GMD Rewind

GMD Rewind

Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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Online Professional Development Sessions

GMD Rewind

No new session tonight. This is a great time to re-watch a favorite talk or look at a talk you wish you could have attended!

Click here to browse past sessions.

Did you miss last week’s session? Never fear! Click here to listen to Christine Lenghaus share her session on teaching and understanding multiplication and division from doubling to completing the square.

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps

What Job Would I Do if I Didn’t Teach?

If I ever do something else for a living besides teaching math, it might be to make cool visuals and videos like the one Dominic Walliman (@dominicwalliman) made about the map of mathematics. What a perfect blend of visual appeal and fascinating content. I especially love the Foundations part at the end, about getting a glimpse at the whole universe through math.

Or I might teach programming, or at least use it to teach vectors, which is what Rhett Allain (@rjallain) writes about in this Wired article. I’ve always loved the idea of getting my students to make something (GeoGebra, for example) behave a certain way by using their math knowledge.

Or I’d become an edtech coach, and emulate Jenn Vadnais (@rilesblue), who does that job as only a teacher could, as a true teaching team member. Not only that, but Jenn writes about it in glorious and enlightening detail. I love how Jenn tells us the whole story – what worked, what didn’t, what she’d do differently, as well as all the details of using the Desmos Activity Builder. This time she wrote about using Andrew Stadel’s (@mrstadel) grade 6 lesson on inequalities.

Of course, these people are all teachers doing this stuff because they love it. I’ll just keep doing that, too.

Written by Audrey McLaren (@a_mcsquared)

Bypassing Understanding for the Ease

I’ve been guilty of it, too. Feeling the pressure of the pacing guide and succumbing to the path of least resistance. As Joe Schwartz shared in his recent post Ball Don’t Lie, teachers everyday succumb to the same ordeal. This teacher, wanting students to complete a task on comparing fractions, felt students would have an easier time by finding common denominators through the use of the “butterfly method.” Through his discussions with students, Joe proves the whiteboard don’t lie.

In Asking Better Questions, Kristin Gray shows another way we can bypass understanding for ease through the questions we ask students. From the examples provided within this post, we see there’s a huge difference in exploring students’ understanding based on the questions they are asked.

Often we find, when we bypass understanding, we have to circle back to help students build that understanding. So why not just take the time upfront to give the students what they really need?

Written by Jenise Sexton (@MrsJeniseSexton)

Desmos Design and Principles


Desmos, everyone’s favorite graphing calculator, has released ten new activities over the past quarter. Dan Meyer has written a summary of each of the activities on his blog. Moreover, he is working on a series of posts to get under the hood at Desmos and explain some of their design principles, through the prism of these new activities.

First up is an article on the lawnmower and pool border problems. Each of these problems illustrates Desmos’s design principle to “create an intellectual need for new mathematical skills.”

In both problems, the tools of algebra provide a gateway to generalizing the underlying math in the scenario. By building up to algebraic expressions through estimations and calculations, these activities give kids an opportunity to see algebra as an improvement over brute-force number crunching.

Stay tuned to Dan’s blog for future entries, and while you wait, you can explore those ten new activities as well as all the other great activities that Desmos has to offer.

Written by Kent Haines (@KentHaines)

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