Thursday, February 20, 2014

Engaging in Inquiry-Based Learning

by Dana Ernst, Angie Hodge, and TJ Hitchman

Do you like teaching? Do you like learning about teaching? Is STEMath teaching your specialty? Do you want new ideas to engage students in your classrooms? Do you ever wonder how you can make outreach activities more hands-on?

It was all smiles at the 14th Legacy of R. L. Moore
Conference in 2011.
Well, wonder no more. This year’s Legacy of R. L. Moore and Inquiry-Based Learning Conference promises to be your dream destination summer “math-cation.” As the name suggests, the Moore Conference is devoted to inquiry-based learning (IBL), as well as the bequest of R. L. Moore, for whom the Moore Method is named. The Educational Advancement Foundation, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Academy of Inquiry-Based Learning generously subsidize the conference. If you are unfamiliar with IBL, check out our previous post, "What the Heck is IBL?" In general, the IBL community is an energetic group of mathematicians and mathematics educators who are passionate about the ways that students can actively explore and discover mathematics.

This year’s conference theme is “Engaging in Inquiry-Based Learning,” and it promises to be one of the most interactive conferences to date. The theme was chosen to encourage people to share their IBL ideas with others in an active manner. Everyone at the conference will get to experience IBL while learning about IBL. Pretty cool!

Whether one is new to IBL or has been trying IBL for years, there will be something for everyone at the conference. The excellent folks from the Discovering the Art of Mathematics project will kick off the conference with an engaging demonstration of IBL that will be educational to all IBL’ers.

Looking to take your IBL practice to the next level? Bill McKenna will host a grant writing workshop prior to the conference kickoff to help you learn to support your IBL ideas. The best part is that the cost is included in the conference fee. All you have to do is register!

Help us create the rest of the conference by submitting your abstracts for the parallel sessions. We have several categories to fit your needs and a general IBL session if you think your talk isn’t like the others.

The theme is intended to encourage abstracts and proposals that focus on ACTIVE participation of attendees during the parallel sessions. We are interested in sessions about any aspect of IBL, but especially encourage submissions to the following special sessions:

  • My Favorite IBL Activity: Share your favorite IBL activity or group of activities with the participants.
  • IBL Outreach: Share how you use IBL in outreach activities such as Math Teachers’ Circles, Math Student Circles, math clubs, and math camps. 
  • IBL Professional Development: Share how you educate others in the preK-16 educational community about IBL. 
  • Nuts & Bolts: Share your most successful (or not so successful) approaches to engaging students, grading, assessment, and marketing in an IBL classroom. 
  • General IBL: Share other engaging IBL topics that do not fit into any of the above sessions.

Sessions will be a bit longer than in the past to account for the focus on active participation. Specifically, sessions will be 30 minutes in duration (25 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes reserved for questions).

To submit a proposal for a talk or workshop session, send the following information to Angie Hodge (, TJ Hitchman (, and Norma Flores ( with the subject line “Legacy 2014 Abstract Submission.”

Title of talk or presentation:
Abstract (200 words or less):
Preferred Session:

Description of how the proposed session will be active or engaging for the participants (50 words or less):

Registration is also open and is very affordable! When else can you get registration, most meals, AND hotel for under $200? What a steal!!!

The 17th Annual Legacy of R. L. Moore and Inquiry-Based Learning Conference takes place on June 19-21, 2014 at the Sheraton Downtown in Denver, CO. Come learn and share about IBL!

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