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I Met My New Favorite Math Hero!!!

I just came back from the SDE conference in Chicago this week and I got to see some famous teachers on my trip.  I met three famous TPT bloggers and one author.  I found it so fun to see what the bloggers’ personalities are like behind their pictures.  I saw Cara Carroll from the First Grade Parade who had a very good session about fun math activities you can do in your classroom and how to organize math centers.  She is very high energy, bouncy, witty, and fun.  Her loud personality transforms an entire room.

Then I saw Abby Mullins from the The Inspired Apple.  Her personality is sweet and precious.  I was so impressed with her attention to detail as she gave all of us in her session a pack of sticky notes, an adorable business card, and the most precious apple cookies that her mother made!  So cute! Her presentation was adorable as well with beautiful backgrounds.  Everything she touches seems to be as cute and creative as she is.  I really enjoyed her ideas about how to preview a book and label ideas with different colored sticky notes before you write a lesson plan.  For example, use blue stickies to write numeracy ideas down or green to write hands on learning ideas to help incorporate math or science etc. into your lessons.

It crumbled a little in my bag, but the cookie was still yummy.


I love this adorable business card!

And who could leave out Erin Klein from Kleinspiration.  I actually was on the elevator twice with her all alone.  I did say, ” Oh!  I recognize you from your blog.”  That is as far as I got.  I was too shy to tell her I blogged too.  She seems so smart and has like eleventy billion followers, and I guess I was thinking I’m like a small gnat in the blogosphere?  Erin seems just like her picture too…sweet and smart! Anyway Erin’s session was so inspiring!  I learned about flipped learning where you video yourself teaching the lesson and have an extra self to help kids stay on task.  I love the idea of having a cloned self!!  She also demonstrated all kinds of cool tech gadgets like the Live Scribe Pen that records whatever you say when you write and Sifteo Cubes like digital legos.

Now for MY NEW MATH HERO…(long pause with bated breath)…so exciting…I must say it one more time….SO EXCITING!  Here’s a clue…

You guessed it!  I met Greg Tang, got my picture made with him, and he even autographed my Grapes of Math book!  See!


I’ve always admired his books…remember my door decorated with the Grapes of Math?

Greg (yes, we’re on a first name basis *wink*) challenged my thinking for sure!  Greg doesn’t come from the school system educational world and is not a “teacher” although he has worked with kids at schools on many occasions.  He is SO smart…a Harvard graduate with a common sense education perspective and hilarious dry humor.  He takes VERY few rabbit trails in his presentations and is a very no nonsense kind of guy.  Greg says that if a task is daunting, break it apart into chunks to make the task smaller.  With everything in life this principal works.  He says that we make math too difficult (agreed).  Again he says that kids learn math when they learn patterns…so true!  We as teachers don’t show them enough patterns so that students see all the connections among different math concepts.  My favorite part of Greg’s presentation is when he showed us how regrouping relates to all the measurement concepts…not just adding/subtracting.

If you have the opportunity to hear him, make sure you take it!  You will learn mountains and your thinking will be changed!

Oh,  in case you don’t know, all of his books are animated on his website, AND all of his worksheets and games are free on there too!

Like I said…my new math hero!

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