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2014 Calculus Morning Session

Page history last edited by David Petersen 9 years, 10 months ago

The participants were:

Alexander Overwijk: @AlexOverwijk, http://www.slamdunkmath.blogspot.com/
Andrew Mazarakis:@froynboy, ???
David Petersen: @calcdave, http://longtailsofinterest.blogspot.com/
Jillian Paulen: @jlpaulen, http://laplacetransforms.wordpress.com/
Lisa Henry: @lmhenry, http://www.teachesmath.com/
Paula Torres: @Lohstorres1, http://lohstorres1.blogspot.com/

Rebecka Peterson: @RebeckaMozdeh, http://www.epsilon-delta.org/

Sheri Walker: @SheriWalker72, ???
Summer Sartain: @mathdiva77, ???

Sam Shah:@samjshah, http://www.samjshah.com/

Laurel Engstrom: @MrsEngstromMath, ???


L-R Back Row: Sam, Andrew, Jillian, Al, David, Laurel

L-R Front Row: Paula, Summer, Sheri, Lisa, Rebecka


TL;DR Overview:

In these morning sessions, we briefly got to know each other, and then we presented and discussed activities that we had designed and/or used in our classrooms. We are going to be amassing these activities for the calculus classroom, in addition to other calculus activities that have been blogged about, into a website. When it is ready to go, we will make the website public. 



The Official Description: 

The Calculus Morning Session will be a small working group. Members who register will be working together with the goal of amassing a small, useful set of classroom activities for a non-AP Calculus or AP Calculus course. We (Sam and David) have found it challenging to find engaging calculus activities to mix up the daily grind, and developing activities by ourselves is ever so lonely.


Solution: we all work together!


Participants should be committed to working a little bit over the summer before TMC to virtually (a) share calculus activities and resources we already have/use with the entire working group, and (b) work with another member or two from our group on developing a few new activities together to bring to TMC. When we are together at TMC, we will share what we’ve created, maybe engage in a few of the activities, and collectively decide how to make these activities accessible/useful to others.


PS. When we speak about “calculus activities,” we mean this broadly: anything that goes against the grain of a traditional curriculum/presentation/practice. They can range the gamut from whiteboarding exercises, to matching activities, to games, to projects, to applications, to anything else you can think of!



The initial email to participants:

Hello, party people!


It’s time to start thinking about TMC14 and all the wonders it will bring.  One of them is your choice of subject sessions for the mornings.  We (Sam and Dave) are working with the Calculus group and you put that session as your first (or second) choice.


The goal of this calculus working group/morning session is to create a few new activities/lessons that can be immediately used in the classroom. These can be large projects or unit overhauls, “do now” questions, whiteboarding activities, rich questions, or basic skills practice games. In other words, they can be big or small. No restrictions, except that we’re looking for anything outside of the traditional “lecture” format.


We thought the best way to do this would be to work collaboratively on these lessons prior to our official meetup, and then actually do these activities/lessons in the morning sessions.  There will be an initial virtual meeting on BigMarker to help with introductions and to set up our pairings for the prior-TMC14 work at 9pm Eastern on Sunday, June 29 (https://www.bigmarker.com/marker123964/calculetes-tmc14-virtual-meeting). Just hop on that site and register for the meeting if you can make it. If you cannot make it at that time, seriously don’t worry! Just let us know via email.  We’ll work out a way to introduce you, hook you up with a collaborator, and share with you the link to the video of the meeting later.


So, for this to work, we need a couple of things from you ASAP:

  1. A commitment to working on these things before we get to TMC

  2. Your general busy/free schedule for the summer leading up to TMC (http://doodle.com/vc2xczmf2mh7dkxk -- Click the dates you are free) to help everyone see who it might make sense to collaborate with when we divy up.


In other words, we’re not talking gads and gads of time, but definitely devoting some time to create some activities to spice up our calculus classrooms.


If you’re totally in for this (it’s going to be awesome), we hope everyone will come away with an activity collection for calculus, composed of the new activities we’ve created but also some of our old favorites. Please send us both an email back as soon as possible letting us know if you’re in (or not)! Our fingers are crossed that the answer is yes!


Once we get this information, we’ll get the ball rolling!


Always our best,

Sam and Dave



The Virtual Meeting for Participants pre-TMC

You can check it out here.



The Second Email to Participants (edited)

Hi Calculetes!


This is an email follow-up to the virtual meeting we had. The crux of what we talked about is that what you’re going to be working on with your partner this summer before Twitter Math Camp 2014 can take on many forms. It can be a series of deep questions, or a game to drill basic skills, or an activity to motivate a topic, or a project that you’ve been bouncing around in your head, or a worksheet that flips a traditional question on its head. It doesn’t have to be a huuuge project (though it can be!). If you weren’t able to make the virtual meeting, I droned on for a bit on types of things you could work on with your partner. It will probably be worth it to take a few minutes to run through the presentation here. At the bottom of this email are going to be the pairings we’ve come up with based on your summer availability -- since people at the virtual meeting were super easy-going about who they would work with. Love it!


The idea is that you and your partner crate with one, two, three, heck, however many things you can think of -- and flesh it out until it’s close to “classroom ready.” In addition, if you have something new you have been working on solo (big or small!), and want to have the group do it, feel free to bring that also! The only thing we ask is that you bring whatever materials you need (e.g. photocopies of worksheets) with you so we can actually do these activities.  We will talk about ways to tweaking the activities, or brainstorm extensions that might arise when we’re doing them! I’d say it’s safe to assume at final count we’ll have at most 14 people in our working group.


You can work with your partner in any number of ways. Personally I’ve found using google hangouts to be ridiculously awesome for this type of collaboration. Using it, you can even work simultaneously on a google doc while audio/video chatting.


At TMC14, we’re going to have six hours total in the mornings to do these activities. Dave and I wanted this to be more like a working group than a traditional PD session. So although we organized our working group, we’re coming to TMC without a rigid agenda of any kind. We want this time to be ours to do things that are useful to us. In those six hours, we are going to do the new activities we all came up with. And with the rest of the time, we can do some/all/none of the following:

  • Share (and do, if we have time) some of our best tried-and-true activities that we’ve already used in our classrooms (for those of us who have taught calculus before)

  • Talk about ways we can put the new materials we’ve created (along with some of our absolutely favorite materials/activities we’ve used in our classrooms) online for calculus teachers everywhere!

  • Exchange any calculus materials/resources we have electronically with each other

  • Talk about topics in calculus that are really awful or challenging for us to teach


What you need to bring to TMC:

  • Smiles and snark and laughter!

  • Your activity/activities that you created with your partner (with photocopies/supplies for 14 people)

  • If you’ve taught calculus before, any materials/activities (big or small) that you’ve used that went over-well with your classes. This shouldn’t be all your calculus materials, but just your favorites. You don’t have to bring photocopies for these… just bring them electronically. Hopefully we will be able to project them and talk about them.

  • If you are willing to share all your calculus materials, bring them electronically. I will collect them and put them together to share online (virtually, but password protected). If you do share everything, please still separate out your favorite/best/tried-and-true activities. We have found that when everyone shares everything, it can be overwhelming to sort through!


We’re amped to be working with y’all! Feel free to email Dave or me with any questions you have! Happy collaboration!!!


Always our best,

Sam and Dave




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