Coming to you live from Global Math Department…it’s NCTM!

Coming to you live from Global Math Department…it's NCTM!

Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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Online Professional Development Sessions

This is an exciting time for NCTM and to be a member of NCTM! The Council is taking on a number of new initiatives to enhance its support of quality teaching and learning. This session will provide a brief overview of these initiatives and discuss ways you can become involved in NCTM.

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

Last week at Global Math Matt Baker presented on Socratic Seminars in the Math Classroom. 
Click here to watch the recording.

If You Build It, The Math Will Come

Moving Forward with Desmos Activity Builder

It’s about three months now since the launch, at Twitter Math Camp, of the wonderful Desmos Activity Builder (which I will hereafter call DAB). I’ve been using it, while keenly watching for tweets or blog posts from others who are using it. I’m at the point where I need to read about things like: tips for making activities, how things actually played out in class, best during-class practices, following up etc., etc. I guess I should blog about that myself, but in the meantime, here are a few posts by people who already have. (Click the author’s name to be taken to their respective post.)


Colleen Young (@ColleenYoung) detailed the basics of using the DAB to create and deploy activities:  

Julie Reulbach (@jreulbach) described how her linear systems activity worked in class, specifically how it allowed for different levels of review amongst her students: 

Mary Bourassa (@MaryBourassa) shared her sequence of quadratic activities, which I know I’m going to model my Absolute Value lab after (especially the pretty tables!) 

Meg Craig (@mathymeg07) showed us her and Sheri Walker’s (@sheriwalker72) transformations activity, plus some fabulous time-saver work-arounds until The Truly Awesome Desmos Team creates a copy-slide feature:  

Kate Nowak (@k8nowak) cranked things up a notch by adding a teacher-notes component to her activity (hmmm another item on the to-do list of the The Truly Awesome Desmos Team?):

Lisa Winer (@lisaq314) talksedabout using DAB as a formative assessment tool:  

Shelley Carranza (@stcarranza) reflected and made excellent suggestions after experiencing the DAB in several teachers’ classes:

As usual, the #mtbos, which includes The Truly Awesome Desmos Team, does not disappoint. It keeps us all moving forward together.

Written by Audrey McLaren (@a_mcsquared)

The Power of Patterns

When I was in grade school, the aspect of algebra I hated most was algebraic sequences.  I never understood how to determine the next step within the pattern and really got confused when I needed to identify the rule. So when I see blog posts or presentations in regards to visual and algebraic patterns, I am intrigued by how they may help me improve my understanding.

Had my teachers used visual patterns every week in the way @PumphreysMath discussed in his most recent post, I’m sure I would not feel so intimidated by such patterns. In “Why you should use, every week” Pumphrey shares how he guides students’ thinking with a self-made cheat sheet. He has found there are added benefits of using such as the connections students are able to make to other concepts such as solving equations, factoring and finding slope.

Written by Jenise Sexton (@MrsJeniseSexton)

Do You Super Group?

Dylan Kane at Five Twelve Thirteen has a nice post about visible random grouping. He shares his method for quickly assigning students to random groups using a program called Super Grouper. In the comments, Lisa Winer links to her own post about the topic, where the lists the many researched benefits of visible random grouping. Namely:

  • Students become more agreeable to work in any group they are placed in

  • There is an elimination of social barriers

  • Mobility of knowledge between students increases

  • Reliance on the teacher for answers decreases

  • Engagement on classroom tasks increase

  • Students become more enthusiastic about math class

She also links to her own preferred tool, Flippity.

Written by Kent Haines (@MrAKHaines)

Global Math Department Needs Your Help!

The Global Math Department is looking for individuals who are interested in planning the Tuesday night webinars hosted on Big Marker. GMD bookers contact potential speakers regarding speaking opportunities, and provide them with details on planning sessions. If you are interested in being more involved with the Global Math Department, contact Heather at or Dylan at

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