This Week: #Election2016

This Week: #Election2016 

Edited By Sahar Khatri @khatrimath

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Turn that Lesson Upside Down! The eight Mathematics Teaching Practices outlined in Principles to Actions describe high-yield features of an incredible math lesson. But what do these lessons look like in practice? We’ll be looking at examples of re-thinking classroom activities by turning them upside down; Moving from “I do, we do, you do” to “You do, y’all do, we do.” Join us tonight at 9PM EST here.

Highlights from last week: Children Living in Poverty Can Solve CCSS OA Word Problems

Kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 children from backgrounds of poverty and non-native speakers of English can solve the ambitious types of addition and subtraction word problems in the Operations & Algebraic Thinking domain of the Common Core standards. How children represent and solve with math drawings was discussed and examples were shown. The learning path for teaching and helpful relationships among the OA CCSS were described. If you missed it, check out the recording here.

Great Blogging Action: Election 2016

Election Reflections

Unless you’ve been living under rock, which is completely possible and no judgments here, then you know that the United States has a new President-“elect”. This event has had a ripple effect among citizens of the United States the like of which has not been felt in recent memory. It has also equally affected American children as much as it has the adults who actually voted in the election. Many teachers woke up on Wednesday, November 9th wondering what to say to a room full of young, impressionable minds. Luckily, the Huffington Post gave this message as a jumping off point that morning, “We will protect you.”

Image result for protect clipart

In the days since the election, math and non-math teacher/bloggers have taken to the internet to tell how they handled November 9th and the days that followed. Chris Lehmann, a principal in Philadelphia, wrote a letter to educators who voted for Donald Trump. Lehmann asks these teachers to live up to the words in the Huffington Post piece and to protect their students. Michael Pershan gives this plea to listen to our students. Bree Pickford-Murray tells the tale of her week after the election, for which she has no words. And finally, Megan Schmidt gives us her take, which ends in one vote for kindness, but it’s the only vote that counts, her’s. Please if possible, share how you handled the days after the election in your class and how you will protect your students for the next four years and provide them with a venue and the skills to voice their fears and concerns!

~by Andrew Gael (@bkdidact)

Ten Letters for the President

I’ve mentioned my favorite podcast before. Recently 99% Invisible released Episode 235, Ten Letters for the President. It’s definitely worth listening to in light of recent events in U.S. politics.

Photo: Pete Souza

The podcast does a thorough job explaining the process of President Obama receiving tens of thousands of letters a day from people across the country. In reality, he only reads 10 letters each day which turns out to be less than 0.1% of the letters received. Those 10 letters are a small sample of the pulse, emotions, heartaches, and thoughts of thousands across the country. The president says, “These letters, I think, do more to keep me in touch with what’s going on around the country than just about anything else.”

I share this podcast episode for three reasons:

  1. It’s a reminder of the impact our current events can have on all of us; teachers, students, family, strangers, friends, enemies, cities, states, countries, and all humans. No matter how large the impact, I believe we as individuals can have a far greater impact with how we treat those we have contact with each day. Our students need to see us be good humans. We are in their daily world. Be good humans.

  2. These letters to the president are super important. If less than 0.1% of the daily letters received can positively inform and impact the president, then these letters could very well be more valuable than any tweet, blog post, or Facebook comment one might dispense into their social media bubble.

  3. I hope these letters continue to pour into the president, especially after January 20, 2017. I hope 10 letters continue to be read by the president each day. I hope those letters keep the president in touch with what’s going on. I hope that if something is on your heart, you write the president. I hope that if something is on your students’ hearts, they write the president. Be good humans when doing so. That 0.1% might be the most important percentage we ever teach in math.

~by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

Uniting Through Community

This past week may have been one of the most important in our country’s history, no doubt.  Definitely in my own lifetime.  Things have gotten pretty polarizing, but I am hoping that we each take this as an incentive to go get involved in our own communities and connect with other people directly.  This is especially because we will never see completely eye-to-eye with anyone.  We need to start productive dialogue and try to understand each other.  The more this happens, the more united we will become despite our differences rather than becoming divided because of our differences.

This has made me think about how polarizing our own subject is that we teach!  I really wish that it wasn’t so true, but it is.  And one way that we can make it less so is to do the same thing: unite through building and getting involved in mathematical communities.

A few important organizations stick out to me whose goal is just that.  The first is Math Teacher’s Circles (@MathTeachCircle) and the second is the Global Math Project (@GlobalMathProj).  If you aren’t already involved in your local Math Teacher’s Circle, I strongly encourage you to do so!  If you don’t have one nearby, have you thought about starting one up?  And the Global Math Project is doing awesome things to spread the joy of mathematics to the world; you should go check them out.

Let’s all join together to move forward in staying united via creating community.  Math can, and should, bring people together!

~ by Matthew Engle (@pickpocketbme)

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