Math Teachers Learn New Strategies in Salt Lake City, April 9-12

Thousands of math educators from around the globe will meet in Salt Lake City, April 9–12, to learn new concepts, strategies, and techniques from some of the most knowledgeable people in math education today. Many presenters are teachers from Salt Lake City schools, as well as scores of educators from throughout Utah.

More than 740 presentations covering all grade levels and major math subjects will be available to attendees at the 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Annual Meeting and Exposition, "Becoming Certain about Uncertainty." The Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics (UCTM) is the local host for the event.

Among the star attractions at the 4-day conference will be keynote speaker Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times best-selling author of "The Tipping Point" and "Blink." Gladwell’s most recent book, "Blink," will provide the springboard for his presentation on Wednesday, April 9, at 5:30 p.m. in the Salt Palace Convention Center. He will describe how the unconscious mind makes decisions in a split second and how teachers can use this insight to teach their students.

NCTM President Francis (Skip) Fennell will address the critical issue of providing a high- quality math education for all students in his talk, "What’s Next? Next Steps for All of Us in Mathematics Teaching and Learning" on Thursday, April 10, at 3:30 p.m. In his talk, Fennell will address what mathematics should be available to all students to prepare them to succeed in a highly competitive global marketplace.

Statistics offer a gloomy picture of the future pool of teachers - nearly a third will leave the profession within their first three years. Retaining the next generation of math teachers is essential if the country is to fill the 280,000 teaching positions in math and science that are projected by 2015. In addition, schools must deal with the annual turnover among math teachers that is the highest of all subject areas at 16.4 percent. To address this issue, the conference will offer sessions tailored to the specific needs of the new teacher throughout the day on Friday.

During the conference, other sessions will offer a wide variety of subjects, ranging from making math relevant to minority students (African American, Asian, and Native American), to teaching algebra from pre-K through grade 8, to integrating literature, television shows, and modern culture into mathematics to make it relevant for all students.

An inspirational presentation by Olympic track star Billy Mills will conclude the conference. Mills is the only American to win an Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meters. His talk, “Winning Spirit,” explores the personal qualities and values that remain constant in an ever-changing world and how they can prepare us for success in life.

NCTM’s annual meeting is the largest gathering of math educators in the world. Hundreds of sessions and workshops—led by local, national, and international education experts—will be available, with an emphasis on helping teachers strengthen skills and teaching methods necessary to prepare their students for the 21st century.

In addition, more than 230 companies will be on hand to demonstrate the latest in curriculum and testing materials, student-centered manipulatives, and state-of-the-art technological advances that teachers and students can use to enhance learning.

All meeting events will be held in the Salt Palace Convention Center, Hilton Salt Lake City Center and the Marriott Salt Lake City Downtown.

To learn more about the conference, visit