For the past 2 years I’ve been working as committee chair for the NCTM Annual. I’m excited to get to see everyone and to see if everyone can take advantage of the opportunity to gather and learn from each other. The committee and I have worked to come up with a lot of new features this year, but because it’s been a while since people have gone to a big conference, I wanted to try to share the features. This Tuesday I did a little Instagram live with @TheMathGuru talking about how to get the most out of the NCTM Annual Meeting in DC. I thought it might be useful for people to see what we talked about in blog form. so I can include the things I forgot to mention. So I hope you find this brief guide valuable, and if not, let me know if there is anything I can do to make it better:

How to make the most of the #NCTMDC23 Annual Meeting

Figuring out what talks to attend often makes up like the vast majority of time at big conferences. For this conference we tried to make it as straightforward as possible to find things you’re interested. I talked about a good approach to looking at talks in another video on NCTMs Instagram.

Reading the Program Guide

For me, to find a talk the best strategy is the program book. Save paper with the digital program book and you get the ability search for keywords by hitting CTRL-F/CMD-F. You can also check out the mobile app which will update you if there are changes in the program.

Check the Grade Level: General Interest, PK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 8-10, 10-12, Higher Ed, Research, and Coaches/Leaders/Teacher Educators.

Check the Strands: These strands were deliberately chosen by our committee to speak to the concerns of educators today. We worked hard to curate talks that Uplift teachers, Include multilingual leaners and students with disabilities, Challenge old policies structures, Expand the idea of who matters in the classroom and Improves core instruction. Knowing what strand you’re interested in can help you know if the talk is for you.

New this year! Check the Session Content Level: The session content level can help you find out if a talk is aimed for someone who wants an introduction to the topic, or if someone is looking for an in-depth coverage of the topic.

Other places to look for talks:

New this year! Check the Pathways: Pathways are collections of talks around relevant themes. The NCTM gets calls throughout there requesting professional development around specific topics. Talks in the pathway speak to the topics that schools are requesting the most. These include Data Science, Social Justice, Intervention and more. Read Chris Shore’s Blog post for more details and info.

Check the ‘Equity Strand’ This includes talks from the affiliate groups TODOS and the Benjamin Banneker Association. All of these talks are carefully chosen, so sessions with this icon will be powerful and important for your growth as an equitable educator.

Opening, Iris Carl, and Closing Speaker: For our biggest talks we are lucky to have experienced presenters who are connected to the classroom and speaking about what is important right now. instead of a ‘big name’ to counter what might happen at other conferences, let us know what you think of that choice. We’re super excited about Jamila Dugan and Crystal M. Watson and also the Iris Carl speakers Julia Aguirre and Karen Mayfield-Ingram. If you want to learn more about each of them, check out the Playlist.

New This Year! Practice Sessions: Our planning committee was looking for ways to let participants have a longer session that can give them a chance to expand their teaching ‘practice’. We then created these 2-hr practice sessions so teachers can go deep on a topic with an experienced presenter. These are going to take place in workshop rooms, so make sure to get there early so that you can get a seat.

Ignite will be amazing: Should be amazing great speakers and Kristopher Childs is leading the charge make sure to stay a little later on Friday evening for this one:

Other things to do:

Capitol Hill Day! – If you are already in town on Wednesday, you can head on over to the Captiol and tell US lawmakers to prioritize education!

Vendor Area! Go see companies, learn new things, meet Danica McKellar, get free stuff!

Check out DC! The Smithsonian and the National Mall are a 25 minute walk away.

If you’re able to make it out let me know if this is helpful or if you have any questions, I can try to help. If I missed anything, let me know in the comments.