Is Summer Break Really a Break?

Is Summer Break Really a Break?

Included this week: This week’s Global Math webinar details, some blogs posts you might have missed.  Edited by Special Guest Editor Michael Pershan

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This Month at Global Math:  No Global Math!

It’s summer vacation for webinars at Global Math. We’ll be back in August. 

We’re sad too! There’s never been a better time to check out a recording of a past presentation. Check them all out here!

Last week’s recording of Hannah Schuchhardt’s “What Makes Problems Complex?” can be viewed here.  

Blogs! Blogs for Sale! 50 Cents a Blog!

You’re Awesome and Don’t you Forget It.

When I first joined twitter and then got introduced to #mtbos, my first reaction was “woah” at the massive amount of tweets and people in the community. It took a while to get over the feeling of being overwhelmed every time I opened my twitter feed. I admit that there have been many times where I hesitated to press “submit”. Was I about to say something “wrong”? Was I teaching a way that was incorrect? 

Meg Craig’s “Gentle Reminder” resonated with the feeling of hesitation I’ve had and was also very encouraging.  She reminds us that as teachers, assume that everyone has the best of intentions and has the best interest of their students in mind (Why else would we be spending a ridiculous amount of hours on edchats, un-conferences, planning outside of “hours”?)

She states, “just because something won’t work for you doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for someone else.” That goes for lecturing, using Khan Academy (gasp! NOT), giving students notes, and other “don’ts” you may have on your list. Jane Taylor, in the comments, sums it up “We are so often maligned or misunderstood by those outside our profession that we certainly don’t need to be maligning and discouraging each other.” You can and should do what is best for you and YOUR students. So your tweets and blogs should represent the best of you and the interest of your students because what is right and wrong isn’t clear cut.  Above all else, you are awesome, inspiring, and don’t you forget it! 

by Sahar Khatri (@KhatriMath)

I’m already looking forward to September! Well, you know, sort of. This week, a tweet by William Emeny (@Maths_Master) caught my eye. It linked to his post from a year ago, about using John Hattie’s Visible Learning methods in his math class. Many of the ideas he describes took me back to a year ago, when I happened to be reading, re-reading, and making notes on Dylan William’s brilliant book “Embedded Formative Assessment”.  Inspired by Wiliam’s book, I attended Nik Doran’s TMC14 session on Hinge Questions, one of the many powerful tools described in EFA. I began the 2014-15 school year with the best of intentions to put these new ideas into practice. Then, as usual, once school started, the year got away from me and I did pretty much nothing new in the way of using formative assessment to guide and improve my teaching.  Having read Emeny’s post, which includes a beautiful set of assessments that empower students to track their own learning, I am newly inspired for September, even though summer vacation has barely begun!

by Audrey McLaren (@a_mcsquared)

Perfect Time to Reflect

As some research shows, articulated within Paul Bruno’s post “Teachers Definitely Get the Summers Off,” many teachers are capitalizing on having some free time. Other teachers are participating in professional learning sessions being offered by their districts or state department of education. No matter what you find yourself doing during the months of June through August, I hope you take the time to reflect. 

In Joe Schwartz’s recent post “Learning to Fish,” he gives us all a peek into his thoughts about his school year. For me, this post is encouragement to take time to reflect upon the successes, game changing opportunities and failures of my year. It’s a wonderful platform from which to jump at the start of the next year. In order for ideas to be sustainable, reflection must be done to identify what things can be evolved into more impactful opportunities. 
by Jenise Sexton (@MrsJeniseSexton)

Problem of the Week

Source: the Park City Math Institute. They’re great. Check it out. (-MP)

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