I just got back from NCTM, and as usual, absorbed some great math and bought some potentially useful books. I loved Steve Leinwand's talk. He made several good points. For example, he does (did?) 5 minutes of cumulative review EVERY day. That adds up to 15 hours of instruction a school year, and his argument was that no one learns a topic after 2 lectures and 2 homework assignment. They need refreshers. He also uses the review to pause and point out meanings of various vocabulary terms, indicating that the really low-performing students are stunted by their lack of knowledge of what you're talking about (meanings of math terms).
I also learned a great calcululator trick. To graph a piecewise function, you can do it all in Y1 as:
Y1 = (x+1)( x<2)
all on one line to graph x+1 for values less than 2 and 3x-7 for values greater than 2.
A North Dakota teacher discussed how she teaches polar graphing of limacons and lemniscates and flowers so that it sticks in the students' heads.
I bought books on differentiating instruction for high school math (woot woot, you never find it for this level and this topic) and a "share & compare" strategy book for math. There's also a math joke book from Nasco for calculus I had to have.
Someone shared with me that the fun math ladies (?) instead of always putting name_____ on the top of tests vary it like:
math star ______
_______ loves fractions
future mathematician _______
So all in all, useful conference.