Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CAMT 2014- Debriefing Day 2 & 3

A week later, I am still going through all the info I received at CAMT. 
I have combined Days 2 & 3 to get these posts complete! 
Be sure to get to the end, there's a giveaway down there!!

I did something very different. I attended STEPS for middle school teachers. Secondary Teachers Enhancing Performance for Students (STEPS) was held one day for high school and one day for middle school teachers. (For elementary teachers, its called Math-O-Rama) 
It was six 25 minute sessions held in a grand ballroom. We rotated through five of the sessions. It was our choice what to go to and if we wanted to attend them all. 

I liked this idea because one, it was fast and two, because I knew I would get lessons I could use immediately in my classroom. 

All the sessions I attended were hands on and specific to a concept. 

One was for probability, another for ratios. There was one for the Pythagorean Theorem. I went to one that helped students explore the new sixth grade standards for graphing and statistics. 

The presenters were wonderful and even gave us food and incorporated food into the lesson. You know, teachers love food about as much as our students do!

I forgot to take many pictures, so sorry, it was quick and I was into the learning. Here's an example of a hands on activity for algebraic expressions. They had cubes and smarties and cups. They were good at differentiating for us and for students. I also liked how one presenter was a sixth grade teacher and one was a calculus teacher. It is good to know where kids are going and where they have been in mathematics. 

The only negative comment I could make about these sessions is that they had them too close in proximity. We were packed sardines in a large room though. We could hear the presenters next to our session. We really had to focus on the speaker we were attending. (Not a bad thing, I know) But we are distract-able, just like our students. 
There was room to spread the sessions out. 

Seriously, I am not complaining though. I am actually considering signing up to present next year with this format. I think it is so useful to teachers. 

It was a really productive day. 

I spent the afternoon roaming the exhibits and of course, spending lots of money! I also found some great products we can use this year. Since I the department chair, I am responsible for buying and securing quality products to use. Plus, I was getting grant ideas. I also just visited with people and had some fun. 

Day 2, super successful! 

Day 3
The last day. It was such a conflict for me. It was anniversary and I really wanted to get home, but I also wanted to go to more sessions. There were some really good ones still planned. 

Plus, I was not alone. I had team members who wanted more too. I was the driver of the school vehicle, so I had to take everyone into consideration. 
We kind of compromised and went to two in the morning and headed back at lunch time. I am so glad we stayed.

I went to an early one and it was worth it on its own. 
I went to see Pam Harris on Building Powerful Numeracy. She was wonderful. It was a large lecture format, but she was energized and funny and everything she said was A-W-E-S-O-M-E! 

Her mantra is that math is "figure-out-able". Which is so true and what I want to instill in my students. 

I have always said that I am not a "math person", which I am not, but I love teaching Math. My math skills have been developing, but as far as higher level math goes, I am not very good at it. She made me feel okay about that. But, she also gave me tools to build my numeracy and build my students' numeracy as well. 

This year I am teaching a few Math Strategies classes which is for our struggling students. I knew this would be powerful for them!!! 

Check out her website here. I am hoping to get our department to do a book study of hers soon! 

       And I just found this!!!Heinemann Educational Books Lessons and Activities for Building Powerful Numeracy by Harris, Pamela Weber [Spiral]

Secondly, I went to another interactive notebook session. My new BBB, Danielle from Live. Love. Math suggested it. We attended together and it was just an awesome time to actually visit her and get to know her in "real life". 
The presenter was from College Station which I always have a warm place in my heart for since I am an Aggie, but also since I taught there for three years. 

I like seeing how people use interactive notebooks. I know I can always incorporate something new. She was high energy and she had a LOT of giveaways so the room was full of energy!!! 

I am in search of these thanks to her! Composition Storage Jackets!!!!! Seriously, this is AWESOME!!!!! 

And I am also investing in 7 inch rubber bands. 
Can you see how she uses the rubber bands to keep the composition book closed! 
LOVE IT!!!! 

CAMT was wonderful. 
I loved sleeping in my own bed for a few nights. I's the little things in life that make us happy. 
I enjoyed spending time with some of my department in a different setting. 
I was overjoyed to meet some of my favorite bloggers! 

Of course, do not forget about the summer giveaway. There are tons of giveaways going on right now, be sure to enter and I hope you win!!! 

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