During my mathematics methods course, I had the opportunity to attend a mathematics conference. While I was in class during the first part of the conference, I still had the opportunity to attend three different sessions in the afternoon. The first session that I saw was titled 'Cookie Fractions' and was led by Dana Johnson. This session was extremely helpful as a future teacher. Ms. Johnson put multiplying and dividing fractions into a specific context. She explained that putting the fractions in this context allowed the students to understand how to multiple and divide without learning the algorithm first. While this is useful, this is only one heuristic to use when solving problems. However, this session did directly connect to the Virginia Standards of Learning. The second session that I attended was titled 'Aligning the New Math Standards with Classroom Activities' and was led by Jessica Anderson, Ruth Clements, and Carla Williams. This session focused on the new math standards and how to align activities with the new standards. It was slightly confusing because I did not know much about the differences between the old standards and new standards. However, it was still informative to see math activities that connect to the Standards of Learning. The third session that I attended was titled 'Problem Solving in the Middle Grades' and was led by Lois Williams. She focused on how to incorporate problem solving into different lessons. One major component of this lesson was Singapore bars and how to correctly use them within the classroom.

This conference was an important component of my mathematics education during the fall semester because it incorporated many of the ideas that we were learning in class and gave us ways to apply them in the classroom. It was also an important conference because it was the first time that I had gone to a professional development event. From this conference, I learned about how to incorporate different heuristics into the classroom. A more detailed critique about the conference is provided below.




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