This summer I was invited to give an Ignite Talk at my school district’s Teaching & Learning SummeRR Camp.
It’s a talk I’m proud of because in five minutes I was able to share why it’s so urgent to me that we ensure sense making is the focus of our work with students. Students deserve to develop positive relationships with what they’re learning now. It’s a disservice to assume they’ll learn to like it later. We never know what doors are closed to students because they learned to hate a subject or grow up thinking they’re not smart enough.
I’m a fan of Ignite talks. They’re short – which makes sharing them and using them in PD very easy – and they’re to the point – which means a focused message to get others thinking and talking.
Here’s the catch. To ensure each talk is short and to the point there’s a format each one follows:
- Each talk is 5 minutes long.
- You have exactly 20 slides.
- The slides auto-advance every 15 seconds.
Sounds stressful, right? And up until a couple of months ago I was always happy someone else was in the hot seat. That is until I got an email from Suzanne Alejandre from The Math Forum inviting me to be one of 10 speakers at the NCSM 2017 Ignite event in San Antonio in April. My emotions upon reading her email were a mix of feeling honored and terrified.
The event has come and gone, so now I get to look back on it with relief and a sense of accomplishment that I took the challenge and saw it through. I’m proud of the final result. I chose to talk about doing less of 3 key things in our math classrooms, which sounds counter-intuitive, but it actually results in getting more of a few things we want. Check it out: