NCTM 2014 Schedule

This is your official dy/dan conference planner® for next week’s conventions.

My Sessions

I’ll be doing three lecture-y things, then a panel with the #netkidz, then happy hour with our hosts, Mathalicious and Desmos.


The conference program is enormous. After making an initial list of every session I wanted to attend, I had three sessions listed for every hour of every day. Here’s how I decided where I’m going:

First, search for all the reliable people I’ve already seen or read.

That list includes:

Ani, Ball, Bass, Boaler, Callahan, Coffey, Danielson, Daro, Dougherty, Douglas, Garneau, Khalsa, Leinwand, Luberoff, McCallum, Mills, Milou, Murray, Olson, Pickford, Serra, Shih, Silbey, Wray, anyone from EDC, anyone from Math Forum, anyone from Conceptua Math, anyone from Key Curriculum Press, anyone from the #netkidz strand.

Then, admit your biases.

This year I’m partial to sessions on a) the transition from arithmetic to algebra, b) modeling with math, c) technoskepticism, d) technology.

In general, I shy from sessions on dead technologies and session titles with exclamation points. (Though exceptions have to be made sometimes!)

Use Google.

So I’m still looking at lots of session conflicts. There’s nothing quite as fun as discovering a new voice with new ideas at NCTM so I’ll head online and scan blogs, professional websites, or Twitter feeds. Occasionally, I’ll find the presenter’s slides online, which helps me make an informed decision.

How do you map out and prepare for an event as huge (in every dimension) as NCTM?

A Few Recommendations

I figure if you’re reading this you’re already going to Ignite, the keynotes, and the same #netkidz sessions I am. So here are some sessions I’m looking forward to attending that you may have missed. (Some of these are for ASSM and NCSM.)

Jere Confrey + Amplify

Jere Confrey has been working on Amplify’s tablet for the last four years as their chief math officer. She isn’t a technologist by training but obviously understands math and math education so I’ve been very curious to see what she’s been up to. She’s obliging my curiosity with three sessions at NCSM, all concerning digital curriculum.

  • Monday. 9:30AM. Using Digital Environments to Foster Student Discourse.
  • Tuesday. 11:15AM. Using Complex Problems, Rich Media, and Rubrics to Develop the Standards for Mathematical Practice.
  • Wednesday. 2:30PM. Jazz Fusion: Uniting Curriculum, Pedagogy, Assessment, and Teacher Support in a Tablet-Based Environment.

Treisman’s Back

  • Monday. 12:15PM. Navigating the Waters of Change and the Role of our Professional Organizations.

After his exceptional address last year, I don’t even check Uri Treisman’s titles or descriptions anymore.

Equity Strand

Treisman isn’t speaking at NCTM but we get Gutierrez and Gutstein in his stead.

Technology + Technoskepticism

I don’t know Kevin Lawrence but it takes some nerve to throw the gauntlet down at graphing calculators so I’ll hear him out. David Masunaga is just endlessly fun, which would be enough, but I’m especially interested in his provocation here. Former blogger Avery Pickford has a background in computer science so you know his technoskepticism comes from an informed position. Steketee and his co-speaker Daniel Scher both blog for Key Curriculum Press at Sine of the Times and their recent postings have been outstanding.

Judging Books By Their Covers

These were my favorite titles:

  1. Thursday. 2:00PM. The Mathematics of Casino Management. Micah Stohlmann.
  2. Friday. 11:30AM. Avoid Teaching Rules That Expire! Sarah Bush.
  3. Friday. 2:00PM. The Great Nutella Heist. Bonnie Spence.

Just Kill Me Now #1

Just Kill Me Now #2

What have I missed?

Also: be sure to say hello if we see each other.

And: I can’t recommend happy hour enough. It was one of my favorite sessions at Denver last year. Let’s make some memories.

PS: I may recap some sessions over at MathRecap. Toss your email address in the little slot if you’d like to receive those via email.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Jerrid Kruse

    April 3, 2014 - 9:36 pm -

    If you’re interested in educational technosckepticim, I highly recommend a book released last year: “the nature of technology: implications for teaching & learning” edited by Clough, Olson & Neiderhauser.

  2. Kevin Lawrence

    April 3, 2014 - 10:11 pm -

    I was a little shocked to see my name on here. I’m not really knocking graphing calculators, just that there are more technology options out there to help facilitate mathematical discussion in mathematics classes and not just tools to be used to find numerical answers, such as, GeoGebra/GSP, spreadsheets, and screencast/interactive whiteboard apps.

    I gave this talk two months ago at the CMP Users’ Conference at MSU and there happened to be a rep from TI in the crowd. I was worried at first but he loved it.

    For a taste of what will be discussed, you can view a previous powerpoint (will be modified for NCSM) at

  3. Kevin Lawrence:

    I gave this talk two months ago at the CMP Users’ Conference at MSU and there happened to be a rep from TI in the crowd. I was worried at first but he loved it.

    So he said to your face, but have you been noticing that clicking on the line whenever you’re on your phone? Yeah

  4. Gee, I HAD been feeling bad that I can’t get to NCTM this year, but now, seeing all the conflicting sessions I would need to choose between and considering how torn I would be at having to make those impossible choices, I’m feeling a teensy bit better about not being able to attend after all. ;) #senselessrationalization

    Looking forward to the recaps! And vibes and greetings to all the speakers and participants!

    – Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

  5. While you’re there, can you convince Sarah Bush that Rules That Expire and Nix the Tricks are a match made in heaven? Bribe her with a free sticker maybe?

  6. I’m being sincere here and not just “Oh shucks” about it, I swear, dude, you don’t have anything to learn about blogging from me. Unless you want to bask in the 2 minutes of my presentation that will be a love letter to dy/dan. Plus I need good recaps of Geoff and Bowen.

  7. @Kate, the choice may wind up being so hard that I just recuse myself to a hotel bar. My incentive for going to yours wouldn’t be to learn the ins-and-outs of teacher blogging, though, it’d be to learn how people talk about the ins-and-outs of teacher blogging, which seems like a really complicated subject to talk about to me.

  8. Hi Dan,

    Thanks so much for sharing all your great ideas throughout your blog!

    Unfortunately, I won’t be at the conference, but I am particularly interested in your talks about textbooks and video games. Do you know if either of those will be recorded and shared/livestreamed?
    If not, do you think you would post your notes on the blog?


  9. Hi Nina, thanks for the interest. I’ll be recording the video game talk and posting it eventually if all the video & audio turns out. The textbook talk, unfortunately, is already finished and gone.

  10. Thanks for the shout-out and congratulations on another NCTM in the books. It seemed busier and more interesting than usual, that’s got to be good right?

  11. Leanna Brooks

    April 27, 2014 - 7:59 am -

    Hi Dan,
    Enjoyed your NCTM 2014 session “Video Games and Making Math More Like Things Students Like”!

    After attending your session, talking to my 29 year old son (25 year gamer ) about the 6 points of learning you shared, and reading the article at the link below (where data in the study came from gamers), I question where the focus on developmentally appropriate is today.

    I look forward to posting some of his related feedback when you share the video talk – if it records well.