Timm Ringhofer's Paper for Contract Grade of "A"

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Timm Ringhofers Contract for an A Grade Report on Attendance of Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference April 16-17, 1999 Craguns, Brainerd, Minnesota

Kuffy (Chris Kuffenkam) and I arrived at Craguns on Thursday night before the conference began. We were late for registration, but after a few minutes, we found our way to our cabin. The five men in the math department were staying in the cabin. I was expecting an actual cabin, but when we went inside, it was no ordinary cabin. A fireplace, two bathrooms, two showers, two bedrooms with two beds each, and THREE TVs. We had hit the big time. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying our favorite beverages and topics of conversation.

Friday morning came very quickly, and we were served a buffet breakfast in which they served about 1000 people. My first meeting was Some Ideas for the First Week of AP Calculus presented by Harry Kitts of Bloomington Jefferson High School. We did more discussing of what everyone else did the first week rather that Harry presenting. With about 10 minutes left, he went through a packet of worksheets that he had accumulated over the years. Some of these are going to be useful, while others will not. Probably the most interesting aspect of the presentation is what they discussed the first week. Most of the information was common knowledge or inferential material. Many of the topics covered in calculus are hands-on ideas that we use the calculus to describe the mathematics. I am eagerly awaiting the chance to try these ideas out next year!

The next session that I attended was Integrated Mathematics, Calculus, and Technology. The brochure stated that the following was going to be presented. The content, methodology, and technology of the integrated mathematics curriculum are a good fit for the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and reform calculus curricula. The TI-89 will be demonstrated. Well, this was about half right. The presenter, Ed Anderson of the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, showed his views of the International Baccalaureate program and how it worked when he taught. He then presented one problem for the TI-89, which he covered so fast that I just gave up. I ended up leaving before the end of the presentation because I was so disgusted with what was being presented and how it was presented. If the brochure says that something is going to be covered, then it should be covered. Just dont put information into the brochure to get people to show up!

A Fresh Look at the Integral by Arnie Ostebee was the next workshop that I attended. The workshops at the conference were 105 minute meetings, while the sessions were 60 minutes. I attended this workshop because of its calculus theme, and Ostebee, along with a fellow St. Olaf professor named Zorn, have written a new calculus book that is being looked at as the new wave in teaching calculus. Ostebee and Zorn have written a textbook that is very Minnesotan. Maybe this is why everyone that I took to really likes this book. We spent about 45 minutes of the session actually doing problems in groups about integrals. The problems we did were picked on the basis that they would give us a different way of thinking about the integral. It really did this, and I became sold on some of the ideas presented in the Ostebee-Zorn book. Again, I look forward to trying them out next year with my calculus students next year. Probably the most pivotal part of this workshop was who I got to work with in our groups. Randy Stoick is a teacher at Monticello High School. We got to talking and he has been teaching AP Calculus for nine years. At that point, he became an expert in the field in my eyes. We started sharing ideas and experiences from our teaching. He also ended up sending me many sample AP Exams to use in preparing for the test on May 13th. I have a new resource, and I truly believe that these conferences are there to provide these types of opportunities.

I had never attended the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference before this year. I have been missing the boat over the past couple of years by not attending. I have every intention of attending every year after this because I cannot afford to miss out on this type of information and meeting people who do the same thing that I do.

-- Anonymous, May 27, 1999

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