Blogging Action: tools to explore, an activity to try, a concept to ponder

Blogging Action: tools to explore, an activity to try, a concept to ponder

Edited By Ashli Black @mythagon

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Join the crew from the Direct Measurement Video Project at tonight’s Global Math as they share their work, videos, and teaching ideas for students to learn to build and evaluate mathematical models.

The conference starts at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific. Click here to join!

Last week at Global Math, Ryan Seth Jones presented on Conceptual understanding is not enough! Supporting students to see statistics as epistemic toolsClick here to view the recording and learn how this variable can engage students, and how to helps students describe it while learning how statistics can reveal the world’s secrets.

Things to Check Out

Dreambox On My Mind

Recently several members of the #MTBoS have written about games and what they believe makes a good educational math game. Dan Meyer has written/spoken/video-recorded many thoughts on how gaming and apps can be integrated into math class or how math class can be integrated into games and apps or both!

Picking up from where Audrey McLaren left off two weeks ago about Tracy Zager’s popular and controversial post about her criteria for fact-based math apps where she gives two suggestions of games that meet her non-negotiable criteria. They are Dreambox Learning and Bunny Times. Here are Tracy’s twitter thoughts about Dreambox when her daughters began their free-trial at home.

This week Dreambox continued to be on #MTBoS minds. Kent Haines, who also uses Dreambox with his children, wrote an extensive review of his first impressions. Christopher Danielson also recently reproduced how Dreambox communicates with parents.

As a special education teacher I really like Dreambox for two reasons: 1) it was developed in concert with Cathy Fosnot and 2) it is digitally multi-modal (using models, visual representations, and “hands-on” tools to develop conceptual understanding).

However, I am not without constructive criticism. Though Dreambox understands learning is not linear, I do wish they would give teachers more control over which lessons students were assigned because I believe teachers are always better than an algorithm!

written by Andrew Gael (@bkdidact)

Two Truths & One Lie

I don’t have any tattoos.
I played college basketball.
I had dreadlocks in college.

The ice-breaker fun-fact game Two Truths and A Lie can be fun. So when Jon Orr recently posted Better Questions – Two Truths & One Lie, I was instantly hooked. I knew there would be a math spin and sure enough, I wasn’t disappointed. Read the post and have your students play along.

What I love most:

  • Minimal teacher prep
  • Simple design
  • Student creativity
  • Error analysis
  • Stickies


As with most things, do them in moderation. I wouldn’t recommend you play this game every day, every week.  However, it’s seems like a great way to spice up class (and assessments) at times. I challenge you to try it once this week and report back to Jon Orr and me on Twitter.

*I didn’t play college basketball.

written by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

A lengthy twitter discussion happened last week when Nat Banting posted the image above along with the following tweet:

[click the picture to choose the red pill and go into the rabbit hole–you’ve been warned]
The yes!-no!-maybe? responses that followed did much to illuminate how different folks think about rate, ratio, percent, and percentages. I highly recommend clicking the picture and following some of the threads as I found them terrific for challenging and refining my personal ideas about ratio and rate in ways my pre-service program and teaching these topics never quite did. One of my favorite interactions:

The entire discussion is one reason to love twitter. edufolks from all over chimed in with ideas and ways to think about ratio and rate and citations from articles with differing opinions. My brain ached a bit by the end, but in the best of ways.
Nat ended the day with this tweet,

referencing Kate Nowak‘s latest blog post outlining her current thoughts about rate that was spurred on by all the twitter chatter and is a recommended read.

Lots of great thinking and all from one question and a picture. One more reason why the sharing space on twitter is such a great place to hang out at. Thanks, Nat!

written by Ashli Black (@mythagon)

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