NCTM Speakers

I just returned from the annual NCTM conference in San Antonio. Just amazing… Can you say: RIVERWALK? How awesome was that?!

There was also some awesome math involved, as in ‘amazing speakers.’ Did that include you? Did you apply to speak? Well…why not? What’s holding you back from applying?

It’s really not a bad process, whether it’s a local, regional, or national conference. I mean, sure…you could get rejected. But what if you got ACCEPTED? Wouldn’t that be something?!

I’ll just bet you’ve got some cool math idea brewing in your brain. Why not share it? Seriously…you have nothing to lose.

Where to Begin

  • Start with the strands. What are the math themes are and how can your topic be related to one of the conference strands?
  • Decide if you want to do a Burst (30 minutes); a Session (60 minutes); or a Workshop (75 minutes with hands-on activities).
  • Check out the NCTM conference rubric. Make sure you maximize your proposal points with what counts.
  • Your title & description matter more than you know. These will be in the program book and on the conference app. People will make YES or NO decisions to attend your talk based on them. What will you say? Take the time to write a carefully crafted mathematical response. Even study previous conference books if you have one.
  • Check out Robert Kaplinsky’s blog about the application process. Also, he and Dan Myer gave a talk at the 2017 NCTM conference about applying and speaking. Watch the Facebook Live video today before you submit your proposal tomorrow!

Now What?

Now you wait…

It sucks, but your proposal submissions are months early, and honestly, you forget about them. Then one day, when you least expect it, you will get an email from NCTM. You will either be accepted, rejected, or waitlisted. And hey…2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

So, gather your thoughts and get to work! The next annual meeting will be in Washington DC in April 2018, and proposals are due May 1, 2017. And after that, regionals…Ugh!

Peace out–I’ve got proposals to submit!


#xmath #NCTM #Proposals #Math

Find Your Fred

I just returned from the NCTM’s annual conference. This year it was in San Antonio. Having never been to San Antonio, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the Riverwalk as well as the simple charm the city itself offered. I’d go back to San Antonio in a heartbeat, with or without a conference.

While in Texas, I got to hang out with several math friends. I’m always so grateful to the Park City Math Institute for connecting me to so many talented people. Any given math conference becomes like a mini PCMI reunion: Gail E, Ashli, Tina, Ben, Matt, Carl, Dylan, Ron, Brian, Mary, Vicki, Suzanne, Gail B, Nicole, Ryan, and of course, Fred.

I say ‘of course, Fred’ because he has helped me bridge the gap between PCMI and NCTM.  In fact, he has helped many of the aforementioned people get more professionally involved. Most of my friends were there as speakers and/or were on the Program Committee. Fred had a hand in all of it with his various recommendations and encouragements.

Without Fred, I would not have applied to speak. He gives great advice on how to write a proposal so that it will likely get accepted. He should know: Fred has been reading and writing them for years. He is a regular and popular speaker, as well as a frequent committee member.

Thanks to Fred pushing me, I put myself out there professionally, and it’s paid off. I am doing more beyond the classroom than I ever have before. I am speaking at conferences. I am on committees.  I am now working for PCMI.

And…Suzanne even asked me to do an Ignite talk in San Antonio.

If you don’t know what an Ignite Talk is, listen up: You have five minutes to tell your story, and the PowerPoint slides advance every 15 seconds, whether you are ready or not.

That’s when I really started thinking a lot about the impact that Fred has had on me in the years since I’ve met him. I knew then my Ignite talk would be an homage to Fred.

So I called it, “Six Degrees,” and used the whole ‘six degrees of separation’ theory to connect Fred not just to me but also to the rest of the math world. He’s like the Mayor of math circles. You simply cannot walk through a convention center without being stopped multiple times by this friend, or that colleague, or some former student.

Fred knew he was in my talk, but I don’t think he expected the talk to take the turn it did: The Six Degrees of FRED: Fred as a teacher; a PCMI participant; an NCTM ambassador; a math speaker; an author. Fred as a friend and mentor.

Yes, you Fred, are the total package: professional, caring, funny, and intelligent. Absolutely one of the best. Everyone needs someone like Fred. Find YOUR Fred.


#xmath #NCTMannual #SanAntonio #Ignite #FindYourFred #TeamFred

P.S. There is a video to follow. But for now, here is the PDF. Stay tuned.