ICTM Conference Reflection from the President-Elect

It’s hard to believe that the ICTM Conference for 2019 has already come and gone! It was a great conference with over 400 people in attendance. Attendees were able to attend sessions with big names in mathematics like Michael Fenton from DESMOS, Tim Brzezinski with Dynamic Math, and Sunil Singh with Buzzmath. This is in addition to many wonderful presentations from teachers and instructional coaches from across our state. There truly was a wealth of knowledge displayed at the conference.

Just a few snippets about what attendees liked from evaluation forms:

“The variety of sessions was great as I was able to select numerous topics that will better support me as a mathematics educator.”

“As a new instructional coach, this gave me some insight as to resources I can direct teachers to.”

“Being able to connect with other teachers around the state and share ideas”

“Gaining new resources and seeing others passionate about math”

The Future Teacher Workshop for pre-service and first year teachers was a great success also. Comfort Akwaji-Anderson started off the workshop with a presentation on Access and Equity, a focus for math education in our state. There were sessions tailored to meet the needs of those new to education and to provide networking opportunities for them. If you have a new math teacher in your district please tell them to check out information on our website about the Future Teacher Workshop.

We appreciate the feedback that we get from the attendees and we’ll use that info in planning the conference for the fall of 2020. We can’t mention any names of keynote speakers yet, but we are working to bring in more big names in mathematics education to share with teachers in Iowa. Like us on Facebook at Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @Iowa Math Teach, and check out our website at iowamath.org. Stay in touch. We value you!

Lori Mueller
President-Elect ICTM

ICTM Conference Reflection from an Instructional Coach

Attending the 2019 ICTM Conference was, for me, a nerve-wracking experience....until I got to the conference.

I am not much of a 'math' person. Or, at least, I don't profess to have a 'math' brain. Sure, I can do all the things I need to do with math in my life, but the last math class I took was 35 years ago, and thinking through the 'math' brain is quite intimidating.

The first session I attended was regarding collective teacher efficacy led by a representative of the NCSM. To me, this was an easy way in to the conference where I felt in my comfort-zone. As an Instructional Coach, helping teachers reach that sense of self-efficacy is so important. Understanding how the role of collective efficacy impacts student achievement was eye-opening. It made me realize that I need to believe in myself in my collective brain -- not just my ELA-centered brain.

The second session -- wow. The first thing I saw when I looked at the handout was some formula using a Sigma. I know the symbol for Sigma because I was a Sigma Kappa in college. That's about my only experience with this level of math. The teachers from Waukee who brought this session to life, however, made me understand how using authentic data can help students find the relevance in statistics, Algebra II, and Geometry. I walked away wishing that these three people could hang out with me and teach me everything I thought I couldn't learn about math.

Then I went to the keynote where I saw incredible things being done with Desmos and Geogebra. It made me want to play with the patterns, to play with the numbers and letters and angles and graphs -- all things I thought I hated, but are now really, really intriguing.

Finally, I attended a session on co-teaching. It helped me to consider how I can bring my strengths to working with teachers of math.

But possibly the best part of the conference, for me, was the drive home, where I got to listen to the excitement of two superb math teachers talking curriculum, course progression, standards, and expectations. As I listened, I began to understand the relevance of math in the real world, and how math CAN be exciting. Our school is implementing Illustrative Math through Geometry this year. As a new protocol for teaching content, it was so great to see how the teachers I traveled with found so much good and potential in what they are teaching -- they are believing in the curriculum, and therefore, believing in themselves.

The day came full circle -- where I first was inspired to question how I can influence self-efficacy and collective efficacy in teachers who live in a content area for which I am mostly unfamiliar -- I realized that by attending the ICTM Conference, I became a part of the team, contemplating both the challenges and the joys of teaching math.

Nancy Voggesser
Logan-Magnolia Schools

ICTM Conference Reflection from a Speaker

The ICTM annual conference is one of my professional highlights each year. I enjoy the opportunity to "talk shop" with math friends from all over Iowa. I especially enjoy meeting new people and making new connections. Supporting and learning from one another - in person - is an important part of being a math educator. While I value the support and networking on social media, it is also important to have opportunities to meet, chat, and share ideas in person. We have a wonderful community of math educators in Iowa, and the annual conference is our opportunity to get everyone together face to face.

This year I was able to observe another wonderful opportunity the annual conference offers. I was the presenter for a session, and I noticed a group of five from the same building: three teachers, an instructional coach, and a principal. I observed their discussions on what they were learning and listened to them think deeply about their current practice and what they might consider adjusting. They were engaged as a team and excited to bring new learning back to their colleagues. It was so exciting to think about the impact attending the conference together was having for this group!

While we all know the struggles of hiring substitute teachers and budgeting for conferences, watching this group's interactions was a powerful thing to observe. I would encourage more teams that include leadership to not only attend the conference, but even attend sessions together. This year we offered free registration to coaches that brought two teachers. I personally saw the positive impact for one school and congratulated them for bringing the principal as well!

Angie Shindelar
ICTM Vice-President Elementary

Extended Learning and a Re-Licensure Credit at the ICTM Annual Conference, October 14th

NEWS FLASH specifically for ICTM members attending the ICTM Annual Conference on October 14th. Explore extended learning and a re-licensure credit using and creating Desmos activities with an AEA course written just for you!

With 5 sessions on using Desmos spread out through the day of the conference, ICTM is offering a class through the AEA to build on the Desmos conference learning in the months after the conference.

Come to the conference and learn from Jessica Breur and Anna Scholl, both Desmos Fellows and one of our keynote speakers, Michael Fenton, Lead Instructional Designer at Desmos.

Sessions being offered include:

8:15 - 9:45am

Do You Desmos? Using Desmos Activities to Facilitate Productive Conversations & Deepen Student Learning

Jessica Breur

11:00 - 11:45am

Using Technology to Develop Discourse in the Middle School Math Classroom

Michael Fenton

12:30 - 1:15pm

Using Technology to Develop Discourse in the High School Math Classroom

Michael Fenton

12:30 - 1:15pm

Introduction to the Desmos Graphing Calculator

Jessica Breur

12:30 - 1:15pm

New to You Desmos Features

Anna Scholl

1:30 - 3:00pm

Introduction to Building Desmos Activities

Jessica Breur

Continue to work with Desmos and learn with others throughout the state of Iowa in a virtual environment, trying out activities with your students and getting feedback from other educators.  The course will run from conference day to January 21st.

For more details about required coursework and/or to enroll in the course, go to the AEA Professional Learning site and search for course number 181156, ICTM Desmos before the end of the day on October 14th. The course is $35 and for ICTM members only (both old and new).

Be at the “It” spot in Iowa on October 14!

Do you want to be at the “It” spot in Iowa on October 14? Well then, I better be seeing you the ICTM Conference 2019! This year it is Make Math Happen! Instruction Matters!! If there was ever a year to be there or be square, this is the year. I didn’t think they could top the last few years but WOW! They have Desmos Micheal Fenton and by the way have you heard, Desmos just got a STEM Scale-Up for Iowa. Also, back by popular demand Geogebra’s Tim Brzezinski – you might remember standing room only last year if you even got into the room. Iowa’s very own Morgan Stipe will be holding Illustrative Mathematics sessions and she is a “certified” trainer. And, don’t forget about Raygun, Buzzmath and so much more! Check out the SCHED here. This conference is for E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E!!! If you are a teacher, coach, and yes even administrators, especially administrators. This is some of the best PD available in Iowa. Plus, did you hear??? Buy two registrations and get the third one free (one coach and 2 teachers) ! And if you do it by 9/22/91 then you get a free t-shirt. Lunch is included with the registration fee.

April Pforts
Iowa Department of Education

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Welcome to a New School Year!

As always, summer seemed so short for me! I traveled, spent time with family, went to Denver with 3 other ICTM board members for the NCTM leadership conference, and had some downtime too. I read several enjoyable books over the summer. Look for reviews in our website coming soon. I hope you had an excellent summer with some fun and time to recharge. 

On behalf of the ICTM board members, I would like to wish you a successful and happy new year! Please plan now to join us for a fantastic conference on October 14 at Valley West Des Moines High School. We have 2 excellent keynote speakers Michael Fenton from Desmos and Tim Brzezinski from Dynamic Math, and a Geogebra trainer. Although they are very tech-savvy, both stress first and foremost the importance of good pedagogy and strong content knowledge,  reminding us that Instruction Matters! In addition to their keynotes, they will host sessions on Desmos and Geogebra. Also joining us as a featured speaker is Sunil Singh Co-Author of Math Recess. There were several slow chats on Twitter this summer discussing this book in which the authors advocate for more fun and play in mathematics. Sunil also will have some fun sessions where participants can play math with him. We have sessions for every grade level, for teachers and coaches, sessions that will inspire you to try new technology, and help you plan and use Achieve the Core and Illustrative Mathematics materials, and learn why Instruction Matters! 

We think this is going to be our best conference yet! Please plan to be a part of this fabulous learning experience!

Enjoy your year,
Deidra Baker
ICTM President


New at ICTM’s 2019 Annual Conference

Want to learn more about creating a classroom where students engage in meaningful discourse? Have a desire to incorporate more technology, like DESMOS or Geogebra?

Curious about improving your students’ acquisition of fact fluency? Using the IM Middle School resources or want to learn more about them?

No matter what your grade level or position in math education, we have sessions for you!

Micahel Fenton’s keynote “Designing Opportunities for Mathematical Discourse and Delight” is designed with the elementary level in mind. Michael works for DESMOS where the mission is: to help every student learn math and love learning math. He will explore ways to engage with our students and with each other, whether using Desmos or some other set of tools.

Tim Brzezinski’s zoom session was so popular last year that he is attending the conference in person this year! In addition to his keynote, Tim is offering a session with tips for fostering active, student centered learning and one exploring Geogebra’s 3D capabilities.

Iowa’s own Morgan Stipe is offering a deep dive into the Illustrative Mathematics curriculum for middle school. Whether you are entering year 2 of using the materials or just starting or wanting to know more, Morgan has a session for your interest level!

Stay tuned to this page or check out the conference program here to see more of the exciting sessions being offered!

Once you decide you need to be at this conference, register here!