Sunday, May 03, 2009

NCTM goodies

I went to NCTM in Washington D.C. last week and learned and bought some useful things.

One talk I went to was about how to incorporate web tools into your class. They mentioned a great website, "Everything 2.0", that lists techy websites the blog author finds. There's a phenomenally easy-to-use graphing site that you can use and then save as a document or such to put on your worksheets. You can find this by scanning the list on the left of the page and clicking on calculator 2.0.

There was also a session about "Visual Thinking Activities" that had some great ideas. Two ideas were:

"talking graph". He gives them a graph (say of a line). They have to verbalize some (any) information regarding the graph; they have to make a table; they have to symbolize (equation) the graph.

He gives a picture of the xy plane and plots the point (1,1) without any scale on the axes. Then he randomly puts another point somewhere and asks the students to estimate the point. He spends time with each answer and does not stomp on any estimate. Just through discussion, the student may either stand by their answer if it's reasonable, or self correct if necessary. The point (1,1) may or not result from identical scales on the x and y axis, so that was cool. He does the same idea with the (1,1) but has it on a line and asks them to estimate the equation of the line.

I also went to a useful talk about "jump starting" your class - basically activities related to your topic of the day that take about 5-8 minutes or so. They gave a link that lists all their ideas in a word document. I liked the culling through foreign math textbooks and presenting a page covering your same topic. They suggested going online to search or finding YouTube links to show to class.

There was also a funny guy presenting various math related humor and activities. One example: "Algebra - an intense study of the last 3 letters of the alphabet."

Finally, I bought some books:
"Managing Your Classroom with Heart" good ideas from a high school teacher about relating to students
"The Inspired Teacher" discussing ways "unaware" and "aware" teachers handle various situations that inevitably come up in the teaching day/year.
"Geometry Teacher's Activities Kit" because I have their Algebra book, and it has some good resources to copy immediately and use, and because in my NEW SCHOOL next year, I'll be teaching geometry.
"Math Games: ..." more of thinking activities for the students.


  1. Thanks for all of the NCTM info! I've been before and am hoping to get to go next year, but didn't make it this year. Will definitely be checking out your links!


  2. Anonymous8:38 PM

    I LOVED the Algebra Teacher's Activities Kit as well, but haven't really gelled with the Geometry version as much... it doesn't fit as easily, and the activities seem more on the 'extra time' side then in the Algebra one, where they are nearly all applicable. Maybe it's just that I'm teaching with Block now, and thought I'd have time, but instead have to cover two sections in one day...


  3. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Kristen: Hope you get to go next year.

    Jenn: Thanks for the heads up. I've taught geometry before for about 7 years, but now it'll be the first time I'm teaching it on block, so I guess it'll be like starting all over again.

    Have you tried/used GeoGebra? I think it's like Geometer's Sketchpad.

    Ms. Cookie

  4. Anonymous4:46 AM

    I'd recommend geogebra - it's a great free alternative to sketchpad.


  5. Really, thanks for the links. These Spring NCTM conferences always fall during a bad time of the year.

    Keep blogging! I'm glad someone is.