The big annual math conferences are next week in Philadelphia. First up, the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) conference, April 23–25, followed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) conference, April 25–28. Naturally, those of us at Key have been gearing up to meet thousands of math teachers and leaders and “bring math to life” (to borrow from our new motto!) with all our software and resources. One of the big events we are sponsoring is our Ignite! presentation at NCSM, where we bring together math leaders and thinkers to share their thoughts on math education.
If you have never been to an Ignite! event, it’s really quite a fun, unique, and enlightening experience. Each speaker gets 20 PowerPoint slides to make their point. The slides auto-advance every 15 seconds, so the total talk is five minutes. Not a lot of time, so the challenge is to use visuals and key words to make your point quickly and succinctly. I speak from personal experience when I say planning a five-minute talk is significantly harder than planning for an hour talk or even a day-long workshop—especially when the clock is ticking!
Ignite! events started in 2006 in Seattle, Washington and since then, events have occured throughout the world. Key Curriculum hosted our first Ignite event at NCSM 2010 and have been doing it ever since at local, regional and national math conferences. They’ve been exciting and fun times that brought together innovative math educators who have shared, in various ways, their expertise and insight into math education. They are never the same and never dull, and there are always surprises, such as Mike Shaughnessy singing refrains at NCSM 2011, Michael Serra teaching math anxiety at CMC North 2010, and Ruth Cossey reciting an Ode to the Common Core at CMC South 2011.
I am looking forward to this year’s event and I hope those of you who are attending NCSM 2012 this year in Philly will come and spend an hour being ‘ignited’ about math. We have some great speakers lined up this year:
- Karim Kai Ani from Mathalicious
- Juli Dixon from The University of Central Florida
- David Elliott from Glenbard E. High School in Illinois
- Annie Fetter from The Math Forum at Drexel (see Annie’s previous Ignite in my last post “What do you wonder…”)
- Tim Kanold from The Common Core Math Learning Group
- Donna Leak from Rich Township High School District 227
- Max Ray from The Math Forum at Drexel
- Jamila Riser from The Delaware Mathematics Coalition
- Scott Steketee from KCP Technologies
- Steve Weimar from The Math Forum at Drexel
As you can see, quite a diverse line-up, from all around the country and from different areas of the math education arena, so it’s bound to be interesting, exciting and entertaining. Stop by and join us Wednesday, April 24, from 4–5 p.m. in Room 105 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. There will be plenty of room and like I said—it’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s math!
For those of you who won’t be in Philly, we will be recording the speakers and posting them on our YouTube channel. To get a taste of Ignite, check out some of our previous presentations. They are all good, but here are a few of my personal favorites.
Patrick Callahan presents his “Modest Proposal.”
Max Ray explains “Why 2 > 4.”
Elizabeth DeCarli reflects on “Making Math Memorable.”