First, I must apologize for my absence all last week. I didn't have any posts ready to go and there was some sort of homework explosion I missed the memo about, resulting in my hardly getting online to do much more than check for important emails and get information I needed. The storm seems to have settled, for now at least.
On Friday I attended my first "teacher's conference," the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics's annual conference. I had a lot of fun, despite having to roll out of bed at 5am and drive in the pouring rain for a total of four hours, two and a half of those in bumper to bumper traffic on the way home. The food was also amazing. They provided an amazing breakfast spread, the best box lunches ever, and there was ice cream everywhere! What more could you ask for?!
The morning started with a panel discussion to clarify the implications of the Common Core Standards Initiative. I left more confused then when I came in, so that's all I have to say about that.
Then I went on to a session about using centers as a way to differentiate and help students practice the skills they need. This session was definitely the best of the day and I got a ton of great ideas for centers, some which I will try and share with you all! The best was learning a fun way for students to practice addition with regrouping and subtraction with renaming, in a way that allows them to create their own problems. My 2nd graders are really struggling with these two skills, but love making their own problems, so I was thrilled when I saw that idea in our packet.
The next session was my free session, so I popped into the session done by two of my fellow Towson students (only students to ever get their proposal accepted) on incorporating math and social studies. They did their dress rehearsal for the math ed. club and it was AMAZING! I was so thrilled to see their packed out room, and whipped out my camera to take some pictures for their portfolios.
I then went and checkout all the exhibitors. Wow! So much cool stuff out there. I picked up lots of free CDs and packets from the various publishing companies with lesson plans, worksheets, videos, etc. on/in them. I think because I was pre-service, a lot of them wanted to give me stuff in hopes I would remember their name later. I just want the free stuff!
The last two sessions I went to were nothing to write home about. One was about opening routines, but ended up being done by my math professors colleague, so it was all stuff I already knew about. And the last was suppose to be about assessment and how to know what kids actually know, but again, all I really left with was a large packet of worksheets and confusion.
All in all, it was a really fun day and I can't wait to go again next year! I'm definitely beginning to think I like teaching math better than reading, which is quite a shock to me considering my history with math.