This Week at the Global Math Department

Edited By Casey McCormick @cmmteach
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics: Initiating Critical Conversations
Presented by Robert Berry
Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics: Initiating Critical Conversations identifies and addresses critical challenges in high school mathematics to ensure that each and every student has the mathematical experiences necessary for his or her future personal and professional success. This session provides an overview of Catalyzing Change and initiates critical conversations centering on the following serious challenges: explicitly broadening the purposes for teaching high school mathematics beyond a focus on college and career readiness; dismantling structural obstacles that stand in the way of mathematics working for each and every student; implementing equitable instructional practices; identifying Essential Concepts that all high school students should learn and understand at a deep level; and organizing the high school curriculum around these Essential Concepts in order to support students’ future personal and professional goals. Catalyzing Changeis written to engage all individuals with a stake in high school mathematics in the serious conversations that must take place to bring about and give support to necessary changes in high school mathematics.

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

Last week Geoff Krall presented a webinar focusing on his new book, Necessary Conditions. If you missed it, make sure to catch the recording! Don’t forget – recordings for all previously held webinars can be found here.

Please note, the Global Math Department will be taking a 2 week holiday break from both webinars and newsletters. We will see you in the new year on Tuesday, January 8, 2019! Happy holidays to you and yours.

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps

Active Caring

Build positive relationships, get to know your students, show personal interest in your students lives. I’ve heard these suggestions often. And indeed, I think these are fine suggestions, but they only go part way. They are just a bit vague and seem incomplete. I feel they need a bit more focus and sincerity or they risk being empty platitudes.

On Tuesday evening, I participated in Geoff Krall’s Global Math Department webinar (check out the recording at Big Marker) highlighting themes from his recent book Necessary Conditions: Ingredients for Successful Math Classrooms. One part that really resonated with me was when he talked about the difference between Passive Caring and Active Caring and shared the table below.

I feel like in the past I have too often displayed passive caring to my students. I haven’t worked hard enough to reach out to every student. Geoff recently wrote to his blog some additional details about enacting Active Caring. He tackles the question of how to find time to accomplish these active caring strategies in the classroom and makes some practical suggestions.

I remember really reflecting on my own practice after reading Joe Schwartz’s description of Emily, a student that in some schools might go days or weeks without any teacher really paying attention to her or doing more than saying hello at the door. Being intentional about active caring can make sure that students like Emily are not ignored. As Rita Pierson said,“Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

Many schools will soon be taking a holiday break and returning in January. As you return to classes in the new year, think about how you might demonstrate active caring with your students (you might even consider it a new year resolution). How will you be intentional about incorporating this?

Written by Erick Lee (@TheErickLee)

On Fidelity

I first met Cristina Paul at Twitter Math Camp this summer. She recently began her blog entitled Neglected Thoughts, and her first post speaks powerfully of her experiences as a dual language mathematics teacher and of her work with the UCLA Mathematics Project. She is an advocate of her Latinx charges, and urges us to respectfully observe the rich knowledge dual language teachers possess. You have probably seen her Spanish versions of WODB on Twitter like this example:

Her most recent post, On Fidelity, seeks to explain the importance of translanguaging and all its nuances. Although I had a basic knowledge of it, Cristina, a trilingual herself, patiently explained the answers to some of my questions. This post offers so much more.

Translanguaging is more than switching from one language to the next, as I once thought. As she explained in a DM:

Translanguaging is the idea that bilinguals are not two monolinguals trapped in one brain. It acknowledges the richness of our lived experiences and that multilinguals should have opportunities to use their full linguistic repertoire. Translanguaging does not believe in siloing languages. Although it does recognize that sometimes one language may need to be protected from being overtaken by a “language of power”.

Her blog post begins with her description of her journey as a student in a monolingual world. She then describes how the embrace of translanguaging has evolved in her life and teaching of students and leading professional development. She gives us a new view of what is possible when we let go of our assumptions and our allegiance to conventional views of teaching and learning.

As I read her piece, so many thoughts emerged related to student and educator identity, and how it shapes our learning and teaching experiences. Cristina offers us quite a bit to chew on here, and I look forward to her continued writing.

Written by Marian Dingle (@DingleTeach)

Estimation Clipboard

Full disclosure: I’m extremely partial to estimation in the math class.

Back in April of 2018, Steve Wyborney posted a wonderful series of 40 estimation lessons under the name “Estimation Clipboard.” The estimation lessons include 4 highly similar images that allow students to estimate based on additional information and context with each image. There are plenty of opportunities for students and teachers to have rich mathematical conversations.

In addition to the free 40 estimation lessons, Steve offers facilitation tips to help you get started. Be sure to head over to Steve Wyborney’s blog and begin estimating.

Written by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

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