This Week: Awesome Math. Period.







This Week: Awesome Math. Period.



Edited By Sahar Khatri @khatrimath

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Global Math Department is take a break from webinars this week. Rejoice and enjoy the time with loved ones. Recharge and join us next week as we explore Creativity and Curiosity in the Math Classroom.

Great Blogging Action: Awesome Math

Testing Using Desmos

 

For those considering Desmos as a tool for testing students, check out Julie Reulbach’s extensive blog post for some ideas.

 

Check out excerpts of what her students think:

~by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

Share the Awesome

One of the blog posts on my recent run around the MTBoS came from Annie Perkins (@Anniekperkins). It hit me on a sore spot, because the truth hurts.  Like Annie, I am a strong believer in showing kids awesome math, even if it means going beyond the standards.  When students see actual awesome math, they take ownership of their learning.

But alas, I too am guilty of being a grinch and often keeping the awesome math from the students who perhaps will benefit from it the most.  After reading this, one of my New Year’s resolutions is that when I have kids do extra awesome math, all kids get to do it.  I’ll make time for the catching up or whatever some other way.

Image result for grinch

This leads me to request you all to:
(1) continue practicing the math that you personally love on a regular basis so that you can.
(2) share this awesome math that you love with your students!  

This is really one of the most important things we can do to bring students into a true love and understanding of what math is all about.

There are tons of resources out there online with awesome math to explore and share that is very accessible to students, too.  Check out old contest problems and James Tanton’s (@JamesTanton) Cool Math Essays to start.

~ by Matthew Engle (@pickpocketbme)

Thank you for tuning in this year..we hope you continue to do so in the coming year. An early Happy New Year from the Global Math Department!

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A Well Deserved Winter Break







A Well Deserved Winter Break



Edited By Nate Goza @thegozaway

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“I’m Not a Math Person” – Identity and Its Impact on Math Success
Presented by Nicole Bridge
 

What is math identity and why does it matter? This session will help participants think about their own identity around mathematics and the identities of their students. We will use personal stories and research-based definitions and practices to examine the concept of personal and social identity, particularly math identity. Participants will understand what math identity is, different ways that it is formed with a focus on messages/experiences at home, messages from the media, and messages/experiences from teachers), why positive math identity matters, and strategies to help students form a positive math identity.
 

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

Last week at Global Math, Julia, Julie and Hedge shared some of their favorite tech tools for classroom use. Click here to watch.

Stocking Stuffers from the #MTBoS

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As the weather gets colder, it seems many math teachers are cozying up to their computers and becoming reflective. In a great reflection on Number sense, Mark Chubb asks How big is “Big”? This post begins with a simple question, place the number one billion on the number line above. What emerges from that is just how many students, and teachers, have trouble conceptualizing really large numbers. The post continues to discuss the importance of number sense, and how strategies like contexts, visualization, and estimating can help. 

As the year draws to a close, you may take time to think about things that really matter. Sometimes that’s taking time to reflect on the myriad of strategies for supporting struggling students like Anna Blinstein did last week. Other times it’s thinking bout those messages you receive from former students who are having success in their higher math classes like Caitlyn Gironda did last week. Or maybe you just want to do a big comprehensive blog post about all the best stuff that happened this year. John Rowe did just that with a compendium of his 2016 math learning highlights which actually summarize a lot of #MTBoS highlights as well. If you are wrapping up your year by re-reading some of your favorite blog posts from this year, be sure to nominate some for Ilana Horn and Tina Cardone’s Best Blogs of 2016.

Written by Carl Oliver (@carloliwitter)

Greetings!  Here’s what I’m reading this week…you might want to as well.
 
Something provocative where you wouldn’t think to look…
In last week’s Hack Education, Audrey Watters explores the data that we give away unthinkingly on our own, and on our children’s (and students’) behalves.  Starting with a look at Pokemon Go and Hello Barbie (clearly not an educational toy, but a cautionary tale nonetheless), Watters goes on to examine the ways in which the collection and use of data in education do not actually serve their ostensible purpose (effective accountability) and, in fact, may cause harm and discrimination.  She says, “How will education and education technology balance data collection – accountability and transparency – and information security? In light of Wikileaks and the DNC hacks – all those who combed through this stolen data looking to confirm, for example, their suspicions about Hillary Clinton and the Common Core – how might education data be further weaponized?…..It’s weaponized already, of course. None of this surveillance plays out equitably. None of the surveillance and none of the punishment.”
 
Please go read it yourself (and subscribe!); I can’t match Watters’ scholarship and writing, but you get the idea.  This is IMPORTANT stuff to read, and to keep reading.
 
Something fun
After your dose of reality and serious issues, take a puzzle break.  If you don’t know about Naoki Inaba’s puzzles, you can read about them in a number of places, but I first read about them at Math Equals Love (thanks, Sarah!).  Last week, Sarah wrote a post about some geometric puzzles – Zukei puzzles – and they are as addicting as the area mazes (there’s an app for them, you know).  Sarah also shared a document containing the puzzles with instructions in English.  Inaba Puzzle has a website of its own as well, if you want to go hunting for more.  After all, you’ll have loads of time over the holiday break!

 
Dan does it again
I know we are all loyal readers of dy/dan, but I have to celebrate and highlight his recent post, The Bureau of Non White Math White Dude Math Education Keynote Speakers, in which he gives us a list of people who are not white and/or not male to invite to speak INSTEAD of him.  Each speaker’s specialty is briefly described, with the exception of the inimitable Tracy Zager, who as Dan so eloquently describes, would entrance and enrich us by reading the tax code. Thanks, Dan!

A wish for all Just reading Pam Wilson’s post about lighting up her classroom for the holidays brought a smile to my face.  The best holidays to everyone.

Cheers,
Wendy Menard  (@wmukluk)

 

In this space, we usually discuss education and math happenings in the virtual world, but today I want to share some print that is rocking my physical word.  
 
I recently began reading Mike Flynn’s new book, Beyond Answers: Exploring Mathematical Practices with Young Children. From the opening pages, I’ve really appreciated Mike’s insight and the way he has captured the thinking of young mathematicians.  Although I’m only halfway through the book, I’m finding Christopher Danielson’s review to be spot on. 
 
As if trying to read one book at the busiest time of the year wasn’t difficult enough, I keep getting lost in my computer. The reason? It’s the place I chose to download my e-copy of Tracy Zager’s much-anticipated book, Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had.  My only issue with Tracy’s book is that I want to litter it with highlighter stripes and Post-Its but I’ll have to wait until January 5th for my hard copy.
 
Both Tracy and Mike do a beautiful job of making student and teacher thinking the backbone of their work.  If you’re looking to be inspired, then treat yourself this holiday season. 

Written by Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy)

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‘Tis the Season for Global Math Department







'Tis the Season for Global Math Department



Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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Favorite Tech Tools
Presented by Julia Finneyfrock, Julie Reulbach, and Hedge

The name says it all. We’ll share. You’ll share. Everybody shares! Everybody wins.

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

Last week at Global Math, Andrew Stadel and Chris Shore did some sense making laundry with clothesline math. Click here to watch.

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps

The SMPs in Geometry

mikeflynn.JPG

I agree with Mike! Graham Fletcher has taken his SMP lens to the realm of elementary geometry! Recently, Graham shared a post about Geometric Subitzing Cards. In the past he has also created great geometric and measurement 3-act tasks like The Big Pad, Packing Sugar, and Piles of Tiles. Now he’s done it again!

Graham developed a geometry task he’s calling Geo-Dotting. The TL:DR is it is an open-ended task that allows students to discover and explore the properties of shapes. Students get an image like the one below. They use it to create shapes by connecting the dots, and then they discuss the properties with classmates. Each image has different pathways and highlights Graham’s personal commitment to the integration of mathematical practices in his, and most importantly, children’s work.

Written by Andrew Gael (@bkdidact)

My Mind is on Special Education

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This week I had the privilege of speaking with two special education teachers about their feelings of hopelessness and sadness with a system they feel is failing students with disabilities.  In their words, they are expected to hold their students to the same standards as their regular education counterparts and are discouraged from doing what they deem necessary to meet their students where they are.  For some time now it has been my belief that special education teachers should be allowed autonomy for meeting students’ needs and helping them progress towards the grade level standards.  Unfortunately, at least at my school, teachers feel pigeon-holed by grade level standards and revert to teaching from the textbook and teaching by telling.  Without the proper resources and mindset, it’s easy to give into assumptions about the learning capabilities of students with disabilities.

That’s what makes this presentation by Andrew Gael and friends so amazing.  It challenges you to consider both your assumptions and mindset about student learning.  Within this presentation various strategies are shared from real classrooms with real students. (I stress this because these aren’t hypothetical ideas.)  I can only imagine how engaged teachers were as they watched this presentation, as reading through the slides made me want to scream, “Students with disabilities can do math!”  

This post and this post by @Mathtechy explain how she has applied her learning from the book From Patterns to Algebra in her special education classroom.  These posts provide even more evidence about the effects of resources and mindset on student success.  From these posts it is safe to say her classroom does not reflect the “one inch deep, one inch wide” dilemma discussed in this post by @bkdidact.  It is also backed up by this article from TERC.

Those two special education teachers and I ended our conversation with this statement, “Be sad, but not hopeless.  Use the sadness to be the change you want to see.”  To engage in the discuss about supporting students with disabilities, noin #SwDMathChat every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 9pm.

Written by Jenise Sexton (@MrsJeniseSexton)

On Twitter, It’s Gift-Giving Season All Year

 

I’d say “Christmas came early for math teachers this week” but let’s face it, Twitter is a non-stop sharing palooza for teachers.

This isn’t about a blog post, but a GeoGebra book created by the stunningly prolific Tim Brzezinski (@dynamic_math). This book contains discovery-based learning activities, both his own creations and that of the ultimate GeoGebrainiacs: Jennifer Silverman (@jensilvermath) , Steve Phelps (@giohio), and Dr. Ted Coe (@drtedcoe).  It’s organized by CCSS. Just go. It’s amazing, and Tim promises there’s one on the way for functions.

I’d also like to share this post by Manan Shah (@shahlock), which is a continuation from my last post 3 weeks ago, about students developing and using their own formulas.  I love the idea of “breaking” formulas to scrutinize them. And I’d never heard of the butterfly method!

Written by Audrey McLaren (@a_mcsquared)

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This Week: Clothesline Math, Magic Octagon, and More Clothesline Math!







This Week: Clothesline Math, Magic Octagon, and More Clothesline Math!



Edited By Sahar Khatri @khatrimath

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Clothesline Math: The Master Number Sense Maker! Witness how this dynamic tool reinforces numeracy while teaching current content in middle and high schools. Let’s play with fractions, expressions, geometry and functions in ways that you have never seen. Presented by Andrew Stadel and Chris Shore. Join us here at 9PM EST.

Highlights from last week: 

As everyone knows, students learn math at different rates. What should we do about it? I propose a two-prong strategy based on alliance with the strongest students, and support for the weakest. On the one hand, relatively easy-to-implement ways to insure constant forward motion and eternal review. On the other hand, a tool-based pedagogy that supports multiple representations, and increases both access and challenge.To listen to the recording, click here.

Great Blogging Action

The Magic Octagon

Have you seen the Magic Octagon?

No, I mean it. Have you seen the Magic Octagon?

Jennifer Wilson took an idea from Andrew Shauver who took an idea from Dan Meyer. I love how Jennifer uses quick poll with her students to tap into student intuition and keep track of their thinking. She gives students chances to make conjectures. She reflects on the questions she asked students and the questions she wished she had asked students. Lastly, her reflection is spot on with me:

“I used to say that my most important work happened before the lesson, collaborating with other teachers and deciding what questions to ask. I’ve decided otherwise, though. My most important work happens in the moment, not just asking, but also listening. And then, if needed, adjusting what I planned to ask next based on the responses of the students in my care. And so the journey will always continue…“

I agree with Jennifer and will add that the value of the “in the moment” is stronger as a result of her anticipation, collaboration, and listening. See Jennifer’s post.

~by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

Manipu-what?

I like to play with things.  Playing with things allows for developing my own understanding at my own pace.  And I more naturally make generalizations about them once I’ve had the chance to play.  To be honest I’m actually talking about with anything I’m learning, not just math.

I’ve recently realized I haven’t been utilizing this idea in my classes as fully as I could be by using manipulatives.  I have to admit that when I started teaching I just thought of manipulatives as silly things for younger children.  Maybe it’s that I didn’t have the fortune of learning with manipulatives growing up, but I am now convinced of the power of them.  I recently ran across an article recently by Mary Curtain-Phillips titled Manipulatives: The Missing Link in High School Math).  In it she makes some important points about why we should be using them throughout K-12 and explains why manipulatives are an important missing link in many high school math classrooms to achieving true understanding.

At #CMCNorth this weekend I had the privilege of attending two sessions which highlighted a manipulative that I have been really wanting to learn about, and that is Clothesline Math.  If you haven’t seen or used them, clotheslines are dynamic, hands-on number lines that can be used to learn numerically-based concepts.  They have two characteristics I love: they can be used through the entire range of the curriculum and they are a true low-floor, high-ceiling tool.  They are a lot like Exploding Dots to me in these regards (ask @jamestanton about this).

Andrew Stadel and Chris Shore have done amazing jobs convincing me to use them in my high school classes.  Andrew’s session gave teachers some awesome ideas using things students are familiar with to put the math in their hands with rich tasks.  The highlight for me, as mentioned, was the end of the session using clotheslines.  It was a great session to transition directly into Chris Shore’s in the next time slot covering how to use these in high school classes.  Like his session description said, I promise they will blow your mind!

Go check out Clothesline Math, and give some thought to starting to use manipulatives in your classroom if you don’t already!

~ by Matthew Engle (@pickpocketbme)

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