Up for Debate! Exploring Math Through Arguments – 1/14/20

Up for Debate! Exploring Math Through Arguments

 Presented by: Chris Luzinak

Presented on: January 14, 2020

Imagine: Debate, often a humanities staple, as an integral part of your math classes. Debate activities have been proven to increase student achievement and understanding. So let’s explore ways to incorporate debates into everyday math lessons, from warm-ups to projects! In this webinar, we will develop short activities and routines for building a classroom culture where students are empowered to discuss and debate mathematics–tomorrow! (Note: The podcast is split into two parts due to file size constraints.)

Recommended Grade Level: 6-12

Hosted by: Leigh Nataro

Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Up-for-Debate-Exploring-Math-Through-Arguments

This Week at Global Math – 1/14/20







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Edited By Casey McCormick  @cmmteach

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Up for Debate! Exploring Math Through Arguments

Presented by Chris Luzniak

 

Imagine: Debate, often a humanities staple, as an integral part of your math classes. Debate activities have been proven to increase student achievement and understanding. So let’s explore ways to incorporate debates into everyday math lessons, from warm-ups to projects! In this webinar, we will develop short activities and routines for building a classroom culture where students are empowered to discuss and debate mathematics–tomorrow!

To join us at 9:00 PM EST for this webinar click here!

Next Week 


Breathing Life into Geometry with Coding

Presented by Mike Larson and Ashley Goetz

Writing computer programs is an artistic way to bring geometry standards to life! Although it can seem daunting to teachers who don’t have experience in computer science, we will teach you the basics and you will leave with ready to use lessons that we have implemented in our math classrooms. So join us and bring this career-ready literacy to your students using Scratch and Beetleblocks. Lessons: Playful Polygons, Code-necting the Dots,The Math Behind Coordinate Animation, Solids of Extrusionm, Solids of Revolution

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

You can always check out past and upcoming Global Math Department webinars. Click here for the archives or get the webinars in podcast form!

From the World of Math Ed

 

Twenty Things to Try in Twenty Twenty.

It’s January. Nearly two weeks into the New Year and you may not even be able to remember the promise you made to yourself about how you would change in the coming 366 days. If that’s true, fantastic, because now you can pick from the list I have collated before and throw away your unrealistic, overzealous and imaginative expectations 2019-version-of-you had for your future self. Here’s a little challenge: Pick one of the 20 things below and do it now. The other 19 things don’t matter because you have already done one great thing for yourself and now you can laugh at all of the other dreamers who have had the same New Year resolution since 2010.



So, here it is. Twenty Things to Try in Twenty Twenty:

 

  1. Play with some Cuisinaire Rods (Simon Gregg – @Simon_Gregg)



    The reason this is first on the list is because if you don’t already follow Simon you need to immediately follow these two steps. First, shut your computer down. Second, turn it back on and open Twitter to follow him. Nothing must get in the way of you following the amazing things his students do. Cuisenaire Rods are just one thing they use regularly, but for me they were something I had never seen before. Now, I love them. I hope you do, too.

 

  1. Solve a Geometry Puzzle (Catriona Shearer – @Cshearer41)



    If I were a student in PE, I’d like my teacher to be able to play some sport. If I were a music student, I’d love to have a teacher who regularly played music and went to concerts. If I were a student learning Italian, I would like to think my teacher could tell me about Italian culture from a first hand experience. If I were a student in Mathematics, I’d be wondering when the last time they solved some maths for the joy of it. I think doing geometry puzzles are a great maths snack for teachers needing a sugar rush of joyful problem solving endorphins. Better still, send one to a colleague and compare methods!


 

  1. Create a WODB (Mary Bourassa & Christopher Danielson – @MaryBourassa & @Trianglemancsd)



    You might see Which One Doesn’t Belong prompts a fair bit in the #MTBoS. Why? Because they can be both simple and challenging to make. I always think that the first three boxes are quite trivial to construct, but the fourth is both the most difficult and the most fun. Make one for yourself or, if you’re too tight on time, challenge your students to make one after you have run a WODB in class. You might be surprised with what they come up with and the amount of thinking they do.

 

 

  1. Make an AB (Desmos – @Desmos)



    What’s an AB? It refers to the amazing tool for teachers called, “the Activity Builder.” It allows teachers to create their very own Desmos lessons and do incredibly cool things to turn up the curiosity dial in their classroom. Wanna make it even better? Check out this blog post on using the Computation Layer.

 

  1. Run an Open Middle Problem (Robert Kaplinsky – @robertkaplinsky)



    Don’t know what an Open Middle Problem is? Let me tell you, but first, order the book. By the time it gets delivered, you will be hooked on these problems and I can’t bear the thought of you waiting longer than you need to! They are one of the most prominent problem types I used in my classes. Check out openmiddle.com now. Right now.

     

  2. Sign up for a Maths Newsletter (Chris Smith – @aap03102)



    Literally one of my favourite human beings in the world. Before you send a message to Chris to sign up for his Maths Newsletter (yes, that is the ONLY way you can get it), check out the songs he has made with his students. In. Cred. Ib. Le.

 

  1. Listen to Someone’s Math Moment (Kyle Pearce & Jon Orr – @MathletePearce & @MrOrr_Geek)



    Scrolling through the list of episodes these two have already pumped out on their podcast, Making Math Moments That Matter, you might be wondering how it’s possible for two people to do so much? Well, the secret is that in Canada the days are 28 hours long with only 45 minutes of sundown, so they do much more than the everyday Earthling. You might also want to count how many episodes feature an Adelaidean (100 points to any correct response).

 

  1. Be Woo’d (Eddie Woo – @misterwootube)



    Eddie Woo is my second favourite Aussie educator (first being my wife, of course). Why? Because I get to see him teach! Anytime, anywhere! Eddie records his lessons through his YouTube channel, WooTube. Australian Local Hero Of The Year and a tonne of other things, watch one of his lessons and reach for the stars. This guy is next level.

 

  1. Meet Henri. He’s the best (Henri Picciotto – @hpicciotto)



    Although he might not know it, I admire Henri Picciotto. I consume everything he posts on his website like a pelican (have you seen a pelican eat?). My words can’t do it justice, I just love the way this man thinks and writes. Check. It. Out.

 

  1. Do a Stand and Talk (Sara Van der Werf – @SaraVanDerWerf)



    Count the Minnesotans who feature on this list. They might as well be all of them because that place is a hot spot of amazingly talented and welcoming people. Sara typifies the incredible teachers I’ve met from her state. Specifically, she has spread the word a lot on her Stand and Talks. I love them, she loves them, everyone else loves them, and I’m sure you will too. Check out her Global Math Department talk on it!

 

  1. Create a Visual Pattern (watch the GMD talk)



    Who: Fawn Nguyen (@fawnpnguyen)

    Where: http://www.visualpatterns.org/

     

  2. Hear Someone’s Math Story



    Who: Michelle Nguyen (Desmos)

    Where: https://blog.desmos.com/articles/math-stories-michelle/

 

  1. Have a Debate (check out the book!)



    Who: Chris Luzniak (@CLuzniak)

    Where: https://www.luzniak.com/

     

  2. Meet the Math Minions



    Who: Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

    Where: http://www.estimation180.com/podcast.html

 

  1. Read. Laugh. Keep reading. (check out the book(s)!)



    Who: Ben Orlin (@benorlin)

    Where: https://mathwithbaddrawings.com/

 

  1. Do a Fraction Talk



    Who: Nat Banting (@NatBanting)

    Where: http://fractiontalks.com/

 

  1. Get Retro



    Who: Kurt Salisbury (@kurt_salisbury)

    Where: https://retrodesmos.com/

 

  1. Learn Quadratics in a Way You Probably Weren’t Taught



    Who: James Tanton (@jamestanton)

    Where: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIWqoCZf4dEZx8rptbiTfNf0BXz2RcAK6 

 

  1. Solve a Riddle



    Who: Dan Finkel (@mathforlove)

    Where: https://ed.ted.com/search?qs=dan+finkel

 

  1. Catch the Underground



    Who: Underground Mathematics (@nrichmaths)

    Where: https://undergroundmathematics.org/



Written by John Rowe, @MrJohnRowe

Unlearning

The beginning of the new year always causes me to pause in reflection. I’ve never been really big on New Year’s Resolutions; I tend to set goals when I need them and they rarely have anything to do with the Gregorian Calendar. Yet, I do tend to reflect in cycles, similar to quarters throughout the school year, taking stock of goals met, changes noticed, and work that is yet to be completed. 



The year of 2020 may/may not be that great for a number year challenge (h/t Sarah Carter, @Mathequalslove & Joanna Stevens, @MrsStevensMath), and we are sure to be in for a WHOLE YEAR of Hindsight is 20/20 mentions. But the cliche did make me pause, reflect, and research my past to think about some things that I have unlearned, or are continuing to unlearn. 

Maire from New Jersey (@Maire_from_NJ) shared this sentiment by posting about four different things that she has unlearned and doesn’t do any more. 

 



Following her lead, below I’m going to share a few things that I have unlearned about math education and share an example or two as to why. 

1. I don’t think education, or math education is objective, neutral, or apolitical. 



I unlearned this quite a while ago, but the nuances to which the system of education is immersed in politics will, at times, come to the forefront of the public’s view. 



An example:



Dana Goldstein (@DanaGoldstein) shared a NY Times (@nytimes) article that gave evidence of students learning different versions of history through adaptations in US History textbooks that varied by state. 



In math education, Hema Khodai (@HKhodai) shares another great example, tweeting, “Sport is as neutral as math.”



When we pretend like mathematics is apolitical, neutral, or objective because of the answer-getting process, we forget that there are people doing the mathematics, and that this perspective matters in how one approaches any problem. 



2. I don’t think that research-based teaching is the “best” answer for every student in mathematics education. 



When a fellow colleague used to tell me about a routine or practice they were using, if I disagreed with that practice, I would generally ask, “Is that a research-based practice?” 



I was not a good friend. Don’t be this person, wielding research like a weapon against others. 



I unlearned this behavior through realizing that research is also not objective, neutral, or apolitical. There is so much that we have yet to even begin to research in mathematics education, questions we don’t even know to ask. The audacity of someone (young Lauren) pretending like the research-based tools we currently have in mathematics education are even close to exhaustive is asinine. 



To help myself unlearn the idea that research-based existed on a binary, I exercised this thought-process of unknowing: 



I know there are things that I know. For example, I know how to solve quadratic functions. 



I also know there are things that I don’t know. I do not know how to play the violin. 



But there is a whole category of things that I don’t know that I don’t know. I cannot give you an example in this category because, well, I don’t know what’s in it. If I could name it, it would no longer exist in this category.  



This is now how I view research-based teaching. There is SO MUCH that we have never researched, that we don’t know we don’t know about teaching. 



What is assigned to be “effective” is often politically or financially charged. 



Ironically, our whole system of accountability is set up on this binary, with “accountability” structures and evaluations aligned with “research-based” practices, despite many issues in education worsening since this change (e.g. opportunity gap). 



This idea is best exemplified in a tweet from Jenna Laib (@jennalaib).  

 

I think the idea of research-based practices is NOT to say, well this is the best we’ve got. Rather, the idea is to say, what don’t we know or who is missing in what we do know, and learn to ask questions from there. 



3. I don’t think that the world or your students can wait for you to decide about #1 or #2. 



As math teachers, we often teach using “real-world contexts” to help our students make sense of problems. How silly would we then look if we pretended like the real world didn’t exist? Why would we pretend to have amnesia that we are, first, human beings, that live in the world? A world that at times seems so fragile.  



We’ve got to stop pretending that we know nothing (unlearning #1) and at the same time know everything (unlearning #2). 



MRenee Wilson (@MReneeWilson) tweet sums this up:

 

 

I wonder…what’s something that you unlearned in the last decade? Use the hashtag #unlearnGMD to share the things that you have unlearned with our community. Be sure to cite your source for unlearning so that we can continue to unlearn with one another.

 

Written by Lauren Baucom, @LBmathemagician

Math For Your Ears

4 Podcasts to Dive Into This Year

For those familiar with the land of podcasting, you know that podcasts are an unending world of diverse topics and incredible interviews. So it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of incredible podcasts for those of us who study, teach, and delight in the world of math. Here are 4 to get you started. (If you’re brand new to podcasts, don’t let that stop you from exploring. I’ve included a little how to dive into the world of podcasting at the end).

  1. Math Ed Podcast (www.mathedpodcast.com) Hosted by Samuel Otten of the University of Missouri. Featuring interviews with math researchers, this is a great way to learn about current studies in the field of mathematics.

 

  1. Math before Breakfast (mathbeforebreakfast.com) Hosted by teachers Tracy Proffitt and Ruth Erquiaga. With topics ranging from unpacking word problems, to interviews with authors and current educators, this podcast is like chatting with a couple of pals.

 

  1. The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast (www.cultofpedagogy.com) Hosted by Jennifer Gonzalez. This one isn’t a specific math ed podcast, but isn’t math connected to everything? This podcast includes topics about classroom and educational reform, ed tech, and teaching strategies.

  1. Teacher’s Corner (http://stenhouse.libsyn.com/website)  Did you know Stenhouse Publishers has a podcast? Check out their interviews with current and upcoming authors. 

 

New to Podcasts?

If you’re new to the world of podcasting, here’s a quick guide to get you started.



How to Listen



Listen to podcasts on any desktop or mobile device. You can download episodes from loads of places, but a few favorites are  iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify. 



In ITunes, head to the podcast page, search for the podcast by title and click on the show title in search results. 



An easy way to listen to a podcast is with an app (sometimes called a podcatcher). On an iPhone or iPad use the Podcast app already preinstalled.



1. Listen to an episode by first tapping the cloud icon to the right, allowing it to download, then tapping the episode to begin playing. 



2. Once you’re on the podcast page, press “Subscribe” if you’d like to receive a notification each time a new episode is released.

 

ios9-podcasts-app-tile

 

If you have an Android phone a few apps to check out our BeyondPod (free) and Stitcher (also free).

  1. Install your preferred app on Google Play.

  2. Search for the podcast by title.

  3. Once you’re on the podcast page, press “Subscribe” button so you’ll receive a notification each time a new episode is released!





    Written by Bethany Lockhart, @lockhartedu

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Proportional Reasoning Using a Double Number Line – 1/7/20

Proportional Reasoning Using a Double Number Line

 Presented by: Christine Lenghaus

Presented on: January 7, 2020

To think proportionally or not to think proportionally is that the question? Is everything relative? How can we scaffold proportional thinking beyond ratio tables or ‘cross multiply’ by using a double number line? In this session I will share my journey with moving students from multiplicative thinking to proportional reasoning.

Recommended Grade Level: 6-12

Hosted by: Leigh Nataro

Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Proportional-Reasoning-Using-a-Double-Number-Line

This Week at Global Math – 1/7/2020







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Proportional Reasoning Using a Double Number Line

Presented by Christine Lenghaus



To think proportionally or not to think proportionally is that the question? Is everything relative? How can we scaffold proportional thinking beyond ratio tables or ‘cross multiply’ by using a double number line? In this session I will share my journey with moving students from multiplicative thinking to proportional reasoning.

To join us at 9:00 PM EST for this webinar click here!

Next Week!

Up for Debate! Exploring Math Through Arguments

Presented by Chris Luzniak



Imagine: Debate, often a humanities staple, as an integral part of your math classes. Debate activities have been proven to increase student achievement and understanding. So let’s explore ways to incorporate debates into everyday math lessons, from warm-ups to projects! In this webinar, we will develop short activities and routines for building a classroom culture where students are empowered to discuss and debate mathematics–tomorrow!

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

You can always check out past and upcoming Global Math Department webinars. Click here for the archives or get the webinars in podcast form!

From the World of Math Ed

 

Standards-Based Teaching and Teacher Burnout

I haven’t written for the last couple of months because I faced symptoms of burnout last semester. While I did not feel an urgent need to quit teaching, I felt tension: in my workplace, in my lessons, and with my students. It felt as though I wasn’t able to bring my best self to any person, task, or space. As a person committed to doing the exact opposite, I felt like a hypocrite most days and I am still unsure how to proceed in my writing for the Global Math Department, my professional relationships, and my career.



Although the third year of teaching is when many educators of color burnout and leave the profession, I understand the causes of my potential burnout within the context of my school, subject, politics, experiences, and even through the lens of my family’s history.



My great grandmother was a teacher in Mexico, who started volunteering at 14, eventually had children of her own, and was still able to make such a positive impact on her students that many of her students attended her funeral when she passed a few years ago. I used to think of her circumstances and success to invalidate whatever I was going through and get back to work, but recently, thinking of my great grandmother has helped me reimagine my experiences as a teacher of a different generation, particularly with respect to standards. How would I teach math if I wasn’t obligated to teach to the standards? How would this affect my style, expectations, and lessons? How would these changes affect my students, how they see themselves as individuals, members of their respective communities, and as mathematicians?



In struggling schools serving students who come from communities that have historically been marginalized, the pressure to utilize standards for teaching is immense, and there’s great shame placed on teachers tied to the low percentages of students meeting the standards. José Luis Vilson (@TheJLV) recently pointed out via an #EduColor chat that these metrics were not created to ensure that every student is being served in the first place.





Still, I thought, “How dare I completely omit the standards?” Lauren Baucom (@LBmathemagician) wrote about this tension in the following thread

 

Figuring out how to play the game and play it well can lead to burnout if there’s a lot at stake, a surplus of coaches and scarcity of players, plays that are constantly changing, and rules that continually evolve. At this point, I’m wondering if I want to play the game. What do I get if I win? What do we get if we win?

It’s not been an easy choice to stay; the pressure of not fulfilling a statistic and being a consistent adult in the lives of my students directly contradicts the need to preserve myself as a radical act in a capitalistic society and to set an example for my students of healthy work boundaries. 


Luckily, I started reading for leisure as a result of Noname’s Book Club (@NonameBooks), which has exposed me to texts such as Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown (@adriennemaree), who pushes readers to think about intentionally involving pleasure in every aspect of their lives. adrienne maree brown has moved me from avoiding standards to asking the question, what does pleasure look like in a math classroom? I hadn’t realized it until writing this, but brande (@OtisBrande) had already planted this seed weeks before, with the following tweet.

 

What does a math classroom function like and feel like when students find peace, joy and balance that aren’t tied to accomplishments or rewards? This shift from struggling through the work to creating and finding joy in the work I do with students has reenergized me for the coming semester, and I hope ya’ll can share with me if anything in particular comes to mind.



By Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

🌏🌎🌍2020 Across the Globe 🌍🌎🌏

 

The world is very big. To start off 2020, I would like to suggest that (mathematics) educators become more familiar with two places, if they are not already, which are all too often portrayed negatively in much of “Western” medias: Iran and China. At the same time, I think it is important that we avoid complacency and that we continue to understand the places and spaces that we are moving through locally. In this latter direction, there has been some great work done around Chicago [in anticipation for the @NCTM Annual in Chicago] by, in particular: @dingleteach, @teachnext_tmb, and @mochamomma; sometimes under the hashtags #PlaceValue or #GhostsInTheSchoolyard, which is the book [“Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side”] written by @eveewing.

One recent example around Baltimore [written by @CMattern21 and shared by @sheathescholar]:

Iran 🇮🇷

One tweet that has been shared quite a bit is from @ddmeyer; you can find quote-retweets here [organized by newest]. Three examples I’d like to point to:

From @melvinmperalta:

From @arsinoepi [see up-thread, too]:

There are many resources being shared around Iran and its history. I’d like to point to one project, named after the late Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, that aims to connect Iranian math educators with others in the world. You can find a number of essays written by math educators that have been translated from English to Farsi; you can also find a collection of Iranian math/education textbooks in the latter link. Maybe this is a group with whom you would like to get in contact.

China 🇨🇳

ICME 14 [the 14th International Congress on Mathematical Education] will be in Shanghai in July of 2020. China has been in the US news for a variety of reasons, and I encourage readers to learn more about recent happenings. I linked to some of these in a previous GMD Newsletter, but have threaded my own correspondence here:

The thread above includes lots of acronyms that I did not previously know; besides ICME, there are: ICMI, ISC, IMU, and CFRS. The most recent correspondence at the time of this writing came from ISC President Reddy on January 2:

I know that there are many concerns around matters in China and, for example, its northwest region; everthemore, I think it relevant to point to a tweet from @MBarany about the United States:

Final “Global” comment: There are Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching that are available to K-12 educators in the United States. I have participated in a Fulbright program before [to China, in fact] but not this particular program; I hope there are teachers who will consider applying. I put together some more info in this tweet.

Besides Fulbright DA fellowships and ICME, there are other opportunities for (math) education engagement this summer; in the US, in particular, there are possibilities such as: PCMI, Desmos Fellowships, and PROMYS for Teachers. None of these programs’ deadlines has already passed for the coming summer.

We can do better as a (math) teaching/learning community around ensuring that opportunities (many of which are funded or potentially funded!) are shared more widely. Let us not find ourselves operating from scarcity mindsets, and, instead, look to making 2020 a year in which we lift up others and support them in their growth.


As always: Please let me know through whatever channels [email, @’ing, DM, carrier pigeon, etc] about happenings in/around the world of math education that you believe should be highlighted or amplified.



By Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

After Break

As we head back to work after the winter break, it’s important to remember that everyone’s winter break was different. I appreciate the thread by Alex Shevrin Venet (@AlexSVenet) with some useful reminders.

She also reminds us that not everyone celebrated Christmas over break and that this new year is the perfect time to revisit those beginning of year norms and routines. This is when new students are enrolling and those returning students need a fresh start.

There is also a related article by Kirsten Perry (@KPerry9777) on PBS NewsHour called “Don’t Assume that Every Student Had a Fun or Warm Holiday Break.” What are your favorite activities to do with the students when coming back from winter break? 

 

By Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

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