August 16, 2017

What I Am Doing with NCTM

Here's an update on my current roles within NCTM and where I could use some help!

1) Publishing Committee
2) Portal
3) Booth

1) As a member of the publishing committee I help oversee the journals as well as the books published at NCTM. During my tenure on the committee the journals will be transitioning from 3 grade band journals to one preK-12 journal. The new journal will be published monthly (more than current), be longer than any of the current journals and provide the opportunities to make vertical connections as well as continue to publish grade specific content. I'm pretty excited about it and already hosted one impromptu conversation on what people would like to see from the new journal. I will continue to solicit feedback on the transition as well as make announcements as information becomes finalized. At this point the panel is forming so discussion of what features will remain or be added hasn't even begun.

Despite the lack of someone to submit it to, I have a proposal in to restart Dialogues. This will definitely be happening in some form because the proposal started before I joined and I'm so excited about it that I won't let it fall to the wayside even if it ends up only being an online feature. Dialogues was an occasional feature in the News Bulletin from 1998 - 2002 where researchers would present opposing sides of an issue such as standardized curriculum or calculators. Then people would respond to the research. Ralph kindly dug some examples out of his personal archives since they predate NCTM's digital archives. For the revival we are imagining a sequence of blog post by researchers, comments and tweets by practitioners, article and highlighted comments in the journal, continued conversation online and maybe even a letter to the editor or two. This whole process would take a few months so we would do four a year. Going back to topics like calculators and curriculum would be fascinating, as well as addressing other issues like homework and grading that we all debate constantly.

My final task on the committee is books. We reviewed older books in the catalog and considered what new books are coming up. It is a challenge to balance providing a variety of books with limiting ourselves to only what will sell. The book writing/editing/publishing process at NCTM is speeding up as we put new systems in place but it's still a multi-year process so we have to consider carefully what topics are best suited for books. If you feel like we have a significant gap in our catalog please let me know, hopefully we have a book coming up to fill it. If not, I can suggest a topic at our next meeting. We also review proposals as well as complete manuscripts by anyone that submits them, so that's an option if you want to be the author rather than the reader.

2) I'm really excited for the as of yet unnamed portal. A space to chat with NCTM members sounds nice but not so different from twitter. Topic focused forums would be better than twitter for some things. For example, I suggested that people turn their blog post or presentation into an article but you're not really sure what I meant by that. Instead of tweeting to your followers or to me (since I've never submitted an article either) wouldn't it be great if there was a forum for article ideas and advice where frequent authors checked in to mentor new authors?

What I'm most excited about is the chance to organize resources. If you do any yarn crafting you might be familiar with Ravelry. It's an awesome space where I can chat with other crafters (there's even a specific math forum!), share my projects, save patterns with searchable tags, bundle related patterns, make a queue of projects I plan to complete, read reviews and see examples of patterns made with different yarn, in different colors or in a different size. Can you imagine what that would be like if you replaced pattern/project with lesson? In order to convince NCTM to build all these features we have to use whatever we have in October so get ready to join me there!

3) Starting with the NCTM annual conference in Boston spring of 2015, the #MTBoS has had a booth at most regional and annual conferences. This fall we are looking for people in Orlando and Chicago, then Washington D.C. in the spring. All of the information about how to run a booth is written out and most of the work is done. The box will show up by magic (aka the math forum) so we need a couple people to be in charge (at least one needs to be there early to set up so being local would be best) and a group of volunteers. Let me know if you want to help! If you can't be there (or you can but want to do this too) it would be great if someone wanted to update some of the printouts. The ones we have work great but there are certainly newer things to highlight and changes in some of the older ones. Comment, tweet, email tina.cardone1 on gmail, smoke signal... contact me however if you want editing access on any of those files!

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