Join us for an EXPLOSIVE session of Global Math Department

Join us for an EXPLOSIVE session of Global Math Department

Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Exploding Dots: Uniting Elements of the K-12 Curriculum and Beyond
Presented by James Tanton (@jamestanton)

Here is a story that isn’t true.

When I was a young child I invented a machine (not true) that was nothing more than a series of boxes that could hold dots. And these dots would, upon certain actions, explode. And with this machine (in this non-true story) I realized that I could explain true things! I could explain all the mathematics of arithmetic I learnt in grade school (true), all of the polynomial algebra I was to learn in high-school (true), elements of calculus and number theory I was to learn in university (true), and explore unanswered research questions mathematicians are studying today (also true)!

Come join us as we explore the power of an astounding simple mathematical construct pushed to the max. Experience deep creative discovery first-hand and true joyous mathematics doing.

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

Last week Crystal Kirch (@crystalkirch) shared ideas for flipping the math classroom that go beyond videos and worksheets.

Check out the recording here.

It Came From the #MTBoS

Start Off the Year Right!


As we inch closer and closer to the first day of school, so much is starting to come out about how to spend the first days. It seems that people generally feel the same way about starting the year out right:

  • Establishing norms is important for setting the tone of your year together

  • Kids need to experience the norms to really understand them and feel their need

  • Norms take purposeful and consistent implementation to last

  • Proper implementation takes time, but that time is worth it in the long run

I encourage you to look for posts out there to fine tune your week 1 tasks. A great place to start, which is cited by so many as inspiration, is with Jo Boaler’s Week of Inspirational Math and her norms at YouCubed. Laura Wagenman has a great post found here chock-full of links to activities and tasks which align with Jo Boaler’s norms. I really liked how Mark Chubb posted on these same norms here, and at the end he gave some really good suggestions for the types of tasks to be looking for to establish these norms.

Sara VanDerWerf shared last winter a really awesome task called 100 Numbers that really gets groups looking exactly how you want them to look, complete with a suggested norms checklist for students. Sarah Carter posted about the Broken Circles task which really elicits student need of each other as well, complete with a reflection at the end.

However you do it, start things out right and keep spreading the messages to kids that math is awesome and accessible to everyone!

Written by Matthew Engle (@pickpocketsbme)

Supporting Parents, Supporting Children 

I want to assume that everyone reading this newsletter is already familiar with the website Talking Math With Your Kids. If not, score one for me for introducing it to you! Go, check it out right now! The purpose of the site is to help parents find answers to the question, “We know we need to read with our children every day, but what should we do for math?” In addition to the site, there’s even a hashtag on Twitter – #tmwyk – where parents tweet out snippets as they talk math with their kids.

I’m excited to share this week that there’s now another great resource for supporting parents in supporting their children’s mathematical development: Table Talk Math.

John Stevens has created a weekly newsletter that provides mathematical prompts for families to discuss around the dinner table. So far the newsletter has shared examples of Which One Doesn’t Belong and Would You Rather…?

Be sure to share the link with parents so they can sign up to receive the newsletter. You should sign up for it, too! That way you can talk to parents about what kinds of conversations it sparks at the dinner table.

Written by Brian Bushart (@bstockus)


Last week, Robert Kaplinsky blogged about his concern that lack of collaboration amongst teachers at school sites is looking more like teachers being “independent contractors than colleagues.” Read more about what we can do about this concern.

Inspired by a tweet from Heather Kohn, Robert is encouraging us to open our classrooms so others may come observe our teaching and offer us constructive feedback targeted at improvement. Join the craze! It’s far better than any Pokémon game could ever dream about.

Robert’s Call to Action:

Post a sign to let others know they are welcome in your classroom. Here’s a template you can use and below is what it looks like.


Robert is posting your tweets and images about it on his blog, so be sure to let Robert know via Twitter and the #ObserveMe conversation.

Written by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

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