#MathsConf24
Saturday 3rd October 2020

Venue online 

At last I was able to attend a La Salle Education conference. I have for many years tried to find a date that would fit in with my schedule. Due to the exceptional circumstances this year the event was held online and I was able to attend. The ability to dip in & out enabled me to multi task with my other commitments. Signing up and logging in was extremely smooth, as was navigating around the site setting the day up nicely for the learning ahead.
First stop was to the Luogeng room to hear Naveen Rizvi on ‘Cracking constructions’.  Naveen is always very enthusiastic and I was totally won over to her use of FULL circles for constructions instead of just arcs, thus emphasising equal radii. Out with the compass to make notes.

My drawings of many radii.

I am looking forward to students spotting equal sides because they are radii.  It is definitely something for them to look out for, it’s like the hidden key to unlock a problem on circles.  Naveen walked us through all the standard GCSE constructions using a circle.  I particularly liked the hexagon.  Thank you Naveen, a great start to my first #mathsconf.  As an added bonus it was lovely to bump into Sue Cubbon during this session via the Twitter posts on #mathsconf24,  we must stop meeting like this, see you at the next one.

As well as attending the talks, the day included a Treasure Hunt.  I love a good treasure hunt so headed to the ‘virtual bag’ to check it out, I was hooked and struggled to focus on the next session.   Just found out (10th October) my answer was correct but not a winner this time, I enjoyed doing it anyway.
In the session on ‘Using manipulatives effectively’ by Livia Mitson I was thrilled to see a variant on my 3D box for trigonometry.  Mine is in need of revitalising so I am looking forward to making the transparent one demonstrated.

Manipulatives to show 3D trigonometry (my trustee box on the right)

So many ideas to take away which are particularly timely as they will work particularly well with a younger student that has joined me this year.

A wonderful way to view 3 x 5 in many different ways.
And more

Time for lunch for some, but for me it was over to the AMSP to mentor a problem solving session.  I rejoined the sessions with Mathigon’s Philipp Legner ‘Shall we play a game’.  What an amazing array of engaging visuals particularly the chocolates🍫.

Demonstrating some game strategy.

Philipp explained The Monty Hall problem extremely clearly with amazing visuals.   Surely now I would overcome my intuition to stick with my first option.   Listing the outcomes helps to see why you should switch.    

All the possible outcomes

For my final session of the day, I went to the Johnson room , for Laurie Beesting’s presentation on ‘How can I get my kids to KNOW their times tables’.  As with the manipulatives this came at an ideal time for me with a new year 4 student.  It was fascinating to hear Laurie’s background story in her introduction.   She then shared many topics where knowing the times tables will ease problem solving for students.

Some of the many topics where times tables will help.

We were given many techniques to assist students learning of their times tables.  My main takeaway was to use a different method for each times table.  For example; x4 will be Laurie’s song and  x5 will be ‘high fives’✋🏻🤚🏻.  I couldn’t recall the song the following day but Laurie has kindly sent me the notes🎶, extremely generous, thank you Laurie.   Laurie has published a very useful ‘Bridge the Gap Maths’ textbook to help students moving to secondary school, you can find it here.
As if that wasn’t enough for one day, Craig Barton & Jo Morgan recorded their ‘Conference Takeaways‘, more amazing ideas.  In particular, from Chris McGrane’s session, give the student cards numbered one to sixteen and get them to sort them into the number of factors they each have, genius🤩  Consequently, introducing number properties; primes & square numbers.   I have made numerous notes to follow up and you can watch all the sessions on the La Salle website, if only there were enough hours in the day.  Thank you to everyone for making it such an informative, enjoyable and smooth experience.   

A clip of listening to the Conference Takeaways & taking notes in OneNote on my IPad
(collapsed on the sofa)

If there are any errors, omissions or misrepresentations please let me know at jforsythe@passion4maths.com

#MathsConf24
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