This Week at the Global Math Department

Edited By Chase Orton @mathgeek76
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Google in the Math Classroom
Presented by Mandi Tolen
When people think of Google Apps, they think about typing papers and making presentations, not math. Google apps, extensions, and other Google tools can help make your classroom a rich learning environment. This session will be full of activities, ideas, and resources to help you differentiate, engage your students, and get them creating, communicating, and thinking.

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

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps

Food For Thought on Accelerating & Tracking Students

In a recent NCTM (@nctm) article in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School (@MTMS_at_NCTM), Sarah B. Bush (@sarahbbush) talks about ways middle schools can support the position in Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics(2018). Her article, NCTM’s Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics: Our Role in the Middle” is in the March 2019 issue.

She writes about de-tracking students because this practice leads to the success of more students: “We can all agree that students should not be denied access to the instruction needed to become mathematically literate and that students should not have qualitatively different mathematics learning experiences.”

When I saw Robert Kaplinsky’s (@robertkaplinskytweet asking why we do not accelerate students through English Language Arts (ELA) like we do with math, I immediately made a connection that I invite you to contribute to.

Dig deep into the thread because the conversation gets really interesting. For example, check out Patricia’s (@TeacherPrepTech) tweets about students having an emotional response to the speed of math class.

And don’t forget to check out Sarah B. Bush’s full article in the March issue of MTMS. Let’s continue this conversation.

By Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

Family Math Night

A couple weeks ago, my middle school hosted a Family Math Night. It was really special to see students and their families participating in math games, creating math art, and exploring mathematical ideas. If your school has never put together a Family Math Night, has tips on how to get started, and a twitter search of “Family Math Night” will leave you with plenty more ideas for stations.

What stood out to me the most was that every person involved with Family Math Night knew that each station had to be fun and accessible. As a result, there was a clear contrast of what was a valid and welcomed mathematical activity in Family Math Night versus the mathematical activities our curriculum. For example, if creating tessellations and estimating quantities are valid activities for Family Math Night, there must be potential for math play, art and estimation as a regular part of our daily instruction. I immediately thought of Kassia Wedekind’s talk at ShadowCon 2017 on math play, and Sara VanDerWerf’s play tables as strong starting points.

I also noticed students and their families looked confused at some stations, often asking, “that’s it?” It seemed like the difficulty of math in the activity wasn’t clear and they were looking for the catch. How could we have made connections to our curriculum and the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, so that students and their families can have more conversations around math beyond our classrooms and in their homes and communities?

We know math is everywhere, and mathematical agency starts with helping our students and families understand that.

Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

Notes from an Inspired Editor
Part of my joy serving as an editor is reading deeply about what our team of writers bring to the table and making connections between ideas.

Like Christelle, I’ve been thinking a lot about our conversations as math educators with the non-teaching public (like Family Math Nights) and how we can make them better. I think we (math educators) can do more to reframe our work with parents (and other non-math-educators) by redefining what it means to do math.

I found this tweet by Mark Trushkowsky about #sidewalkmath, a project by Brian(@_b_p):

The thread is well-worth checking out. I appreciate the efforts folks are making to shift the dialogue about what it means to be a “math person” by bringing more math conversations into public spaces. I gave a talk recently about this topic to a (non-math-educator) conference about creativity. It’s my case for why and how we move the conversation forward. You can see a screencast of the talk here.

What do you do to shift the dialogue about what it means to do math with the general, non-teaching public? What works? What doesn’t? Participate in the conversation here.

Chase Orton

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.

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