WCYDWT Live: Boat In The River

I haven’t found an effective format for online professional development using WCYDWT-style problems. (Nothing, anyway, that compared to three hours of face time with the Kannapolis teachers last month.) So I’m trying something new and looking for twenty volunteers to get an advance look at my newest WCYDWT problem tomorrow afternoon and run through it with me as math students in a DimDim room.

Total time commitment: 45 minutes. I’ll post the problem and the webinar results shortly thereafter.

If you’re into it, leave a comment using an e-mail address where I can reach you. Feel free to push it past twenty. If any participants are absent or late, I’ll start pushing invites out in the same order I received comments.

[Download Screencast, courtesy Jason Buell]

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school teacher, former graduate student, and current head of teaching at Desmos. More here.


  1. Mr. H

    August 4, 2010 - 9:19 pm

    Count me in.

  2. David Cox

    August 4, 2010 - 9:40 pm

    I’m in…assuming the kids are agreeable.

  3. Alvaro

    August 4, 2010 - 9:41 pm

    I would be happy to help. What time will you do this? I am in a different time zone.

  4. Dan Meyer

    August 4, 2010 - 9:47 pm

    3:00PM Pacific Standard Time. San Francisco is in my time zone.

  5. Alvaro

    August 4, 2010 - 9:54 pm

    That’s not too late. I’m in then.

  6. Bruce Moore

    August 4, 2010 - 9:56 pm

    I would like to attend. Tomorrow is teacher’s first working day. I think I will be in my room at 3:00 but not sure I can get through the firewall.

  7. William

    August 4, 2010 - 10:07 pm

    Hey Dan,

    I’ll give it a shot.

  8. Math Zombie

    August 4, 2010 - 10:34 pm

    I’m definitely interested. That time should suit me nicely out east.

  9. Jen

    August 4, 2010 - 11:21 pm

    I’m in!

  10. Dan Lemay

    August 5, 2010 - 1:58 am

    Count me in.

  11. Nick Hussain

    August 5, 2010 - 3:12 am

    Sweet! I’m in as well.

  12. Martins Kalis

    August 5, 2010 - 3:15 am

    I’d be happy to join in!

  13. Jenny

    August 5, 2010 - 3:42 am

    I wish I could do it (we’ll be headed to the airport to fly to SF at that time).

    I’ll look forward to hearing about it!

  14. Dave E

    August 5, 2010 - 4:02 am

    Professional development we can believe in – sign me up!

  15. Monica

    August 5, 2010 - 4:27 am

    I’d love to try!

  16. David Lloyd

    August 5, 2010 - 4:44 am

    I would like in on this as well.

  17. Mary Jude Schmitz

    August 5, 2010 - 4:50 am

    I would love to try. I am central time so I am guessing that would be 5:00 PM.

  18. Steven Peters

    August 5, 2010 - 4:56 am

    I would like to participate in this business.

  19. Anne Laskey

    August 5, 2010 - 5:06 am

    I’m in!

  20. Charity Hobbs

    August 5, 2010 - 5:12 am

    I want to participate please.

  21. Adelyn

    August 5, 2010 - 5:16 am

    If you are still in need of participants, I’m in.

  22. christy

    August 5, 2010 - 5:40 am

    Oh man!…am I too late to sign up? If not I’m interested.

  23. Antonia Barkley

    August 5, 2010 - 5:43 am

    I’m a preservice teacher but I would like to participate if you will have me.

  24. June

    August 5, 2010 - 5:59 am

    I’d love to try this if I’m not too late!

  25. Dan Meyer

    August 5, 2010 - 6:10 am

    So I’ll send e-mails to everyone through Steven Peters at 2:50 PST today. Then at 3:00PM, I’ll send out e-mails to fill any available slots, starting with Anne Laskey. Thanks for helping me out here, team.

  26. Chris

    August 5, 2010 - 6:11 am

    I would love to participate in this if there’s still room. Thanks.

  27. blaw0013

    August 5, 2010 - 6:22 am

    I’m interested in your approach Dan; count me in if your have room.

  28. Emily VA

    August 5, 2010 - 7:02 am

    Would love to participate, on the unlikely chance you got this far down the list.

  29. Jen B

    August 5, 2010 - 7:03 am

    Sounds interesting!

  30. Audrey

    August 5, 2010 - 7:07 am

    Count me in-I’m hoping I have calculated correctly that this will happen at 6:00 p.m. Montreal time!

  31. Debbie

    August 5, 2010 - 7:32 am

    I reckon that’ll be a bit late for me in GMT, but look forward to hearing all about it.

  32. Michelle

    August 5, 2010 - 8:08 am

    I can help as a less advanced student, if you want. But I’m in Eastern Standard time.

  33. Mark

    August 5, 2010 - 8:23 am

    I am definitely interested. Please count me in.

  34. Scott Haluck

    August 5, 2010 - 8:24 am

    If there is some act of God that allows you to go this far down the list, I’m in.

  35. Karen

    August 5, 2010 - 8:50 am

    East Coast! I’d love to join in I’d you decide to go with overcrowding or you have dropouts!

  36. Teresa Ballard

    August 5, 2010 - 9:00 am

    I would love to try -if you get this far down the list….

  37. Dan Meyer

    August 5, 2010 - 9:00 am

    For the record, I’d love to open this wider, but until DimDim proves itself as a professional development forum, I’m sticking with the free version, which limits to twenty participants. Thanks again for the interest.

  38. Michaela

    August 5, 2010 - 9:09 am

    Wow i am far down the list but would love to try it.

  39. Aaron

    August 5, 2010 - 9:17 am

    Looking forward to hearing the results.

    Hope it works out!

    If you could include a critical evaulation of the whole Dim Dim process that would be great for those
    not-so-techie-techie-enthusiasts such as myself.

  40. Audrey

    August 5, 2010 - 1:45 pm

    How do we access the archive? I didn’t really understand about the email instructions before, sorry!

  41. Dan Lemay

    August 5, 2010 - 2:47 pm

    Feedback from dimdim session.

    I liked the initial idea. Brainstorm what question we wanted to answer.

    I also liked the the opportunity to “agree” on some values. Time to run up the up escalator and time to run down the stairs.

    I would have liked to then have had some time (more than a few minutes) to play around with the these values. I did not want to miss any of the dialogue and got distracted and never reached an answer.

    For an online training: Do the initial stuff. Take a break and prepare as much of a solution as possible. (Break out sessions using dimdim if you want small group work?) and then return with some wiki pages of work to show everyone.

    Thanks for your time Dan.

  42. Kate Nowak

    August 5, 2010 - 2:59 pm

    So sad to be too late to the party! Sounds super fun.

  43. Jazo

    August 6, 2010 - 12:30 am

    Soooo jealous that I missed this! Will you be doing something like this in the future?

  44. Dan Meyer

    August 6, 2010 - 7:44 am

    I’m not particularly thrilled with the results of this conference, but we’ll try it a few more times before moving on to another format. Hope to see you in there next time.

  45. Tim

    August 7, 2010 - 1:21 am

    OK – neophytical type question here.

    I see tremendous possibilities for my physics class (9th grade – conceptual) in using clips like this. BUT … what’s the learning curve like?

    What do I need in order to be able to

    a) video the event – some form of ccd camera with video capabilities I’m sure
    b) and here is where I predict the asymptote begins to be noticeable … how does one combine 4 shots in one.

    I assume that the camera is tripod mounted and remains stationary between all 4 trials … but then how is it combined into one frame? Will I need a masters in video editing to pull it off. (btw … I’m a PC …. and I see that dan’s a mac)


  46. Dan Meyer

    August 7, 2010 - 8:44 am

    Honestly, the part I was proudest of here was thinking to use an iPod to keep time. That’s the top of the asymptote for me.

    Your other assumptions about how I shot this thing are right on. The final part, combining four plates into one, is more expensive than difficult. It’ll cost you $360 at Academic Superstore. I’ll have a tutorial up shortly so you can decide if this is a skill you’d like to pursue, invest in, etc.

  47. Maria

    August 22, 2010 - 6:49 am

    Can someone tell me where to find the “Dirt” problem. I’ve clicked every logical link, googled every relevant term I can think of and I can’t find the original clip/problem! Help! I’m feeling quite foolish (and out of the loop) right now!!!!

  48. Dan Meyer

    August 22, 2010 - 8:39 am

    Hi Maria, thanks for the inquiry. I’m posting that one, plus the results of our live session, early this week.

  49. Maria

    August 22, 2010 - 9:54 am

    Thanks, Dan. I didn’t stay in the discussion yesterday because I felt the spot would be better used by someone who had knowledge of the problem. Looking forward to seeing that one and future problem-solving ideas. They are really opening up avenues of creative thought for me and consequently, my future students.