With more than 3,000 attendees at
the NCTM Regional Conferences and Expositions in Dallas and Hartford and almost
5,000 in Chicago, this fall proved to be an exciting time in mathematics
education. Thanks to everyone who joined NCTM in Dallas, Hartford, and Chicago
for our 2012 Regional Conferences.
Dallas, October 10–12
To kick off the first 2012
Regional Conference in Big D, NCTM President Linda Gojak visited Dale B. Davis
Elementary School in Carrollton, Texas, where she led a number talk with
students in Janna Holthofer’s third-grade class. Students also engaged in a
lesson about measurement, which involved measuring the classroom and
determining how far a third grader can jump.
Keynote speaker Scott Flansburg
presented the Opening Session at the Dallas Convention Center, astonishing
attendees with his math skills—he currently holds the Guinness World Record for
adding the same number to itself more times in 15 seconds than a person can do
by using a calculator!
The three-day conference was
jam-packed with more than 200 sessions and workshops covering topics about
pressing issues in math education, such as response to intervention, reasoning
and sense making, and technology. Also on Friday, a highlight unique to this
regional conference and a Texas tradition was Math-a-Rama. Teachers of students
in kindergarten through grade 5 attended short sessions built around rich
classroom activities that focused on operations and algebraic reasoning.
Hartford, October 24–26
Just over a week after the
Dallas Regional Conference came to a close, the Insurance Capital of the World
was gearing up for a regional conference of its own. Linda Gojak shared
in teaching a math lesson at Fred D. Wish Elementary School in Sherri
Ziplow’s sixth-grade class. Students played the tax collector in a classroom
activity and lesson about how taxes are computed. As part of the tax collector math
game, students shared their fluency in using fractions, greatest common
factors, and other math skills in an effort to outsmart the tax collector.
Opening Session keynote speaker
Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human
Interaction Lab and author of Infinite Reality, explored how virtual
reality transforms curricula, assessment, and the very nature of
Hundreds of the latest
education products were on display in the Exhibit Hall of the Connecticut
Convention Center. The conference included sessions and workshops on various
topics, covering all levels, pre-K–grade 12. A couple of interactive workshops
offered tips for new and preservice teachers on how to manage classrooms, work
with parents, and handle homework.
The 25th annual Richard
Balomenos Memorial Lecture—a highlight unique to this regional
conference—honored one of New England’s most dedicated mathematics educators.
Charlene Tate Nichols of the Connecticut State Department of Education examined
Balomenos’s approach to mathematics education, which sparked attendees to think
carefully about improving mathematics education.
Chicago, November 28–30
Just days after NCTM members
spent time with family and friends over Thanksgiving, many made a visit to the
Windy City for the final 2012 Regional Conference.
Teaching math in
context was among the strategies employed during Linda Gojak’s
visit to Augustus H. Burley School on Chicago’s North Side. This classroom visit to Catherine Ditto’s sixth-grade
class, along with the other two school visits, gave Gojak an important
perspective to support of NCTM’s national dialogue with policymakers,
administrators, and other constituencies committed to high-quality mathematics
Keynote speaker Sarah J.
Greenwald, a professor of mathematics at Appalachian State University, explored
the mathematical content and educational value of some favorite moments in the
popular television shows The Simpsons and Futurama during the
With the impressive turnout of
attendees at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, many of the sessions and workshops were
presented to jam-packed rooms. One of the many sessions where members were
lined up to secure a seat was Gojak’s “Cutting to the Core with the Standards
for Mathematical Practice,” in which she discussed rich mathematical tasks that
encourage the development of the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice
identified in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
The usefulness of social media was
on display throughout all of the 2012 Regional Conferences. Some attendees
relied on it to receive minute-by-minute conferences updates. Others used it as
a way to connect with others and share their experience. Whether you were in
attendance yourself, or following those in attendance, NCTM social media kept
you informed and gave followers a sense of what was happening.
Be sure to visit the Dallas, Hartford, and Chicago
Regional Conference pages for access to quick resources from each meeting,
including available presentation handouts and program books. We hope that you
had a great conference experience, and we look forward to seeing you next year
at our 2013 Annual Meeting or one of our three 2013 Regional
Conferences in the fall.