Annie Forest – Making Student Thinking Visible Using Tech Tools – 3/28/2017

Do you have technology in your math classroom? Are you interested in using it as more than a “digital worksheet” for “skill and drill” practice? Technology’s real power comes alive when it enables students to show their thinking to teachers, peers, and others. With technology, we can redefine what students produce to demonstrate their mathematical thinking. Join us to learn how to apply free tech tools in purposeful ways!

Rochelle Gutierrez – How Our Definitions of Math And Equity Relate To Who Excels – February 28, 2017

Wondering how your working definition of equity stacks up against others? Should we even be using the word “equity” anymore? This session will review the different definitions of equity our field has used over the past few decades and will offer a 4-dimension framework that can be used to assess one’s work on a daily basis. In addition, we’ll consider how that framework connects with our individual conceptions of “what is mathematics?” And, finally, we’ll connect these together to explore how our definitions of mathematics and our definitions of equity ultimately influence who excels in our classrooms. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Grace Chen – What Do We Mean When We Talk About “Social Justice” and Math? – 3/21/2017

As increasing numbers of teachers, schools, and organizations talk about justice and/or equity in mathematics, it’s becoming increasingly clear that often, they mean very different things when they use these words. This session will explore several common conceptions of social justice in math along with their power and their limitations, and offer some complementary, less common conceptions. We’ll examine a few case studies of teachers’ efforts to bring some aspect of social justice into their classrooms, and consider what these cases teach us about what social justice can mean, and what teachers can do. Presented by Grace Chen.

Building Thinking Classrooms – Peter Liljedahl – March 14, 2017

We know that problem solving is an effective way for students to learn to think mathematically and to acquire deep knowledge and understanding of the mathematics they are learning. Simply problematizing the mathematics curriculum, however, does not help constitute the practice that teachers want or students need. Equally, infusion of problem-based learning into the mathematics curriculum does not help with the transformations we want to see in our classrooms. What we need are a set of tools that, along with good problems, can build thinking classrooms. In this presentation, Dr. Peter Liljedahl looks at a series of such tools, emerging from research, that can help to build an environment conducive to problem-based learning. He will unpack his research that has demonstrated that a problem-based learning environment and culture can quickly be established, even in classrooms where students resist change.

Carla Diede – Pathways of Learning – 3/7/2017

Empower students to advocate for their own learning by giving them choice in how they learn and demonstrate mastery. Gain ideas on how to break the mold of all students doing the same thing at the same time. See examples of how to restructure your classroom and resources to provide for this flexibility. Presented by Carla Diede.

Kristy McGowan & Christi Lovrics – Our Path to Personalization With Standards Based Feedback – 02/21/2017

This session will discuss how we designed our MPM2D course to better student learning through our version of personalization, engagement and standards based feedback. We will explain in detail our version of a more personal “flipped” classroom, a personalized factoring unit with multiple entry points and varied assessments, as well as a trigonometry unit in which we designed a Google Site to help students navigate through the material at their own pace. We will discuss how we designed and administered formative assessments in each of these units with a standards based framework. Finally, we will offer our perspective as well as student feedback on how these changes in our classroom influenced the attitude and learning of our students.

Personalization, Planning, and Paint







Personalization, Planning, and Paint



Edited By Nate Goza @thegozaway

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Our Path to Personalization With Standards Based Feedback
Presented by Kristy McGowan & Christi Lovrics

This session will discuss how we designed our MPM2D course to better student learning through our version of personalization, engagement and standards based feedback. We will explain in detail our version of a more personal “flipped” classroom, a personalized factoring unit with multiple entry points and varied assessments, as well as a trigonometry unit in which we designed a Google Site to help students navigate through the material at their own pace. We will discuss how we designed and administered formative assessments in each of these units with a standards based framework. Finally, we will offer our perspective as well as student feedback on how these changes in our classroom influenced the attitude and learning of our students.

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

Catch up on all the great PD Sessions from past presenters here!

The Word from the #MTBoS


 
If you’ve never seen Blue Man Group, you should.  If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to use exciting popular culture to engage students in exploring science or math, go read Andrew Shauver’s post The Blue Man Group did high school physics teachers a favor.  Actually, just watch the video embedded in the post (which is the bulk of the post, anyway). Using their superb timing and their highly finessed skill in staring at one another and the audience, Blue Man Group demonstrates some basics of sound.  The 5-minute video entertains and educates, and opens the door to other questions, and I’m thinking that searching other video clips from the show might suggest many mathematical ideas.  An interesting research project for teacher and student…

Adrianne Burns over at My Journey So Far… compares two professional development experiences in her post My Experience with FiresidePD. The first class, which was online and ‘personalized’ because of the self-pacing allowed by the medium, taught the participant a few tricks and tips which were quickly mastered, and almost as quickly rendered out-of-date.  But FiresidePD, experienced with colleagues in the comfort of someone’s living room (and facilitated by Josh Gauthier and Jason Bretzmann both of Bretzmann Group), put Adrianne in an environment in which she identify and target specific professional needs, learning skills that she could immediately put to practical use.  The comfortable and collegial environment also gave her the opportunity to explore in depth longer term personal learning goals: “It was like a 3 hour lesson planning session where we could bounce ideas off each other.”  Adrianne talks about creating a similarly comfortable environment for her students, which is an inspired idea.  I wonder whether we can create similar environments for ourselves as self-initiated (determined?) on-going professional development.

Peace –
Wendy Menard  (@wmukluk)

Functions are an important part of Algebra and require a lot of abstract thinking on the part of students who may be used to the concreteness arithmetic from earlier grades. Kent Haines decided to put together a blog post that details the activities that he uses. The post, Functions Are Finally Clicking, walks through the activities he does in the beginning days of the unit and the kind of thinking he is trying to foster along the way. “My students have a better understanding of the meaning of a function,” Kent says as he describes his success, “and I have laid the groundwork for some great upcoming work with slope and linear functions.” Before the unit begins, Kent plays a lot of “Guess My Rule”, a game which Michael Pershan expanded on in the post What’s My Function, Rule, or Formula?. Michael’s post is definitely required reading if you’re preparing to use the game. The unit kicks off in earnest with the Function Carnival Desmos activity, followed by a Shell Centre activity on interpreting graphs, and also uses a card sort from Sarah at Math Equals Love. The entire post is interesting for people who teach functions, but it is also valuable to see how a teacher stitches together the various activities that are passed around in the #MTBoS.

Written by Carl Oliver (@carloliwitter)

Every time I visit Steve Wyborney’s blog I’m reminded of how much fun math can be when we just play. Last week, Steve posted his most recent free resource Splat! Part-whole thinking plays a huge roll in the development of students’ number sense and Splat goes right after it.

How many dots are under the Splat?

Big shout out to Steve for sharing all his lessons in a downloadable PowerPoint. While visiting, be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the post to find more of his interactive gems. Steve says that he’s “on a learning mission” and I’m thankful he’s taking us all along.  
 
Written by Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy)

 

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GMD Rewind







GMD Rewind



Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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GMD Rewind

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

Click here to browse past sessions.

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

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Audrey McLaren (@a_mcsquared)

Bypassing Understanding for the Ease

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

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

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

Written by Jenise Sexton (@MrsJeniseSexton)

Desmos Design and Principles

 

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

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

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

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

Written by Kent Haines (@KentHaines)

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This Week: To do or not to do? and TMC#17







This Week: To do or not to do? and TMC#17



Edited By Sahar Khatri @MyMathscape

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(Almost) No rote required – teaching and understanding multiplication and division from doubling to completing the square! 
Wouldn’t we all love our students to have their times tables at their fingertips, without a calculator? All students need to understand multiplication and division as it is essential for the foundation of nearly all secondary maths but very few of our students see the patterns in numbers, carry over into topics such as Algebra. Learn why visual strategies are essential to their understanding and you sharing meaning as a teacher. Presented by Christine Lenghaus.
RSVP and join us at 9 PM EST.

Highlight from last week: Writing: Your Questions Answered
Presented by Jose Vilson

Jose Vilson answered our questions about writing: maintaining a blog while being banned on district computers, writing a book, and other questions 

Tune in to what you missed here.

Great Blogging Action

Burns vs. Burns

“Thanks, Jo, for your comment. It got me thinking and for that I’m appreciative.” says Marilyn Burns.

Yes, it truly got her thinking, and we all stand to benefit from Marilyn’s thinking in her recent blog post, When Should and Shouldn’t We Give Answers.

I thoroughly enjoyed this dialogue Marilyn Burns had with herself about revealing an answer to a commenter on her blog. It’s that struggle we can often face as educators. Her experience and wisdom will help any math teacher think through answer giving and productive struggle.

Here’s an excerpt from the conversation. Check out the rest on her blog!
 


“The conversation in my head went something like this:

— Hmm, in the classroom, I resist giving students answers. Should I do it here?

— Well, why not? She obviously really wants to know and why should I withhold information that I have?

— But, then again, I worry that giving the answer betrays my educational belief that productive struggle has value. And what I especially love about this problem is that you know that you’ve solved it when you can deal the cards the way I showed on the video. No answer book is needed.”


~by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

Let the unofficial countdown to Twitter Math Camp (#TMC17) begin! Speakers have been notified this week and general registration will open up on February 10, 2017. 
Click here for Registration Information

Can you already feel the excitement?!

Jennifer Fairbanks shares her excitement about her proposal acceptance on her blog.
 

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Christine Lenghaus – (Almost) No rote required – 2/7/2017

(Almost) No rote required – teaching and understanding multiplication and division from doubling to completing the square!

Wouldn’t we all love our students to have their times tables at their fingertips, without a calculator? All students need to understand multiplication and division as it is essential for the foundation of nearly all secondary maths but very few of our students see the patterns in numbers, carry over into topics such as Algebra. Learn why visual strategies are essential to their understanding and you sharing meaning as a teacher. Presented by Christine Lenghaus.