Back to School: Let’s Do This.

Back to School: Let's Do This.

Edited By Meg Craig @mathymeg07

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Cultivating Mathematical Reasoning Flipping Your Math Classroom: More Than Just Videos and Worksheets

Presented by Marian Small (@marian_small)

Together, we will contrast mathematical questions and tasks that focus on simply “doing” mathematics to questions and tasks that evoke mathematical reasoning. It is ALL about the questions.Questions/tasks at all levels from Kindergarten through Grade 12 will be explored.

For example, we will contrast a question such as:

Read this number: 4023.


What numbers take exactly four words to say?

Or a question such as:

Solve: ¾ x – 2 = 5/8 x + 9


Do equations with fractions in them usually have whole number solutions or fraction solutions?

To join the meeting when it starts at 9pm Eastern (or RSVP if it’s before 9pm), click here.

Last week Michael Manganello demystified logarithms. 

Check out the recording here.

Wanting to do ALL THE {math teacher} THINGS!

Inspiration for the School Year

Here in New York, school doesn’t begin until Thursday (September 8), so I have the advantage of reading about how everyone else begins their school year, making my to-do and to-implement lists ever longer.  As always, there is some tremendous intentional and reflective work going on in the Math Blogosphere.

For example, Anna Blinstein, over at BorshctwithAnna, has written about a Habits of Mind unit that she is doing with her 9th graders – a great use of instructional routines to establish classroom norms and expectations.

In the ‘Make Your Ideal Classroom’ department, John Berray gives step-by-step instructions in turning your classroom tables into whiteboard surfaces!  (I’ve already written my Donorschoose proposal for the supplies.)


Tina Cardone rethought her homework strategy for the coming year, and has come up with a plan which provides spiraling practice in one type of assignment, and addresses broader goals of social justice, student voice and critical thinking in another, more-extended type of assignment.  By hooking her students with prompts that are designed to elicit both opinions and mathematical thinking, Tina is creating a space in which students can connect math with real world experiences.

My colleagues in NYC are doing some great pre-year reflecting as well. Matt Baker breaks down his starting routines for the coming year, which are closely aligned to his teaching goals.  These routines include high 5’s and warm-ups designed to help his students take better notes and understand the goal and sequence of lessons.  Brian Palacio, about to begin teaching at a new school, takes a major look in the teaching mirror, looking both forward and back. It’s a great piece, one that led me to reflect on my own career.

Two math and social justice notes:  Do you follow Jessica Hagy’s blog Indexed?  You probably should, for her wonderful graphs, like this:

And you might want to read Cathy O’Neil’s ( book, Weapons of Math Destruction, about the mathematical models by which financial decisions are made and personal futures controlled.   Evelyn Lamb reviewed this important book here.

Written by Wendy Menard (@wmukluk)

Finding Your Teacher Mojo

We’re off to a pretty good school year, MTBoS. Take a look at some of the excellent things going on in so many different classrooms.

#MTBoSBlaugust came to a close last week, but not before at least one more inspiring blog post. Elissa Miller’s post Guys I’m Killing it talks about how in the few weeks back at school, she’s confident she’s got her “teacher mojo back.”

Matt Vaudrey has his “teacher mojo working,” and he’s been beginning each post about the topic with the opening line “Dear Claire,…”. Each is a letter to Claire Verti, whose classes he is covering until she returns from maternity leave. The posts are full of Matt’s enthusiasm and insight as he returns from being a coach/author to teaching. The most recent post Visual Patterns – 2 describes some teacher “Trolling,” while referencing Fawn Nguyen’s fantastic First Two Days post.

If you aren’t yet convinced that this is off to a great start, check out Brian Bushart’s post More Than Words. The post begins by discussing Tracy Zager’s post How Not To Start Math Class in The Fall which talks about how a mandated test set a bad tone for the year. Later in the post, Brian describes how a group of elementary teachers in his district who worked on math in the summer have begun their year blogging about the start to their school year. Their uplifting first posts are listed in the post’s last paragraph and are sure excite you about this school year’s potential.

Written by Carl Oliver (@carloliwitter)

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