Surviving CAMT!

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

Last week, I had the pleasure of not only attending CAMT, but presenting as well!  For those of you who live outside the great state of Texas (so sad for you…), CAMT is our state math conference.  It is held each summer and rotates through the cities of San Antonio (this year), Dallas (next year), and Houston (last year), although I think San Antonio should be cut out of the rotation if they can’t swing a deal to provide free wifi! It was incredibly frustrating to hear awesome speakers like Dan Myer speak on connectivity and not be able to connect.

My first presentation was scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 1:00.  The schedule allows half an hour between sessions to “clear the room” and let the next presenter set up.  I arrived in the general vicinity of my room at about noon.  A little early, I know, but I wanted to be ready.  Sessions at the conference were filling up very quickly, so attendees were forced to get to the sessions they wanted to see early and wait in line.  So, I was pretty calm about presenting…until the line started to form!

The line began at 12:15…and grew…and continued to grow!  All the while, my heart was racing faster and faster.
I was sitting across the hallway taking it all in!
Finally, a little before 12:30, I headed to my room.  Of course the presenter in the room before me ran long, but we headed into the room at about 12:35.
The room filled up immediately, but I still couldn’t start until 1:00 (this picture is actually from the session the next morning…), so we all just sat there for 25 minutes!
I got to meet some sweet new friends!  On the left is Kim and Brandy is on the right. There was even a teacher from Indiana who talked her husband into a weekend in San Antonio so she could attend the conference!!

I’m not gonna lie, the whole experience was a bit frightening, but also rewarding and fun! No risk, no reward, right?  Next up, the NCTM Regional Conference in Baltimore this October, and then MAYBE (cross your fingers and toes), the national NCTM Conference in New Orleans next spring.

Mark your calendars now for the CAMT conference in Dallas next summer, July 21-24. 🙂

19 Comments

  1. Amy B

    Looks like everyone wanted to see you!!! That should make you feel good! You are amazing!!!
    Amy

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I think the line probably had more to do with my topic, Amy. 🙂

      Just wanted to make sure you read about the teacher who came from Indiana. Indiana!! So what’s a trip from Ohio, huh? 🙂

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Sorry I missed you, Colleen! Next year… 🙂

      Reply
  2. Karen Hester

    Hi Donna, I would have loved to have attended CAMT. I got to attend the NSTA conference in San Antonio last April and it was awesome. I think CAMT will be doable for me next summer since I live in the Dallas area…sort of. Will you present next year as well?

    karen
    The 85 Mile Commute

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I’m sure I’ll submit a proposal to speak again next year, Karen. I’ve got the bug now. Ha ha. It’s such an affordable conference, especially if it’s in your city.

      Reply
  3. Charlotte

    Look at that line!!!! Very cool!
    Congratulations on a successful session at CAMT. I wish I had attended. Enjoyed keeping up through twitter!
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      This was my first conference to follow and participate via Twitter, and I loved it! Next year maybe we need to have a meet-up. 🙂

      Reply
  4. TheElementary MathManiac

    Congratulations!

    I can only imagine standing in front of a room of people and having to wait 25 minutes. It would really make me nervous.

    What was your presentation about?

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Right, Tara! That was what made me nervous…watching the line grow and then waiting for 25 minutes! The presentation was on daily number sense routines for subitizing and composing/decomposing in K-2…dot cards, number bracelets, and rekenreks. All DIY. VERY popular topic right now!

      Reply
    • TheElementary MathManiac

      Sounds like a great presentation. What is a number bracelet?

      Tara
      The Math Maniac

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      It’s a tool for composing and decomposing numbers. Stay tuned for a blog post this weekend when I get back from the SDE Singapore Conference in Vegas!

      Reply
  5. Karen j.

    Hi Donna!

    I was lucky enough to see you present and it was wonderful! I can only say that you gave the best explanation of rekenreks and I finally see the benefit!!

    Thanks,
    Karen

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Awwww, thanks, Karen!! I really appreciate the sweet feedback! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Jennifer Smith-Sloane

    I am so happy to hear you had a fabulous time as well as survived. I had a great time myself but am also so very happy to be home.

    Jennifer Smith-Sloane
    4mulaFun

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Hey, Jennifer!! I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet up. I enjoyed following your tweets, and it looked like your sessions were wildly popular. I’m sure our paths will cross again. 🙂

      Reply
  7. DeeDee

    I’ve been to CAMT several times but not this year – no district funds.:( However, I wish, by now, they would start using bigger rooms for sessions so you don’t have to skip a prior session to sit in the hallway to make sure you get into a session you really want to see. Some of the best sessions I’ve been to were those that I found when I was trying to fill some time.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Right, DeeDee, I guess it’s really hard to plan for the rooms. I know for sure that I wouldn’t want the job! It’s always nice to find hidden gems in the schedule.

      Reply

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