4 October 2017


Tickets went on sale for BCME today. This is exciting news! BCME (the British Congress of Mathematics Education) brings together the members of the Joint Mathematical Council of the United Kingdom (JMC) for one big mega-maths-conference. It takes place in Warwick over four days in the Easter holidays... and it will be huge! The number of speakers is staggering.

These events have been running since 1991. BCME 8 took place in Nottingham in 2014. Given that I'm still a relative newbie to the maths conference scene, this will be my first ever BCME. And I am very much looking forward to it.

I go to a lot of conferences these days, but BCME is very different to the conferences I usually attend. For the last three years I've gone to a La Salle conference every term - I absolutely adore these events. I can't recommend them enough. BCME is a totally different kind of event. I see it as an extra bonus conference to attend next year, on top of my usual La Salle conferences.

Unbelievably, there are over 350 sessions to choose from at BCME! I can't even begin to imagine how hard it will be to choose! This does mean that there will be plenty to appeal to everyone though, from EYFS through to university. I'm looking forward to seeing lots of speakers who I haven't seen before.

If you attend all four days of BCME then you can go to ten different sessions, plus there's loads of other stuff going on including a number of plenary speakers and social events. Hannah Fry (I love her!) is speaking after dinner on the Thursday night. On the Friday there is a special event to celebrate the life of Malcolm Swan.

Of course you don't have to attend all four days - there are various different ticket options. If, like me, you're worried about the cost of this event, then you'll be pleased to hear that bursaries may be available from the LMS and UKMT.

Below I've listed some examples of sessions, just to give you a flavour of what's going on. All 350+ sessions look amazing! Do check out the session booklet to see the whole lot.

A6 - Variation: beyond the definitions - Anne Watson
This session will be a workshop of mathematics tasks and discussion to open up a range of meanings and roles for 'variation' in mathematics teaching. Some of the jargon around this word is taken as prescriptive, when it is merely descriptive - there is more to describe. 

A10 - Mathematics from East to West - Andra Ghencea 
The aim of the session is to look at the differences and similarities between the approach in the teaching and learning of mathematics in Eastern versus Western Europe. The opportunity to explore both worlds in depth, through personal education and work in the educational sector, has given me a clear image of what leads to mastery in the subject.

B10 - The Black Heroes of Mathematics - Nira Chamberlain 
The 2017 released film, Hidden Figures, is based on the true story of a group of black female mathematicians that served as the brains behind calculating the momentous launch of the NASA astronaut John Glenn into orbit. However, these mathematicians of colour are not the only 'Hidden Figures'. In this this talk, The Black Heroes of Mathematics, we will discuss other inspirational men and women who overcame obstacles to prove that 'mathematics is truly for everybody'! 

B11 - Making Resits Work - Emma Bell and Anna Bellamy 
Compulsory mathematics GCSE resits are a thorn in the side for students and practitioners alike. In this session - run jointly by two teachers, for teachers - research and practice come together to examine how we can best help those students. Anna Bellamy's research focusses on Student Voice and the effects the forced resits have on those students while Emma Bell specialises in motivation, ensuring that students have belief and confidence in their mathematical abilities. How can we make mathematics resits work for all of our students?

 B17 - Teaching multiplication with deep conceptual understanding - Katie Crozier
This workshop will explore how deep conceptual understanding and visualisation of multiplication can be developed through exposing structure and making connections. Part of the workshop will explore the use of the Numberlink Board, developed through action research in the Y4 classroom, to teach multiplication facts with understanding. 

D17 - Pop-Up Maths - David Sharp 
In this creative and active session, you'll make pop-up 3D shapes, including cubes, tetrahedrons and dodecahedrons. You'll also make flexagons, including tri-tetra-flexagons and tri-hexi-flexagons. We'll look at how these can be used in the classroom.

G14 - Ideas that transformed my teaching - Jo Morgan
In 2014, Jo joined the mathematics teaching community on Twitter. Within months it had transformed her teaching. Immersed in resources, debate and advice, Jo felt empowered to try new ideas in the classroom. Inspired by best practice, she started to refine her teaching routines and approaches. In this session Jo will share some of the most effective changes she's made over recent years.  

G4 - Many Mischievous Mathematical Misconceptions - Craig Barton 
Using data from the tens of millions of answers to questions on my Diagnostic Questions website, together with the actual written explanations given by students, I will unearth some of the most surprising, interesting and deadly mathematical misconceptions that our students hold. How do these misconceptions vary by age group? What are the most important misconceptions to resolve early in order to prevent problems further down the line? And is attempting to resolve misconceptions more trouble than it is worth? Expect a bit of controversy, as well as a fresh round of everyone's favourite quiz: Guess the Misconception. 

Doesn't it look awesome? Bookings are open now.

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