Today was the Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Mathematics Pre-Conference 2019 with John SanGiovanni. I was not prepared for his session. I had several preconceived ideas about his session. He works with elementary teachers. How will this help me? I have taught high school for 25 years. I have no desire to sit and listen to elementary school mathematics for a couple of hours. But, I still attended.
It is hard for me to say it but I was wrong! He spoke from his experience with all levels of students. He spoke with general idea vs specific elementary content. Many of his comments about teaching philosophy and procedures made me wonder if he had a Big Brother camera in my classroom. I knew that he and I had similar thoughts and ideas. I was hooked!
He started by asking us to tell a partner our favorite number and why it is our favorite. Easy start! I made math personal from the first second of his session!
The he continued by asking us to look at a picture and make a prediction, discuss with a partner and share with the group. He guided our thinking through his questions. He asked for a few answers but focused on the process. Well, that's easy AND it got every math teacher thinking. He said that it takes students time to be trained to think mathematically. But through questioning techniques, the discussions become more and more mathematical.
Every few minutes we were experiencing new number sense activities that get students thinking. There were so many ideas I can't even remember all of them but now I am ready to prepare for the first 5-10 minutes of every class period.
And now I wait. Wait to experience more. Wait to learn what questions to ask.
OCTM teachers - Tomorrow's keynote speaker, John SanGiovanni, will NOT disappoint! Get ready! He will make you think and show you how to make students think!!