As another school year winds down, I reflect on my career and am astonished by all of the changes I have made over the years to my instruction. There is a big part of me that wants to invite the students back from my first three years of teaching and give them their money’s worth. Were we engaging in high-level discussions about mathematics in my class back then? Was the classroom student-centered? I am certain that it wasn’t. I developed my craft over time, just as all of you, and it makes me beam with pride that our ever-evolving instructional pedagogies are producing better learning outcomes.
Just think of where we will be in another 20 years! Deepening conceptual knowledge has always been my passion, and I am excited about learning better ways to maximize my students’ potential. I can literally feel the energy created by the professional mathematics education community that has consistently led the way in education via content standards and instructional practices.
If you are feeling isolated from the growing movement to create engaging lessons that make kids “notice and wonder” the underlying mathematics, join in and become a part of it. The opportunities in Iowa are on the rise, and you can take part in it. Plan to attend the Secondary or Elementary Summer Mathematics Institutes events sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education (June 13 and June 14, respectively). Steven Leinwand, Margaret Smith and DeAnn Huinker will be there, so you will have first-rate access to lead writers of NCTM’s Principles to Action. Implementing the effective teaching practices outlined in the PtA book will bring success found in research to your classroom.
We would also love to see you attend ICTM’s Math Conference on Monday, October 9 in West Des Moines. Our conference, “Mindset for Action,” will focus on a number of strands that will enhance professional learning for all levels of math educators PreK-16. Our keynote, Max Ray-Riek, specializes in getting students engaged in active problem solving and fostering classroom discussion. Conference registration is open at www.iowamath.org, or you can fill out the form found in this newsletter.
Are you a first-year teacher? Join us for a free event the evening before our conference! ICTM annually hosts approximately 75-100 prospective and new teachers through an evening of panels, break-out sessions, and an opportunity to work directly with our keynote. We even offer you dinner! More information about our free pre-conference is also available at www.iowamath.org.
Enjoy the summer! Use the time to rejuvenate, attend an institute or classes, and plan to attend our conference in the fall.