"There is no one way"

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Northern California December Events

I suspect that some readers of this blog do not subscribe to my newsletter, so I will use this post and the next to let you know about some news in my math education life. If you did get the November issue of the newsletter, you might read on anyway, as I will be going into more detail here than I did there.

Saturday, December 5, 2:00 to 5:00 pm, downtown San Francisco

In-person meeting of the local branch of the Math Twitter Blogosphere (#MTBoS). 

If you used to attend the gatherings of Escape from the Textbook!, or intended to attend, you will appreciate the return of informal math teacher meetings to the Bay Area. For our first event, Anna Weltman will lead a geometry activity, and I will lead a discussion of "reaching the full range."

The MTBoS is a grassroots network of math educators. It allows teachers to collaborate remotely, and discuss any and all topics related to math education online. This is particularly important for teachers who feel isolated and don't have someone to talk to at their own school, but it is good for everyone, as you can get and offer help without geographical and time-of-day constraints. Interested? You should google #MTBoS for more info! Or come to the meeting.
 RSVP

Saturday, December 12, Asilomar

I will be at the California Math Council Northern California meeting. I look forward to attending some talks in the morning: Michael Fenton on Desmos, the always-brilliant Scott Farrand on conjectures, and the Exploratorium's Julie Yu on mirrors. In the afternoon:

1:30 to 3:00 pm:

I will present "A Lab Gear Approach to Operations and Equivalent Expressions".

The Common Core and common sense both require an introduction to basic algebraic concepts in middle school. The Lab Gear manipulatives help students transition from numbers to variables, and from the concrete to the abstract. We will work through activities that promote an understanding of operations and their properties, especially the distributive law, combining like terms, and factoring. This is a necessary prerequisite to understanding equivalent expressions, a key concept for grades 6 to 9.

3:30 to 5:00 pm:

I will help Lew Douglas present "Increasing Coherence in High School Math".

The traditional 9-12 math curriculum is badly fragmented: Algebra, then Geometry, then more Algebra, and finally a hodgepodge of topics known as Pre-Calculus or Math Analysis. An integrated approach can help, but not if it merely slices up the courses and mixes up the pieces. What’s needed is unifying concepts that the various pieces can fit into. We will focus on transformations and system extension as examples of these, and include glimpses of others.

See you soon?

--Henri

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