Twitter Math Camp and Change

If you would have asked me 2 years ago, when I started teaching again, that I would be attending a math teacher’s conference called “Twitter Math Camp” I would have called you crazy. I’ve never understood twitter to tell you the truth. The only reason I even have a twitter handle is because my friend and co-worker that talked me into going told me to sign up on twitter. Then I never used it again, except to post my blog posts and WordPress does that for me. Thank you WordPress.

My entire math department on our way to TMC14 in Jenks, OK.
My entire math department on our way to TMC14 in Jenks, OK.

So anyway, I get to TMC and realize that is the thing. Posting on Twitter. And I’m out of the loop. I asked a few people for certain materials and videos and they said just tweet me and I’ll get it right back to you.

Like it’s that easy. Who do you think you’re talking to?

Oh, my mistake. I am a “Twitter” Math Camp. I forgot for a second.

Each time I posted had to be taught by someone (luckily I’m completely surrounded by people who love to teach so much they do it for a living). You’d think by now I would have the hang of it.

Nope.

I still don’t know the different between # and @. What do they mean? Give me a freaked break, they aren’t words people. What language are you speaking?  But I’m going to keep at this until I get it. I promise.

Well maybe it’s not a promise. Maybe that’s a threat. I don’t know. Take it how you want.

WOW!  I really got off topic. My post was going to be about how super, awesome this all was. I am a geometry teacher so I go off on tangents sometimes. Forgive me. Apparently this is going to be a long post. But that’s okay because I haven’t posted in a while.

 

Back to TMC. I’ve got to say. My mind has been opened up to all kinds of things. I now have some new goals and things I want to try out this school year. This all couldn’t have come at a better time.

1. Interactive Student Notebooks – I did a ISN last year, but it was pathetic and was really just what I normal teach printed on smaller paper so they could glue it in their notebooks. It did really help with organization because it also had their homework in it. This year I’m going to make it AWESOME! Bring on the Foldables! Bring on colored paper! Bring on markers! I will only do this for one of my preps this year. Baby steps. Baby steps.

2. No Homework – I’ve always intended for homework to be done in class. But yet, I still call it homework. I give the students plenty of time to do the practice problems in class, but if they don’t finish then they have homework. This year I am going to emphasize that it is not homework. I really need to phrase it better. They should get it done before they leave. If they don’t, then they gave themselves homework. That’s not quite how I’ll word it, but I have a few weeks to think about that. Hopefully you get my drift though.

3. I’m not following my textbook – WHAT!?!?! Well, by my school guidelines are that I have to teach what is IN the textbook, BUT, I don’t have to teach it in the order it is in. So this year, I shall mix it up a bit. I’ve never felt any Geometry class I’ve ever taught has felt like it flows well. It just doesn’t. So with my lower level class (the one with the new ISN) I am going to change it up and see how it goes. If it turns out horrible I can change it back next year, no harm, no foul. If it turns out to be wonderful then my advanced class will get a make over next year.

 

What do you think? Three pretty big changes in one year. Should I consider doing more or am I nuts? I’m up for suggestions, comments, smart remarks… Bring it on.

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One thought on “Twitter Math Camp and Change”

  1. I think starting with interactive notebooks in one class is a good idea. My first year of interactive notebooks, I tried it with two different preps, and one prep ended up with a notebook that was easily ten times better than the other. My second year, I focused on improving the notebook pages for my other prep. This year, I’m adding notebooks for a third prep. We’ll see how that goes! 🙂

    I think you’re going to love the notebooks and the flexibility it allows you. For example, I taught factoring polynomials in September/October this past year in Algebra 1 instead of saving them for the end of the year. I as able to do this without my students thinking I was insane because I wasn’t using the textbook.

    So glad you came to twitter math camp! Let me know if there’s ever anything I can help you with!

    P.S. Make sure you link to your blog on the TMC wiki section for blog post recaps! 🙂

    P.P.S. Understanding twitter takes some time! If you want a specific person to see your tweet, put the @ sign before their twitter handle. If you’re participating in a certain chat or something where you want people to be able to follow your conversation, then you will use the hash tag. Just play around with it. Watch what other people do. Ask questions. And, you’ll be a twitter pro in no time!

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