TMC15: Through the Eyes of an Introvert

Giddy:  Feeling or showing great happiness and joyScreen Shot 2015-08-12 at 7.16.27 PM

Giddy:  What I felt carpooling to my first Twitter Math Camp (TMC15)

I knew TMC15 was going to be a great experience but, truth be told, being immersed in an environment filled with forward thinkers far exceeded my expectations.

Drained: To feel exhausted

Drained:  The feeling I had driving home at the close of TMC15.  When I arrived home, I crashed on the couch and took a nap.  When Monday rolled around, I took another nap 🙂


Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 11.08.46 AM

Borrowed, Quiet, from the library. My dog chewed the cover. Now I’m the proud owner 🙂

Why the need to sleep soooo much?  I’m an introvert and as much as I enjoyed the constant interaction and the constant exchange of ideas.  I needed downtime to re-energize.

Downtime …

  • allows me to process the events of the day and establish connections between the sessions.
  • prepares me to return the next day with questions.
  • gives me the energy to show up the next day just as excited to interact and exchange.
  • lets me formalize thoughts into a written form.
  • understands me.

Tangent:  The book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain, is a great read for educators.  Cain describes the qualities of introverts that make them an integral part of a team.  Introverts and extroverts fill our classrooms.  Each group has different requirements for learning.  As educators, we should keep both sets of needs on our radar.

Click here to watch her Ted Talk:  Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts


               10 Reasons why this Introvert loved                Twitter Math Camp!

  1. Community:  Lisa Henry, the organizer of Twitter Math Camp promotes community. From connecting people with rides to the BBQ or airport, or reminding us to include others in our lunch plans, to closing TMC15 with a heart felt speech, Lisa’s commitment to community was felt each day.
  2. Don’t for get to exchange twitter handles“:Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 5.54.20 PM
    1. Start the conversation during camp, continue the conversation through twitter over the year.  A conversation that can happen whenever you want and for as long or short as you want.
    2. Or ….  start the conversation on Twitter and meet them at TMC – Which happened with Princess Choi.  We had corresponded through Twitter, a few times, on the topic of 20%time/Genius Hour and I finally had a chance to meet her in person at TMC!!
    3. Or … use a teacher’s activity found on line and meet them at TMC – Which was the case with Graham Fletcher.  A coaching colleague had used Graham’s 3-act lesson, The Apple, in multiple 4th grade classes.  During a session, Graham and I were chatting and my colleague, Mari recognized him.  Her reaction was priceless.
    4. Twitter is a dynamic source for professional development
  3. Speed dating:  A fast, fun activity to meet other Twitter Math Campers!
  4. Morning sessions
    1. 3 days with the same session.  Awesome! I spent 6 glorious hours with the Desmos Group: Glenn Waddell, Jedidiah Butler, Bob Lochel and Michael Fenton with a surprise appearance from Desmos founder and CEO, Eli Luberoff 
    2. Friday morning was rough.  I had just played a game of Polygraph against Eli,(Ok, not that rough) and we were starting breakout/individual work time.  My intention was to create a polygraph.  I brainstormed ideas with my colleague, Mari … 1 step forward, 2 steps back…  creators block hit… really, 11:30 already?! … time 4 lunch.  Ugh.  A little sadness snuck in.  I knew the next day I’d continue where I left off… But, where was that?  I didn’t have anything!?!?
    3. By the time I started cooking dinner, an idea had quietly slipped into my consciousness. Afterwards, I played with the idea and generated a list of questions for Michael Fenton, the middle level group leader.
    4. Saturday morning rocked!  I peppered Michael with all my questions in which he answered graciously. The productive morning resulted in a linear inequalities Polygraph.  Click here for the Polygraph activity.
    5. Thank you Lisa Henry and TMC for organizing a long term session.  An experience that provides people the time to work through any muddled areas to reach a point of clarity.
  5. Wonderful Presenters:  The presenters were genuine, down to earth and passionate about their topics.  I’d consider them teachers’ teachers.  People who understood the reality of working with children and balanced that unpredictability with a love a math.
    1. Keynote Speakers:  Lani Horn Key message: “How great teachers differ from good teachers”, Christopher Danielson: Key message:  “Find what you love.  Do more of that.” and Teacher Woman, Fawn Nguyen: My core got a workout laughing so hard.  Then her focus switched to the fundamentals of teaching – the relationships.
    2. Matt Baker led the group in a socratic seminar.
    3. Chris Luz turned our session into full on math debate.
    4. Robert Kaplinsky organized us in groups of 3 to practice and debrief questioning skills.
    5. Alex Overwijk shared research on Vertical classrooms before he had us participate in activity utilizing vertical non-permanent surfaces.
    6. Chris Harris modeled number talks with the group, so we could experience first hand it’s benefits.
  6. 4 days of My Favorites:  My Favorites is Show and Tell teacher style.  Teachers sign up with Lisa to give a 5 minute presentation about a favorite activity they do in their classroom.  As the days progressed, I had a sense (through tweets and quick comments) that more introverts signed up to share.  An introvert may pass up the first day, but decide, later on, to participate.  Therefore increasing both the number of educators who present and the ideas shared.  A win-win.
  7. MTBoS:
    1. MathTwitterBlogoSphere was shared. MTBoS is wonderful site full of activities shared through blogs.  At TMC, blogging was encouraged.  During a lunch break, Tina Cardone discussed this year’s blogging initiative.  Join the conversation  and share your perspective.  You can even add your own profile and blog to the MTBoS directory
    2. Writing is painful – always a challenge for me.  But blogging is enjoyable – a productive struggle.  Even though I’ve always reflected about my practice, blogging strengthens the process.  I’m forced to find the appropriate words to describe the connections, the activity, the ideas I’m writing about.
    3. As an introvert, I listen a lot.  When I sit down to write, I can formalize connections between the information I’ve been hearing.  To hear the math community encourage teachers to blog was music to my ears.
  8. #1TMCthing:  One idea sparks another idea and a movement is started.
    1. If I remember correctly, one presenter asked her participants to tweet out
      something that struck a chord with them.  A participate took that request a step further and suggested to Lisa for people tweet the 1 idea from TMC15 that they’ll implement in the upcoming school year.  #1TMCthing was born.
    2. I love this idea! It’s a personal challenge that I can run with. After attending Alex Overwijk’s Vertical Classroom workshop, I knew exactly what my #1TMCthing would be.  I’m a coach and I’ve decided to pitch the vertical classroom
      concept to my teachers and see who’s interested in piloting the idea. Then for the few teachers who sign on, I’ll do what ever it takes to support their success throughout the year (planning, co-teaching , resource gathering etc…).
    3. Capture

      My official #1TMCthing tweet!

  9. October 26th:  On 10/26/15, you are encouraged to reach out to the person who inspired your #1TMCthing and thank them.  Gratitude is free and when given genuinely, it’s treasured.  I can’t wait to tell Alex how the vertical classroom project is progressing!!
  10. TMC15 Song:  Every camp must have a camp song.  Click here for the video.

Final Thoughts…

Twitter Math Camp –  A wonderful source of professional development organized and provided by teachers!  I’m hooked 🙂

My TMC15 Fangirl Moments



About jgvadnais

Instructional Technology Coach. Desmos Fellow. Google Level 1 Certified. SoCal transplant. New Englander at heart. Lover of yoga, dogs, green smoothies and coffee creamer
This entry was posted in math, Math Education, professional development, TMC15, Twitter Math Camp and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to TMC15: Through the Eyes of an Introvert

  1. Pingback: Kicking Off Genius Hour – A Guide | Communicating Mathematically

  2. Jenn, I really enjoyed meeting you at TMC. Thanks for coming to the morning sessions, and for being part of the middle school group. I had a blast discussing and tinkering with everyone at the table.

    Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any Desmos questions or suggestions down the road.

    Have a great school year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gfletchy says:

    You’ve done a really nice job capturing your TMC experience her Jennifer. I’ll definitely be checking back in along the way to see how your #1TMCthing is coming along. We have the same goal so it will be nice to compare notes and grow together.
    All the best and hope you have a great year!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Combining Like Terms w/ Desmos | Communicating Mathematically

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