This Week at Global Math – 9/8/20







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Curated By Chase Orton @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions

No webinar tonight. Join us for our next webinar Tuesday, September 15th.

Using DeltaMath for Distance Learning

Presented by Zach Korzyk

DeltaMath has long been a free tool used to give automatic and detailed feedback to students for math practice on over 1400 different math problem types. Given the current health crisis, this immediate feedback is more important than ever. This session will cover the basics of creating assignments and viewing student results. We will also discuss the newer features of DeltaMath Plus that give the teachers a lot more flexibility in creating assignments: attaching videos to assignments, creating an online test and writing your own questions on DeltaMath.

To register for next week’s webinar, click 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!

You can also visit our new YouTube Channel to find videos of past sessions and related content.

From the Writing Team

Relationships in a Virtual Space 

As the Fall 2020 school semester blooms, my Twitter feed has been full of different educators mentioning different aspects of teaching during this pandemic. Mostly, it has been teachers airing their frustrations with virtual learning. And rightfully so. Teaching is already a tough job without the added layer of navigating and learning the virtual world. Every time I read a Tweet about how to take virtual attendance or students not turning on their cameras while in a Zoom class, all I can think about is one word – relationship.

Rita Pierson said in her Ted Talk way back in 2013, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” This quote has stuck with me over the years. Over the past few years, sometimes when I was working with teachers, it would pop into my mind. Now, during 2020, I’ve been thinking about it in context of making sure students know they are accepted and that they matter.
 
A person I just recently started following on Twitter, Jennifer Binis (@JennBinis) is the master of #PairedTexts. She always has a way of putting two tweets or articles together that are related. The way she does it always has me thinking and learning. Taking that idea, here are two tweets I saw individually that have me really learning and thinking. I thought they might make good #PairedTexts.
 
The first tweet I saw was from Jose Vilson (@TheJLV) reacting to a news story in Houston where a teacher was put on leave for posting Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ posters in her virtual classroom.

 

Then just the other day I saw this thread from Idil Abdulkadir (@Idil_A_) where she is discussing her experiences with these types of posters and what they mean to the individuals we are trying to welcome by posting them.

Both of these Tweets still have me thinking about that one word again – relationship. Maya Angelou has this quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
 
One last tweet that I saw this past week was from Howie Hua (@howie_hua). In this thread Howie is sharing some things he has been doing in the virtual setting that his students say they appreciate. Perhaps within this thread is an idea for you to help with that one word – relationship.
 

by Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

 

Who will you speak for & who will speak for you? [@benjamindickman]
 

[Preliminary note: Shout out to Christelle Rocha who is now an “alum” of the GMD Newsletters. Her contributions are worth re-reading through the GMD website; in some sense, her work speaks for itself. In another, I’m happy to speak personally: Christelle’s writing is excellent, and has strengthened the newsletter team that I was a part of last year. Her contributions to the GMD Solidarity Statement were also nontrivial. And: This does mean we need to find another GMD Newsletter writer. Last week, we had one guest contributor on Hollaback!; this week, another group contributes on #TMWYF. I think I have located someone to join this newsletter team thereafter; we will see in 3 weeks!

The title of this entry is a reference to this piece of writing.

About two months ago, Dave Kung tweeted a link to an AMS blog post:

Last week, Ian Agol linked to a Nautilus piece in the following thread:
 
Notice in the second tweet from Agol’s thread that there is a mention of mathematical objects named for a (literal, enthusiastic) nazi. Unlike the Nautilus piece, the AMS blog post mentions Oswald T’s affiliation with nazis quite clearly. This all got me thinking about Laurie Rubel’s tweet from earlier in the summer:
 
What do you think was the response to Agol’s mention of Oswald T the nazi? Here are 4 sample responses (names blurred other than the, IMO, very reasonable suggestion from David Savitt):
Oh.

Oh?
Oh!

Ohhh.

Well, I will go out on a branch here and say: Stop using nazi names & keep speaking out against nazis. This generalizes to other hate groups, too. Speak out! And do it now.

by Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

#TMWYF: Talk Math with Your Friends 

In March 2020, in response to a sense of loss of both mathematics and community, we created an online math colloquium series we call Talk Math With Your Friends (#TMWYF). Our series features presentations on mathematics, math education, and other topics of interest to the broader math community. We have featured talks on research exposition, course design, pedagogical techniques, mathematical outreach, and more. As organizers, our goal is to cultivate a lively, friendly, interactive environment, and so each talk includes a few “featured friends” who remain unmuted to interact directly with the speaker during the talk. Some talks have utilized breakout rooms, polls, and other forms of interactivity. Many of the talks have been recorded and are available on the TMWYF YouTube channel.

Here’s a brief summary of just three highlights from TMWYF:

  • Disrupting Settler Colonial Mindsets in Mathematics (September 3): In the most recent talk, Dr. Belin Tsinnajinnie (@LoboWithACause) of Santa Fe Community College spoke about how ongoing Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in mathematics perpetuate the settler colonial mindsight by seeing Native people as resources to extract, rather than recognizing the already existing mathematics within or serving the goals of these communities.

 

  • Designing and Deploying “Math that Matters” (May 14): Professor Jessica Libertini (@DrMathL) of Virginia Military Institute spoke about a curriculum redesign project for mathematics courses at her institution. The attendees at TMWYF were able to participate in several group activities from the “Math that Matters” course.
  • From Clocks to Categories (June 25): Andrew Stacey (@mathforge) describes himself as “Mathematician: formally academic (differential topology), currently educational (secondary UK).” One of his aims is to bridge the gap between school mathematics and the mathematical ideas typically introduced in graduate-level coursework. In his talk, he showed how category theory can be accessible to students even early in their mathematical studies and how that perspective helps him and his secondary students.

 
We invite everyone to attend and enjoy TMWYF. At present, we meet over Zoom each Thursday afternoon 12:30PM Pacific/3:30PM Eastern. Information about our upcoming talks, including our Zoom link, abstracts of talks, and speaker information, is available on our website.
 
Additionally, if you have an idea for a talk, please send in an abstract! We welcome talks on any topic for a mathematically interested audience. We particularly encourage submissions from members of underrepresented communities and also from early career mathematicians. You can submit abstracts on our website.
 
The organizing team of TMWYF hopes you’ll join us. Our next talk on September 10th (3:30-4:30 Eastern, 12:30-1:30 Pacific) features Jessie Oehrlin (@numberdance), applied mathematics graduate student at Columbia University

  • Using Climate Models to Understand Stratosphere-Troposphere Interaction

    Earth’s atmosphere is a multi-scale, coupled, nonlinear system. We care about everything from clouds here and now to global temperature in 2100. The state of the atmosphere depends on ocean, land, and ice conditions as well as external factors like emissions. Nonlinearity means that information from initial conditions is near-useless after two weeks. And the atmosphere is really hard to do experiments on. It’s great. I’ll talk briefly about how different kinds of weather and climate models capture various temporal and spatial scales, with predictability coming from different sources. Then I’ll focus on the bottom two layers of the atmosphere, the troposphere and the stratosphere: how they interact, why their interaction affects our winter climate, and how we use models to answer our questions about them.

 
The Zoom link for this talk, and a calendar of future events, can be found on our website.

This article written by the current organizers of TMWYF:

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This Week at Global Math – 4/21/20







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Creating an Inclusive Environment Using Project Based Learning in Middle School Mathematics

Presented by Rhonda Hewer

Is there a way for students to engage in the mathematics outlined in the curriculum in a relevant, practical way that will improve understanding and retention? Answer: YES! In this webinar the audience will be exposed to the components of a quality project based learning program in math through the narrative of the geodesic dome project. It will be evident how this type of “instruction” supports diverse cultural and learning needs of the classroom while digging into rich mathematical thinking at a level appropriate for all learners. The project involves multiple strands from the mathematics curriculum while developing global competencies of collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking and citizenship. Register now to hear how this group of Grade 8 students developed a strong understanding of math by using their toolbox of strategies to solve practical problems for an authentic audience.

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

Next Week 

Utilizing Math History to Embrace Equity, Failure, and Authentic Problem Solving in Leadership Communities

Presented by Sunil Singh

In order to move forward in math education with clarity, conviction, and passion for equity, we need to have a broader lens. Specifically, one that looks back at our past and the multitude of interwoven stories from thousands of years of global contributions. The thematic development of mathematics, with all of its historic struggles, human resilience, and collective journeys, must be braided into our equity goals and mandates for the math leaders of today and 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

Coronavirus by the Numbers

Citing many statistics, Nikole Hannah-Jones (‪@nhannahjones‬) recently wrote a thread about how Black Americans are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and why this is the case.

Nikole ends the thread with the following statement: “Being black in America, a country built and maintained on a system of racial caste, kills. This virus is NOT the great equalizer, it is simply exploiting the grave inequalities that have always existed and hastening an early death that was coming for so many black folks anyway. If it is unacceptable now, it has to be unacceptable when we conquer this virus. And I hope we as journalists, we as society, will stop putting forth notions that a force — good or bad — can be equal in a vastly unequal society.”

To make these inequalities visible, Melvin Peralta (‪@melvinmperalta‬) shared his art on twitter which contrasts COVID-19 cases by race/ethnicity with the population by race/ethnicity in his current home state of Michigan.

Drawing on data from APM Research Lab, Melvin shared images of various U.S. states, comparing the state’s population by race/ethnicity to its COVID-related deaths.

Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

DO, WATCH, READ
 

My colleagues and I have begun using a simple structure during this sudden, pandemic-induced transition to remote learning. I will try to do the same with this newsletter, by suggesting one item to DO, one to WATCH, and one to READ. I have tweeted a longer description of this structure if you’re interested in learning more about it.

DO:

Fawn Nguyen tweeted out this puzzle with a request to avoid spoilers:

WATCH:

Marian Dingle and Jose Vilson are co-leading a webinar for NCTM’s #NCTM100 sessions that I invite you to register for and watch two days from now, on Thursday April 23:

Recordings will be available at a later point if this precise scheduling does not work for you. Check out NCTM’s 100 Days of PD site for more!

READ:

Check out this opinion piece in Forbes from John Ewing, the president of Math for America, who tweeted out a link:

DO, WATCH, and READ whatever you have the bandwidth for, even/especially if it is nothing at all: Remember to be kind to yourself.

Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

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This Week at Global Math – 3/31/2020







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Supporting Math from Outside the Classroom

Presented by Matt Vaudrey

We’re responsible for the math learning of all students, even when Math Education isn’t our daily practice anymore. As a math teacher, then instructional coach and consultant, then an administrator, Matt Vaudrey has gathered some insights. In a quick hour, we’ll:

  • Offer math teachers sentence frames to demand the support they need (while being open to needs they might not notice)
  • Offer coaches some practices (and case studies) to support math education when you don’t have any skin in the game.
  • Translate some values, so teachers and teacher-leaders can both speak a common language as we improve math education for all students.

Includes lifetime support, puns, and probably a Britney Spears reference.

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

Next Week 

Six (Un)Productive Practices in Mathematics Teaching

Presented by Juli Dixon

Juli Dixon reveals six ways we undermine efforts to increase student achievement and then she goes on to share what to do about them. These teaching practices are commonplace and often required by administrators. Many of them may have been generated from practices in English language arts (ELA) and might work very well in that content area. As a result of this session, you will understand that they are often unproductive when applied during mathematics instruction and may even lead to issues of access and equity. This session helps you to see why these practices are unproductive and also assists you in generating a plan for what to do about them.

Participants will:

· Make sense of six (un)productive mathematics teaching practices;
· Explore reasons for why the practices exist; and
· Learn productive strategies to counteract the madness ☺.

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

One Page & One Puzzle

In an effort to minimize information, I offer here only two pointers.

The first is a one page note from Marian Dingle that was just published in NCTM’s Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12. You can find a direct link, without a paywall, here. It’s worth a read! As tweeted by Cathery Yeh:

The second is to toy with the puzzles Catriona Shearer has continued to churn out; don’t forget to seek joy – even in trying times. A recent puzzle tweeted by Catriona:

I hope you all are caring for yourselves and your communities, big or small, to whatever extent is manageable. And I’m hopeful that we will emerge better from these times.

By Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

Two Resources

The district I work for is not doing distance learning because of equity issues, but we are trying to keep some learning happening while at home. One idea was to create print documents with a few interesting problems, games, and/or challenge type problems. One resource that was particularly helpful for grades 6-12 was this spreadsheet from Illustrative Mathematics (@IllustrateMath). They also have a very helpful blog post with a list of resources for caregivers at home who need access to math learning for all grades. Here’s the tweet

The other resource that was also interesting and helpful was the hashtag #tmwyk, which stands for “talk math with your kid.” This hashtag always held my interest before, but now it’s even more meaningful as parents are at home talking math with their kids for a different reason. Highly recommend you check it out if you need ideas of how to engage your small people while we are at home together.

Also, if you are not currently an NCTM (@NCTM) member, they are offering free memberships that expire at the end of April. This will give you access to all the resources on their site. Here is the link to sign up: https://www.nctm.org/freeresources/

Stay safe. Wash your hands.

By Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

Something for Everyone

Read what you need.

Something Humorous: I declare Howie Hua (@howie_hua) as our resident mathy comedian during this pandemic. 

Something Positive: Annie Perkins’ (@anniek_p) #MathArtChallenge has adorned my twitter feed with new, beautiful math art every day. Take a look on her website for more information.

Something Helpful: Desmos has granted us the ability to give students written feedback within a Desmos Activity! Students can see your comments live, and, if they were signed in, students may return to the activity to review your feedback. The des-blog also featured a post from Desmos Fellow, Audrey McLaren (@a_mcsquared), about connecting with students in distance learning.

Something Honest: When my school district shut down for shelter-in-place, teaching mathematics was the least of my worries because my mind immediately went into survival mode (which may or may not have been a result of recently having read Octavia Butler’s Parable series). The two factors maintaining my enthusiasm to teach are those students who still have the capacity to engage in mathematics and are looking to me to facilitate this engagement—and my newfound instructional freedom.

Something Political: In the previous two weeks, GMD writers Lauren Baucom (@LBmathemagician) and Melvin Peralta (@melvinmperalta) encouraged us to be critical consumers and producers of data, and in the same vein, if you have the time and the means, consider who needs your business most.

Something Hopeful: My neighborhood teacher friends reminded me that we need not wait passively to return to schools and systems that have long been inequitable and harmful to our students. We can use this unique time to imagine what we want our schools to be for students and our communities.

Stay hopeful,
Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

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This Week at Global Math – 3/10/2020







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Meaningful Student Math Reflections That Lead to Action

Presented by Matt Coaty

Students are used to the cycle of participating, studying, testing and then repeating the process all over again. Ending this cycle is a challenge, but it’s possible to give students opportunities to intentionally reflect on their progress, make adjustments, and set actionable goals related to math skills that need strengthening.

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

Next Week!

Creating a Thinking Classroom: From the VNPS and VRG to the Lessons to the Aha Moments

Presented by Jennifer Fairbanks

Take a look at how to set up your classroom with vertical whiteboards and visual random grouping. Explore how to incorporate your current lessons into having students working at the whiteboards. Learn how to create and find problems that will allow a classroom flow to lead to practice time, mistakes being uncovered, classroom discussions, and exciting discoveries.

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

Slow Reveal Graphs, Racially Expansive Histories, #SidewalkMath, and nCov1

Jenna Laib [@jennalaib] has continued to release examples of Slow Reveal Graphs:

I especially appreciate the one from fellow GMD Newsletter contributor Melvin Peralta [@melvinmperalta] that can be found in an earlier blog post and on google slides

In other news, I was impressed and excited to see the @MathforAmerica write-up on Master Teacher Nasriah Morrison’s co-facilitated Professional Learning Team with MfA Master Teacher Jae Berlin called Mathematicians and Scientists Who Look Like Me: Teaching Racially Expansive Histories:

Further information is included in a PDF (also available at the link above) called Racially Expansive STEM Histories: Resources. (I am working on encouraging Nas to become active on Twitter!)

Finally, two things that I’ve been working on and disseminating via Twitter, etc. First, I teach a class called Problem Solving & Posing in which we engaged with #sidewalkmath earlier in the school year. A student in our class has a wonderful write-up [I’m biased, but judge for yourself!] about what we did and the Sidewalk Movement, along with additional resources, now available online as a News Story.

Second, I have been trying to keep a thread of (mathy) items related to the coronavirus. Teachers play an important role in shaping how young people come to understand and process current events; for this particular item, the uncertainty around the virus itself as well as the potential global/local ramifications make it all that much more important for educators to be intentional about engaging with reliable information in a responsible way. The parent thread is linked below, and continues to be updated; I will be glad to receive other pointers for worthwhile additions!

In the weeks to come, I expect that matters will change rather significantly; some of these changes will be pedagogical (e.g. if prolonged distance learning is implemented) and others will be supportive in ways that aren’t based in acquiring content knowledge (e.g. helping students to maintain a sense of structure). Those who use Twitter and read the Global Math Department newsletter almost certainly possess a higher degree of “digital literacy” than a randomly selected educator; I hope that we can come together to collaborate creatively despite what may be very serious constraints. A pandemic is as good a reason as any to recommit to acting in ways that are best for our students, our families, and ourselves.

By Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

Assessments, Reflections, and Student Thinking

Aristotle Ou (@Camboyano) shared his end of chapter reflection practice on twitter, which requires students to revisit topics through summarizing prompts in College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) known as Learning Logs. 

This post kicked off numerous conversations for me in the last few weeks about how we make time for and respond to students communicating their own thinking and how this practice promotes learning for other students.

First, the math coach at my school site shared a guiding document that was adapted from The Education Trust (@EdTrust), Equity In Motion, Checking In: Are Math Assignments Measuring Up (April 2018). Since using this guiding document, our math department has created more opportunities for student communication on our assessments, which The Education Trust notes are underrepresented in math assignments in the graphic below.

At the most recent Math for America Los Angeles Professional Development, Master Teacher Fellows presented on how to support re-engagement with returned assessments.

One fellow begins re-engagement by contrasting a correct response next to an incorrect response, which allows students to see possible misconceptions. Following this exercise, students look at incorrect sample work, discuss errors and misconceptions, and write reflections and advice for the student in the sample work. The fellow also provided data from before and after this exercise which showed an increase in scores for most students. While the fellow noted that there is not a one-size-fits all solution, the practices of analyzing, discussing, and writing about common misconceptions in their classroom are what have moved students toward stronger understanding.

Another fellow presented on Two Structures for Looking at Student Work by Annie Fetter (@MFAnnie) at CMC-North 2019, where participants were asked to #NoticeWonder about student work, and generate questions for these students to which participants did not already know the answer. Among other benefits, these prompts honor student mathematical thinking, and challenge teachers to question their own assumptions about student thinking.

These discussions and resources are shifting my mindset around assessments from “What are students able to do, and what can I do to move them to where I want them to be?” to “What are my students communicating? Does the task allow me to understand what students are communicating? Am I prepared to understand? What is my responsibility when I understand student thinking?” 

By Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

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This Week at Global Math – 3/3/2020







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Edited By Nate Goza  @thegozaway

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Catalyzing Change: Engaging in Critical Conversations and Taking Action to Empower and Engage Our Students in Mathematics

Presented by Trena Wilkerson

Participants will learn about NCTM’s 2020 Catalyzing Change in Early Childhood/Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Initiating Critical Conversations that bridges the conversation begun with the 2018 Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics. It identifies and addresses critical challenges in Pk-12 mathematics to ensure that each and every student has the mathematical experiences necessary to engage successfully in mathematics. We will explore the 4 key recommendations: 1) broadening the purposes of learning mathematics; 2) creating equitable system structures mathematics; 3) implementing equitable instructional practices that transform the teaching and learning experience for Pk-12 students; and 4) developing a deep understanding of mathematics, by examining implications, challenges, and potential actions—all with a goal toward cultivating a positive math identity and strong sense of math agency in each and every student.

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

Next Week 

Meaningful Student Math Reflections That Lead to Action

Presented by Matt Coaty

Students are used to the cycle of participating, studying, testing and then repeating the process all over again. Ending this cycle is a challenge, but it’s possible to give students opportunities to intentionally reflect on their progress, make adjustments, and set actionable goals related to math skills that need strengthening.

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

A Constant Source of Trauma
By: Hema Khodai

At the end of 2019, I was concussed. At the start of 2020, I was ill for weeks with what I now lovingly refer to as the “death flu” (in reality, a long-lasting virus with the generous parting gift of chronic laryngitis). I’ve missed writing for two editions of the GMD Newsletter and truth be told am struggling to write this piece. As the weeks passed and symptoms of illness lingered, I struggled to make sense of needing increasing amounts of rest daily and denied the chronic fatigue and pain that kept me from my usual self-care routines. I had little interest or energy to reflect on my mental health as an IBPOC educator. 
 
Whether it be in the work of being in solidarity with teachers unions across the province, preparing professional learning for colleagues to disrupt harmful educational practices in the teaching and learning of mathematics, advocating for humanizing mathematics experiences for our students, their families and communities, or showing up to witness the continued oppression of Black communities and Indigenous peoples, I and other educators are living and operating within systems of oppression. A constant source of trauma.
 
In the release, A socioeconomic portrait of Canada’s Black population (Statistics Canada, February 2020), a heading reads “Black youth have higher educational aspirations than other youth, but lower levels of educational attainment.” This release summarizes the findings of two articles produced as a result of continuing efforts by Statistics Canada to provide a statistical profile of the Black population in Canada. We work in and for a system that has and continues to fail Black children and their families. A constant source of trauma.

By the time you read this, the City of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) will have held its inaugural #BlackMentalHealthDay to raise awareness and increase action to address the impacts of anti-Black racism on mental wellness. Events were held in spaces across the city to drive productive dialogue and acknowledgment of the need for systemic change.

In January, the City acknowledged in an official news release, “Anti-Black racism is a historic, pervasive and systematic issue in Toronto.” This is not news to any educator who has truly served Black children in the Greater Toronto Area. Our District School Boards perpetuate systemic racism. A constant source of trauma.

The Calgary Journal published an article, Decolonizing mental health: The importance of an oppression-focused mental health system in February of 2020.

This particular quote from the article resonated deeply with me,

“We say that somebody is struggling because they visually are depressed or they’re going through their individual grief or individual struggle and we don’t often think about pain in the context of historical forces or social structures or cultural dynamics”.

 

Our schools are teeming with initiatives for student and staff wellness; everything from colouring pages to strawberry-infused water. How are we addressing the root causes of oppression and racism on the mental health of children and adults alike? What are the initiatives that address the cognitive dissonance of folx who observe harm inflicted on children and communities? 

How are we disrupting the discourse of mental health and illness that demonizes certain communities? What are we doing to ensure schools are not a constant source of trauma?

Mimi Khúc asks, “How do we disrupt those systems of power to have people be able to claim their own knowledge and experiences?”

All of this and we haven’t even considered the work of serving children in special education programs.

In From the margin to the center: A framework for rehumanizing mathematics education for students with dis/abilities (Yeh, Ellis, Mahmood; February 2020), the authors share a culturally responsive and relational framework that combines the following three concepts to “inform a rethinking of dis/ability”:

  • historical-political awareness: the historical and political use of school mathematics as colonized by Western and ableist norms;
  • mathematics as cultural and relational: mathematics as a product of human thought and interaction learned through activity;
  • dis/ability as a cultural identity: the “complex embodiment” (Siebers, 2013) of dis/ability as both corporal and social has implications for notions of mathematical activity and mathematical knowledge.

 
They pose the question, “What approaches might we take to the study of mathematics education for students with dis/abilites that better value their ways of being and becoming in the world?”
 
Every day of Black History Month 2020 served as a reminder that educational institutions are a constant source of trauma. What are you doing to ensure your mathematics classroom isn’t?
 

@HKhodai

Vulnerable Moments: Opening Your Classroom to Feedback
Written by Brette Garner
 

Seeking feedback on teaching can be pretty vulnerable. When we invite someone into our classroom, they could see and hear any number of things — the good, the bad, and the ugly. They might notice things that we don’t like, including some things that we weren’t even aware of. Students might do something unexpected, and the lesson might not go as well as we’d like. 
 
Teaching is inherently complex and uncertain: Each lesson entails countless interactions between students and the teacher. This can make observations and feedback intimidating, even if we know that it’s also necessary for us to learn and grow as professionals.
 
For the last few years, Project SIGMa has been partnering with secondary math teachers to: 1) Ask what questions they want feedback on; 2) Videotape their classrooms, including students’ small-group conversations; 3) Review the video with their questions in mind; and 4) Provide feedback around their questions. 
 
Basically, we’ve been asking teachers to get SUPER vulnerable with us.
 
When we interviewed teachers about their experiences being videotaped, a number of folks talked about vulnerability, and some even mentioned Brené Brown’s work. Brown is a psychologist who studies shame, that painful feeling that you are flawed and unworthy of belonging and connection (I am bad). She distinguishes this from guilt, which is a feeling of discomfort about your actions, thoughts, or circumstances (I did something bad). The difference is important, since there’s a lot of psychology research that shows how guilt can be a motivator for change, while shame inhibits change. If you did something bad (guilt), you can make amends or change future behavior. But if you are bad (shame), you try to hide your mistakes and avoid change — you might even think it’s not possible to change.
 
After diving into the Brené Brown corpus — including Dare to Lead, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection — and revisiting our interviews with teachers, I noticed four mindset shifts that can help teachers be more open and vulnerable to feedback. And even though these were themes that came out of interviews with our partner teachers, they’re also things that I have experienced as a teacher and teacher educator. If these resonate with you, I recommend checking out Brown’s books or TED Talks.
 
Unlearning perfectionism: Try healthy striving
As teachers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves by trying to be good — or even perfect! — every day. To some teachers, observations (especially with video) felt like being under a microscope, where every flaw was magnified so that their shortcomings were on display. But perfectionism is a trap: There is no such thing as a perfect lesson, much less a perfect teacher. We all have good days and bad days, and we can always tinker with and improve good (and bad) lessons.
 
Instead of perfectionism, we should try healthy striving, recognizing that reflection and growth are natural parts of teaching. Classrooms are always changing, so we’ll never be “done” learning. Furthemore, every choice we make will be good in some ways and bad in others — so all we can do is strive to be thoughtful about our choices, trying to do the best we can, with what we have, where we are. 
 
Resisting gremlins: Try self-compassion
Brown writes about shame tapes — the voice in the back of your head that keeps repeating something you feel shameful about — and calls them “gremlins.” These gremlins ruminate on that one mistake you made. They overemphasize critical feedback and downplay positive feedback. After observations, some teachers said that they kept worrying about “all the things that went wrong” and second-guessing themselves. Those were the gremlins talking.
 
But it’s important to remember that gremlins exaggerate and lie! To combat them, we should try self-compassion. Treat yourself with the kindness and empathy that you would extend to others. This includes reality-checking the gremlins — they’re probably lying — and acknowledging positive and negative feedback together. We wouldn’t tell a student to focus on the 95% correct at the expense of the 5% incorrect, and we shouldn’t do the same to ourselves, either.
 
Stop avoiding: Shine light on what is darkest
When we feel ashamed of something, we tend to avoid talking about it or getting help to fix it. We might tell ourselves that “that one class” isn’t going great, but it’s a lost cause (there’s no point in trying to fix it). We might even deflect blame onto the students, their parents, or external circumstances. And almost certainly, we avoid asking for feedback. 
 
But if something isn’t going well, that’s even more of a reason to seek feedback from a trusted colleague. Feedback lets us shine light on the dark spots, which is the first step in finding a solution. This allows us to reflect on our own part in the situation and develop the skills and strategies that will help us grow as professionals. A thought partner can help us think outside the box to come up with a new approach, or reframe the problem in a more productive way. If it matters, it’s worth leaning in to the discomfort.
 
Building trust: Empathy supports connection
Brown writes about the importance of being vulnerable with those who have earned your trust. Trust is absolutely vital for seeking and giving feedback, but there’s a chicken-and-egg problem: How do you trust someone who hasn’t earned it? But how can they earn trust if you don’t give them a chance? Over and over in our interviews, teachers said that the risk of vulnerability was worth it because we (Project SIGMa team members) worked to earn their trust.

We built trust in a number of ways, but perhaps the most important was empathy. By listening to teachers, withholding judgment, and recognizing where they’re coming from, we built connections with our partner teachers. Importantly, we approached the relationship as a partnership, where we each brought different (but complementary) expertise and experience to the table. Finding a colleague who will respect your perspective and expertise is crucial for building a supportive environment for feedback.

Brette Garner, University of Denver

Educational Justice Analogies

Drawing inspiration from a recent GMD article by Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha), which was about coded language in education, I’d like to share a Twitter thread by Paul Gorski (@pgorski) in which he asks for “your best educational justice analogy”.

In the image above, he shares the analogy “Grit is to structural racism as sunscreen is to climate change.” That’s dope.
 
Ms Dillon (@MsDhillon6A) shares the following: “Privilege = Changing lanes without ever having to check your blind spots”.
 
Gwendolyn Donley (@gwen_donley) says “Thoughts and prayers are to trauma as a can of La Croix is to a forest fire”.
 
“Rebecca is bad at sleep” (@beccatheteacher) shares “Good intentions are to justice as flapping your arms is to flying”.
 
What’s your best educational justice analogy in mathematics education? Tweet out to @GlobalMathDept and @melvinmperalta for your thoughts. Here’s mine: “Objectivity is to a standardized math test as beauty is to the cover page of Vogue”.
 

Millionaires and Billionaires

The recent push by Michael Bloomberg to be the Democrat front runner in the upcoming U.S. presidential election has opened up debates about the difference between being a millionaire (e.g. Bernie Sanders) and a billionaire (e.g. Michael Bloomberg). Dr. Courtney Gibbons (@virtualcourtney), among others, posted a great metaphor that frames the difference in terms of peas. It’s a great use of mathematics to help students and adults truly grasp the difference and feel the levels of inequality that persist in our society. It also highlights how difficult it is to reason about large numbers but also how important (critical) numeracy can be toward helping us become better informed citizens.


 

In the image above: “If 1 pea represents a million dollars, then most of us are in the 0-1 pea range. Bernie has a few peas. Meanwhile Bloomberg has over *3 liters of peas*”.

@melvinmperalta

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This Week at Global Math – 2/18/20







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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No Webinar Tonight!

Instead, take a moment and check out a past webinar you might have missed. You can find them all by clicking here.

Next Week!

Rightfully Positioning Mathematics in Integrated STE(A)M Instruction

Presented by Sarah Bush

Each and every student should have access to meaningful and authentic mathematics-rich integrated STE(A)M learning opportunities. Explore how to inspire students through transformative learning experiences that rightfully positions mathematics as an essential component to solving problems to make sense of and improve their world. Leave with concrete ways to plan next steps in your classroom, school, or district!

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

Guide to Coded Language in Education
 

Subversive Thread, a group of artists and educators, shared Volume I of their Guide to Coded Language in Education in a series of images on instagram. In the post caption, they write:

Academia has an aversion to language that precisely names oppression. Maybe it’s because it is largely controlled by wealthy, conservative white men (84 percent of full-time college professors are white and 60 percent of those are men). The stats for elementary and high school #teachers isn’t better ― 80 percent white.   

Where white people don’t dominate totally, #academia is still full of liberals who too often trade accurately naming oppression for institutional clout. In this Eurocentric, male, and capitalist education system, radical BI&POC are left in a constant cycle of #learning “new” language to describe problems we’ve lived through and named for generation.   

But we think it is important to push back against the palatable renaming of our oppression. So today, we wanted to cut through the bullshit. In the traditions of Black, Brown, and Indigenous radical thought, we will say aloud the names of our oppression when we see it or experience it: We will say this is white supremacy; this is anti-Blackness; this is cishetero patriarchy; this is ableism; this is empire.   

We start with Vol. I of our “Guide to Coded Language in Education.” This series is meant to sift through some of the jargon we hear in education spaces. It is a work in progress. If any of these slides feel unclear, if you would like to see more writing on a topic, please post below and tell us. There is only so much we can convey in a single slide on Instragram and we welcome the need to bring more nuance to this discussion.       

We also invite you to share below some words or phrases that you’ve experienced which decenter naming how a system of oppression shows up in education.     

As always, thank you for reading. Love and power.”

Similarly, as I caption the images below, I invite you to consider how these words might be coded for our comfort in working within oppressive systems, and how to instead name these systems.

In the image above: “Grit” is a coded term for saying a child survived the conditions of white supremacy, anti-blackness & capitalism without having to name those systems of oppression directly— or their correlative effects of young people of color. “Black, brown [& indigenous] [students] don’t need to learn grit, they need schools to stop being racist.” -Andre Perry.

In the image above: “Under-Represented Minority” BI&POC are not minorities—we are the world’s global majority, we are only “minorities” within the borders of europe’s colonial projects, and we are only under-represented to the extent that those projects must continue legacies of genocde, slavery, theft & empire to maintain control of their borders. White settlers must ask themselves who would they be without their borders? 

In the image above: “Academic Rigor” rigor itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing—but when combined with grading it becomes a tool to create classroom meritocracy. In this way rigor is wielded as an extension of the carceral state, to punish struggling students by creating failure where growth might otherwise exist. This cycle of stratifying students into successes and failures is necessary to maintain classist and racist institutions like the school to prison pipeline.

 

In the image above: “College Ready” The Bar for “college readiness” centers white students’ educational experiences because it requires access to institutional support that most majority BI&POC districts have been systematically cut off from (racist zoning laws, redistricting, & education policy that ties school funding to property taxes). Here “college readiness” becomes a means to trap predominantly poor BI&POC students into remediation and exhaust their financial aid before they can graduate.

In the image above: “Achievement Gap” There is no “achievement gap.” There is a predictable dispartiy in learning outcomes between well and poorly resourced communities. Calling it an achievement gap obfuscates the generational wealth and access afforded to white students, creating an equitable education system means decentering racist outcomes like test scores & grades and shifting resources to meet historically exploited communities’ material and socio-emotional needs.

In the image above: “Under Resourced” is a way of describing the historical exploitation of BI&POC communities as happenstance rather than as coordinated campaigns of disenfranchisement, marginalization, and terror. It also positions the current distribution of resources and access as something that can be fixed with some simple policy realignment in an otherwise well-intentioned system. It does not name the intentions of white supremacy, capitalism, or empire.

In the image above: “Growth Mindset” If educators teaching “growth mindset” do not take young people’s environment into account, particularly, youth experiencing white supremacy, anti-blackness poverty, patriarchy, and ableism, then they are engaged in glorified victim blaming. Educators should remember that BI&POC experience systemic oppression and are more likely to develop a “fixed mindset” because they are far more likely to be punished for their mistakes.

In the image above: “Perfect Attendance” is the normalized pressure for students to operate as machines rather than human beings who get sick, who navigate trauma, who experience fear, loss and precarity, or who require support navigating access needs like nutrition and transportation. Perfect attendance is how schools begin to coerce students into internalized ableism and model capitalist work ethic.

In the image above: “Adversity Score” The “Adversity Score” was College Board’s attempt to account for inequity in students’ educational experiences without having seriously question the efficacy of its test, the SAT—or how the SAT itself perpetuates racial inequity. But attempts to quantify BI&POC students’ experiences with systemic oppression into a single, numerical value is utilitarian, positivist, and the institutionalization of oppression olympics. 

By Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

John Berray

The loss of John Berray [@johnberray] has rippled across – among other areas – the online math education community. You can find a number of tweets/posts in remembrance by searching his handle and organizing by recent; or just click here.

I’d like to highlight three of these tweets:

The first is from Tiffany Jokerst and re-asks that relevant stories be sent to the email address in the image tweeted below (along with a request for amplification):

 

The second is from Mary Bourassa, which contains a link to Berray’s blog post, Bottle of Dreams:

The third is a link to Berray’s Ignite Talk from @CAMathCouncil:  

By Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

All Names Matter

Desmos (@Desmos) teaching faculty Faith Moynihan (@_faithmoynihan) wrote a blog post and Christopher Danielson (@trianglemancsd) brought it to my attention with this tweet:

In the article Faith talks about how Desmos’ process of selecting names for their problems became more intentional as they realized the set of names they were originally using was unintentionally biased. So they established guiding principles which has them including names that are culturally and gender inclusive and names that are not distracting from learning.

Reading this post reminded me in some ways of tweets I had seen previously about the importance of the pronunciation of a person’s name. I first thought of this tweet from Bobson Wong (@bobsonwong). If you get a chance to watch the video he is retweeting from Hasan Minhaj (@hasanminhaj), you most definitely should. It is worth the 3 ½ minutes.

Other great resources for the importance of pronunciation of a person’s name include the following: 

By Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

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This Week at Global Math – 1/28/20







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Tonight!

Using Desmos’ Snapshots Tool to Deepen Equitable Classroom Discourse

Presented by Allison Krasnow

This workshop will explore how to integrate Desmos’ Snapshots tool with any curriculum to deepen discourse, differentiation and formative assessment. We’ll examine how to amplify every student’s voice in a classroom to create more equitable participation. The 5 practices for productive mathematical discussion include: anticipating, monitoring, selecting, sequencing, and connecting. Using Desmos’ Snapshots tool, you can develop a more robust understanding of how to infuse these 5 practices into any lesson.

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

Next Week!

Meeting the Need of Introverts in the Collaborative Classroom

Presented by Megan Dubee

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 Extrusion, Solids of Revolution

To register early for this workshop, click 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

Number Strings
 
Lately, I have been digging into a variety of math language routines. So when I saw Robert Kaplinsky’s (@robertkaplinsky) tweet about Number Strings I got excited to explore this resource.

You might be asking yourself, “what is a number string?” According to the numberstrings.com website, “A number string is a set of related math problems, crafted to support students to construct big ideas about mathematics and build their own strategies (Fosnot & Dolk 2002).” Dig into this valuable resource more if you are interested!

If you are interested in more routines, check out the website Fostering Math Practices. It supports the book Routines for Reasoning by Kelemanik, Lucenta & Creighton. Both are great resources for supporting all learners with instructional routines. The hashtag #fosteringMPs on Twitter is a good resource as well.

Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

Math is a Web

Last week, Tim Hébert (@mr_a_quared) shared that the San Francisco Unified School District Math Department is based on the premise that “Math is a web. (Not a ladder.)” in the following tweet.

I agree that teachers (including myself) tend to concern themselves with prerequisite skills, and shifting this concern towards connections between ideas would have a profound impact on students, so I was happy to retweet in agreement. 

Then I thought about the resources I utilize to inform my instruction. That is, which webs have I used, or even seen? The two resources closest to webs I could think of are provided by the Achieve the Core website: Where to Focus K-8 Grades Mathematics and the Coherence Map.
Where to Focus Grades K-8 Mathematics shows the progression of specific math topics across all grade levels from kindergarten to eighth grade in a linear fashion.

It is clear from the graphic above that learning math is a process of continual building focused largely on algebra.

In the Coherence Map, taking a look at 7.RP.2, recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities, there are many connections across grade levels, but the connections between the ideas within grade levels are not as frequent. 

While I love and often use these resources, I see them as a strong start to helping educators shift their mindset from mathematics being a ladder to a web.
 
Last, in searching for what Tim was referring to, I found the SFUSD website (www.sfusdmath.org) and it is the math education website of my dreams. It has brief and well-organized resources for students, educators, instructional leaders, and my favorite, communities and families. I highly recommend it and I am very interested in understanding others’ experiences with webs and standards and math, so please share your thoughts!

Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

 

January & February & Past & Present & Future

Starting in the future: @achambertloir tweeted a link to a talk from Kevin Buzzard [@XenaProject] called “The future of mathematics?” that may be of interest [slides PDF; follow up tweet and retweet]:

Moving to the past and further past, and in other presentation-news: the Joint Mathematics Meetings aka JMM were punctuated throughout by tweets that used the hashtag #DisruptJMM [check it out!]. As JMM finished up, attendees and participants from afar converged to a different hashtag: #DisruptMath [check it out!].
You can find all sorts of information through these hashtags; in general, I strongly support the use of hashtags in organizing/locating information [shout out to #MTBoS, #iTeachMath, #tmwyk, #noticewonder, etc].

A historical note about this particular hashtag: the main tweeters who have organically moved from #DisruptJMM to #DisruptMath are folks working in Higher Ed [i.e., professors of mathematics]. Mathematician Piper H had an AMS Inclusion/Exclusion blog post about this in April 2019; excerpt [underline added]:

Unrelated to JMM, and not being a professor or working in a post-secondary institution, I presented on the elsewhere-suggested hashtag of #DisruptMath, although I advocated for #DisruptMaths, back in August 2019. I hadn’t mentioned it since, but quote-retweeted my presentation [slides] as the hashtag [re]emerged among professors:

I’m not sure whether those who have used #DisruptJMM or #DisruptMath are generally familiar with the group whose work predates all of this, which comes from outside of math and math education, and who uses the hashtag #DisruptTexts.
My own presentation last summer gave an incomplete history [a screenshot of when this hashtag was first used by a #DisruptTexts founder; a link to the tweets containing the hashtag] and did not do justice to a full account [proper attribution for all four of the founders; a link to their website]. I’ve since updated the History slides thanks to feedback at my linked tweet above.
So: Irrespective of whether you plan to use #DisruptJMM or #DisruptMath or #DisruptMaths or none of these hashtags, let us all ensure we are aware of where #Disrupt[X] originated. For recent examples, check out the KQED Mind/Shift article, How the #DisruptTexts Movement Can Help English Teachers Be More Inclusive, or the founders’ own site’s link to a #DisruptTexts Column Call for Submissions.
Semi-finally: Looking ahead to February = Black History Month, I tweeted out some American Mathematical Society [AMS] February issues from 2018, 2019, and 2020:

The mentions above of an AMS blog post and the three consecutive years’ monthly issues may seem at odds with some of the other happenings at AMS: see, e.g., @lpachter’s tweeted blog post about signatories of the various letters around Diversity Statements and the faulty statistical analyses that Pachter identifies [there are a lot of ill-thought-out recent happenings in math education; see also @samjshah2’s tweet about the Museum of Mathematics’ awful(!) idea to “celebrate” MLK Day].
And finally: If you have already gone through the AMS kerfuffle and/or don’t have the bandwidth to engage with faulty analogies followed by statistical analyses of faulty statistical analyses, then here is a tweet to @AlexandraBerke’s new Coloring Book About Math [online link]:

Happy Spring Festival / Lunar New Year!

Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

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This Week at Global Math – 1/7/2020







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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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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This Week at the Global Math Department

Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

SmartSlides for Engaging Students

Presented by Lynda Moore

In this session, you will see how Lynda Moore (teacher of 30 years) uses hyperslides to engage her students and build confidence and ownership in their learning. She uses live data, immediate feedback and self assessment to teach HS Geometry. The use of Teacher Time, Think Pair Share and looping of content are some of the tools that you will learn in this webinar. Math can be paperless, Math can be engaging, and Math is AMAZING, and Learn to KnowMooreMath with Lynda Moore.

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

Next Week

The Era of Resource Abundance

Presented by Hilary Kreisberg

Tired of spending hours searching for fun activities and tasks to elevate your lesson? Tired of being distracted by “imposter resources” which look pretty but don’t truly support conceptual understanding? Come learn how to stop being tired and start being productive by understanding how to analyze resources to transform your teaching.

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

Storytelling and Mathematics

Recently, Desmos posted a blog post titled, “How Might You Launch a Lesson?” where Christopher Danielson (@Trianglemancsd) and Michael Fenton (@mjfenton) share three ways to get students involved in a math lesson. Launch 1: One Question draws on Dan Meyer’s Three-Act Tasks, and Launch 2: Notice and Wonder draws on the work of Annie Fetter (@MFAnnie) and Max Ray-Riek (@maxrayriek), both of which have become popular strategies in #MTBoS as these strategies tend to invite and validate students’ natural curiosities and instincts regarding math exercises.

Launch 3: Storytelling, suggested by Lauren Baucom (@LBmathemagician) brings forth the practice of telling stories from African-American culture. While the other two launches elicit students’ mathematical thinking, and may allow students to share their personal experiences, storytelling has an additional benefit of explicitly making space for students to bring forth parts of themselves that are not normally honored in the math classroom. Students can inform and compose these stories through their lives outside of the math classroom, which can allow students to feel heard, understand that creativity and imagination have a role in mathematics, and create personal and mathematical connections through the lesson.

Shraddha Shirude (@ESMathTeacher) writes how storytelling, and the lack thereof, affects how students engage with mathematics in her blog post titled, “Math is Life. Life is a Story. So why aren’t we telling stories in math class?” Shirude notes that omitting stories and the human aspects of mathematics in math classrooms can create barriers for students to connect with each other and the mathematics, which, in turn, can push people away from math. She also shares her love of mathematics and stories, and how the two merge to inform her implementation of Ethnic Studies into practice. Shraddha’s writing as an Ethnic Studies Math Educator was invaluable for me so I encourage you to read the post in full and follow her on twitter.

By Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

Tell Me Everything You Know

My team (@musiccitymath) and I brought back a somewhat old idea of “tell me everything you know.” We were using it as a way to create a mastery experience for teachers to help build collective efficacy. The idea came from a blog post in 2016 by Joe Schwartz (@JSchwartz10a) titled “Unknown Unknowns.” He talks about changing the question of a problem to “tell me everything you know about…” and this brings forward not only what students know but also unfinished learning. My favorite quote from the post is, “The questions we ask and the tasks we post yield information about our students.”

Kristin Gray (@MathMinds) has a video from 2017 on Teaching Channel where she does this routine with kindergarteners. Here is the tweet where she posted about it.

Have you used this routine? Tell me everything about it! I’d love to continue the conversation on Twitter.

By Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

Transdisciplinary Learning: Mathematics Blending & Intersecting
I’ve been thinking recently about transdisciplinary–different from interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary–learning, especially as it occurs in mathematics education. I realize this may be a new term, as neither the adjective nor the noun has appeared in any #MTBoS tweet at the time of writing:

Pulling a sample definition [source] for ‘transdisciplinarity’ yields the following:

“Transdisciplinarity occurs when two or more discipline perspectives transcend each other to form a new holistic approach. The outcome will be completely different from what one would expect from the addition of the parts. Transdisciplinarity … output is created as a result of disciplines integrating to become something completely new.”

One source of interest for me is around whether one can/should call ‘mathematics education’ itself a discipline, or whether it is fundamentally transdisciplinary. Another source of interest for me is around various combinations of disciplines, and whether the work happening is inter/multidisciplinary or truly transdisciplinary.

Here are a few twitter-based examples of discipline-interactions that are on my mind. [I’d love to hear about more!]

Math & Math Education: Check out this brief thread from Dr. Wandering Point. It begins with the tweet below [the “preface” clues that there are some criticisms to follow!] and contains a link to Askey’s Good Intentions Are Not Enough.

Relatedly, Michael Pershan [@mpershan] has an observation and a question related to who criticizes whom in the context of Math and Math Education:

Dr. Diaz Eaton [@mathprofcarrie], a math professor, poses the following questions around Programming & Ethics:

[BTW: I strongly recommend @_KarenHao’s recent article on making AI fairer.]

Math & Ethnic Studies: A group out of Washington has put out their K-12 Math Ethnic Studies Framework [pdf]; check out co-creator @TCastroGill’s tweet mentioning collaborators @ESMathTeacher and @fearnonumber:

The aforementioned materials inspired Jenna Laib [@jennalaib] to tweet a blog post well worth reading over:

Math & History: Check out @MathHistFacts, which is definitely and certainly not drawn from the research of @mbarany, for tongue-in-cheek takes on these two disciplines. [See Michael Barany’s main account for more serious work on historical theories of mathematics.]

Math & Gender Studies: My work environment has continued to push my thinking around math and gender studies, or math education and feminism, as my colleague Georgina Emerson [@teachaboutwomen] alludes to here:

As in the above-tweet: Recommended readings are strongly desired! In the meantime, I’ve been threading a number of paragraph-pulls after Georgina, my history teacher colleague who founded Teach About Women, pointed me to work by Suzanne K Damarin. I hope I can interest you in taking a glance at some of these threads; below is a sample excerpt from yet another thread [about a math text inspired by work of Peggy McIntosh, Joan Countryman, and others] to whet your appetite:

What *is* that different mathematics that Shelley refers to in the excerpt above? Or what could it be?

A few bullet-pointed items, without commentary, at various intersections.

Math & Social Media: See Dave Richeson’s [@divbyzero] three part thread [click for more!]:

See also Ayesha Rascoe’s [@ayesharascoe] quantitative approach to (un)presidential tweets:

Math & Motherhood: This was the topic of a special issue in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics in July 2018 [JHM link]. See also: Francis Su [@mathyawp] tweeted out a link to Allison Henrich’s [@KnottyAllison] AMS Math-Mamas-blog post:

Math & the Prison System: See Darryl Yong’s [@dyong] blog post on working with students inside of a men’s prison:

As a closing note: Last week I highlighted some positive examples of sourcing practices, but also pointed out two instances in which there was a clear lack of proper attribution: two from @fermatslibrary and one more from @edutopia. I am happy to report that folks behind the scenes from both accounts contacted me, and have both recommitted to avoiding these omissions in the future [and moved to correct the ones that were pointed out].

As always, please reach out to me [DMs, email, @ me, etc] with any happenings in or around the world of mathematics education that you believe should be amplified!

Benjamin Dickman @benjamindickman

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This Week at the Global Math Department

Edited By Chase Orton @mathgeek76
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Activities in the AP Math Classroom
Presented by Sharon Sterken and Randi Metz

Once we jumped on board the Student Centered Learning bandwagon, we found it very difficult to find quality, engaging, and fun activities in the AP math classroom. So, we decided to team up and share our ideas for other educators who are interested in adding pizzazz to their lessons.

This webinar was developed to have resources available to enhance instruction for fellow AP Calculus AB and AP Statistics educators.

Contact Info:
Twitter @girlmathX2
Blog: http://girlmathx2.blogspot.com/

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

Next Week

A Computational Approach to Functions
Presented by Patrick Honner

Looking for a new approach to teaching domain and range? Or an opportunity for students to use their crossover computer science skills? Taking a computational approach to functions allows for the rigorous development of all the fundamental concepts in an active and creative way, while at the same time offering endless opportunities to extend deeper into both mathematics and computer science. If you teach about functions—and what math teacher doesn’t?—you will leave with something new to think about for your math classroom.

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

Notice & Wonder 
Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)\

I love a good notice and wonder. It does magical things to get students thinking and saying things I couldn’t possibly think of on my own. Seeing the connections and ideas that students come up with is impressive.

I was diving into the hashtag for notice and wonder (#noticeandwonder) and found some ideas that I would like to share with you. One of the most popular tweets right now is from Robert Kaplinksky (@robertkaplinsky) way back in June.

Another one that peaked my interest is a recent conversation from Paige Sheehan (@MrsSheehanMath) asking about how you get your students to capture their noticings and wonderings. Join in on the conversation if you have an idea to share.

 

Start a Math Club
Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

If you haven’t started a math club at your school, I highly recommend it. Jennifer Dao (@JDaoMath) posted about their math club and asked others to share activities for the year.

While I encourage you to look through the thread yourself, some resources were shared to help teachers get started on the right foot:

I’m grateful that Jennifer has been sharing their math club experiences, because I’ve gotten ideas on how to revamp the club at my school for the new academic year. If you are getting started or already have a club at your school, I’d love to hear how it’s going; I am shamelessly starting a hashtag, #OurMathClub with the hope that we can continue to share and learn from each other.
 

Sourcer Sorcery
Benjamin Dickman (@benjamindickman)

In this week’s GMD newsletter, I want to focus on the ways in which ideas are sourced (or not sourced). This does mean, in particular, that I have omitted material around new mathematical progress, a conference/conversation on professional norms in mathematics, and more.

Two inspirational tweets to kick it off: the first from @LBMathematician [in her quote-retweet of @mathedmatters] and the second from @ChristieNold:

Notice in the first image the concerns by generators of original ideas, especially in a case for which one’s livelihood (e.g., earning tenure as a professor) can be a function of proper attribution, and the valid concern expressed in the second tweet around conveying one’s newfound understanding along with those who supported it along the way.

I recently came across an @edutopia article (via Jerry Becker’s listserv) about the “Talk Moves” used at a particular school in Portland, ME. But, the article attributes various Talk Moves to this school – even though they appear in the math education literature! In fact, the first four Talk Moves named in the @edutopia document are precisely the first four from the Chapin et al work below:

 

Not cool, @edutopia (1.12 million followers!).

I noticed another attribution issue from @fermatslibrary (281 thousand followers!) for whom this is not the first time that work has been tweeted without attribution. In fact, that same link shows another instance in which a reddit user’s original work was tweeted without credit being given.

While these large-follower-accounts are not doing their due diligence in sourcing the content that they are tweeting out to a hundred thousand+ or a million+ people, there are a lot of great examples of proper attribution that came across my timeline recently.

So: To pivot positively, I’d like to highlight some of the quality instances of good sourcing practices in action. First, though, even when attribution and quoting go generally well, there can be another problem with journalistic practices: Picking the title of an article. For example, check out Kevin Buzzard’s response to a Vice article in which he was quoted.

Contrast the bad sourcing from @edutopia and @fermatslibrary with the @ReadPRIMUS account [managed by BK] in which attribution is provided even when the source has no recollection of their helpful remark!

Continuing with the proper sourcing theme: In linking to a NYT piece on mathematicians’ chalkboards, @nattyover credits the photographer and the writer and the person who brought the piece to her attention [the “h/t” abbreviation stands for “hat tip”].

I added links to a few more pieces about chalk, which includes three items by @MBarany.

Plus, an interesting comment about chalkboard handwriting from @katemath:

Among the many items tagged #NCTMBoston19 is the following from @beRealcoach. As to sourcing: Note that the tweet includes an attribution to the presenter, @NicoleBridge1, and that the slide includes an attribution to the writer, Zaretta Hammond.

@alittlestats links to a fascinating article about graphing calculators and their business model and cc’s @Desmos [see the article!] and includes another “h/t” [hat tip] to shout out @MathDoris.

Sam Shah writes a wonderfully reflective blog post in which he cc’s three people [spoiler: one of them is me due to my tweet here] and generously mentions the three of us at the start of the post, too.

Relatedly, @AlexPHoover posted about an Out List + Ally List from Spectra and credits @mikeahill.

Besides Ally Week, we have also been in Hispanic Heritage Month. Check out the #Lathisms hashtag, and the link provided by @zdearaujo here:

Finally, I was excited to read about David Eppstein’s efforts around wikipages for women in mathematics. I saw it in a tweet from @thegautamkamath; check out the link for more!

I hope those who have read this far enjoy the sourcing and sources in this week’s newsletter; as always, I will be grateful to anyone who wishes to notify me about other work that should be highlighted and/or amplified in and beyond math education communities. Hit my DMs, tag me, send me an email; whatever works!

Speaking of mathematical errors, I need to get one off of my chest: In the one REU math paper I contributed to there is a mistake in Remark 2.4. The constants should both be 1 [not both zero, which is what our paper says] if phi has good reduction [whatever that means]. This doesn’t affect correctness and is more of a “typo” than a “deep theoretical error.” But, it is not hard to imagine how small errors can ramify.

To see that this must be an error, one can note that cv and Cv are defined [see below] as being the maximum among various quantities that always include 1; of course, there is no way that 0 will be the max in a set that also contains 1. Logarithms are then applied to each, so it will be better not to be taking log(0)!

(Phew; I feel better already.)

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