Aug 022011

This will be the last post I make on the specific topic of the 3 days spent in Orlando at the Reasoning and Sense Making Institute. I will expect that I make many more posts on things I do in the classroom that are based on the ideas I have learned, however.

A collection of all the posts, organized by days.

Day 1:

Am I creating more “Clever Hans’” – Notice the plural on the Hans. My answer in general is no, but that may be overly simplistic. It is something that must be fought every day. The rest of the post is about Dan Meyer’s challenge to reform math education is even more important!

Day 2:

Reasoning and Sense Making day 2 Most of the great resources I found are in this posting, along with some fabulous ideas for Algebra and factoring.

Beth Chance, Henry Kranendonk, and an overwhelming task in statsBeth Chance and Henry Kranendonk went through how to teach a lesson using Reasoning and Sense Making. Very powerful to actually have someone demonstrate it.

Day 3:

PLC’s at work with Timothy Kanold – A very powerful look at what the impact of PLC’s can be, and how to evaluate your own PLC. The best quote I wrote down that I must bring back to my department and ask ourselves daily is:

Do we want to be known as a school where the math department’s decisions are based on best practices and evidence or as a school where the decisions are based on opinion?

Landy Godbold & “Given That” shown visually – This session started off slow, but ended with a bang! Great ideas were taken away from this session and will be used in class.

Viva Hathaway & stats with food! – Viva is an epic teacher. We didn’t spend enough time doing what I would have liked, but her personality and energy is really the motivating factor in the room. I will attend more of her sessions if given the chance.

Random thoughts and musings that don’t fit above.

Tweet Archive of #nctmrsm11There were very few teacher tweeting at the event. Internet was an issue, power was an issue, and it made things difficult to do create electronic versions of the talks. But, some powered through! I won’t make any claims to the accuracy of the archive, but there it is.

1. One of the goals of the Institute was for the participants to walk away with an action plan to implement RSM in our classrooms. Notice that nowhere did I speak to my plans! I have one. I wrote down two pages of things I will do, but I didn’t want to spell that out yet. Part of the issue is I was blindsided by some news at the institute about another teacher. I can’t go into details, it isn’t public yet. But it radically altered my plans and what I need to do.

2. I noticed that as the institute went on, I became a better participant. My notes became better and my thinking sharpened. Just look at the postings above. Day one to day 3 shows a marked distinction in the quality of postings, and what I took away changed as well. This is only the second conference / institute I have attended, and I need to attend more. Before I do, though, I need to go back and read these postings to develop that sense earlier rather then later.

3. Finally, all this was money and time wasted if I do not actually put forth the time and energy throughout the school year to actually DO reasoning and sense making in my classroom. It must become a habit for it to be successful (Beth Chance), it must be implemented with fidelity throughout the department (Tim Kanold), it must be done with energy and enthusiasm (Viva Hathaway), and it must be done with tools that the learners will relate to and engage with (Dan Meyer). That is the real takeaway I have from the 3 days I spent in Orlando.

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