Well I have to say that my second day of CAMT was just as great as the first! If you live in Texas and haven't gone before, it would definitely be worth looking into. It's in Fort Worth next year and I just might end up presenting something... :)
I went to a lot of great classes about questioning and critical thinking. With the full class of highly gifted kiddos I'll have next year, I tried to go to as many of these as I could. This was one of my favorite questions a presenter gave as an example:
How does place affect value?
Now I know many of you hit on this I am sure, but how many times do we just ask something like "What is the value of the 3 in 239?" There is nothing wrong with it in the beginning, but how much more information we would get from asking cause and effect questions like this! I plan to have 2-3 good deep thinking questions pre-planned for each of my lessons next year. It's hard to get them to come to mind on the fly, so I figured this might help!
I also loved an idea I heard about how a teacher lets his kids leave to go to the bathroom. Instead of just saying yes, he has a wheel that they spin and have to answer a question from. He changes it out each week to match what they have learned. It cracked me up picturing some kids who just want to leave thinking, "Nope. Not worth it!" I have the picture of his wheel below. If I end up doing this, I may just do it on popsicle sticks. it seems much easier to manage and change out that way.
Another class I attended was about math menus. If you've heard of choice boards, this is just a version of those. Basically, it can be set up so it looks like a menu you might see at a restaurant. There are appetizers, entrees, desserts, and sides. Each activity has different dollar amounts, too. It can be easily differentiated this way if you have the more challenging activities at higher dollar amounts. If each kid has to spend $10 dollars, some may prefer to do it with a few $3 and $4 dollar activites, while others would prefer to do multiple $2 activities. I plan on making some of these for my kids next year since I'll have to find a way to manage teaching 1st and 2nd graders at the same time.
My favorite class I attended was by the fabulous Marcy Cook. She had an endless amount of "brain stumpers" as she calls them. I don't even know where to start in giving you examples, but one of the ones she shared is what I do on my answer is bulletin board. Made me proud! You can read more about that here.
The last thing I want to share with you is a company called Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks. They sell directions and materials for an incredible amount of math games that use either playing cards or dice. I bought a set of their jumbo playing cards. They could be great for demonstration or just getting students interested in playing a game. They don't have face cards. Instead, they have number cards that go from 0-12. You can see just how jumbo they are by noticing the comparison to the newly sharpened pencil in the photo.
You may notice that my blog has a new face. I was so proud to be able to google things and figure it out on my own! Thanks Terri from The Creative Apple for inspiring me to change it up! :)