I did a lot of sharing at this one and had a great time doing it. Several years ago I decided my goal for TMC or conferences in general was just to find one little thing to take home. I wasn't going to worry about finding THE transformative practice, though that happens sometimes. And despite presenting a ton, I managed to find my own goodies.
Always bring your bananas.
Assessmos - a popular session that myself and keynote superstar Julie Reulbach delivered twice on Wednesday and once on Saturday. All told there might've been close to 60 people who came to see us at one of those three sessions. In it we discussed a variety of ways we've used Desmos Activity Builder to conduct assessments in the classroom. I've written about the two major assessment tasks I conducted last year. At some point in the future I'll wrap up our talking points into a post. Essentially, Desmos is great and more efficient than paper in certain types of assessment tasks and students enjoy the experience.
Calculus for the MS/Algebra Teacher - I conducted this session twice as well. Once on Friday and again on Saturday during the flex block. It was a repeat of the session I gave last year making connections between middle school concepts and how they get repeated in Calculus. To the shock of many, a 7/8/9th grader works with derivatives and integrals more than you might think. We looked at local linearity, approximation with tangent lines, and accumulating area under a curve. This one is overdue to a be a post.
My Favorite - I gave a very brief My Favorite on Friday. Three years ago at TMC15 Glenn Waddell shared his high five greeting strategy. Every student gets a high five on the way in, every day. I took that home and turned it into every student gets a high five on the way out the door every day. Since added it to my classroom, it has become a hallmark feature, and I've given approximately 73,000 high fives. And started washing my hands 5 times a day.
Embracing Variability - Glenn Waddell and Bob Loch hosted a morning session on data variability concepts in Statistics. I know almost nothing about Statistics and I'm always looking for ways to improve that. We went through some opening activities and how those make connections throughout the year. A concept I really dig. Then we talked about Beyoncé and I introduced everyone to the Infinite Screaming Twitter account.
Calculus in Geogebra - Steve Phelps walked us through solids of revolution and Riemann sums in Geogebra, a task that was really straightforward. I was able to apply it in short order as it made for a handy demonstration in my Calculus for MS teachers sessions.
Desmos-ifying My Favorite No - Alison Krasnow talked about the My Favorite No methodology and how you can quickly set up Desmos Activity Builders to gather tickets from students and center discussion around them. This was helped by the newly launched Desmos Snapshot feature.
Mathematical Ideas in the Game of SET - Amie Albrecht traveled very far to share the work she does centered around the game of SET, a mathematical pattern matching game. We discussed a lot of the number play at work with this game and how you can play it in three and four dimensions. That was something else.
There's always a little something for everyone at a TMC. Yes, it is small. Yes, there is a subset that has been going forever and will probably continue to go forever. Yes, there is a lottery to get in (though it's not as competitive as you might think). But, a big population attends for the first time and there are many many ways that first timers are encouraged to jump in. A significant percentage of My Favorites were delivered by people attending for the first or second time. Don't be scared to apply to attend, or apply to do a My Favorite, or apply to present. You will be welcomed if you get the opportunity to do any of these things.
Thanks to all the people that make TMC special. Thanks for many of you who offered encouragement in light of my lackluster AP results, and especially to Dave Cesa for walking me through some information from the AP reading. Thanks to those of you who read from a far and got a chance to say hi, or found something I wrote to be useful. It is very humbling to know that I've inspired you in some way.
Those of you looking for Varsity Math merchandise, please contact me in the fall when the new stuff arrives. I'm also go something in the works with regard to that, so stay tuned.