Sunday, April 29, 2018

Teach 180: NCTM Conference Day 2 (Day 149)

This year at NCTM I saw an incredible amount of good teaching.  Here is what I mean by that.  Even in a large lecture hall with a hundred or more participants, participants had time to share with neighbors and interact with the presenter during the talk.  The presenters still had a "lesson plan" for their talk, but they were very responsive to their audience and used the interactions with their audience to further sculpt or mold the direction of their talk.  Audience participation and less presenter talking - something to think about as a teacher.

One of the best sessions I attended was led by Sara VanDerWerf.  If you have a chance to see her, she is a very engaging presenter.  One of Sarah’s goal is that “Every student talks out loud about math EVERY day.”  Another one of her goals is that "Students will see it before I show them.  Students will say it before I tell them."  If students don’t do this, students don’t own the understanding.  It belongs more to the teacher than the students.  Stand and Talks is the easiest way to get everyone talking about math every day.  We did a practice Stand and Talk and it was quick and engaging.  This is something plan on trying on Monday in PreCalculus. 

In Sara's talk she also said "It is ok to not tell students the question, to give them time to notice the structure."  For example, give a parabola with two x-intercepts and a y-intercept and then ask the students what questions could be asked from the visual.  We also need to start telling me our students “convince me” rather than “can you explain that” or “tell me more”.  Sara's talk was one of those talks that I wish I could watch over and over again.  I know I could pick up more tidbits of insightful and useful information each time.  

In case you are wondering more about how to do a "Stand and Talk", here is the link to the Stand and Talk blog post by Sara.

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