia, PA is October 31 – November 2). The regional conferences are significantly smaller than the National conferences, and draw much more of a local group of math teachers versus the more wide-spread attendance, both national and international, at the NCTM Annual Conference (this year in San Antonio, TX, April 5-8, 2017). There use to be 3 regional conferences, and this year we are down to two, so the question arises, what’s the point? Are these Regional Conferences worth the time and effort? Well – as a math teacher who faithfully attended regional conferences for years and years, my answer is yes.

Here’s my short list of why there is in fact, a very definite “point’ to the NCTM Regionals:

  1. They are in the fall, after teachers have had a chance to get their classes going, image20understand their students, and get in the swing of things. It’s about the time when the dust has settled and teachers are looking for some new ideas, engaging activities, technology apps and devices – anything to help support student learning. The Regionals’ provide a chance to spark some creativity for teachers who are finally having some breathing room after the chaos of the start of a new school year.
  2. These are much more local conferences, so there’s a lot of teachers from the same area as both presenters and attendees – it builds some camaraderie, with many local schools and districts providing a day or two of professional learning time for their teachers to attend. It supports local math initiatives and provides teachers with new ideas and strategies that they then take back and share with other teachers and their students.
  3. The Regional conferences are less expensive, allowing for more teachers who want to attend to actually do so. Often times schools/districts will pay for teachers to go to the Regionals since they are a more affordable and they can send more teachers as well (more bang for their buck).
  4. keycurriculum_nctm2012-0442They occur early in a school year, so that math leaders and those who make ‘funding’ decisions can check out new curriculum, textbooks, technology, professional development, and math resources at the Exhibit Hall and at sessions. This allows for them to arrange for samples or pilots or meetings to plan for things like textbook adoptions or technology purchases or professional development support. Teachers often go to these Regional events and bring ideas back to their school leaders of what might be good for their schools/students. There is time to research, try-out, and get a feel for what resources might be best before any funding/purchases need to be made (usually the Spring).
  5. It provides a place to learn more about mathematics standards, Education Policy (like ESSA), standardized testing, and other math-related issues that impact teaching and student achievement
  6. It’s an opportunity for math educators to get together to collaborate, learn, share and get informed and rejuvenated about mathematics education. That’s the most important thing – educators learning together to find new and different ways to engage their students in mathematics learning. Nothing more powerful than that.

So – yes. There is a point. Hopefully there are many of you out there who are able toimage12 take
advantage of the NCTM Regionals this year. If not, the same can be said of your local and state math conferences, so don’t pass up the chance to attend those if you can.

Casio is in attendance at both Phoenix and Philadelphia NCTM Regionals, so be sure to stop by the booth and gets some hands-on play time with our technology and math resources. Not to mention entering the raffle for a free graphing calculator. We also have workshops happening at both conferences, so be sure to check those out as well.

Phoenix:

  1. Thursday, October 27
    • Exploring the Connection Between Recursive Sequences and Composition of Functions  Room 102 C, Grades 10-12, 9:30 – 10:30 am
    • You’ve Got To Move it! Transforming Mathematics – Room 227 AB, Grade Levels 8-10, 1:30 Pm – 2:45 pmimg_4198
  2. Friday October 28
    • Linear or Not Linear: That is the Question  Room 101AB, 8 – 9 am
    • The Probabilities of “Wheel of Fortune” – Room West 301A, 8 – 9 am

Philadelpha

  1. Tuesday, November 1
    • Problem Solving for Middle Grades Pre-Service Teachers   Room 105AB, Coaches/Leaders/Teacher Educators, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
    • Polar, Parametric, Rectangular – Can You See the Connection?  Room Franklin 3/4, Grade Levels 10-12, 3:15-4:15 pm
  2. Wednesday, November 2
    • Hands-on Activities & Technology=Mathematical Understanding Through Authentic Modeling    Room Franklin 3/4, Grade 8-10, 9:45 – 11:00am
    • Exploring the Connection Between Recursive Sequences and Composition of Functions   Room 201B, Grades 8-10, 12:30 – 1:30 pm

 

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!