This Week at the Global Math Department

Edited By Casey McCormick @cmmteach
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Teacher Cloning
Presented by:  Ranjani Krishnan
I am not enough’ is the feeling I used to get everyday after each class and each day’s work. I wish I could clone myself and spread myself around the classroom so I can meet the needs of every student. Luckily, an online program named Gauss Academy Webwork came to my rescue. With this tool students work online on challenging problems, get instant feedback, engage in a risk-free yet productive struggle, while, I, the teacher can interact with students meaningfully by conducting discussions at the white board with these students about these problems. I have also been cutting my class sizes in half, so to speak, by setting different groups of students into different zones of productivity. One group would work on video note-taking, while the other would work on Gauss Academy Webwork. I redefined video instruction for my classes. After completing video note-taking, students would show me their notes, answer the inquiries posed in the videos, summarize notes, and then debrief with a classmate. I wouldn’t call my video note-taking model “flipping” the classroom, however. I am excited to say that with these two “cloning” tools, I am able to bring face-to-face conversation with students back!

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

Last week, Kateri Thunder presented ” Math Buddies: Effective Peer Tutoring.” If you missed it, you can catch the recording here.

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps


The Math Photo Challenge is a series of 10 weekly photo prompts posted to Twitter. Each week, participants take photos inspired by that week’s prompt and then share them on Twitter using the hashtag #MathPhoto19. This challenge is a fun way to interact with other #MTBoS teachers and to practice viewing the world through a mathematical lens. Anyone can check out the collection of photos on Twitter by searching the hashtag #MathPhoto19 or at the website organized by Carl Oliver. This year’s photo challenge will start on Thursday, June 13th. Anyone can join in at any time.

This is the fifth year of the Math Photo Challenge. The first year was organized by Malke Rosenfeld with assistance and contributions from numerous members of the #MTBoS. It was initially called the Summer Math Photo Challenge. Following years dropped “Summer” from the name in recognition of all the participants from the Southern Hemisphere for whom Summer is still a long way off.

The first week’s challenge will be the number #five to celebrate the fifth year of this annual challenge. Check it out!

Written by Erick Lee (@TheErickLee)

I’m Not A Game of Thrones Guy

I could give a rip about Game of Thrones. I’m one of the few people who has never watched a single episode. I’m not living under a rock. I do know it is popular (or was) and there are some really passionate fans.

One of my favorite feeds is Cool Infographics and they recently posted Visualizing how Fans Rated the Last Season of Game of Thrones.

First, I appreciate how the post included fan ratings of the last season of other shows. Secondly, I love the visual math landscape of all the infographics. Thirdly, a question I have is what does this say about us as consumers of television? Do we rate something poorly when it’s not what we “expected”? I don’t know. Lastly, I appreciate how the author, Randy Krum, expresses his hesitation about one of the axes. Krum says,

My only hesitation with the choices they made when designing these charts is the y-axis. I appreciate that they kept the scale consistent throughout all of the charts in the article, but the non-zero baseline starting at 4.5 is an odd choice. Non-zero baselines are generally a poor design practice, and can mislead viewers that aren’t paying close attention. It looks like using a non-zero baseline was chosen to maximize the visible differences between the ratings, but on a 0-10 scale, it wouldn’t have been much different with a true zero-baseline.

Krum is using a few of the Standards of Mathematical Practice. Can you identify which ones?

Just like I’m not a Game of Thrones guy, I wonder if we asked Krum about his math experience and if he would say, “I’m not a math guy.” I would beg to differ. My challenge to you all is to question anyone who says, “I’m not a math person.” Rubbish. Don’t let them off the hook. Find out why they said that and join the conversation Tisha Jones and I have been having.

Written by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

Diversity With Intentionality

If you haven’t already seen this tweet from Kristopher Childs, it sparked an interesting conversation this week. And after reading the inaugural blog post from Makeda Brome, I think they both pair well together. Her post, entitled Diversity with Intentionality begins with this line:

“Yes, this is another post about diversity in mathematics.”

She writes about how such goals as diversity and equity can not be achieved haphazardly, but rather with deliberate intent. She uses her recent NCTM experience as an example of how she intentionally sought the conference experience that fulfilled her. I won’t give any more away, but it should be read.

Back to the above discussion, among the pros, there was the power of articulating the importance of diversity and inclusion in math. Among the cons, there was the potential harm of these practices being seen as separate add-ons instead of naturally embedded practices. I keep thinking about intention. How can this type of intentionality be ensured?

The topic of this week’s #ICTM chat was SEL and its relation to mathematical identity hosted by Tyrone Martinez-Black. This was one of the thoughtful questions asked:

The first two statements highlight the importance of identity and agency. It connects to the next image of recent Brandeis mathematics graduate @Algebrandis, as she wears her identity and agency, and intends
to continue to pursue her doctorate.

Written by Marian Dingle (@DingleTeach)

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