This Week at Global Math







This Week at Global Math




Edited By Nate Goza @thegozaway

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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)

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Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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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)

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Edited By Casey McCormick @cmmteach

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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)

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Back to School with Global Math







Back to School with Global Math




Edited By Nate Goza @thegozaway

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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)
 

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Welcome Back, Global Math!




Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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#TMC17 My Favorites
Presented by Ali Grace Eiland (@AGEiland), Taylor Cesarski (@tcesarski), Joey Kelly (@joeykelly89), Brette Garner (@brettegarner), Madison Sandig (@madisonsandig4), Jami Packer (@jamidanielle), Jodi Kerble (@jkerble), and Trish Kepler (@KeplerTrish)

Join us for our FIRST session of the 2017-18 school year! Speakers will share recaps and favorite takeaways from Twitter Math Camp 2017 which recently took place in Atlanta, Georgia. Join us to be inspired and get some new ideas you’ll want to implement in the upcoming school year.

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

Are you new to Global Math Department? Do you want to check out sessions from last year that you might have missed? Click here to learn more about upcoming sessions and to watch previously recorded sessions. The math department of your dreams is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

The #MTBOS Never Sleeps

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to the Global Math Department newsletter for the 2017-18 school year! Last year we bid farewell to several veteran writers – but never fear! – we’ve gathered together a crew of fresh new voices in addition to a few writers sticking with us for another year. Each week they’re excited to share with you the blog posts, Twitter conversations, and other happenings from across the mathematical internet that resonate with them. We hope you enjoy the newsletter this year, and don’t hesitate to Tweet a word of thanks to a writer if you like something they share.

Written by Brian Bushart (@bstockus)

The Power of Community: Inspirations from #TMC17

TMC17 Logo.jpeg

I recently participated in my first Twitter Math Camp (TMC).  I was blown away, and I want to tell you why. 

TMC is unlike most math conferences because there are no attendees; instead, everyone is a participant. Because it is a community driven, grassroots conference for math educators by math educators, everyone shares the responsibility to create an inspirational, empowering, and inclusive culture that seeks to build the capacity of everyone in the community. Next year’s TMC is in Cleveland, OH on July 19-22. Mark your calendars and consider yourself invited.

I can’t possibly capture the scope and depth of my learning and all who attended. While I’ll still share one or two of my learning highlights, I invite you to check out the TMC wiki for presentations, workshops, and other inspirations from the community.

Grace Chen (@graceachen) delivered a powerful keynote speech about her life story and invited us to ponder the question: Is teaching necessarily political? Her answer: It’s complicated. And she asked: What politically motivated stereotypes could you disrupt in your school and classrooms? What counterstories would offer instead? In what ways do these stereotypes and stories create a culture of “normalcy” about who can learn and have access to high level mathematics and who cannot? You can read more about her work on Twitter and on her blog.

Sam Shah (@samjshah) invites us to make joy more visual in the math classroom. He shares his simple practice of letting students share with the classroom community when they experience joy during a lesson. His five minute talk is well worth the time. Or you can read his blog post about it.

My most important learning from TMC (#1TMCthing) is the power of a community that chooses to gather for the sake of learning together and sharing ideas. The commitment and passion to become more effective math teachers and more inspired math geeks was palpable and contagious last month. But our community has been weakened by a lack of diversity across the grade levels for years.

Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy) shared this image during his engaging and compelling keynote (11:30 mark on this video). It shows data from TMC 2015, but also closely represented the population in 2017.

To become a stronger, more brilliant community, we need to learn more from members in elementary education. If you are an elementary teacher, I encourage you to give a talk at TMC 2018. At the very least, come participate and help us get better! We need your perspective, wisdom, and teaching techniques. If you are not an elementary teacher, extend a personal invitation to the elementary teachers you know. If you need more inspiration, check out Tracy Zager’s (@TracyZager) keynote talk on this topic at TMC 2016.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Lisa Henry (@lmhenry9) and all the volunteers who make TMC happen. You can follow them on Twitter at @TMathC. Hope to see you there next year!

Written by Chase Orton (@mathgeek76)

Did Someone Say FREE?

In case you haven’t heard… the team at Illustrative Mathematics (@IllustrateMath) wrote a FREE curriculum (yes I said FREE) for grades 6 through 8 to be released by Open Up Resources!

The Illustrative Mathematics Middle School Curriculum is innovative, coherent, and provides access and rigor for all students. No stone was left unturned when crafting these materials. The level of passion and scrutiny that went into all things created is mind boggling. This curriculum “elevates mathematics instruction and sparks enjoyment of mathematics for students in a whole new way!” Just check out the work done on the embedded Geogebra applets released here.

The team was led by William McCallum (@wgmccallum)–who has promised to get back to blogging more often over at Mathematical Musings. This spring he wrote a four part series on Curricular Coherence. He shared, “…a coherent curriculum, focused on how to get students up the mountain, would make sense of the journey and single out key landmarks and stretches of trail—a long path through the woods, or a steep climb up a ridge.” From what I’ve seen…I believe the team has accomplished this. You can read the rest of his first post in the series here.

Another member of the Illustrative Mathematics writing team, Sadie Estrella (@wahedahbug), recently wrote about her experiences as a teacher “create(ing) content from scratch.” She goes on to write, “during this time, I had various resources I used, random texts, blog posts, etc. But never did I find any text or curriculum that I felt met the teaching philosophy I had in my head and emanated throughout my classroom. Pretty much every text I encountered looked like a replica of what I experienced as a student and that is DEF insufficient.” This resonated with me and it felt like she was in my head.

Reading her post, I could feel her skepticism regarding the “whole curriculum thing (curriculum schmiculum).” She acknowledges that it took some time working on this curriculum before she was able to stand back to see its power. She shares, “what I came to realize at this moment was that good curriculum, curriculum that does a lot of the heavy lifting in math content, coherence and some teacher moves (5 practices) allows the teacher to re prioritize the work they need to do in order to support quality learning.” What a powerful statement! And it’s so true. Check out the entirety of this post over at her blog here.

Kate Nowak (@k8nowak) answers the question “Do I have to do it this way?” about the Illustrative Mathematics Middle School Curriculum over at her blog. She chose a great analogy credited to someone at the Louisiana Department of Education.

Source: https://pixabay.com/en/chefs-competition-cooking-749563/

She writes, “if you were to try and cook a new, complicated recipe, you would probably make it as it’s written the first few times you make it. You don’t know what all the ingredients are for, you don’t know the rationale behind all of the instructions, you don’t really understand how it works, yet, before you cook it a few times. Once you start to understand the recipe, though, you can make smart choices to modify it to suit your tastes and needs: substitute green beans for eggplant, leave out the almonds, or take it out of the oven a little earlier, for example.”

And then there is the work happening over at #learnwithIM. Check it out and you’ll see teachers from across the country giving up their time this summer to learn, collaborate, and grow from working with this curriculum.

The anticipation is growing!!!

The decisions made by the writing team were incredibly purposeful. The curriculum tells a story. I’m so excited to see what they do next!

Written by Bridget Dunbar (@BridgetDunbar)

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Now It’s Time To Say Goodbye To All Our Global Math Company.







Now It’s Time To Say Goodbye To All Our Global Math Company.



Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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Everyday Formative Assessment that Transforms Teaching and Learning
Presented by Beth Kobett (@bkobett)

Join us for our final session of the 2016-17 school year. This presentation will engage participants in considering how everyday use of formative assessment, in-the-moment classroom-based assessment techniques (observations, interviews, Show Me, hinge questions, exit tasks), directly influence and empower teacher planning and instruction AND impact student achievement!

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 Jules Bonin-Ducharme discuss convergent and divergent problem solving.

The #MTBOS Never Sleeps

G-L-O
See you real soon
B-A-L
Why? Because we like you
M-A-T-H

As we close out another abundant year of Global Math Department, I wanted to take a moment to thank the amazing team of writers and editors who put together our newsletter week in and week out. Like it says above, the #MTBoS never sleeps, but that doesn’t mean we all have time to keep up with the countless tweets and blog posts that our community shares. The Global Math Department writers do that for us, combing the mathematical internet and sharing the juiciest tidbits in each week’s newsletter.

Several writers and editors will be staying along for the ride next year – Nate Goza, Andrew Stadel, Graham Fletcher, and Matthew Engle. Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to others, all of whom have volunteered their time across multiple school years – Sahar Khatri, Andrew Gael, Kent Haines, Wendy Menard, Jenise Sexton, Carl Oliver, and Audrey McLaren.

Staying or going, we appreciate their time and dedication to sharing with the rest of us and making the #MTBoS a community unlike any other.

Written by Brian Bushart (@bstockus)

Tessellation Nations

wtd.PNG

This week was World Tessellation Day! I only knew this because of Evelyn Lamb’s (@evelynjlamb) Scientific American article about floor tiling as a great treasury of tessellations. My favourite quote from her article: “Interesting tessellations are like Easter eggs for math enthusiasts and pattern aficionados to discover as they go about their daily business.” I actually knew what she meant by Easter egg! (It’s not really an Easter egg.) Also on the subject of World Tessellation Day is Pat Ashforth’s (@matheknitician) amazing knitted tessellations. Her website, Wooly Thoughts, is a wonderful mathcrafts resource. And that should totally be a word – mathcrafts. It is time.

Both of these articles made me wonder which came first – the artistic inspiration or the math – to create such beautiful things. I’m sure even the people who created them would have a hard time answering.

Written by Audrey McLaren (@a_mcsquared)

Too Good Not to Share

For me the school year is a distant memory. For some, it’s very much in the present. Although this article is not a personal blog, it’s just too good not to share. If you let it, these 7 fundamentals can be an aha, rebuke, or confirmation in your life as an educator in the new school year.

Exploring 7 Fundamental Truths That Can Transform Teaching appeared in my timeline courtesy of @blbbrush. Allow the list below to intrigue you, as my synopsis would not award the powerful message it exudes.

  1. Nobody Cares How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care.

  2. You Can Be Better Than You Were Yesterday (my favorite)

  3. What Matters Most About Feedback is Its Usefulness

  4. Collaboration is About Connection, Communication, and Compassion

  5. Interest Comes Before Learning (my aha)

  6. Never Skimp on the Shoes (my rebuke)

  7. Your Students Are Your Greatest Teachers.

Written by Jenise Sexton (@MrsJeniseSexton)

Bonus Chapter

If you haven’t read Tracy Zager’s book Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had, what are you waiting for? The time has never been better. First of all, there is a weekly book talk happening on Twitter and on Tracy’s forum as the MTBoS works its way through the chapters. You can check out the schedule here.  

But as it turns out, Tracy left a chapter out of her book. She couldn’t fit in all her ideas about math tools, so instead she has shared them in a recent blog post. In the context of sharing her skepticism of digital tools, Tracy shares a wonderful professional strategy (do math and talk about it with paraprofessionals!) and a fascinating mathematical idea (the associative property, which is waaay underrated).

If you haven’t read Tracy’s book, check out her post and see why everyone is so excited about her work. If you’ve already finished the book and are suffering from withdrawal, use this post to tide you over for a few days. I’m sure there will be another one soon enough.

Written by Kent Haines (@KentHaines)

Join Our Team!

The @GlobalMathDept is looking for volunteers to help create great online PD for math teachers. We’re currently seeking hosts, bookers, and writers for the 2017-18 school year. Check out this flyer for more details about each volunteer opportunity.

Ready to sign up? Fill out this form to let us know which position(s) you’d like to volunteer for.

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This Week at Global Math Department







This Week at Global Math Department



Edited By Sahar Khatri @MyMathscape

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Convergent or Divergent Problem Solving As a teacher, should you converge to a single solution at the end of a lesson or diverge to different thinking with each student? Is an open-middle a better approach to an open-ended type problem? Through activities, you will be able to compare differences and similarities between both strategies. Tune in tonight at 9 PM HERE.

Last week: Mathematical Modeling in School Mathematics – Even if we give students the very best mathematical modeling problems, we are not necessarily teaching students to be good mathematical modelers. Mathematical modeling requires making choices, and teaching mathematical modeling requires knowing the choices to be made and teaching students how to be, well, choosy. We will make explicit the little and not so little things we can do every day to help students learn how to make choices that matter when modeling. To listen to the recording, click here.

Great Blogging Actions

Abductive Reasoning

 

abductive-reasoning-sherlock.jpg

 

You’ve probably heard of inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning in math classroom. Have your heard of “abductive reasoning”? Head on over to Chase Orton’s blog, Undercover Calculus, and read about his new favorite term in math education. Don’t let the [calculus] title of Chase’s blog scare you. He works with all grade levels of math students and educators, documenting both his work and thinking along the way. Always a joy to read. Happy summer!

~by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

More Vocabulary!

Anything that gets students using more vocabulary is going to catch my attention, and Sara VanDerWerf’s (@saravdwerf) recent post has done just that.  This post was actually a guest post on Sara’s blog.  The author, Ole Rapson, highlighted a new routine she and other teachers are experimenting with that they call Tally Talks, where students get together and solve a problem while using specified vocabulary in their responses.  One student explains how to use it using the vocab given, while the other marks off when the words are used.

A feature of this post that I really enjoyed was the author’s highlighting of the evolution of the activity and its various tweaks.  I could totally see this basic idea being utilized in so many ways to fit many different situations.  Students will be talking and writing math more using this simple routine, and it seems that you get a lot of bang for your buck with this one.  I can’t wait to try it myself in the fall!

~ by Matthew Engle (@pickpocketbme)

Join Our Team!

The @GlobalMathDept is looking for volunteers to help create great online PD for math teachers. We’re currently seeking hosts, bookers, and writers for the 2017-18 school year. Check out this flyer for more details about each volunteer opportunity.

Ready to sign up? Fill out this form to let us know which position(s) you’d like to volunteer for.

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Summer Is Coming







Summer Is Coming



Edited By Nate Goza @thegozaway

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Mathematical Modeling in School Mathematics: It’s about Knowing the Givens and the Chosens
Presented by Rose Mary Zbiek 

Even if we give students the very best mathematical modeling problems, we are not necessarily teaching students to be good mathematical modelers. Mathematical modeling requires making choices, and teaching mathematical modeling requires knowing the choices to be made and teaching students how to be, well, choosy. We will make explicit the little and not so little things we can do every day to help students learn how to make choices that matter when modeling.
 

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

Missed last week’s session?  Christine Newell talked about targeted math discussions that engage students in their mathematical thinking.  Click here to check it out!

Finishing the Year with the #MTBoS

Year in the Life

As the year comes to a close, so ends the steady stream of this year’s Day in the Life posts from bloggers around the #MTBoS. The posts are part of a project spearheaded by Tina Cardone who started tossing this idea around in early August of 2016. This was wrapped up in a post last week, The Year In The Life of a Teacher. Tina writes that “The next step is to figure out the story we want to tell and the best way to tell it.” If you have any ideas, head on over to Tina’s post and leave some ideas in the comments.

For people who are #stillinschool, students’ struggles are certainly becoming all too real, especially as they are preparing for end of the year assessments. Reading Dylan Kane’s recent post shows a bad habit that I know I am guilty of in the face of students struggling. The post, Responding to Student Struggle, is a response to an Ilana Horn talk that was full of insight. Dylan writes about a finding from a study that teachers who struggle can lower the cognitive demand of the tasks. This was something that I’ve caught myself doing this year. This bad habit comes in part from focusing on shortcomings, and from thinking of student deficits as something that can’t be overcome. “One solution Lani offers”, Dylan writes, “is teacher education and ongoing professional development that focus on ability, bias, and an asset-orientation to counter deficit thinking.” Certainly reading Dylan’s post and watching Lani’s talk would be a good start.

Written by Carl Oliver (@carloliwitter)

Targeting Math at Target

Over the past 3 years Brian Bushart has helped moderate and churn the Kool-Aid over #ElemMathChat. From there, he’s shared his amazing Numberless Word Problem Sets and now he’s got me hooked on his shopping inspirations. If you’re a fan of Notice and Wonder or Estimation 180, then Brian’s visual inspirations are right up your alley.

How many globe string lights are in the box?


 

Written by Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy)

GMD Podcast


 

We all know Global Math Department talks are full of great information about math education. When the session ends, it can be hard to get in front of a computer to go back and re-watch old talks. Going back to previous episodes to gather that information is about to get much easier. You can now listen to select recordings of Global Math Department Conferences on the Global Math Department Podcast. You can find GMD talks on iTunes and Google Play (and in a few days Stitcher). Conferences will be posted roughly every other week, with the emphasis on talks which lend themselves well to the audio format. A number of posts from this year are up and more will be posted throughout the summer. If there are any recordings you want included let me know, @carloliwitter.

Join Our Team!

The @GlobalMathDept is looking for volunteers to help create great online PD for math teachers. We’re currently seeking hosts, bookers, and writers for the 2017-18 school year. Check out this flyer for more details about each volunteer opportunity.

Ready to sign up? Fill out this form to let us know which position(s) you’d like to volunteer for.

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Copyright © 2017 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.
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This Week at Global Math







This Week at Global Math



Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Targeting Math Discussions
Presented by Christine Newell (@MrsNewell22)

Number talks are powerful tools for building students’ mathematical thinking, fluency and discourse, but there’s more to them than just show and tell. Leverage your talks: analyze and use student strategies shared during number talks to plan and lead targeted follow-up discussions that reengage students in their mathematical thinking.

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 Jennifer Bay-Williams’ talk about research-based strategies that build procedural fluency.

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps

The Value of Feedback

So much goes into providing students with meaningful feedback. But how much do we as teachers work to receive meaningful feedback from our students. I can honestly say it’s rare that I think about receiving feedback on how I can be a better teacher from my students. I’ve asked for feedback about lessons and activities. I’ve even gone as far as asking for feedback on instructional strategies.

Lisa Bejarano has thought of something many of us have not. In her original post, “End of School Year Survey”, the Crazy Math Teacher Lady embedded an extensive survey for students to complete. The survey was filled with comments about Mrs. B. It shows the level of ownership she takes over her teaching. It shows her value in reflecting.

And because she has updated the survey, it just reinforced the notion that amazing teachers are always reflective. As you view her survey, you may find yourself somewhere on this spectrum, far left- “why would I do that?” and far right- “dammit I’m doing that!”

Written by Jenise Sexton (@MrsJeniseSexton)

A Most Wonderful Time to be a Math Teacher

I’ll say it again – this is the most exciting time to be a math teacher, thanks to the combination of GeoGebra, Desmos, and Twitter. Someone creates, then shares on Twitter, then others run with the ball. Or with the “amazeball” as it turns out! Here’s what I mean:

Vincent Pantaloni (@panlepan) created these instructions on how to create an animated gif of a GeoGebra and here is a collection of his GeoGebra gifs on Twitter. I then saw some gifs made by Tim Brezinski (@dynamic_math) and Steve Phelps (@giohio).  

Next I see crossover between GeoGebra and Desmos. Steve Phelps (@giohio) is a GeoGebrainiac who has now made his “first marbleslide activity with @Desmos. Plinko!?! I can’t wait to see how else Steve will use Desmos.

Speaking of GeoGebrainiacs, and people who are fluent in both GeoGebra and Desmos, Andrew Knauft (@aknauft) heard my call for help on Twitter about making a Desmos activity on vectors, and made this. Now I get to figure out how to make a marbleslide game using his vectors!

Hope I don’t drop the amazeball!

Written by Audrey McLaren (@a_mcsquared)

Join Our Team!

The @GlobalMathDept is looking for volunteers to help create great online PD for math teachers. We’re currently seeking hosts, bookers, and writers for the 2017-18 school year. Check out this flyer for more details about each volunteer opportunity.

Ready to sign up? Fill out this form to let us know which position(s) you’d like to volunteer for.

Follow us on Twitter
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Copyright © 2017 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.
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This Week at Global Math Department







This Week at Global Math Department



Edited By Sahar Khatri @MyMathscape

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Research-based Strategies that Build Procedural FluencyProcedural fluency is more than knowing facts and performing algorithms well! Recent research provides excellent insights into what we can do in our teaching to build procedural fluency (and conceptual understanding). This hour will focus on these instructional strategies, tools, and ideas. Presented by Jenny Bay-Williams. RSVP and join us by clicking here. 9 PM EST!

Last week: Making the Most of Mistakes
Presented by Peg Cagle (@pegcagle)

We need to do more than normalize errors in our classrooms – we need to leverage them! Examine ways to capitalize on student mistakes to drive instruction, deepen homework and frame quizzes/tests as assessments of and as learning, leading to greater student agency and lower risk aversion. To listen to the recording, click here.

Great Blogging Actions

Have A Piece of Desmos

Last week, Desmos released an activity to help support Geometry teachers. The Sector Area activity focuses on the sector area of a circle, starting with student intuition and working its way to students making generalizations about sector area in circles. Brilliant!

 

If this is a sample of what’s to come from Desmos regarding more geometry focused activities, I’m super excited. In case you might have missed it, they currently have a beta geometry tool for all of us to try out and provide feedback on.

  ————————————————————————————————————————————–
 

Euclid’s Head Scratcher

 

Fawn found another head scratcher for us. And in typical fashion, she tested it out on her students and reports back to us to delight in. She found Euclid’s Algorithm and presented various stages to her students so they could look for patterns and structure. Students made beautiful conjectures and demonstrated high engagement and interest. Bookmark this post. I’m sure you’ll return to it many times, just like I have done so.

~by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

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