More Awesome Stuff from the MTBoS in 2018-2019

I shared in this post some of my favorite Tweets from the 2018-2019 school year.  All of those Tweets are ideas of things I could use in my classroom in one way or another.  However, there are so many other amazing Tweets from this past year that don’t necessarily fit in that category.  These are Tweets that remind me why I love hanging out on Twitter for a bit after a long day.  Tweets that remind me that these are my people.  I love seeing random, funny snippets from other people’s classrooms.  I love seeing an awesome Desmos graph someone or someone’s student created.  I love seeing a conversation someone had with their own kids involving math.  I love seeing an amazing mathy thing someone found and took a picture of to share.  I also love knowing that Twitter is a space where I can share those things and that these people will get it.  So enjoy more awesomeness from the MTBoS community from the past year.  And thank you MTBoS for sharing.  Please, don’t ever stop.

Favorite Tweets of the 2018-2019 School Year

You can find my previous year’s favorite tweets by clicking links for the posts below.

It’s always fun for me to go through my “liked” Tweets at the end of the school year to see what stood out to me over the course of the year.  I figured there wasn’t a better way to spend my night than watching the Twins (How about their start to the year?!) and going through Twitter!

MCTM 2019

I hadn’t been to the Minnesota Council for Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) conference since my first year teaching.  Both of my experiences at MCTM have been drastically different and special for different reasons.  It’s fun for me to think on my experience both years, how different they are, and how much I’ve grown since that first year.


I went with my dad who is also a math teacher.  The first presentation I went to was led by a former colleague of my dad’s.  When I was in elementary school, I actually went to a session she led at MCTM on making kaleidoscopes. (As a little girl, my mom and I would “go” to math conferences with my dad.  While he was at the conference, my mom and I would hang out.  We went up to Duluth numerous times and along to a couple (Orlando and Anaheim) of national conferences he went to because we LOVE Disney!)  It was a cool experience to go to her session again, this time as a teacher.  I remember my dad saying how she likes to present at conferences and wondered why on earth anyone would want to do that?!


I was now presenting at the conference, and while pretty nervous about it, I was also pretty excited to be doing it and to give back in that way to a community who has poured into me so much.


My dad went to a session and heard about this thing called Desmos.  He thought it was pretty cool, so later I went to a session on it by Christopher Danielson, who at the time I had NO idea who he was.


Christopher was one of the first people I saw at the conference, and he congratulated me on being selected to be part of the 4th cohort of the Desmos Fellowship this summer.


The only other teacher I knew up at the conference that year (other than my dad) was one of my friends from my time at Bethel.  She strongly encouraged me to go to a session by this amazing person she knew from one of her summer jobs -Sara Van Der Werf.  Her session literally changed my life as a teacher.


I was presenting at the conference because of Sara.  I had applied to be a Desmos Fellow because of Sara.  I am on a committee for MCTM because of Sara.  I am involved in the MTBoS because of Sara. I now consider Sara a friend, and yes, it was up to me to say yes to those things, but Sara has definitely nudged me (sometimes multiple times) and has encouraged me in so many different things.

Well, that was definitely not how I envisioned this recap post going, but it was definitely fun for me to think back on my experiences.  So, now on to the recap of MCTM 2019.

The keynote this year was Fawn Nguyen!  Fawn was in MN last summer, and it was so fun to see her again!  After her keynote, I attended her workshop.  She scolded me for being there since a lot of what she shared was the same information I had heard last summer, but it’s FAWN!  I just love her and wasn’t going to miss it.  Plus, it’s always good to hear information a second time as I pick up new things I missed the first time.  I shared here what I learned from her time with us last summer.


Laura Wagenman, Fawn, and me

Laura and I presented after lunch on Friday.  I was SO thankful to go on Friday to get it out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of the conference.  I was also grateful for a friend’s co-worker who insisted on taking a picture of Laura and I before it started.


I shared the information from our presentation here.  Now that I’m a few weeks out from the presentation, one thing I didn’t realize about presenting is how much I would grow and learn about estimation as a result of presenting on it.  I’ve already seen several positive changes in my own practices because Laura and I gave this presentation.

If I’m being honest and vulnerable, sessions on equity and social justice have never been ones that I find myself circling as ones to attend when I’m going through a conference program.  I’m new to the conversation, and I’m still working to understand what this looks like for me teaching in a rural school in a predominately white community.  However, I know that I need to educate myself more on this topic, so I’m trying to pick at least one session related to social justice or equity when I attend PD.

Friday after my session I went to a presentation on Blindspots and Implicit Bias with Barb Everhart and Lesa Clarkson.  Their resources can be found here.

Then I attended Steve Weimar’s session on Notice and Wonder.  Steve talked about how the fact that Notice/Wonder is becoming a “thing” almost makes him uneasy -that we want students to realize that “noticing” and “wondering” is what propels their thinking and that we don’t want that to get lost when we ask students to notice and wonder.

Steve brought up a couple ways of using Notice/Wonder that I hadn’t thought of before.

  • Having students Notice/Wonder on both ends of their thought/problem solving process.
  • Using Notice/Wonder as a teacher with student work and focus on student thinking, NOT if students are right or wrong and then do interventions based on the Notice/Wonder.


I’m looking over my notes from this session, and they’re pretty pathetic.  I wrote down two videos to look up but I don’t know why I wrote them down or even how to find the one from Chris Nho.

  1. Why is 2 > 4? from Max Ray-Riek
  2. Chris Nho ShadowCon (I think this might be it?)

Saturday morning I went to a session from Jess Strom on The Thinking Classroom.  If you aren’t following Jess on Twitter, take care of that now!  She is amazing and shares so many awesome things she is doing in her classroom.  She is also my region director and does so much for MCTM and is just an overall awesome person!


The Thinking Classroom is definitely something I want to learn more about.  All of her resources from her presentation including a link to a video to watch the presentation can be found here.  Here are some tidbits from her session.  I won’t go into great detail on anything from here because you can click the link in her presentation to watch the entire thing, which you definitely should do!

  • More resources:  Laura Wheeler sketch notes, Thinking Classroom podcast, Making Math Moments Matter podcast
  • When a student asks her a question she often asks back, “If you knew what to do, what would you do?”
  • She did a notice/wonder with her students where she first gave them 3 equations, had them notice/wonder, and then had them graph the equations on Desmos before noticing and wondering again.  I loved this!
  • When her students are working at the whiteboards she will sometimes do what she calls a “workshop” if groups are stuck.  She’ll have one person per group come over to her, she will give a quick conversation with them (ask what students have tried and guide them in the right direction without telling them what to do) and then send them back to their groups.  I tried this with my class the next day and loved it! One of my students told her partner who was at the “workshop”, “I want a detailed report of what was discussed.”

I also had time throughout the weekend to catch up with my friend from college (the one who introduced me to Sara) as well as my cooperating teacher from when I was student teaching.


Belle is such a sweet friend, and I was so thankful for the time to catch up with her at the conference.


Brian has been such an amazing supporter of me from the very first day I stepped into his classroom.  It was so great to share stories of experiences we’ve had in our classroom this past year.

That weekend in Duluth was just what I needed to get me through the last month of school.  I left with my heart full and definitely so thankful and proud to be a part of this Minnesota math community.

Estimation Presentation – MCTM 2019

Last week I co-presented at my state’s conference for the first time.  To say I was nervous, is an understatement.  I’ve never been good at presenting in front of my peers, but I knew that I wanted to challenge myself to do this.  And when Laura offered to let me co-present with her, I knew it was the perfect way to get my feet wet with this.  Laura is a PRO at presenting, and I was so thankful to have her help me through presenting for the first time.

When we decided on estimation for our topic, the nerves grew because this is an area that I know I need to continue to work on and felt unworthy to be able to present on.  When Laura and I met to talk about our presentation, I realized that while I do need to grow in this area, I still had things to contribute.

We started with a Stand and Talk using some of Sara Van Der Werf’s Math Fails.  People discussed what they noticed and wondered as well as how using estimation could have eliminated these math fails.

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Laura and I were thrilled people actually showed up as well as that adults were willing to participate in our stand and talk!

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We also did this Estimation 180 task in Desmos.  I love so many things about Estimation 180 -it pulls in so many other skills besides estimation including number lines and histograms.  I also love how students bring in their own personal experience to these activities and they use and apply prior knowledge because the activities build on each other.  You can find all of the Estimation 180 tasks here.

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Laura also shared how her students started creating their own Estimation 180 tasks.  Pictures of what they created are in our presentation linked at the bottom of this post.

One of the things Estimation 180 really did for me as a teacher was help start the conversation about estimation.  After using it, I started thinking of other ways I could incorporate estimation into my daily lesson plans.  I often found that when I was going through the standards, I would skim over the ones involving estimation assuming my students would just automatically do this.  It didn’t take long into my teaching career for me to realize I was wrong, and that I needed to teach students these skills.

I also realized after using Estimation 180 some that I don’t have to start at Day 1 and work my way through all 180 tasks.  I’ve found it worked well to do a 2-3 Estimation 180 tasks either all in one day or on consecutive days so that students could get the routine down.  After that, I do them less frequently but because students have the routine down, it doesn’t take as long.

Chase has created some Estimation 180 tasks in Desmos, and I also have a few here.

Then I shared how I use estimation to introduce multiplying decimals.  I talked about it in this post and there’s also a few pictures in the presentation.

Here are a few Which One Doesn’t Belong? prompts I would use with estimation.  I would give the prompt, “Using estimation, which one doesn’t belong?”

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Lastly, we talked about how estimation can be used in Math Talks and shared this prompt.

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Overall, the presentation went really well.  I was super nervous and was even more nervous when I knew friends were planning on coming.  However, when it actually came time to present, I was SO thankful for some familiar faces in the crowd.  So if you were there, THANK YOU!  I so appreciated your support and nods of encouragement during the presentation.

Here is the link to our presentation.