PCMI Day 10 and 11: Tripling your fun

Hint of a rainbow

Hint of a rainbow

This post will be brief but I want put down some notes, if only so to remember the details of this great day myself.  Working backward from a jam-packed evening:

I have just returned from Line Dancing taught by one of the Undergraduate Faculty participants, David Nacin.  He has been generously giving his time in the evenings, giving us the opportunity to bounce around the dining hall doing jazz boxes, Monterey turns, and coaster steps.  We’ve been having a great time and trying to figure out the appropriate time and venue in which to show what we’ve learned this week.

hotsnlots photoPrior to that, we had a Sharing session, which was an opportunity for participants in the Teacher Leadership Program to share some of their best practices with the rest of the group.  I led off the evening (which I was pleased to do, being pretty nervous) with my end of term differentiated assessment for my Geometry class.  It was wonderful to be able to share this project with an audience of appreciative peers.  Getting my presentation out of the chris plickway allowed me to focus on the interesting ideas my colleagues had to share, including a demonstration of Plickers, a program to enlist students as teachers, engaging ‘synthesis’ tasks which require multiple problem-solving strategies as well as broad content knowledge, and an engaging marketing/statistics project which resulted in Bacon, Mac and Cheese pizza being conceptualized by 8th grade students and test produced by Pizza Hut. I am in awesome company here.
getting there foldAnd prior to that, Ashli Black, math teacher and folder extraordinaire taught us how to fold fabric in order to geometric designs.   So therapeutic to work with your hands, and so engaging and challenging that it is fabric and math simultaneously!  I think I may have more of a chance finishing this in a timely fashion than a quilt.

What a finished product might look like.

What a finished product might look like.

All of the above happened after 4:30 this afternoon.  That’s how full the days are.

Before 4:30, we had our regular programming – morning math problems, Reflections on Practice, lunch, professional development groups.  And just before lunch, a group of teachers decided to do three minutes of plank for core strengthening.  (This took place in a corner of the dining hall.)  At first, I volunteered to be the timer, but watching their effort, I had to join in – so I only had about 1 and 3/4 minutes of plank.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll make it for all three.

I should probably be writing about all of the math we’ve been doing (discovering the relationship between complex numbers and Pythagorean triples, and constructing ellipses and hyperbolas), all the reflection and sharing that has been going on (examining feedback and types of listening the teacher can do in the classroom, developing the all important hinge question), and the progress we are making – inch by inch – in our professional development group.  But the hour is late, and I’ve got a bunch of math to do in a few hours!

The Zermatt Resort has footmen.

The Zermatt Resort has footmen.


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