Key Takeaways From NCTM Los Angeles 2022

by Jeff Linder

- Where are all the teachers? The last NCTM had 12,000 attendees. This year there are only 2,000. This is at a time when there is substantial monetary support for professional development. Is it due to the shortage of substitute teachers?
- Peter Liljedahl says:
- that thinking is a precursor to learning.
- diversity is a strength in group thinking.
- students listen to teachers’ actions, not their words.
- one way to show students that we believe in them is to put them in random groups instead of teacher-selected groups.

- Jay Meadows from Exemplars reminds us to build curiosity in the math class.
- John Felling introduced me to many fun math games that promote both thinking, strategy, and skill practice. My favorite was Who’s In Between.
- Graham Fletcher highlighted the importance of a balanced math program with application, conceptual understanding, and procedural fluency. He presented a 3-Act task for the application, followed by a tool talk for the conceptual understanding, and ended with a task from Open Middle for procedural fluency.
- Jennifer Lempp presented on the Math Workshop model. Her presentation confirmed that all the principles of math workshop are alive in MUS classrooms.
- Christine Franklin from the American Statistical Association shared some great resources for teaching statistical concepts, such as mean and variability.
- Jo Boaler presented on the new California Math Framework.
- The Framework was scheduled to get approved in 2021 but due to pushback it will not be approved until at least 2023.
- The three main areas are big ideas, all students having access, and data literacy.
- Currently, only 16% of students are taking Calculus in California high schools. This is an example of institutional racism that the framework is working to change.
- Traditionally, passing Calculus in high school has been a prerequisite to attend top universities. Harvard no longer require calculus for admission. “Specifically, calculus is neither a requirement nor a preference for admission to Harvard.”
- Data science is now an accepted replacement algebra 2 courses.
- Groupitizing 10 dots, for example into 4+4+2, is a predictor of math achievement. My takeaway is to do more dot card number talks at all grade levels!

- I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from so many amazing educators. NCTM puts on a great conference, maybe next year more teachers will take advantage of it.