Math Menagerie

Day two of the 2018-2019 school year, and I can already tell it’s gonna be my best one yet!

So during Twitter Math Camp, I posted to Facebook about the wonderful experience I was having.  Someone in charge of our district’s professional development saw it and asked if I would present at our Back To School PD week.  We have six days of professional development before our students come back.  This PD consists of several sessions and you pick and choose which ones to attend.  I was flattered that she asked me to present, and I agreed.  On the plane ride home from Cleveland, I brainstormed/jotted down ideas in my notebook of what all I wanted to show the other teachers in my district.  I came up with the name Math Menagerie, because that’s what I wanted it to be.  Just a big “hey this is all the awesome stuff I use” session.  Kinda like a “my favorites” session.  Several of the things that I wanted to include came from seeing the Classroom Chefs back at NCTM two years ago.  I appreciate everything they have done and will do for math instruction!!

Fast forward to today:

I’m not gonna lie:  I was really nervous.  My 9:00 am session consisted of about 20 middle school math teachers.  My 1:00 pm session consisted of 5 high school teachers.  I wanted to show them all the things, including Twitter!  Fun fact – Twitter is blocked on our district’s network, so it didn’t go QUITE as smoothly as I had planned, but we made it work!

So what did I share with these awesome teachers?  I showed them Twitter, #MTBoS, Desmos, Desmos Activities, Which One Doesn’t Belong, Would You Rather Math, Estimation 180, Open Middle, and Delta Math. And the BEST part?  Most of them had never heard of over half of these things!! They were so excited to learn about these fabulous resources!!  I loved every second of them jotting the websites down as I was showing them.  They were curious and ready to use these things in their class!

Some REALLY COOL things that happened during my session:

  1.  I live-tweeted a question that the teachers in my session came up with.  I wanted them to see just how awesome Twitter is!
  2. We got several responses, and we checked them all out together.  They loved the ideas!

3.  They LOVED the Desmos Activities- especially the high school group.

4.  Most of them had only heard of Desmos before, so it was awesome to show them just how great it is.

5.  Every time I showed them a new resource, they shared ideas on how they could use it.  That’s exactly what I was hoping for.

6.  My goal was for each person to find ONE thing they could implement next week, but I know several people are ready to implement MORE than one thing!  Win!!

7.  One of the high school teachers was already on Twitter, but had NO IDEA that there was a whole community out there.  She does now!!

8.  She is officially part of #MTBoS now!

9.  I also asked them to share their favorites, just like @misscalcul8 did in her session at TMC, and they did!  They shared about Edulastic, Quizizz, and Quizlet live.

10.  Two people mentioned Teachers Pay Teachers…and were plum DELIGHTED when I told them the MTBoS crew doesn’t charge! 😉

11.  I left my sessions with what I can only describe as a teacher high.  I was on cloud 9.  This little session that started as an idea on a plane turned in to one of my favorite teaching moments!  Teacher win.

12.  I left with validation that the stuff I do is really cool, and now I’m really pumped to have my students back on Tuesday!


A huge shout-out to these fine folks for helping me process my ideas and plan my session. Each of you played a part in my success today!!


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