CAMT 2017 Elevators & Escalators of Educators

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Where else, but at the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching can you walk the halls with teachers, discussing calculators, hip hop songs, parabolic movement of footballs, and smiling and laughing with other friends and new acquaintances?   But it’s happening this week in Ft Worth, TX.   Teachers, administrators, university students have converged upon Cowtown to learn new ideas, support each other, and enhance their teaching methods with this conference.

I love attending CAMT every chance I can.  This year I am looking for ways to challenge students by incorporating STEM activities more in both 8th grade and Algebra 1, and working to utilize the blended classroom concepts.  The sessions attended have been well done,  offering up thought-provoking ideas and challenges to take back to my classroom.

Below is a short synopsis of the sessions I’ve attended and activities I am excited to use this upcoming year:


Implementing STEM Activities in Algebra 1:   by Denise Young of Blue Valley School District –>

Density Lab:  *A great discussion for the idea, is mass dep on volume, or volume dep on mass, and should the label for density be mL/g or g/mL?

Pendulum Exp:  A practice in linear relations or as a square root relation (depending on the grade level)

Periodic Table Relationships:  Practice with scatter plots and linear relationships between the atomic number and the atomic mass.

Flexible Math Groups:  An Approach to Small Group Instruction in the Secondary Mathematics Classroom:   by Nancy Foster and Erin Schmidt of Clear Creek ISD

-“I am a Math Expert.  I am here to help you understand the math.”

– Small Groups are Opportunities – must have student buy in

– The first few weeks of school should be used to familiarize students with the management of the classroom, the expectation of the teacher and students, an understanding of how small groups will work for all students.   Students need to know the processes for the activities, so that the teacher can pull 4-6 students for a short 10 min lesson, review, activity during the 45 min class.

– The small group lessons should be reviewing topics, using previous exit tickets, and prior tests or wkst to identify Ss struggling with a TEK or topic.  There is no reason to work at making two lesson plans for the day.!

– While other students are in small groups, the “Got It Kids” group can be engaged with Task Cards, walk-abouts, technology including:  Prodigy, Manga High, Nearpod, Quizlet Live, Quizizz, Blendspace,  Braingenie, Desmos, Kahoot, TTM, Compass Learning, Dreambox

Mathematical Analysis, Modeling, and Argumentation Using Science Content: 
by Shelly LeDoux, and Denise Thornton of the Charles A. Dana Center

– There are many connections between mathematics and science.  However, not all teachers and students recognize this.

– The scientific method includes, thinking of a question, creating a hypothesis, testing out the data and making observations,  refining the hypothesis, and developing a theory or conclusion.

– The mathematical method includes analyzing given information, communicating ideas and reasoning, then connecting the ideas and relationships, all while formulating strategy, selecting tools to determine a solution, and evaluating the reasonableness

– Activity Coupled pendulum  – Describe the motion of the pendulum balls and demonstrate it mathematically  (could be a graph, a picture, a table….)  What influences are occurring on this system (activity)…



Students must use evidence to support their data.   It’s interesting to see that all groups created different graphs, but similarities can be seen, too.


Flatland:  The Movie 10 Year Anniversary Screening:  with Dano Johnson and Seth Caplan of Sphere World Productions

– a cleverly written movie depicting the book by Edwin Abbott, ‘Flatland.’                               (written in 1884)  flatland-the-movie  (Link)

– love the connection and uses of vocabulary:  St. Eulcid’s , Cubical, Spherical, Squarical,  Truncated, Area 33H (love the humor of that hexidecimal #)

– “What’s the difference between upward and higher?”


Investigate STEM Behind Football Creatively and Interactively:  by Tom Reardon using TI-84 and Smartview

–  TI offers an activity for students to model the flight of a football graphically and algebraically.   Although students use the sine and cosine to model the parametric changes of x vs y,  (length vs height at any given sec), the students can predict whether the ball will make it through to goal post.  Students can also investigate changes in velocity, angle of the kick to alter the trajectory of the football.

– kick (link)





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