This Week at the Global Math Department

Edited By Nate Goza  @thegozaway
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Park City Mathematics Institute/Teacher Leadership Program

Presented by Peg Cagle, Dylan Kane, and Cal Armstrong

An intensive, three-week residential program, the PCMI/TLP provides participating middle and high school math teachers with the unique opportunity to engage in a deep dive into their own professional development, alongside parallel communities from across the larger umbrella of mathematics profession. In addition to doing math, reflecting on practice, and developing capacity as a teacher leader, both formal and informal interactions connect teachers to research mathematicians, mathematics university faculty, undergraduate & graduate students, and thought leaders addressing equity in mathematics education at the post-secondary level.

Join Cal Armstrong (@sig225), Peg Cagle (@pegcagle), and Dylan Kane (@dylanpkane) to learn about this unique professional development offering, in time to meet the summer application deadline of January 15, 2019.

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

Next week at Global Math Geoff Krall will be sharing ideas from his new book Necessary Conditions.  You can register ahead of time here!

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

Focusing on What Matters

Grade Less

David Wees recently wrote a blog post called “Teach Better By Doing Less.” In this post he talks about the “two common activities teachers do that have either little to no impact on student learning but which do take teachers a tremendous amount of time, time that could be spent on other activities.” One of these activities is grading student work.

In the post, David quoted Dylan Wiliam when he talks about how his work in schools has shown that students only focus on the number grade and mostly fail to read or process the teachers comments. So David’s point is that teachers should still look at student work, but that it should be used to plan future lessons.

His tweet is quoting Henri Picciotto who also wrote a blog post called “More Catchphrases.” In this post he talks about budgeting your time and not grading more than you need to.

So what are your strategies for grading less? How do you make sure you are giving students feedback that is meaningful, yet isn’t too time consuming? Anyone trying to go gradeless? I’d love to hear about it!

Written by Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

Student Feedback

I recently read Cornelius Minor’s new book, We Got This: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be, and it’s stuck with me for several reasons. For one, it’s a beautifully written and illustrated book, drawing on comic book art to add visual impact to Cornelius’s lyrical words. For another, it’s a powerful blend of the visionary and inspirational teacher book that makes me a) want to do better and b) feel like it’s possible; the concrete and practical resource with guided questions to help readers think through dilemmas and situations in their own classrooms, in addition to strategies and advice; and the deeply personal and vulnerable memoir of moments from his teaching experience where he didn’t do everything right, or where a student gave some very honest, very difficult feedback.

It’s sitting in my mind as I visit classrooms this week and talk to teachers who know—like Cornelius—that they’re not going to single-handedly end racism or fix inequity, and who walk into their work every morning facing problems that cannot be solved by balancing both sides of the equation. Nonetheless, I feel like their classrooms are characterized by a lovely interaction of warmth, caring, and thoughtful mathematical instruction, and I’m curious how their students experience these classrooms. One thing these teachers and I have been talking about together has been giving a survey before winter break.

In my experience, students are both astute observers and also very generous with their feedback, and creating the opportunity for students to share their perspective both honors their voice and invites them to practice reflection and metacognition—but only if what they say will be taken seriously (in the past, I have also seen teachers dismiss student feedback as biased or motivated by a grudge, in which case, why waste everyone’s time?). This makes me think that surveys should be accessible (will students know how to answer the types of questions you’re asking?), concrete (questions that are too open-ended—”what do you think about this class?”—tend to lead to vague answers—”it’s great”), and focused only on what the teacher cares most about (if there’s no intention of actually changing a particular practice, why ask how they feel about it?). I happen to like questions like “tell me about a time when…” or “describe what it’s like to…” or “how does it make you feel when…” Maybe that’s self-evident, but I always find it easier said than done.

Are you giving a student survey before winter break? What kinds of questions are you asking?

Written by Grace Chen (@graceachen)

GMD is Looking for Presenters!

Do you know someone who you think should lead a GMD Webinar?

Did you see something amazing at a recent conference that needs to be shared?

At Global Math we are proud of our Webinars!  We appreciate all of our presenters and look forward to bringing you the best “PD Iin Your Pajamas” on the internet.  We’re always on the lookout for fresh faces and new ideas.

Please use this recommendation form to let us know who/what should be shared next!  We will take your recommendations and reach out to try to make it happen!

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This Week at the Global Math Department

 

 

Edited By Nate Goza  @thegozaway
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Online Professional Development Sessions

GMD is taking a break for Thanksgiving this week!  We will be back next week with a presentation from Amie Albrecht titled Developing Mathematical Thinking Through Problem Solving.  Click here to register!

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

Thanks to the MTBoS

Beyond the Algorithm

One of the most obvious strengths of the online math teacher community is their passion for creating and sharing resources that help math teachers move beyond rote, traditional teaching centered on the memorization and execution of algorithms. Take. for example, this tweet from @vaslona:

As another example, @MathTeachScholl has sent out a request to learn how teachers use the game of Set in their classrooms. Let’s give her more replies!

 

As @MrKitMath points out, algorithms and rote procedures have the counterproductive effect of masking the relational nature of mathematics.

This reminds me of a paper by Cobb, Gresalfi, and Hodge, which talks about the difference between “conceptual agency” and “disciplinary agency”. Although it is neither current nor part of the online teacher space, I wanted to bring it up because it does an excellent job pointing out that even in student-centered classrooms, mathematical learning is unlikely to occur unless students have opportunities to create meaning on their own apart from re-enacting mathematical procedures.

Finally, the topic of moving beyond algorithms reminds me of @Veganmathbeagle’s tweet questioning the hyper-focus that factoring quadratics receives in the traditional mathematics curriculum.

I think far too often we teach content because it’s “just the way it’s been”. Why do we teach the content we do and is there a better alternative? I’m sure this is a question that math teachers all around the world ask themselves from time to time, if not regularly. But we as educators are also aware of the responsibilities we have toward our students in light of existing curricula. How do we strike that balance? Who currently benefits under the existing curricular regime and whose education pays the price?

On that note, have a great and reflective Thanksgiving season.

Written by Melvin Peralta (@melvinmperalta)

An Axiomatic Approach To Teaching and Learning

I wrote this book because I needed my own thoughts on mathematics teaching and learning to be “in the world”. And now I have these 30,000 words, stating that which I believe. I say this not because I think you should read it – you can read it if you like, or not. I mention the book because I decided to examine what I believe about mathematics teaching and learning, right down to the core, through a personal set of axioms about teaching and learning.

I do a lot of “fanboying” about Dr. Eugenia Cheng, and her books. Her new book, on logic, is terrific. I recommend it to readers, for your holidays. It teaches us how to construct better arguments. We are not all capable of pure logic, and emotion always plays into human arguments. It is best to just admit that. She deftly examines a number of social justice issues to show where false equivalences occur. Her section on privilege dazzles. It is remarkable to me that she is using her obscure field, category theory, to make these points. Category theory is the “math of math”, and is really about arrows pointing between categories. Sounds simple, but it is really not so – she is elaborating really complex relationships between “things”, and in the case of pure category theory, relationships between sets, mathematical objects, and even different branches of mathematics.

A point Dr. Cheng makes is that axioms, even in mathematics, come from somewhere. We have to start with something – some assumptions, some starting point. A lot of arguments about teaching and learning come down to not going all the way back to the beginning, to examining our unshakeable core beliefs.

You probably proceed from different axioms than your classroom neighbour. But what are they? Take a few minutes to write down a few. Many are deeply woven into the fabric of who you are. Some could change, given new information, for example, research about teaching and learning.

As Parker Posey said, “we teach who we are”. So who are you between those 4 walls?

The answer is axiomatic – you might just not know it yet.

Written by Matthew Oldridge (@MatthewOldridge)

Giving thanks for MTBOS

As I restfully work … ¿work while resting? … regretfully place my (now reading) child in front of on the so I can study the next few chapters of   and prepare for the next bit of the school year I am

.

In no particular order; things on MTBoS this week I am thankful for:

  • @TeachMrReed for his positive, motivational messages of love.
  • @dyong for reminding us the necessity of giving thanks in this difficult time.

Written by Diana McClean (@teachMcClean)

GMD is Looking for Presenters!

Do you know someone who you think should lead a GMD Webinar?

Did you see something amazing at a recent conference that needs to be shared?

At Global Math we are proud of our Webinars!  We appreciate all of our presenters and look forward to bringing you the best “PD Iin Your Pajamas” on the internet.  We’re always on the lookout for fresh faces and new ideas.

Please use this recommendation form to let us know who/what should be shared next!  We will take your recommendations and reach out to try to make it happen!

Follow us on Twitter
Visit our Website
Copyright © 2018 Global Math Department, All rights reserved.

Email us at:
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Stand and Talks

Stand and Talks

Presented by: Sara VanDerWerf

One of the best things I ever started doing in my classroom was daily ‘Stand & Talks’, a twist on turn and talks, to engage every single student in talking about mathematics every single day in my classroom. Learn how to start using this routine in your classroom to engage your students. What you give students to talk about is critical so we will also look at the lens teachers bring to planning a stand & talk. In addition we will touch on where to find resources so that you can start using this routine in your classroom tomorrow. This routine is not specific to a text or grade.

Hosted by: Leigh Nataro

Note: Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Stand-and-Talks

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

Presented on November 13, 2018

 

What’s Going on in This Graph?

What’s Going on in This Graph?

Presented by: Sharon Hessney

“What’s Going On In This Graph?” (WGOITGraph?) is what we math-types automatically ask ourselves when we see a graph of interest. But, do our students have this curiosity? Probably not. WGOITGraph?, a weekly, free online feature of the New York Times Learning Network, asks students “What do we notice?” and “What do we wonder?” about a timely graph that they can recognize themselves in. (You may know this as Annie Fetter’s math problem-solving strategy.) WGOITGraph? is for grades 7 – 12 and beyond. It is used in not only math, but also humanities and science class. With a very low floor and very high ceiling, all students engage and benefit.

WGOITGraph? is released weekly on Thursday with math teachers live moderating 9 am – 2 pm ET on the following Wednesday. Then, we reveal the article, additional questions, and Stat Nuggets.

WGOITGraph? can be used in class or as homework. WGOITGraph? expects no teacher prep or statistical background.

We will notice and wonder about some graphs. Then, we will share our catchy headlines. We will discuss best practices. Guaranteed that you’ll still be thinking about the graphs once we are done.

Hosted by: Leigh Nataro

Note: Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/What-s-Going-On-In-This-Graph

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

Presented on November 6, 2018

Digital math workflow FTW with Desmos, EquatIO, and Google (Post 2)

Digital math workflow FTW with Desmos, EquatIO, and Google

Presented by: John McGowan

There are a ton of great resources…Word Docs, PDFs, Google Docs, textbooks, test banks, etc…and you want to merge them to include Desmos, Google’s GSuite. You also want faster & more effective feedback, accessibility, and deeper student understanding & engagement driven by student choice and response preferences. We will talk about some of the ways you can do this with the help of EquatIO!

Host: Paula Torres

Note: This podcast exceeded the size by over 30 MB.  So this is part 2 of this podcast. Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Digital-math-workflow-FTW-with-Desmos-EquatIO-and-Google

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

Presented on October 30, 2018

Digital math workflow FTW with Desmos, EquatIO, and Google (Post 1)

Digital math workflow FTW with Desmos, EquatIO, and Google

Presented by: John McGowan

There are a ton of great resources…Word Docs, PDFs, Google Docs, textbooks, test banks, etc…and you want to merge them to include Desmos, Google’s GSuite. You also want faster & more effective feedback, accessibility, and deeper student understanding & engagement driven by student choice and response preferences. We will talk about some of the ways you can do this with the help of EquatIO!

Host: Paula Torres

Note: This podcast exceeded the size by over 30 MB.  So this is part 1 of this podcast. Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Digital-math-workflow-FTW-with-Desmos-EquatIO-and-Google

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

Presented on October 30, 2018

 

The Best Algebraic Reasoning Tool You’ve Never Heard of (or Story Tables 101)

The Best Algebraic Reasoning Tool You’ve Never Heard of (or Story Tables 101)

Presented by: Shira Helft

If math is a toolbox, we often fill it with lots of one-use gizmos that students half-master. Teachers are already starting to replace these with fewer, more powerful tools (like the area model). In this session, we will get to know one versatile tool — the story table — that has transformed how I teach Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus. Come ready to do some sense making!

Host: Sheila Orr

Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Best-Algebraic-Reasoning-Tool-You-ve-Never-Heard-of-StoryTables-101

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

Presented on October 23, 2018

 

How to use DeltaMath to Enhance Mastery

How to use DeltaMath to Enhance Mastery

Presented by: ZacK Korzyk

Delta Math is a free website for teachers and students covering a wide range of math content from middle school through AP Calculus. There are over 1,200 problem types that the teacher can add to assignments for students to complete. All problems are automatically graded and students get instant feedback. There are unlimited problems of each type so students can practice and see examples until they develop mastery. You will be able to see some of my favorite modules, best practices for keeping students motivated, and also beginner topics such as how to make an account, register students, create assignments and look at student data.

Host: Paula Torres

Special Note: Due to file limits, the last 5 minutes of the webinar has not be uploaded.  Watch the full presentation at:https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/How-to-use-DeltaMath-to-Enhance-Mastery

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

Presented on October 16, 2018

 

Organizing What I Beg, Borrow, and Adapt from the MTBoS

Organizing What I Beg, Borrow, and Adapt from the MTBoS

Presented by: Jennifer White

Ever feel frustrated because you can’t find that tweet with the really cool idea you read last week? Tired of tweeting out SOS calls for tracking down a task you wanted to use in class? Come and learn how to use Evernote and Google Drive to help you store, organize, and find notes, web pages, or articles at the click of a button.

Host: Jessica Bogie

Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Organizing-What-I-Beg-Borrow-and-Adapt-from-the-MTBoS

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

Presented on October 9, 2018

Improving Student Discourse Through Debate in the Math Classroom

Improving Student Discourse Through Debate in the Math Classroom

Presented by: Ethan Weker

In the Standards of Mathematical Practice, Math Practice 3 states that students should be able to “Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others”. However, to do so requires a lot of modeling, structure, and practice. Debates can be a great vehicle to achieve these goals in a manner that gives all students a voice and an opportunity to develop and communicate their ideas and hear the ideas of their peers. Learn about how a variety of informal and formal debate formats can be used on a daily basis to get every one of your students speaking with greater frequency and more confidence.

Hosted by: Leigh Nataro

Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Improving-Student-Discourse-Through-Debate-in-the-Math-Classroom

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

Presented on February 20, 2018