How Often Do You Help Dan Out and Build Residue?

How Often Do You Help Dan Out and Build Residue?

Edited By Meg Craig @mathymeg07

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Online Professional Development Sessions

3 Reasons Kids Don’t Know Facts and How to Help

Presented by Christina Tondevold (@BuildMathMinds)

Children have an over-reliance on counting, they lack number sense, and the manipulatives we use in the early grades actually hinder students’ abilities to progress to more advanced addition strategies. This session will discuss why these three ideas keep kids from being fluent with their addition facts AND what we can do in the classroom to help.

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

Last week Mishall Surti got students talking with open questions. 

Check out the recording here.

True Confessions from a Math Teacher!

Math Residue and Wheels

I think it goes without saying that the #MTBoS is an amazing community. Nowhere else in education have I heard of a place where elementary, middle, high, and post-secondary teachers hang out to learn from one another.  This week Alex Overwijk (a high school teacher) shared a post about radians. Here’s the truth, I’m an elementary teacher at heart and I had no idea what a radian was…but I do now.  

I get intimidated and lost in some of the posts our friends outside K-8 share, but I read on because I know it leaves residue. The math residue makes the understanding of future posts I read much easier to digest.  

What I love most about Alex’s post is that he makes the math accessible to both his students and readers.  Alex walks us through his 5 days of learning and shares pictures of hands on learning that would make any elementary school principal proud. Did I mention that Alex teaches high school!

If you teach radians, great! You can use Alex’s lessons.

If you don’t teach radians (like me), great!  I’m sure you’ll walk away with residue sticking to your brain. Just be sure to tell Al thanks.

Written by Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy)

I Know Dan Meyer Doesn’t Need My Help…

..but you should check this out – cross-posted on both dy/dan and the Desmos blog – features from Desmos called the Classroom Conversation Toolkit, which allows a teacher to control the pacing of a Desmos Activity.  Desmos Activities are awesome, to be sure, but they can create a roomful of plugged-in children.  The Toolkit counteracts that one potential downside by providing teachers with a means to pause, anonymize, and share contributions by students, and giving space for some lovely ‘collective effervescence’.

Dave Sabol, over at The Rational Radical, has been running a series called This is How I Teach, riffing on the How I Work series at lifehacker.  Each participant answers the same series of questions, and then tags whomever they would like to hear about.  Even if you know someone, or have been reading their blog for years, there are insights to be gained from reading about how others manage their teaching practice.  I personally was quite heartened to read that at least three participants used some sort of favorite pad as their ‘favorite to-do list manager’.  

Maybe you know about already, but I just learned about it via a post on Algebra’s Friend about Factors and Multiples Chain, a great pre-factoring activity.  A cousin of nrich (another wonderful task and activity resource), wild.maths is dedicated to creative explorations of math, and is chock full of interactives.   This website is a rabbit hole worth exploring – I mean, they have a section called Dotty Grids!


Finally, some mathematical art:  Rafael Araujo is a Venezuelan architect and illustrator whose artwork is geometrically constructed, much of it using the Golden Ratio.  He leaves the construction lines in his pieces, which serve to enhance and highlight their mathematical and aesthetic beauty.

Written by Wendy Menard (@wmukluk)

How Often…


How often do you look at student work with other teachers, only to have the conversation turn to student deficits? “This kid can’t subtract.” “That kid’s handwriting is atrocious.” Kim VanDuzer wrote about this phenomenon in her recent post, First Blog Post. In an impressive first foray into blogging, Kim describes how she experienced this among other teachers, and in herself. She traced it back to the idea that some teachers operate from a  “deficit perspective.” Teachers’ focus on deficits aligns with the traditional view of teachers as “Givers of knowledge.” Kim admits to falling into this perspective as well, but she goes on to talk about how she shifted her perspective and provides links to some relevant resources.

How often have you questioned the man? More specifically, how often have your students had a chance to analyze “REAL life products and company promotions”? If you want to dive into these kinds of tasks, then you should follow what happens over at Jen McAleer has been curating a collection of tasks that can get kids thinking about estimation and problem solving while also questioning the world around them. The picture above is from the task Starburst Mini-Gate, a task that asks students to analyze the serving size on the label versus in the bag.

How often have you heard of a student actually wanting their mom to work in their school? Hedge’s recent post, Following Danielson’s advice: “Find What You Love… Do More Of That…” recalls how her son made that exact request and what her son said next that brought her to tears. It’s the cutest thing ever! She goes to explain more about her decision to return to the classroom, mentioning Christopher Danielson’s speech from Twitter Math Camp ‘15, and the rest of the #MTBoS. Expect to see more of her writing and reflecting about the goings on in her classroom.

Written by Carl Oliver (@carloliwitter)

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