This Week at Global Math – 3/3/2020







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Edited By Nate Goza  @thegozaway

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

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

Presented by Trena Wilkerson

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

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

Next Week 

Meaningful Student Math Reflections That Lead to Action

Presented by Matt Coaty

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

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

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

From the World of Math Ed

A Constant Source of Trauma
By: Hema Khodai

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

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

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

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

This particular quote from the article resonated deeply with me,

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@HKhodai

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

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

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

Brette Garner, University of Denver

Educational Justice Analogies

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

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

Millionaires and Billionaires

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


 

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

@melvinmperalta

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This Week at Global Math – 2/25/20







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Edited By Casey McCormick  @cmmteach

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Rightfully Positioning Mathematics in Integrated STE(A)M Instruction

Presented by Sarah Bush

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

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

Next Week 



Next week’s presentation will be brought to you by

NCTM president-elect, Trena Wilkerson



Check back on the Global Math Department home page for more information.

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

From the World of Math Ed

That’s MY President! 

This week, Dr. Robert Berry (@robertqberry)  wrote one of his final Presidential messages as the NCTM President. The article, titled How do we help teachers teach math to Black kids?” My Response, addressed the continual centering of mathematical practices, curriculum, and instructional strategies on the needs of White students. If you haven’t read his letter yet, please stop now and go do so. It is important for each person in the math education community to make sense of and grapple with the truths that were addressed. 



In his letter, Dr. Berry provided an example through the lens of the Standard of Mathematical Practice 3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Dr. Berry leveraged the fact that the ability to argue with anyone is a privilege that is not equally distributed to students who have been historically marginalized. Specifically in the United States, Black students, particularly Black males, are often threatened and severely punished by local authorities should they choose to construct a viable argument in the presence of the police. 

How can we leverage the Standards of Mathematical Practices to assist math teachers in seeing the need for addressing social change within and outside of our math classrooms? I’ll expand on Dr. Berry’s work here with three other SMPs that, when viewed differently, provide us with a depth that we sometimes cannot see on our own. 



SMP #1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. 



In a math class where math is seen as objective, SMP 1 can be completed within one 90-minute class period. For many of us, rich tasks that require critical thinking (e.g. Open Middle or 3-Act Tasks) make us feel as though we can be sure we have attended to this SMP in our classrooms. But, what of the problems that are occurring outside of our classrooms? 



As a Black Math Teacher, the first time I read this, I thought of the problem of racism. I want students, no matter their race, to make sense of the problem of racism, and persevere in solving that problem together. This is by no means to say racism is solvable. No; racism was/is a part of the foundation of the United States. It’s been baked in to the make-up of many countries, into the systems (including education), the policies, and the structures, designed to assure that some groups of people would find success routinely, while others would consistently be stripped of access. 



I also want to distinguish the use of this SMP as preface to the work we expect students to take on upon leaving high school. I don’t want to build students’ strength for problem-solving perseverance in my math class with problems dislike those they will experience when they leave my class. No; I want my students to grapple with the problems of the world in math class and know that together, we must persevere to do the hard work of bringing justice to those who have been oppressed. That the problems that are worth solving are far more complex than parametric equations, and deserve the time to be explored during the block of math class. 

SMP #7:  Look for and make use of structure



Rochelle Gutierrez (@RG1gal) (2013) discusses how as math teachers of students who have been marginalized, we must teach them how to “play the game to change the game.” When I read SMP #7, I hear that my students need to be taught how systems have been created, often to keep certain groups of people in a cycle of poverty and chaos, despite their efforts to succeed. As a high school teacher, this went far beyond trying to assist kids in making it to graduation, a local structure. This attended to the global structures of economy, education, government, and policy, because no matter how much “grit” you have, you cannot compete against others who have generational wealth, whether that wealth be financial- or knowledge-based. For me, teaching my students about these structures was teaching them how to “play the game to change the game,” helping them with successful navigation through these structures in life so they can even begin to compete with those who have been handed a significant advantage from birth. 



SMP #8: Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning



Look, friends. We’re mathematicians. We study patterns. For many people of color, we have specific insight into the different ways that structures are used to continually oppress people because they are patterns that we have been looking at our entire lives. I’ll give you an example Here are three quotes from the Report to the United Nations about Racial Disparities in the U.S. Criminal Justice System: 

“In 2016, [B]lack Americans comprised 27% of all individuals arrested in the United States—double their share of the total population.”

“African-American adults are 5.9 times as likely to be incarcerated than whites and Hispanics are 3.1 times as likely.”



“More than one in four people arrested for drug law violations in 2015 was [B]lack, although drug use rates do not differ substantially by race and ethnicity and drug users generally purchase drugs from people of the same race or ethnicity.”

 

What do you notice? What do you wonder? 



Many Black children can express the regularity in their repeated reasoning based on their experiences with law enforcement. For them, it looks like learning that policies and authorities have regularly been written to increase their chances of incarceration (for more information, see Stop & Frisk), and the repeated reasoning that falls out of this is a distrust for local authorities. There is no question of its regularity. These are not coincidental. These are patterns. 

If we look within our systems and structures, we are able to see these patterns with more clarity, and then express this regularity with repeated reasoning.  The repeated reasoning is not to say, “Well, it didn’t happen to me, so it doesn’t matter,” or “I’m just one person, what can I do to help?” and definitely not, “Well, they’ll learn that in Civics or Social Studies class.” We are mathematicians. We are the ones that must assist children in learning about these patterns so that change may occur. We are also the ones that must believe students when they say that a pattern exists, even if it does not exist for me.



I am THANKFUL that NCTM has had a President that used his wisdom  to encourage the mathematics education community to critically consider how the instructional practices, strategies, and curriculums look different when viewed through the lens of another. 



May we each use our own lens to strengthen the experiences of the next generation, that together we may be free. 

 

Written by Lauren Baucom

@LBMathemagician

Arrivederci, Global Math Department.

Over the past six months, I’ve been trying my best to give back a small fraction of what the #MTBoS community has given me throughout my teaching career. Getting an opportunity to write in the GMD newsletter is an opportunity I did not want to say no to, so I didn’t. In typical teacher fashion, my willpower made the decision for me and I bit off more than I can chew. I haven’t been able to put nearly as much love into the GMD articles that they deserve. It’s not really how I like to operate and I know I’m not giving it my all. So, this one will be the last time you hear from me in a while. In this article, I really want to draw out the things I love the most about the MTBoS community and the explicit things it’s given me as a teacher.

 

 

Ears. So. Many. Ears.

For every talking mouth, there are two listening ears. I don’t think that could be any more true with the Twitter math teachers. Rarely do cries for help go unheard or unanswered, almost like it’s just one big helpdesk for teachers in need. It’s really special. Teaching is hard. We need support, advice and friends. Sometimes, we don’t need those things and just need to be heard. Some teachers even feel comfortable sharing their personal struggles and reach out for help for things unrelated to teaching. It’s no surprise that those cries are not just heard but respected. I wish it was the norm in all schools, but having an online proxy is a pretty good second best.

 

Ideas

To know that at any point in time, you can jump online to see what others are sharing out in hope that it might make the life of another teacher a little bit easier or their lesson a little more enriched is simply a luxury that hasn’t existed before. Sometimes, I admit that I am left wondering where some people find the time to do what they do! If you’re like me and just submit to the fact that some people will sink more time and passion into developing their skills to an extraordinary level, Twitter can be like a gallery of incredible teacher talent. Whether it’s some incredible GeoGebra interactives, Desmos art, or even a really neat solution to a problem someone else has put out earlier, I love that people are willing to share it with the world. I know, you know, we all know that the MTBoS community is not a place where things are posted in a vain or showboaty nature, but just an amazing group of teachers helping teachers.

 

 

Awareness

The core purpose of a teacher’s role is learning. As teachers, we are our best when we practice what we preach – when we see ourselves as learners. We encourage our students to take an activist approach as we support their preparation for the (often referred to) real world. The #ClearTheAir group is a deliberate move to do just that – clear the air. We spend a lot of time with our future adults, mothers, fathers, voters and maybe even teachers. We have an incredible opportunity and a responsibility to educate our students on social injustice and inequality. This can’t happen, of course, without first learning ourselves, which is what this incredible group of teachers are continuing to do.

I’ve loved the opportunity to share what I see and love each month with you all and hope that something has come from the time you have spent reading it. I know how precious our time and attention is and respect it deeply. 



Until next time, I’ll see you online.



Written by John Rowe

@MrJohnRowe

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This Week at Global Math – 2/18/20







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions

No Webinar Tonight!

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

Next Week!

Rightfully Positioning Mathematics in Integrated STE(A)M Instruction

Presented by Sarah Bush

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

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

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

From the World of Math Ed

Guide to Coded Language in Education
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

John Berray

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

I’d like to highlight three of these tweets:

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

 

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

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

By Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

All Names Matter

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

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

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

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

By Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

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This Week at Global Math – 2/11/20







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Edited By Nate Goza  @thegozaway

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Building Human Themes into your Teaching of Math

Presented by Francis Su

Doing mathematical work sometimes feels like drudgery, and that’s often because we’ve taken ‘real math’ out of math homework. Mathematics isn’t memorization or calculation (though those can be helpful to do doing math)… rather, math is exploration, and that’s a deep human desire we all have. Students will be more motivated to learn mathematics if you appeal to their basic human desires, such as: for exploration, for play, for beauty, for truth, for struggle, for community. We’ll explore practical ways to build human themes into the teaching of mathematics. Bring one example of a lesson or a homework that you’d like to modify.

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

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

Global Math Department webinars would not be possible without the hardworking crew behind the scenes.  Let’s give a cheer for the following volunteers!!

Our Global Math Department Volunteers are amazing and do so much. 
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From the World of Math Ed

In Memory of Dr. Karen King

The mathematics education community has lost a giant in the field. Dr. Karen King was a program director at the National Science Foundation and was a former research director at NCTM. Her research focused on, among other things, urban mathematics reform, the mathematics preparation of teachers, and mathematics teacher professional development. I had the pleasure to work with Dr. King on several occasions, and her commitment to equity and justice in mathematics education shone through her passion and insight. The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) recently announced an advocacy award in honor of Dr. Karen King and posted a link for anyone to share reflections on what they have learned from Dr. King

 

Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Conference
 

This past weekend was the annual AMTE conference, which took place in Phoenix AZ. I was not able to attend, but based on posts on Twitter, there appeared to be a strong showing of presentations centering work on equity and social justice in mathematics education:

Whiteness in Mathematics

It’s amazing to see so many researchers, reformers, and teachers focused on the work of equity and social justice in mathematics education. It’s imperative that we continue to push this work forward through critical self-reflection and identity work and that we strive toward explicitness, clarification, providing examples, and giving critiques when it comes to the work already being done. For instance, what exactly do we mean when we use the terms “equity” and “social justice”? 
 
One approach to this question would be to highlight the ways by which mathematics operates as whiteness. This is precisely what Dr. Laurie Rubel (@LaurieRubel), among others, has sought to do in her research. As Dan Meyer (@ddmeyer) explains, Dr. Rubel has been caught up in an alt-right firestorm for explaining how meritocracy is a tool for whiteness. The controversy is centered around a 2017 paper entitled Equity-Directed Instructional Practices: Beyond the Dominant Perspective. Links to the original publisher’s website do not appear to be working, so I’ll post this one here. Dr. Rubel was featured on a podcast in which she explains the paper in greater detail.

 
Anti-Racist Mathematics

On the American Mathematical Society’s inclusion/exclusion blog, Dr. Tian An Wong poses the question: can mathematics be anti-racist? He describes a class he’s developed called Inequalities: Numbers and Justice, where he and the class explore notions of fairness and equality from the point of view of mathematics and economics. Topics covered include gerrymandering, racial capitalism, and climate change. 
 
Dr. Chanda Prescott-Weinstein (@IBJIYONGI) points out an improper citation in the blog post connected with her own work (which poses the same question) and highlighted the work of Black women who have been talking about anti-racist approaches to mathematics and mathematics education for a long time. References can be found in Dr. Prescott-Weinstein’s Twitter thread as well as in an editor’s note at the end of Dr. Wong’s blog post.

 
@melvinmperalta

(Teachers and) SWBAT: Thrive
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the connection between student learning and teacher learning, and students’ sense of thriving and teachers’ sense of thriving…
 
A couple of years ago, I found myself going down a research rabbit hole on the construct of thriving. Thriving, as it is defined in psychological literature, is related to personal growth and has dual dimensions of vitality (affect) and learning (cognitive). While the construct of thriving has not made it into my own research, I keep coming back to it like an itch that I can’t quite scratch. I think what fascinates me about this seemingly simple construct is that it is so hard to find working adults –– especially in the teaching profession –– who would describe themselves as thriving. 
 
Teaching, as most of you know, is a very high stakes profession: Teachers have the futures of not only individual young people but our entire nation and world in their hands. Teachers today might feel this more acutely than ever before thanks to standardized testing that (albeit problematically) quantifies how successful they are at their jobs and how successful their students will be going forward in their lives. Unsurprisingly, this can make the vitality dimension of thriving something that many teachers find lacking in their professional lives.
 
Beyond this, opportunities for purposeful, teacher-driven learning can also be fairly scarce in teaching. Not only is there a cultural expectation that teachers are supposed to “already know everything” (afterall, they already went to high school, and anyone who was successful in school can teach!), but they are often isolated inside of their own classroom, with little to no opportunity to receive feedback, observe others, or have adequate time to collaborate. 
 
So, if thriving is hindered by high stakes and the sense of imminent failure, accompanied by little opportunity for purposeful and personally meaningful learning (as I have described for teachers), then aren’t students experiencing the same crisis as teachers?  Where do students have opportunities for purposeful, personally-driven learning in math class?
 
I think my obsession with the construct of thriving is rooted in the idea that teacher thriving and student thriving are inextricably connected, and that until we address issues of teacher vitality and learning, we might be somewhat chasing our tails with all of our focus on student learning (of course, we cannot stop worrying about student learning and JUST focus on teachers!). 
 
I wonder about how to consistently open up vitality-giving (i.e., enjoyable, rejuvenating) learning opportunities for teachers. Here are a few ideas:  
 
What about virtual coaching, where teachers record their classrooms and have coaches or peers watch and give them feedback through digital conferencing? New technologies (e.g., Swivl) exist to make this process streamlined, and researchers (the SIGMa group at Vanderbilt, the Project SyncOn at the University of Rochester) have been exploring this as a viable means to support teachers in learning how to grow their teaching in ways that matter to them. This is also being explored in the field by people who do the work of teaching and coaching everyday (e.g., CPM’s coaches are beginning to explore virtual coaching with Swivl technologies in order to reach rural teachers).
 
What about supporting teachers to develop and/or use rubrics to assess their students instead of assigning mastery grades to many required projects/assignments, so that the stakes are lowered and interest and learning might be raised for both students and teachers. How can we help teachers easily navigate the tension between assessing in ways that support their own and their students’ sense of thriving (without diminishing rigor) and creating grades that are required by the system? 
 
What about approaching remediation as a task of re-invigorating student curiosity through rich tasks that invite exploration rather than going back-to-the basics? This last one might sound very pie-in-the-sky, but there are math programs (such as CPM for 8th grade and Carnegie Pathways for post-secondary) that are trying out such ideas, creating entire curriculums for math intervention courses that centralize exploring the big ideas of mathematics and start with sparking student curiosity. 
 
When do you feel a sense of thriving in your teaching? Does the connection between teacher and student thriving resonate with you? What ideas do you have to support both teachers and students to experience both a sense of personal growth along dimensions of both vitality and learning in their daily rounds in the school house? 
 
Written by Lara Jasien

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This Week at Global Math – 2/4/20







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Edited By Casey McCormick  @cmmteach

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Meeting the Need of Introverts in the Collaborative Classroom

Presented by Megan Dubee

The rise of classroom collaboration turned rows into pods, lecture into cooperative learning, and individuals into teams. Despite the many benefits of collaborative classrooms, some students’ needs are not being met. Motivated by Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, we will explore strategies to increase classroom inclusivity by creating a space where students feel empowered to participate in ways aligned with their personalities and challenged to take risks in their learning.

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

Next Week 


Building Human Themes into your Teaching of Math

Presented by Francis Su

Doing mathematical work sometimes feels like drudgery, and that’s often because we’ve taken ‘real math’ out of math homework. Mathematics isn’t memorization or calculation (though those can be helpful to do doing math)… rather, math is exploration, and that’s a deep human desire we all have. Students will be more motivated to learn mathematics if you appeal to their basic human desires, such as: for exploration, for play, for beauty, for truth, for struggle, for community. We’ll explore practical ways to build human themes into the teaching of mathematics. Bring one example of a lesson or a homework that you’d like to modify.

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

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

From the World of Math Ed

Chewy Problems

I received a direct message from a friend this week who was feeling uneasy about the new curriculum approach his school had taken on. He sent me a link to the homepage of the company and it read something like this:

  • Improved test scores

  • Improved grades

  • Improved teacher morale

Do I want all of those things? Absolutely. What bothered me wasn’t what was there, but what was missing. The specific company zeroes in on a pedagogical model that emphasizes the dispersion of knowledge from the teacher to the students with some worrying infographics to support the teacher-centric nature of it (I say “worrying” because of the easy, click-and-fit vision of teaching it is promoting). He asked me if I had anything I could send him, something to read, which might help discredit the notion that there is a one-size fits all approach to teaching, where teachers will tell and students will listen and learn. I sent him two recommendations, not necessarily to discredit, but rather tap into what I felt was missing, what the approach leaves out, and the subsequent “benefits” it omits. The two readings were:

Both are not new or unknown by many in the field, but both promote a model that is varied and unfixed, adaptable and flexible, and connected to the genuine curiosity that students and teachers bring to the classroom. Lockhart captures the passion many teachers have for mathematics but don’t feel empowered to instill into their students, restrained by imposed structures and rigid frameworks. Lampert presents a case for instruction that makes room for students (and teachers) to zig-zag between ideas, make connections between the known and unknown, and grow to understand the notion of “cross-country” mathematics.

They both include what I call, “chewy problems.” Chewy problems always have a little bit more to find out about, the type of problems that become even more interesting when you consider it from another angle or approach it in a different way. They require significant chewing. These come in a few forms, many of which you wouldn’t expect to see from a curriculum provider for some understandable reasons; they depend on teacher expertise, they are often best done on paper (or scraps of paper), students tend to take their own path and sometimes end up tackling a completely different problem, and (here’s the real kicker) students might not even “solve” them at all. These problems are, however, just opportunities for students to experience mathematics in the ways described by Lampert and Lockhart. They require students to make sense of the problem, form and refute conjectures, or even completely walk away from it for an idea to surface from their subconscious. I’ve picked out three different ones that popped up on my feed over the past week or so, which I believe get better the more you chew. 

 

Eddie Woo (@misterwootube) came right out of the gates with the more interesting question of “well, yes – we know it can be solved but how many solutions exist?



AMSI Schools (@AMSIschools and @cass_lowry) presented this problem which invites students’ imagination when you look at it at a different angle 😉

 

Tierney Kennedy (@kennedy_tierney) has been on fire with the problems she’s been sharing in the Twitter-sphere. She just needs to remember the hashtag #MTBOz, of course!

 

Lastly, here’s a problem. A BIG problem, which shows the power of mathematical models for presenting real-world problems and might leave students with more questions than answers, but maybe the questions worth asking.



Written by John Rowe, @MrJohnRowe

Black History Month

 

Black History Month initially started as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. Mr. Woodson wanted to raise the awareness of Black’s contributions to civilization. He felt it was important to raise the awareness of Black’s contributions that had been excluded from historical records and school curriculums. The month of February was selected because of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the week long celebration was expanded to a month. As mathematics educators it is imperative that this celebration is a part of our classroom instruction. Thus, for the month of February Dr. Kristopher J. Childs (@DrKChilds) has created Black Mathematician Month Slides that can be used on a daily basis to celebrate Black Mathematicians. Here is the link http://kristopherchilds.com/black-mathematician-month feel free to download, share with your students, and colleagues.



Also check out https://mathematicallygiftedandblack.com/, as shared by Annie Perkins (@anniek_p).



Special thanks to Dr. Childs for acting as a special guest contributor this week!

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This Week at Global Math – 1/28/20







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Using Desmos’ Snapshots Tool to Deepen Equitable Classroom Discourse

Presented by Allison Krasnow

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

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

Next Week!

Meeting the Need of Introverts in the Collaborative Classroom

Presented by Megan Dubee

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

To register early for this workshop, click here.

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

From the World of Math Ed

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

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

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

Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

Math is a Web

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

 

January & February & Past & Present & Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Spring Festival / Lunar New Year!

Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

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This Week at Global Math – 1/21/20







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Edited By Nate Goza  @thegozaway

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Breathing Life into Geometry with Coding

Presented by Mike Larson and Ashley Goetz

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

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

Next Week::

Using Desmos’ Snapshots Tool to Deepen Equitable Classroom Discourse

Presented by Allison Krasnow

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

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

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

From the World of Math Ed

What do we mean when we talk about perseverance in math classrooms?
 
There are many conversations circulating about perseverance in the math education community: in the Common Core standards, at conferences, in email invitations for PDs, and in teacher meetings. Certainly, we all desire for our students to see mathematics as worthwhile and worth their time and effort to work through difficult and challenging problems. In our research with secondary math teachers, we saw teachers explicitly setting the goal of having their students persevere. This prompted us, and made us curious to think about perseverance more clearly and more critically. We started asking questions such as what exactly do we mean when we say perseverance? When can conversations around perseverance be harmful for some students? And what kind of resource, or framework, can we produce that will support teachers and teacher educators in thinking about perseverance in rich and productive ways?

We are conscious of the fact that terms like productive struggle, grit, and growth mind-set are typically used to frame what is lacking in Black and Brown communities. We caution against reinstating this framing here as well in which students of color are yet again depicted as deficient and low-performing. Instead, we believe that as teachers, we can create the conditions for more perseverance to occur in our classrooms as a result of facilitating their discovery of appropriate strategies at a more conscious and explicit level.  
 

In this post, we offer the following sacrificial graphic to show how we came to understand the teacher’s role and agency in helping students work hard at making sense, not just working hard. While we often conflate persistence and perseverance, we came to understand that perseverance entails making sense of problems. In our experience, when students are confronted with a difficult mathematical challenge, those that are successful are able to rely on familiar strategies that help them (even if only temporarily) make sense of the problem at hand. As they chip away at understanding parts of the challenge, they are then motivated to continue working through or persist in solving the problem. This then becomes a fruitful cycle of making sense of mathematics through heuristics motivating one to persist. For this reason, we believe we should pay more attention to ways in which we help make explicit for students the kinds of strategies at their disposal so that they are more likely to handle challenging problems in the future and persevere through them. We offer the cycle below, as our current thinking around how these 3 dimensions of perseverance (persistence, heuristics, and sense-making) work together.

 
We are interested in math teachers’ experiences with perseverance in their classroom. Let us know what thoughts and reflections you have about our proposed definition of perseverance as consisting of the connections between persistence, problem-solving strategies, and sense-making. 
 
 

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This Week at Global Math – 1/14/20







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Edited By Casey McCormick  @cmmteach

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Tonight!

Up for Debate! Exploring Math Through Arguments

Presented by Chris Luzniak

 

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

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

Next Week 


Breathing Life into Geometry with Coding

Presented by Mike Larson and Ashley Goetz

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

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

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

From the World of Math Ed

 

Twenty Things to Try in Twenty Twenty.

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



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

 

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



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

 

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



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


 

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



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

 

 

  1. Make an AB (Desmos – @Desmos)



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

 

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



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

     

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



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

 

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



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

 

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



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

 

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



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

 

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



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

 

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



    Who: Fawn Nguyen (@fawnpnguyen)

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

     

  2. Hear Someone’s Math Story



    Who: Michelle Nguyen (Desmos)

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

 

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



    Who: Chris Luzniak (@CLuzniak)

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

     

  2. Meet the Math Minions



    Who: Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

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

 

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



    Who: Ben Orlin (@benorlin)

    Where: https://mathwithbaddrawings.com/

 

  1. Do a Fraction Talk



    Who: Nat Banting (@NatBanting)

    Where: http://fractiontalks.com/

 

  1. Get Retro



    Who: Kurt Salisbury (@kurt_salisbury)

    Where: https://retrodesmos.com/

 

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



    Who: James Tanton (@jamestanton)

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

 

  1. Solve a Riddle



    Who: Dan Finkel (@mathforlove)

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

 

  1. Catch the Underground



    Who: Underground Mathematics (@nrichmaths)

    Where: https://undergroundmathematics.org/



Written by John Rowe, @MrJohnRowe

Unlearning

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



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

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

 



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

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



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



An example:



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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

 

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



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



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



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



MRenee Wilson (@MReneeWilson) tweet sums this up:

 

 

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

 

Written by Lauren Baucom, @LBmathemagician

Math For Your Ears

4 Podcasts to Dive Into This Year

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

New to Podcasts?

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



How to Listen



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



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



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



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



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

 

ios9-podcasts-app-tile

 

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

  1. Install your preferred app on Google Play.

  2. Search for the podcast by title.

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





    Written by Bethany Lockhart, @lockhartedu

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This Week at Global Math – 1/7/2020







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Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Proportional Reasoning Using a Double Number Line

Presented by Christine Lenghaus



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

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

Next Week!

Up for Debate! Exploring Math Through Arguments

Presented by Chris Luzniak



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

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

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

From the World of Math Ed

 

Standards-Based Teaching and Teacher Burnout

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



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



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



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





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

 

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

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


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

 

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



By Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

🌏🌎🌍2020 Across the Globe 🌍🌎🌏

 

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

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

Iran 🇮🇷

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

From @melvinmperalta:

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

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

China 🇨🇳

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



By Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

After Break

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

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

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

 

By Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

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This Week at Global Math – 12/17/19







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Edited By Nate Goza  @thegozaway

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Tonight!

Chasing Rabbits: Building a Lifetime Curiosity for Mathematics Through Arithmetic

Presented by Sunil Singh

This presentation will focus on binding the K to 12 math community with the deeper appreciation of arithmetic. Ideas and problems will be shared that intersect history and number theory, expanding our lens of rich mathematical content.

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

We are taking two weeks off for Winter Break! 

On January 7th we will return with:

Proportional Reasoning Using a Double Number Line

Presented by Christine Lenghaus

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

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

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

From the World of Math Ed

Math is for people
 

Math, like language, can be a tool for understanding society and a space for human connection. Math can also be done for its own sake of course, and there’s also a lot to be said about its role as an engine for scientific thought and a means for upward social mobility. But the more I do math, the more I realize how wonderful it is to do it with people and about people and the structures and institutions that shape our lives. What I share today highlights the human-facing side of the subject and shows us that one can be a mathematician by asking questions about math and expecting answers about people.
 
An Inside-Outside Course on Number Theory
 
Darryl Young (@dyoung) posted his sixth reflection on his experience facilitating a number theory course among Claremont students and incarcerated students at the California Rehabilitation Center. The program is an awesome example of the ways in which math can get people to think, talk, and just be together. In part 1, Darryl lays out the course goals for students to learn something about themselves and others and develop a more nuanced understanding of mathematical brilliance. In part 6, he shares a story of a student who was at first reluctant about social interaction but felt he grew mathematically and socially because of the experience. It’s an amazing arc, and what I appreciate most is that the program was designed and facilitated in a way that was not exploitative or voyeuristic of the students in prison. Part 2’s opening sentence says it all: “Teaching a math course inside of a prison is surprisingly unremarkable.” Read his reflections from the start.
 
Data Literacy*
 
Dan Myer (@ddmyer) asked Twitter users to post a meaningful graph that “says it all for them”. Besides the frustrating state of U.S. healthcare that (I think) his graph represents, here’s a sample of three other great responses:
 
  • David Kung (龚仲孝) (@dtkung) shared a dope interactive graph about the relationship between income and college attendance. The NYTimes has been put out some amazing data visualizations in the past couple of years, including this one about the NYC subway system, which I enjoyed back when I was still raging about it.
 
  • Melissa Kincaid (@QueenMel99) shared an infographic about the diversity of characters represented in children’s books. They’re astonishing figures that make it clear the work isn’t over. Please check out #weneeddiversebooks for more.
 
 
  • Chris Hunter (@ChrisHunter36) shared a dynamic graph showing how the tax rate has fallen for wealthy individuals in the U.S. I encourage readers to visit the article where the graph comes from because it explains that the y-axis doesn’t just represent the income tax rate. Instead, it shows an “effective tax rate” that takes into account federal income taxes, corporate taxes, taxes paid at state and local levels, and indirect taxes such as licenses for motor vehicles and businesses. The graph is based on a first-of-its-kind research on historical tax rates conducted by economists at Berkeley and reported in the book The Triumph of Injustice. This might be the first (and only) book about taxes I’ll ever enjoy.
 
 
*I borrow from Thomas Philip and Laurie Rubel’s preference for “data literacy” over “quantitative literacy” because of the rise of new forms of digital data and data practices such as data visualization and spatial literacies from geography. I’m also using this footnote as an excuse to revoice their excellent paper, which Benjamin Dickman (@benjamindickman) shared in his 12/10/19 contribution to the GMD newsletter earlier this month.
 
 

Living in Nepantla
By: Hema Khodai
 
If you aren’t yet familiar with them, please allow me to introduce you to the Nepantla Teachers Community (@NepantlaTC), a non-profit organization committed to developing mathematics teachers who strive for social justice in education.
 
I first came across the term “Nepantla” in the work of Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez (@RG1gal). From the Nepantla Teachers Community (NTC) website, I learned that nepantla is a Nahuatl (Aztec language) term connoting in between or a reference to the space of the middle;  the space of uncertainty, tension between truths, and “grey area.”  What does this mean for mathematics teachers? The NTC believes “we can learn in this space by reexamining our beliefs and questioning oppressive structures and practices.”  
 
You will find below the unique structure of the NTC blog and hope that it will interest you and elicit your engagement in growing in nepantla to form critical perspectives.
 
The goal of the Nepantla Teachers Community blog is to provide an honest and encouraging space to navigate sociopolitical situations that occur in mathematics education for the purpose of working towards justice in traditionally marginalized communities. By using the word political, we mean any situation that involves power dynamics.

Each post will be published in two parts (Part I: The first Saturday of each month at 5 PM and Part II: the following Wednesday at 9 AM). Part I will give a math teacher author’s real dilemma that they have recently experienced and to share some information about themselves. Part II will provide an analysis of the powers at play and the author’s response (or lack of response) to the situation. Before Part II is published, readers are encouraged to interact with the author and each other by asking questions, comments, and/or providing ideas on how they would respond if they were in their shoes.

The latest blog reveals a situation many of us have undoubtedly found ourselves in, navigating the tensions between fostering joy in mathematics, promoting creativity, supporting parent engagement, our personal teaching philosophy, and teacher performance as determined by administration. It is the essential question of how we balance doing what we see is working for our students and their families with succumbing to the pressures of standardized testing.
 
Both parts of the blog can be found at the links below.
Strings Attached Part 1 – Saturday, December 7, 2019
Strings Attached Part 2 – Wednesday, December 11, 2019
 
In Part 2 of this most recent blog, the NTC share a reflection tool, Levels of Oppression, created by Mariame Kaba (@PrisonCulture).
 
In addition, I would like to share with you Episode 4: Nepantla Teachers Community of the TODOS (@TodosMath) Podcast as described below:
 
What are the teacher communities that we build to sustain ourselves and each other? A double-length episode featuring two founders of the Nepantla Teachers Community, who speak to the roles of identity, tensions, and finding your people to sustain yourself in mathematics teaching.
 
It is with joy that I share this teacher community with you and invite you to live in Nepantla with us.
 

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