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

View this email in your browser


Online Professional Development Sessions

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)


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)

Join #SwDMathChat every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. If you’d like to guest moderate a chat, sign up by clicking the button below!

Sign Up to Moderate #SWDMathChat

Follow us on Twitter

Visit our Website

Copyright © 2016 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Comments are closed.