I want to use this space to make a pitch for a conference session.
See, there is this thing called Twitter Math Camp. It is professional development by teachers, for teachers—nearly all of us connected through Twitter. It takes place this summer near Tulsa, OK.
I am presenting with Malke Rosenfeld. Our official description is copied below.
Malke and I have developed a really productive collaboration this year. You can browse both of our blogs to see the kinds of questions and learning this collaboration has developed for each of us.
Here is my pitch for our session…
We are planning a session that will force our groups (including ourselves) to wonder about the origins of mathematical knowledge. We will question our assumptions about terms such as concrete, hands-on and kinesthetic.
We will participate in mathematical activity both familiar and strange—all in the service of better understanding the relationship between the physical world and our mathematical minds.
We will dance.
We will make math.
We will laugh and possibly cry.
Below is an example of Malke’s work. When I participated in a workshop last summer, my head was spinning with math questions as a result. It’s great stuff and we will use it as a launching point for inquiry into our own classroom teaching.
So if you’re coming to Tulsa, please consider joining us for our three 2-hour morning sessions.
Of course you’ll miss out on other great people doing other great sessions. But you won’t regret it. I promise.
And if you choose a different session (perhaps because you’re leading one of them!), I have a hunch there will be after hours percussive dancing in public spaces. Come join in!
Our session description
This workshop is for anyone who uses, or is considering using, physical objects in math instruction at any grade level. This three-part session asks participants to actively engage with the following questions:
What role(s) do manipulatives play in learning mathematics?
What role does the body play in learning mathematics?
What does it mean to use manipulatives in a meaningful way? and
“How can we tell whether we are doing so?”
In the first session, we will pose these questions and brainstorm some initial answers as a way to frame the work ahead. Participants will then experience a ‘disruption of scale’ moving away from the more familiar activity of small hand-based tasks and toward the use of the whole body in math learning. At the base of this inquiry are the core lessons of the Math in Your Feet program.
In the second and third sessions, participants will engage with more familiar tasks using traditional math manipulatives. Each task will be chosen to highlight useful similarities and contrasts with the Math in Your Feet work, and to raise important questions about the assumptions we hold when we do “hands on” work in math classes.
The products of these sessions will be a more mindful approach to selecting manipulatives, a new appreciation for the body’s role in math learning, clearer shared language regarding “hands-on” inquiry for use in our professional relationships and activities, and public displays to engage other TMC attendees in the conversation.