This Week at the Global Math Department

Edited By Chase Orton @mathgeek76
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Meeting Students’ Mathematical and Learning Needs
Presented by Andrew Rodriguez
All students deserve a classroom where their learning needs do not hinder their access to the mathematics. Come learn about strategies that you can use to support your students while not sacrificing rigor. I will also discuss issues related to special education — accommodations vs. modifications in IEPs, co-teaching vs. self-contained classes, etc. — and how they intersect with the mathematics classroom.
To join this meeting tonight when it starts at 9pm Eastern (or RSVP if it’s before 9pm), click here.
Did you miss last week’s webinar? Click here to watch “Changing the Whole: Exploring Number Relationships Through Shapes.”

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps

Making Sense of Groupwork Monitoring

Do you use groupwork in your classroom? Do you ever wonder if it looks anything like groupwork in other teachers’ classrooms? In our research we get to see a lot of different teachers do groupwork, and we’ve noticed that teachers circulate and interact with groups in a rich variety of ways. From what we’ve seen we don’t believe there are “best monitoring practices” that always work for all teachers, but we’re curious how understanding the variety can help teachers better understand their own context and goals around groupwork.

For example, do you approach a group only when they ask for help? Or do you systematically check on each group? The two graphs below describe two classrooms during groupwork activity. The horizontal axis represents time and the vertical axis represents the group the teachers visit (group number -1 indicates the teacher was monitoring the whole classroom instead of visiting a certain group). Each colored rectangle represents an interaction of the teacher with a group. Green rectangles signal teacher-initiated interactions, while blue rectangles signal student-initiated ones.


  • What do you notice about the graphs?
  • What do you wonder?
  • What situations might the left graph be more appropriate for, and what situations might call for something more like the right graph?
  • What would a graph from your last groupwork lesson look like?

In our research, we consider five key decision points (intentional or not):

Initiation – Entry – Focus – Exit – Participation

In other words:

  • How do teachers approach groups and initiate conversations?
  • What do they first say to the group as they enter the conversation?
  • What is the focus of the teacher’s interaction with the group? Participation norms? Math? Which type of math?
  • How do they exit the conversation? Are the conversations open-ended or close-ended?
  • Do all students in the group participate in the conversation, or just some of them?
If you’re interested in more, read a summary on our project website or see more classroom graphs here. 

As this is a work in progress we would love to know what you think. Critique is also welcome, so feel free to let us know what you think is missing. Tweet us with your ideas!

Written by Nadav Ehrenfeld (@EhrenfeldNadav), Grace Chen (@graceachen) and Ilana Horn (@ilana_horn).

Pi Day is Coming

Several school systems are gearing up for Spring Break 2019, but if you are still in school this week you might be gearing up for #PiDay2019. I was reminded of Pi Day 2019 coming on March 14 when I saw a tweet from @MathIsVisual with this great visual of a “Would You Rather?” and a blog post called “Understanding Area of a Circle Conceptually” with visual prompts that will help students generate the formula for finding area of a circle.

If you want more ideas or videos, @CarneigeLearn also tweeted this link with a few more resources and a fun video. I would also suggest checking out the hashtags #PiDay and #PiDay2019 for even more great ideas. Help build a great search by adding those hashtags to your Pi Day tweets for other #MTBoS-ers to find!

By Amber Thienel @amberthienel

GMD is Looking for Presenters!

Do you know someone who you think should lead a GMD Webinar?

Did you see something amazing at a recent conference that needs to be shared?

At Global Math we are proud of our Webinars!  We appreciate all of our presenters and look forward to bringing you the best “PD Iin Your Pajamas” on the internet.  We’re always on the lookout for fresh faces and new ideas.

Please use this recommendation form to let us know who/what should be shared next!  We will take your recommendations and reach out to try to make it happen!

Stay nerdy my friends! Got something you think should go into the GMD Newsletter, hit me up on Twitter at @mathgeek76

Chase Orton

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