Friday, August 1, 2014

The stars in my constellation

I recently returned from the BEST PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT I have EVER attended in my 30 years of teaching!!  It's called Twitter Math Camp!  I was so excited to go and had talked non-stop to my husband about all the people I knew were going to be there.  I was like a star-struck teenage girl who has mosh pit tickets to see her favorite performance group.  What was even more remarkable was watching the twitter posts on the days leading up to the event and noting that even "the stars" who were going to be in attendance were feeling the same way!

It would not do justice to the event to attempt to write about ALL that I was able to take away from these 3 1/2 jam-packed days of learning.  Six hours with my Calculus group flew by and I would have easily sat through another 6!  Afternoon sessions in 1 hour  increments were over in a flash and my head was swimming with all the information and ideas that were springing into my mind on when/how I could use all of it.  "My favorites" shared by so many people happened so fast that I could barely write them all down and I really wanted to!! When we left the classroom venue at 5 pm and returned to the hotel, the sharing and learning didn't stop!  I stayed up late the first night immersed in a conversation about Statistics websites (thank you Andy Pethan @rockychat3).  Another evening, several of us experienced cutting a king size bed sheet into 1 inch strips, stapling them end-to-end to see how far around the hotel it would go (much greater than perimeter of hotel! And thanks to Chris Shore @MathProjects for that experience!)  To many math teachers, this experience was like Christmas in July.

The most amazing part is that so many of these people are "super stars" in the MTBoS and yet they, like me, are just trying to make a difference for their students.  They are all so humble and willing to share.  I couldn't image trying to list all those to whom I am grateful that I got to meet and work with.  You are all TRULY AMAZING!  And to fail to mention that in addition to all THAT stuff (which was PLENTY by itself), I got to hear Steve Leinwand (@steve_leinwand), Dan Meyer (@dy/Dan) AND Eli Luberoff (@eluberoff) speak and they were FASCINATING!!  If you are not following them, YOU SHOULD BE!  I cannot wait to attend this again next year (at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA)!  Until then, I will be on a mission to use as much as I possibly can in my classroom.  The ideas were STELLAR and I'm sure my students will be equally as engaged in them as I was learning about them.

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