2011 NCSM Annual Conference

Major Sessions

Session information last updated: 3-31-2011

Major Sessions -- Monday, April 11, 2011
102  8:00 AM to
9:00 AM
JW Marriott: White River BallroomGeneral

Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology
The National Education Technology Plan articulates a vision for a 21st century model of learning. Cator will provide an overview of the plan and conduct a discussion around the vision, recommendations, and actions, as well as the barriers to adoption.


Lead Speaker: Karen Cator

103  9:30 AM to
10:30 AM
Marriott Downtown: Marriott Ballroom 5General

Confronting Boredom in Mathematics Classrooms: Will Common Core State Standards Make Mathematics More Engaging?
Interviews with students in widely dispersed settings, conducted informally by the speaker, have revealed that high school students generally find mathematics classes the most boring of their school experiences. For two decades, NCTM has advocated for a mathematics curriculum that included inquiry and investigation among its foundations—a curriculum that could engage students in "doing" mathematics. Unfortunately, boredom has continued to dominate the experience for too many students. Now, with the wide-scale adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), we have a new opportunity. In a report on a summer 2010 conference organized by the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum (CSMC) titled Curriculum Design, Development, and Implementation in an Era of Common Core State Standards, authors Jere Confrey and Erin Krupa wrote that the period of adoption of CCSS "represents a critical transition period, replete with the combined opportunities and responsibilities to define the meaning of the CCSS in relation to classroom practices on a large-scale." What does this mean? Might the CCSS make mathematics more engaging for students? The speaker will unpack this idea, share thinking from the CSMC conference, offer ideas from his perspective as a publisher who is an advocate for change, talk about the CCSS "Mathematical Practices," and show examples of engaging classrooms (revealing his personal interest in technology in the process).


Lead Speaker: Steven Rasmussen

121  10:45 AM to
11:45 AM
Marriott Downtown: Marriott Ballroom 5General

Geometric Reasoning and Problem Solving: Keys to Success for English Language Learners
Middle grades mathematics teachers often lack ideas and strategies for engaging English Language Learners (ELLs) in classroom mathematical reasoning and production. Based on recent research and development, this presentation makes the case that regular problem solving opportunities—particularly in geometry—combined with strategies for ensuring access for ELLs, can lead to improved ELL success in mathematics. A critical component is the commitment of mathematics teachers to attend consistently to the development of academic language through real mathematical work on the part of ELLs.


Lead Speaker: Mark Driscoll

133  12:15 PM to
1:15 PM
Marriott Downtown: Marriott Ballroom 5General

Understanding the Challenges Teachers Face in Using a Transformational Approach to Mathematical Similarity
This session will explore the opportunity that a transformational approach offers to the teaching and learning of similarity in the middle grades. Using a video case example, we will analyze a video clip and consider specific issues around the work of teaching similarity such as interpreting and representing students' mathematical use of dilation and unpacking students' use of definitions in solving problems.


Lead Speaker: Nanette Seago

149  1:30 PM to
2:30 PM
Marriott Downtown: Marriott Ballroom 5General

Implementing the More Challenging Aspects of Common Core State Standards
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are not "business as usual." Although some aspects of CCSS are familiar, others, such as some of the mathematical practices and topic learning progressions, are difficult to interpret and/or differ significantly from current practice. Learn what you can do now to help teachers and administrators understand and implement these newer, more challenging, aspects of CCSS, and how to use new NCSM tools to do so.


Lead Speaker: Diane Briars, NCSM President

161  2:45 PM to
3:45 PM
Marriott Downtown: Marriott Ballroom 5General

Light Masters in Mathematics Leadership: Helping Students Unlock the Doors
Motivation for learning often comes from a light master. Kathleen Parker, a 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner, calls her high school English teacher "the light master"; and holds this teacher with distinction in her life because he changed her life with a flicker of light. There are many students who never experience the turning on of lights in mathematics. A middle school student wrote, "I don't like anything that deals with math." It is hard to tell why this happens, but we as leaders and teachers are continually learning by looking at what works. This presentation will present the HOPE that emerges in the process of "Turning on the Lights." In this session, I use recent research on the relationships between middle school mathematics teachers' instructional strategies, student-identified classroom practices, and students' success in gaining conceptual understanding of mathematics.


Lead Speaker: Carol Malloy

177  4:00 PM to
5:00 PM
Marriott Downtown: Marriott Ballroom 5General

Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions: Helping Teachers Move Beyond "Showing and Telling"
This session will focus on a pedagogical model that specifies five key practices that teachers can learn in order to use student responses more effectively: (1) anticipating likely student responses prior to the lesson; (2) monitoring students' responses as they engage with the task; (3) selecting particular students to present their mathematical responses; (4) purposefully sequencing the student responses that will be displayed; and (5) helping the class make mathematical connections between different students' responses (Stein, Engle, Smith, & Hughes, 2008; Smith, Hughes, Engle, & Stein, 2009). By making purposeful choices about which responses should be presented, and in what order, teachers can maximize the chances that their mathematical goals for the discussion will be achieved.


Lead Speaker: Margaret Smith

Major Sessions -- Tuesday, April 12, 2011
202  8:45 AM to
9:45 AM
JW Marriott: White River Ballroom EGeneral

The Will to Transform
In today's world of education, there are a variety of learning opportunities and support systems to inform how we transform schools into high achieving centers of excellence. The real question for the leader is, "Do we have the will to actually do what we already know is best practice?" As leaders, we will address the concept of the "will," and how you, as a leader, can create this "will" in your team.


Lead Speaker: Donna Simpson Leak

219  10:00 AM to
11:00 AM
JW Marriott: White River Ballroom EGeneral

Dramatic Agency and Transformational Play: Why Should Educators Care About Videogames?
Over the last decade, video games and other online media have become one of the most significant forums for the enculturation of youth. Though many academics have little first-hand experience with videogames, two generations of adults have grown up with videogames, and a multi-billion dollar industry has developed alongside these players. In most contemporary videogames, learners do not mindlessly click on buttons, but instead engage in rich narrative storylines and employ complex problem solving strategies as they come to master and appreciate the underlying game dynamics. In addition, videogames stimulate rich forms of participation that enlist membership and identity in ways that occur in only the most advanced curricular designs. In fact, scholars are increasingly documenting the discursive richness, depth of collaborative inquiry, complexity of game play, and multifaceted forms of learning and participation that videogames can support. In this talk, I will begin with an overview of why educators should care about videogames. I will discuss a design methodology that we have used to support powerful learning and engagement as we foster a sense of dramatic agency as part of the learning experience. More than a theoretical discussion, I will ground these ideas in our work on the Quest Atlantis project where we have designed numerous curricular designs to support transformational play in which players take on the role of scientists, reporters, accountants, etc., who use academic content to resolve problematic fictional storylines that unfold in virtual worlds. Specifically, I will discuss the Quest Atlantis (QA) project (QuestAtlantis.org), an international learning and teaching project, that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse over 50,000 children, ages 9–15, in educational tasks. As preparation for this talk, please feel free to explore our site and learn more about this exciting project.


Lead Speaker: Sasha Barab

234  11:15 AM to
12:15 PM
JW Marriott: White River Ballroom EGeneral

Sticking to Your Diet: A Mathematical Approach
Research on university learning has demonstrated that students are most engaged by working on problems that are relevant to them. With two out of three Americans deemed overweight, most students identify and respond to applications surrounding weight loss and weight maintenance. The dynamics of weight loss and maintenance can be described using the first law of thermodynamics, and the mathematics can be introduced to students as early as precalculus. Born from this teaching exercise conducted over four years ago, was an explosion of research using mathematical models to predict and monitor weight loss in patients. I am currently working with several weight change experiment sites using mathematics to foster compliance to target diets, identify eating habits, and retrospectively analyze compliance in weight change experimental results. In this presentation, I will describe our exciting collaborations where we take the research of weight management from the mathematical laboratory bench straight to the patient's bedside.


Lead Speaker: Diana Thomas

247  2:45 PM to
3:45 PM
JW Marriott: White River Ballroom EGeneral

Focus on Mathematical Reasoning and Sense Making: New and Continuing Efforts in NCTM's Long-term Initiative on the Teaching of Secondary Mathematics
This past year the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics launched a long-term effort to infuse Mathematical Reasoning and Sense Making into all secondary mathematics classrooms. Starting with a series of publications on Reasoning and Sense Making, the Council is currently developing web-based resources, creating a video library of classroom clips of students engaged in mathematical reasoning, and developing a special conference for secondary teachers and teacher leaders devoted to mathematical reasoning and sense making for the summer of 2011. This session will share the Council's vision and progress on this new secondary initiative, and discuss how this work in Reasoning and Sense Making connects to the new Common Core State Standards.


Lead Speaker: J. Michael Shaughnessy, NCTM President
Co-Presenter: Jenny Salls
Co-Presenter: Gary Martin

Major Sessions -- Wednesday, April 13, 2011
333  11:15 AM to
12:15 PM
Marriott Downtown: Marriott Ballroom 5General

Moving the Mathematics Achievement Needle for Struggling Learners
As the expectations for increased achievement in mathematics and science grow, one of the greatest instructional challenges is figuring out ways to close the gap for those students who do not have the foundational competencies to respond to rigorous curricular demands. This presentation will discuss possible strategies of modifying school-wide structures to better accommodate academic diversity among students, as well as describe what research is pointing to as the most effective instructional practices.


Lead Speaker: Donald Deshler