Day 1 of the mini-TMC in NYC is over. Already, it has been a great time and well worth the trip. Here are some thoughts percolating in my mind right now, as I make final tweaks to my presentations for tomorrow:
- I’m still intrigued by the basketball problem @carlolitwitter had us consider. I want to do more of the math. My pattern-seeking self wants to find more, and think about ways to display what I have found. I am again reminded that Pascal’s Triangle is everywhere…. It also made me think and reflect with @bkdidact about doing math with my department, with tasks that are accessible to all. Lastly, working on this problem brought my colleague Jeanne to my mind, and her love of her circle cevian problem as a way to warn students about thinking they see a pattern that doesn’t hold true. (Short version: draw a circle, adding points to the circumference. For each point added, connect that point to every other point and count how many distinct shapes/areas are created and look for a pattern in the results.)
- I am perhaps not surprised but a bit saddened to hear how many people aren’t happy at their current schools, regardless of their tenure at that institution. I continue to feel like that I like what I do and love the school at which I teach.
- I heard much frustration directed at the DOE.
- Talking with @alittlestats made me think again about the role that Statistics teachers, or at least the good ones, get put in. If you do something well, you will be asked to keep doing it. Teaching the same thing again and again can be fun but even the best teachers need to pause to reflect and rejuvenate. That said, my pause from teaching Calculus is ending and I cannot wait to dive back into that class this year.
- I enjoyed talking with @_b_p about joining a new school, the unexpected benefits of changing jobs and interviewing, parenting and math. It’s always great to meet more teachers!
- I think I’m most excited about @NicoraPlaca‘s Master Designer task to start off the school year and help develop group norms. Her task description is here. This idea has been in my mind for a long time, based on numerous science museums I’ve visited where two people sit across from each other and try to build the same structure based on verbal descriptions only (sight unseen). I cannot wait to do this to start the year in each of my classes!