Learning from Sea to Shining Sea

Learning from Sea to Shining Sea

Edited By Carl Oliver @carloliwitter

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Online Professional Development Sessions

This week, Anna Weltman will be presenting Seeing Stars: Using Art to Spark Investigation in Math Class. Join Anna, author of “This is Not a Math Book,” to investigate activities from her book focusing on number theory from a geometric perspective. We’ll brainstorm strategies to get kids investigating– posing questions, developing hypotheses, experimenting, and evaluating results– and see how approaching math through art can help. Join us tonight at 9 EST here.

Last week we were lucky to have Glenn Waddell presenting High Fives and Trust: Why Relationships Must Come First. This discussion about the importance of classroom climate led to a great discussion about how to create a great environment for learning. When discussing Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships, the Relationships must come first! To view the recording click here.

Great Blogging Action

Planning Number Talks
Jumping into number talks has been one of the most exciting adventures I have put myself and my students through. Though, if you’re like me and totally new to this whole thing, you probably are constantly asking yourself, am I doing this right? I have been! All the time! I’ve been reading various number talk books, but my biggest resource (as always) comes from the #MTBoS community. I have been lurking a great deal on Kristin Gray’s (@mathminds) blog. She recently shared some plans for a dot image numbertalk that her team had developed for 3rd grade. While the dot images were rich themselves (which are also appropriate for middle school students!), what drew me most to her post was the planning and reflecting piece which can’t be found in any book. Her consideration of the goal, anticipated responses, her further questions, and then modification of the dot images demonstrates the thought process required to plan and modify number strings to meet the specific goal. If you’re implementing number talks or thinking about implementing them, don’t forget to check out her entire post to see the planning process as well as some rich dot images to share with your students!

While lucky folk are attending various NCTM Regional events this month, closer to home (my home, that is) I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the first workshop in a 3-part series entitled Hands-On Mathematical Construction taught by George Hart through Math for America.  George Hart is identified by Wikipedia as “an American Geometer” (did you know Wikipedia has a list of geometers?); he is actually a research professor in the engineering school at Stony Brook University and a freelance mathematical sculptor/designer.  And he’s Vi Hart’s dad.
In this first meeting, which was simulcast to teachers across New York State, we built a truncated icosahedron out of CDs and zip ties.  But we participants weren’t just told what to do; we first learned how to draw 2 dimensional representations of these 3 dimensional objects, and transform our drawings into plans for the construction of our group sculpture.  George Hart dynamically led us through some of the geometry behind the construction we were making; he is admittedly not a teacher of school-age children, but his ideas and enthusiasm easily opened the door for us to consider how this type of activity might be used in a range of classrooms.  He and his team are putting together a detailed lesson plan for use by teachers, and he is open to feed back about implementing this type of project in schools.
I can’t wait for the next session, when we will be doing paper constructions, and plan to spend some time digging through his website.  Check it out!
 – Wendy Menard 

Hot on Twitter: Fall Conference Season Winds Down

Mentor sign up is open ’til Dec 1! We’re expecting an influx of newbies from , will you mentor?


This week marks a tremendous moment in the evolution of the MathTwitterBlogosphere.  Sadly, I wasn’t a part of the #MTBoS in its infancy years but it stems from some amazing people that we all are continuously proud to call our colleagues. This week, we (the collective #MathTwitterBlogospehere) are keynoting at the NCTM Regional in Nashville.  If there were ever a micro-TMC this would be it.  Check out the online conference planner because you’re bound to see a friend or two.  On Wednesday night Mike Flynn is planning to periscope the opening session. 
A special shoutout goes to Robert Kaplinsky for being the brainchild behind this NCTM opportunity.  He’s opened the door for us to share with the world what WE all do…each and every day.  Robert is one of the most inclusive people out there and if you haven’t met him… start here.  
All of us are smarter than one of us. We hope to represent you well.

Written by @gfletchy (Graham Fletcher)

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 heather.m.kohn@gmail.com or Dylan at dkane47@gmail.com.

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