Finding The Joy In Math While Improving Student Learning – Sheila Orr and Matthew Beyranevand

Mathematics teachers are burdened with initiatives and responsibilities that can take away from everyone’s love of math. Come learn about using appropriate tools strategically to find creative ways to help your students at all levels increase their engagement in learning mathematics. Examining planning, pedagogy, assessment, and relationships, we will work together to find the joy in mathematics. Presented by Sheila Orr and Matthew Beyranevand.
Hosted by: Sheila Orr
Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Finding-the-Joy-in-Math-while-Improving-Student-Learning

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: globalmathdepartment.org

Presented on September 12, 2017

Framing Mathematics Instruction With The TQE Process – Thomasenia Lott Adams

Attendees will be introduced to the TQE process and how it can be used to frame mathematics instruction with (1) TASKS that promote thinking, prompt discourse, and reveal misconceptions, (2) QUESTIONS that advance understanding and uncover errors, and (3) EVIDENCE that inform formative assessment. The session will be supported by a shared image of mathematics instruction. Presented by Thomasenia Lott Adams.
Hosted by: S. Leigh Nataro
Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Framing-Mathematics-Instruction-with-the-TQE-Process

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: globalmathdepartment.org

Presented on September 5, 2017

This Week at Global Math







This Week at Global Math




Edited By Nate Goza @thegozaway

View this email in your browser

Tweet
Forward

Online Professional Development Sessions

Framing Mathematics Instruction with the TQE Process
Thomasenia Lott Adams and S. Leigh Nataro

Attendees will be introduced to the TQE process and how it can be used to frame mathematics instruction with (1) TASKS that promote thinking, prompt discourse, and reveal misconceptions, (2) QUESTIONS that advance understanding and uncover errors, and (3) EVIDENCE that inform formative assessment. The session will be supported by a shared image of mathematics instruction.

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

Last week at Global Math Kristin Umland talked about the Illustrative Math OER Curriculum.  Click here to check it out!  Also, if Podcasts are your thing, click here to check out former GMD Presentations in Podcast form!

Back in Full Swing the #MTBoS

Mathematicians Ask for Help

One of the blogs that I try to read regularly is Michael Pershan’s “Teaching With Problems.”
Michael, who is the quintessential reflective teacher in my mind, wrote a lovely blog post this week titled “Mathematicians Ask for Help.”

In that blog post, Michael starts with a reflection about his own experience as a mathematics student. I love “hearing” teachers talk about their lives as students—and Michael explained that when he was in high school and also when he started college, he was not the type of student to ask questions in math class (nor was he encouraged to be).

Later, he realized how important it is for students who are struggling to ask questions. And he took this realization and incorporated it in his teaching practice. He describes a 9th grader he taught some years ago, and how he handled getting this student to do just that.
 
Here’s what I did for my 9th Grader: I told the entire class, “I want you all to ask me questions. Lots of questions. When you’re feeling stuck: ask me for help.”
 
And, then, when my 9th Grader didn’t ask me questions I walked over to him: “I really want you to ask me some questions if you’re stuck.”
 
When that didn’t work (“I’m doing fine Mr. P”) I went back to him and I said: “You’re going to start having an easier time with these problems when you start asking me some questions.”
 
And, finally, when he asked me a question, I answered it as best I could and said, “This was great — please keep asking questions.”

 
He finishes that section with the following:
 
“…I beg kids to ask me questions. It’s how you grow.”
 
I love Michael’s persistence, and his expression to students about how much he cares about their learning.
 
It’s really a wonderful blog post, and I encourage you to go over to his blog, have a read, read the thoughtful comments below the post, and add your own thoughts.
 
–Written by Steven Gnagni (@Steve_Gnagni)
 

Exploding Dots and Global Math Week 10/10/17
 

Not to be confused with the Global Math Department, The Global Math Project (@GlobalMathProj) “aims to connect millions of students around the world through a shared experience of mathematics.” Global Math Week launches on 10/10/2017. If you have not yet seen Exploding Dots from @jamestanton (also from The International Maths Salute fame), you will be in for a treat! It’s mind blowing!! I was lucky enough to learn about this from Global Math Project ambassadors at a workshop this summer, and the participants could not believe that “exploding dots” could be used to teach everything from different bases to even polynomial long division! Click here to get a taste.

Register here and you will get all of the info below.

Prepare for October 10-17!

  1. Discover exploding dots
  1. Invite your colleagues! Tweet!

During the Global Math Week

  1. Conduct an introductory lesson on Exploding Dots with your students
  • Full technology: Start by sharing the following link with your students: (Available soon at www.explodingdots.org!)  Have fun collecting kapows! as students play with the lessons!
  • Low technology: Show and discuss James Tanton’s videos
  • Play, pause and repeat at your own pace!
  • No technology: Follow the teacher guides to use nothing but a chalkboard, just as James always does!
  1. Share something about your experience on social media. Join the global conversation on Twitter (#gmw2017 or #explodingdots) and on the GMP Facebook page.

                 

Click here for the teaching guides, and enjoy exploding some dots with your students of all levels!
 
Written by Lisa Winer (@Lisaqt314)
 

New Ideas

The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time as a never-ending stream of new ideas stream across Twitter and my blog roll. Here are three resources that particularly caught my eye for various reasons…
 
1. Generalizing Student Thinking
 
For the past few week BerkeleyEverett has been sharing some amazing visual tools that help generalize students thinking. He finally got around to it and is now hosting and sharing his ideas over at Math Visuals.  He’s also asked for ideas on things to include so be sure to let him know.

2. Video and Resource Package for Difficult Standards
The Georgia Department of Education recently identified 5 difficult standards in each grade level K-12. They assembled a team of teachers from across the state to unpack and capture that standard being taught in a class using a video.  They plan to keep adding to the library over the next year.  The videos and resource package can be found on their webpage.

3. Same and Different
Brian Bushart shared a post during last week’s #elemmathchat.


The result of that tweet left Brian and I sharing dots, animals, Rekenreks, toast, and ten-frames over the weekend. Just another awesome routine to help our youngest of mathematicians.

Written by Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy)

Follow us on Twitter
Visit our Website

Copyright © 2017 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.
“Thanks for opting in to receive the weekly newsletter from the Global Math Department.”

Our mailing address is:

Global Math Department

The Internet

Clarks Summit, PA 18411

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp



Part Art, Part Engineering, Part Brute Force: The Im Oer Curriculum – Kristen Umland

After writing or curating 2,000 K-12 tasks and course blueprints, Illustrative Mathematics decided to try writing a fully formed curriculum. What were our guiding principles? How did we translate those lofty ideals into concrete lesson plans? What did we learn from the craziest year and a half of our lives? And how can this all be illustrated through the example of a number talk? Join us for these musings. Presented by Kristin Umland.
Hosted by: Jessica (@algebrainiac1)
Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Part-art-part-engineering-part-brute-force-the-IM-OER-Curriculum

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: globalmathdepartment.org

Presented on August 29, 2017

This Week at Global Math Department







This Week at Global Math Department




Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

View this email in your browser

Tweet
Forward

Online Professional Development Sessions

Part Art, Part Engineering, Part Brute Force: The IM OER Curriculum
Presented by Kristin Umland

After writing or curating 2,000 K-12 tasks and course blueprints, Illustrative Mathematics decided to try writing a fully formed curriculum. What were our guiding principles? How did we translate those lofty ideals into concrete lesson plans? What did we learn from the craziest year and a half of our lives? And how can this all be illustrated through the example of a number talk? Join us for these musings.

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

Did you miss last week’s session? Never fear! Click here to listen to Audrey Mendivil’s session on creating professional learning for change.

The #MTBOS Never Sleeps

Math, Social Justice, and the Algorithms We Use

In my last post for this newsletter, I wrote about Grace Chen’s (@graceachen) speech at Twitter Math Camp during which she asked us to ponder the intersection between politics, social justice, and our work as math educators. (If you missed her talk, you can find part one here and part two here.) She has continued the conversation with more blog posts that you can read about here. Her most recent post unpacks and analyzes the concept of diversity and how it is framed in our work and has sparked some insightful comments. What would you add to the discussion?

It seems that there is a resurgence of the math and social justice movement in the MTBoS world and I wanted to curate some of the work that is being conducted. I hope that you find these resources useful in furthering your own exploration about math education, social justice, equality, fairness, and politics. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Please share the resources I missed with me on Twitter (@mathgeek76) and I’ll add them in my next post for the newsletter.

In the math and social justice “world,” there are a few opinions and approaches. Some educators believe that students in underserved communities must learn “traditional” mathematics because math fluency is a key that grants students access to better colleges, better jobs, and more freedom. Math literacy is a ticket that leads to socio-economic advancement. There are others who think math should be a tool for students to develop their critical awareness of social inequalities and injustices in this world. There are still others that strive to question the fairness and justice of the sorting algorithms we use in math education such as grading, tracking, course placement, instruction, and assessments. I won’t sort the following resources into these categories (nor will I weigh the pros and cons of each approach), but I offer you these categories as a way to structure your own professional learning.

Cathy O’Neil’s (@mathbabedotorg) powerful TED talk about the roles that algorithms and big data play in how society is structured is a great starting point. You can read her blog here. She also has a book out called Weapons of Math Destruction that you should check out. Annie Perkins (@Anniekperkins) is starting a book study for teachers on this book as well as Black Stats by Monique Morris. You can read more about Annie’s book club on her blog.

Paolo Freire’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed was published in 1968 which doesn’t make it standard #MTBoS material, but should be mentioned. It’s rich with social theory and takes a zoomed out view on how education can be a liberating force for social equality or an oppressive force that seeks to reproduce socio-economic inequalities. It’s a long read, but worth the effort. It may change your life. You can find a PDF version of the text here.

Bob Moses’s Radical Equations is also an excellent book about how math education can be a force for social justice. You can read more about his Algebra Project initiative here.

If you’re looking for a book that you can use to structure some lessons, Rico Gutsteins Rethinking Mathematics is a good start. Political cartoons by the artist Polyp can also be a source for rich and engaging discussions about global socio-economic inequality. Charles Seife’s (@cgseife) book Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception can also be a valuable resource to have high school students engage with statistics. Jonathan Osler started a website called Radical Math that contains a library of lessons that you can sort by grade level or topic. (The site does not appear to have been updated recently.)

Here are a few others in the MTBoS community that are writing about the politics and education that you may find worth following. The names are hyperlinked to their websites. Please Tweet me (@mathgeek76) the names of others I should add to this list.

Lastly, “Creating Balance in an Unjust World” is an annual conference that focuses on math education and social justice. You’ll find resources on their website and more information about the conference for 2018 on their website.

Written by Chase Orton (@mathgeek76)

Image result for welcome to math class

As we begin a new school year, many of us are thinking about classroom culture and activities with which to start establishing relationships and classroom norms. A recent Sunday Funday blogging challenge on this topic prompted a number of blog posts in which teachers shared their start of year plans and go-to activities. Some of the common themes in these plans were:

  • Jumping into actively doing math from day 1
  • Being intentional with tasks so that they emphasize key classroom norms, like cooperation, justification, or valuing of multiple perspectives
  • Building relationships with students

Some resources for math tasks that would make for good starting activities included:

Teachers also discussed ways to get to know their students and to have their students get to know them.

  • @saravdwerf shared the low-key way that she has students use name tents to respond to a daily prompt, which starts a written dialogue between teacher and student
  • @ddmeyer has shared the popular Who I Am and Find Someone activities, which allow students and teachers to share information about themselves with each other
  • @luvbcd shared an oldie, but a goodie: a Post-It activity from a few years ago to gather and display responses from each student on their hopes and goals for the class

Image result for twitter chat

Finally, as you prepare for a great year ahead, keep in mind that subject chats are starting up and are a great place to connect with Math teachers who teach some of the same content as you. Search Twitter for #alg1chat, #geomchat, #statschat, #precalcchat, #msmathchat, and #elemmathchat to see which topics have been discussed recently. The chats that have been already scheduled are as follows:

  • #statschat is on the last Thursday of the month at 8 pm EST
    • The next scheduled chat will be on September 28th
    • The first chat of the year has been storified here
  • #precalcchat is every other Thursday at 9 pm EST, starting on August 31st
  • #msmathchat is Mondays at 9 pm EST
  • #elemmathchat is Thursdays at 9 pm EST; the most recent chat has been storified here

If you have never participated in a Twitter chat, a good introduction to how they work and how to participate can be found here.

This spreadsheet of Twitter users and bloggers is also a great resource to connect with other teachers of the same course or age group. Each tab corresponds to a course or subset of math teaching. You may find it helpful to follow the teachers in your tab on Twitter, add their blogs to your blogroll, and tag them in specific questions.

Written by Anna Blinstein (@borschtwithanna)

Follow us on Twitter
Visit our Website

Copyright © 2017 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.
“Thanks for opting in to receive the weekly newsletter from the Global Math Department.”

Our mailing address is:

Global Math Department

The Internet

Clarks Summit, PA 18411

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp



Creating Professional Learning for Change – Audrey Mendivil

How can we use best practices in teaching to inform our professional development design? What elements form effective professional development, and how do they relate to lesson planning, formative assessment, and human nature? Join us as we learn together and leave with a plan of action for your future professional development design. Presented by Audrey Mendivil
Hosted by: Paula Torres
Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Creating-Professional-Learning-for-Change

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: globalmathdepartment.org

Unpacking Fractions: Moving from Senseless Rote to Sense Making & Joy – Dr. Monica Neagoy

Students’ love for mathematics ends when they surrender sense making and yield to senseless memorization. Through powerful examples, the webinar explores: reasons for the difficulty, insights into sound pedagogy, engaging tasks, interactive fraction apps, and bridges to the future. Presented by Dr. Monica Neagoy.
Hosted by: Hedge
Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Unpacking-Fractions-Moving-from-Senseless-Rote-to-Sense-Making-Joy

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: globalmathdepartment.org

This Week at Global Math







This Week at Global Math




Edited By Casey McCormick @cmmteach

View this email in your browser

Tweet
Forward

Online Professional Development Sessions

Creating Professional Learning for Change
Presented by Audrey Mendivil (@audrey_mendivil)

How can we use best practices in teaching to inform our professional development design? What elements form effective professional development, and how do they relate to lesson planning, formative assessment, and human nature? Join us as we learn together and leave with a plan of action for your future professional development design. 

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

Did you miss last week’s Global Math Department? Click here to listen to Dr. Monica Neagoy talk about Unpacking Fractions: Moving from Senseless Rote to Sense Making & Joy.

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps

Making the Most of Technology and Tools

Jennifer Wilson is always so purposeful in her blogging. Her classroom will be 1:1 with technology this year and she starts the year by asking a wonderful question:

What place does pencil and paper have in my students’ learning and understanding of mathematics?

Her descriptive and thorough blog post, Blending Technology with Paper and Pencil, will demonstrate how descriptive, informative, and thorough Jennifer is when it comes to meaningful learning of mathematics in her classrooms. She shares evidence of student work not only through technology, paper and pencil, but with strategies like “Notice and Note” to use “words, pictures, and numbers to write and sketch what they saw.” This blog post is jam packed with great ideas, strategies, and curiosities all with the intention to help our students remember the math they learn. “Notice and Note” aims to do that.

Jennifer ends by saying:

I am convinced that we need to pay attention to when we are asking, encouraging, and requiring students to use pencil and paper to create a record of what they are learning…so that students…have a better chance of remembering it later.

If you’re interested in learning more about making math stick, I highly recommend the book Make It Stick.
Written by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

Starting the Year with Engaging Math Tasks

There have been some great suggestions recently regarding favourite math tasks and activities for getting class started on the right foot. Many teachers and students have already started the 2017-18 school year but there are many more that have yet to commence. Most public schools in Canada will have their first day of school during the first week in September. Check out the hashtags #mtbosfd (short for MTBoS First Day) and #myfavoritemathtaskis for ideas on how to start out the year.

Matthew Oldridge wrote a blog post titled First Day of September Problems in your Math Classroom with some suggestions for problems as well as why you might use them.  He asks, “Do you start with building class community, work on class norms or rules, or do you start with a good problem?” He suggests that starting with a rich mathematical problem signals to kids, “this is a problem-solving community” and “we think in this classroom.”

Whatever task you might use, I believe it should arouse your students’ curiosity, be accessible to all of your students, and generate discussion about different solving strategies. A favourite problem of mine that I believe meets these criteria is called The Four Coins Problem. “You’re creating a new coin system for your country. You must use only four coin values and you must be able to create the values 1 through 10 using one coin at a minimum and two coins maximum.” This problem is simple to state but has lots of opportunities for extension and discussion.

euro-1130696_1280.jpg

I hope you all have an amazing start back to school, refreshed and inspired for a great year ahead. A special welcome as well to teachers starting their very first year in the classroom with all the excitement and anxiety that this entails.

Written by Erick Lee (@TheErickLee)

More Talking = More Learning!

Sara VanDerWerf is at it again bringing us gems for starting up a new school year.  Her recent post, entitled STAND & TALKS. The Best Thing I Ever Did to Get Students Talking to One Another, is very thorough and includes a description of the routine, a sample scenario, and tons of examples of how she uses the routine as well as other routines she incorporates together with a Stand & Talk (S&T).

An example of a Stand & Talk used to introduce students to new vocabulary

Essentially, an S&T is a lot like Think, Pair, Share or Turn & Talk, but with the add-in that students stand and find a partner in another area of the room to discuss with before the task is given.  Sara says this gets nearly all students talking every time she uses it, and has the added bonus of a possible energy-injector in a stale classroom.

Three big goals Sara has in her classroom are accomplished by using this routine:

  1. Getting students moving every class period

  2. Getting students to notice the math first, before she says anything

  3. De-fronting the classroom

Whatever your goals this upcoming school year, this routine seems to be one that will really go far to get students processing the mathematics as well as owning their learning.

Another must-read is an oldie but a goodie from Geoff Krall, found here.  Entitled Seven (Sneaky) Activities to Get Your Students Talking Mathematically, Geoff highlights some amazing activities that are sure to get discourse going in your classroom.

Happy Math!

Written by Matt Engle (@pickpocketsbme)

Follow us on Twitter
Visit our Website

Copyright © 2017 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.
“Thanks for opting in to receive the weekly newsletter from the Global Math Department.”

Our mailing address is:

Global Math Department

The Internet

Clarks Summit, PA 18411

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp



#TMC17 My Favorites

Recaps from Twitter Math Camp, 2017 Edition! Speakers will share some of their favorite moments from TMC2017. Here are links from the slides that have been organized into a convenient Google Doc. Featuring presenters  and host Deb Boden.

Presentation recorded on August 8th, 2017

Back to School with Global Math







Back to School with Global Math




Edited By Nate Goza @thegozaway

View this email in your browser

Tweet
Forward

Online Professional Development Sessions

Unpacking Fractions: Moving from Senseless Rote to Sense Making and Joy
Dr. Monica Neagoy

Students’ love for mathematics ends when they surrender sense making and yield to senseless memorization. Through powerful examples, the webinar explores: reasons for the difficulty, insights into sound pedagogy, engaging tasks, interactive fraction apps, and bridges to the future.

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

Last week at Global Math TMC17 attendees shared their highlights from Twitter Math Camp.  Click here to check it out!  Also, if Podcasts are your thing, click here to check out former GMD Presentations in Podcast form!

Hit the Ground Running with the #MTBoS

Four Great Bloggers You Don’t Want to Miss & The #SundayFunday Challenge
 

I try to read the (hundreds of) blogs I follow on my Bloglovin feed, but when I HAVE to do a quick scan due to crunch time, there are four bloggers whose blogs I must read from start to finish EVERY TIME. Even when I say to myself, “Oh, I can skip this one for now,” without fail, I am drawn into their writing, their ideas, and their knack of discovering something that, without it, feels like I’ve had a complete void in my classroom! Their blogs are chock full of information that can be used THAT DAY. If you don’t follow these four bloggers, be sure to do so right now!
 
The first blogger is Sarah Carter of Math Equals Love fame. She recently assembled her best ideas in 21 Ideas for the First Week of School and Most Referenced Posters just for her readers. I often see Sarah’s ideas tweeted and blogged about all over the #MTBoS and as a veteran teacher, I use many of her ideas and find them to be very fresh and student-centered.

The second blogger is Sara VanDerWerf. I heard Sara’s keynote last year at the Desmos pre-conference at Twitter Math Camp, and in just a few seconds I could tell that when Sara speaks, people listen. She just summed up her first week ideas this year in 1st Week Posts – Plus Something New. I see so many blog posts and tweets referencing her for name tents, the 5×5 game, and 100 Numbers, The Backwards Bike, and more. She is incredible, and I am so thankful for her many ideas. I use many of them in my classroom with much success.

The third blogger I can’t get enough of is Jo Morgan of Resourceaholic. In Math Gems, she shares news, ideas, and resources for math(s) teachers. Jo is from England, and I was lucky enough to meet her when I attended the Complete Maths workshop in London this summer (which I found on her conference list.) At the conference, math teachers were asking her for selfies and even on the train they were thanking her for all she does…she is like British royalty when it comes to mathematics!! You will always find a new resource in her blog, whichever side of the pond you are on!

And the fourth blogger is Fawn Nguyen from Finding Ways. Fawn always has something important and meaningful to say and often in a humorous way. She says it with such heart and soul that all I know is I want to be a student in her class right now. To me, she is like a lioness fiercely protecting her cubs when she talks of her students. I heard her keynote: Teacher Woman (poor audio quality on video so here is a PDF version) at Twitter Math Camp ‘15, and she had me in tears and laughing hysterically almost at the same time. Her passion for teaching is evident in her extraordinary writing. You can see her humor in this post: These Twenty Things and if you haven’t seen her sites http://www.visualpatterns.org/ or http://www.mathtalks.net/, you MUST get on that! Many bloggers speak of using her Noah’s Ark activity on the first day of school (including me!) Here is her latest blog, All I Got on Classroom Management, which is quite a bit!

I only mentioned four bloggers this week, but there are so many other amazing ones out there. You can find a TON of them at the weekly blogging challenge (#SundayFunday) that Julie Reulbach has organized. The first one is A Collection of Goals Across the MTBoS and the second is First Day blogs. Click here to submit for the next challenge. Don’t be nervous about blogging! Just do it and #pushsend!
 

 

Written by Lisa Winer (@Lisaqt314)

Looking to Join the Elementary Conversation?

As the new year starts, there are lots of great ideas floating around online but many elementary teachers don’t know where to find them. Elementary Math Chat takes place every Thursday night at 9pm EST. The chat is hosted by Melynee Naegele and Brian Bushart and the do an amazing job behind the scenes. Here’s what you’ve missed so far…

                   

This week, Annie Fetter takes the reigns and it’s sure to be a blast.  You can join the action by following the hashtag #ElemMathChat.

If you can’t get enough, NCTM & Zak Champagne host an elementary chat on the second Wednesday of every month. (#TCMChat) There are lots of thoughtful conversations taking place that center around a recent article from Teaching Children Mathematics.

If you have an elementary friend that doesn’t receive this newsletter, do them a favor and share.  Their students will thank you for it.

Written by Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy)
 

Writing, Reflecting, and Reaching out

The beginning of the school year can be really overwhelming, whether you’re a first year teacher or a 10th year teacher or a 30th year teacher!

Here are two recent blogs/tweets I loved that helped remind me how to start the year right:

The first is a couple of weeks old, and comes from Julie Reulbach (@jreulbach). Julie, along with a few other Twitter Math Camp attendees, is helping to get us all writing and reflecting about the beginning of the school year. I truly believe that two of the most important things for us to get better as math teachers are 1) to reflect on our own teaching and 2) to build community with others who are like minded, thus ensuring we are not isolated. So join in, even if you’re late in starting, like me! Here are the details about how to get involved.

The second was a post from Nancy Pendleton, who was asking for some advice for the first day of a first year teacher.
 
             
 
Some really good responses came back in response to her tweet—we’ve all been there, and her tweet resonated with yours truly, and I’m going into my 15th year! Good luck Nancy and all of the first year teachers! (And the rest of you too!)

Written by Steve Gnagni  (@Steve_Gnagni)

 

Collaborative Learning and Access for All Students

 
 
There are a lot of great curricula out there, but I’m very excited about an effort being led by two Southern California 8th grade teachers – Yekaterina Milvidskaia and Tiana Tebelman – who are combining problem-based learning with Complex Instruction and the ideas described in Jo Boaler’s book Mathematical Mindsets. Their site now has two units: Linear Functions and Transformational Geometry, which they created in conjunction with youcubed.org.
 
What I really love about their curriculum work, however, isn’t just the thoughtful problem sets, but the description of how they structure and support group work and suggestions for aligning assessment and homework to practices that promote equity and learning for all students. For example, instead of assigning many practice problems for homework, they now assign 1 – 3 mathematical questions that extend that day’s learning and one reflection question from a list of possible prompts. Several of their students’ quotes show that they appreciate the opportunity to reflect on their learning. One wrote, “This year I really like how we do our homework. I understand how to do my homework because of the reflections; those really help me because then I can remember what I did in class that day.”
 
In their section on group work, Yekaterina and Tiana share their overall philosophy, which comes from Complex Instruction. They have developed interesting group roles so that all students in a group have important contributions to make. That has been one of the challenging aspects of group roles for me when I have used them (for example, a common group role is Resource Manager, which often means the task of getting supplies at the start of class and then hanging out for the rest of the time), so I was especially excited to see these more evenly distributed roles. The roles they have come up with are Coach, Accountability Manager, Skeptic, and Team Captain. Each role card also includes sentence stems so that students have clear scaffolds and language to use.
 
In helping students get better at collaboration, Yekaterina and Tiana use two types of group assessments: a Participation Quiz and an Accountability Quiz. The first one helps students learn what equitable group work and real collaboration look and sound like. The teacher lets students know their expectations regarding how the groups will work together, then observes how each group interacts, writing down specific behaviors and student quotes, and then reporting this back to students so that they have clear feedback. The Accountability Quiz helps all students engage more fully with the mathematics they are learning and make sure that different approaches are discussed fully and no student is left behind. Each group prepares and when they believe they are ready, the teacher selects a student to question, using differentiated questions to challenge all students. They may select additional questions to further probe how well the team has discussed and understands the mathematics on which they are being assessed. In order for the team to pass, each selected student must demonstrate strong understanding, but they can regroup and work together and have multiple opportunities to be assessed. One thing I love about this strategy is that the teacher models the kind of questioning strategies that we want students to be internalizing in order to build a culture of skeptical peers in the classroom. I wonder if eventually, the role of questioner can be passed to other students to create even more student agency.
 
Collaborative and inquiry-based learning often includes student presentations and the folks at the Art of Mathematics have some great ideas for doing this better.
 
 
 
In this recent blog, Dr. Christine von Renesse documents the process through which she changed her more traditional rubric for student presentations, in which solutions that were completely or mostly correct were valued, to one that explicitly valued multiple approaches and making sense of big ideas above solutions that are correct, but don’t demonstrate important learning because she realized that:
 
“The most learning for the whole class often happened when the presentation was in fact not “completely, or mostly, correct with only a few insignificant errors,” as the highest result in the rubric requires. Instead, it was often mistakes in, or disagreements with, presented work that led to the richest discussions and deepest insights for a significant segment of the students.”
 
I love that her new assessment model allows her to match grading to what actually contributes to student learning, reducing the pressure on students to produce “perfect” presentations and making it less likely that they would avoid harder problems in order to game the system. At the end of the blog post, she also shares a wonderful quote from Allison Henrich, chair of the Department of Mathematics at Seattle University, who blogged about encouraging mistakes and uses the following language when too many “perfect” solutions have been presented:
 
“That was perfect! Too bad there were no mistakes in your work for us to learn more from. I’d like to hear from someone who tried a method for solving this problem that didn’t work out so well. Would anyone be willing to share something they tried with the class?”
 
It makes me really happy to see teachers at the college level increasing access to mathematics learning and refining strategies that help students develop agency and ownership of mathematics.
 
Anna Blinstein (@Borschtwithanna)
 

Follow us on Twitter
Visit our Website

Copyright © 2017 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.
“Thanks for opting in to receive the weekly newsletter from the Global Math Department.”

Our mailing address is:

Global Math Department

The Internet

Clarks Summit, PA 18411

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp