This Week at Global Math – 1/21/20


Edited By Nate Goza  @thegozaway

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Online Professional Development Sessions


Breathing Life into Geometry with Coding

Presented by Mike Larson and Ashley Goetz

Writing computer programs is an artistic way to bring geometry standards to life! Although it can seem daunting to teachers who don’t have experience in computer science, we will teach you the basics and you will leave with ready to use lessons that we have implemented in our math classrooms. So join us and bring this career-ready literacy to your students using Scratch and Beetleblocks. Lessons: Playful Polygons, Code-necting the Dots,The Math Behind Coordinate Animation, Solids of Extrusion, Solids of Revolution

To join us at 9:00 PM EST for this webinar click here!

Next Week::

Using Desmos’ Snapshots Tool to Deepen Equitable Classroom Discourse

Presented by Allison Krasnow

This workshop will explore how to integrate Desmos’ Snapshots tool with any curriculum to deepen discourse, differentiation and formative assessment. We’ll examine how to amplify every student’s voice in a classroom to create more equitable participation. The 5 practices for productive mathematical discussion include: anticipating, monitoring, selecting, sequencing, and connecting. Using Desmos’ Snapshots tool, you can develop a more robust understanding of how to infuse these 5 practices into any lesson.

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

You can always check out past and upcoming Global Math Department webinars. Click here for the archives or get the webinars in podcast form!

From the World of Math Ed

What do we mean when we talk about perseverance in math classrooms?
There are many conversations circulating about perseverance in the math education community: in the Common Core standards, at conferences, in email invitations for PDs, and in teacher meetings. Certainly, we all desire for our students to see mathematics as worthwhile and worth their time and effort to work through difficult and challenging problems. In our research with secondary math teachers, we saw teachers explicitly setting the goal of having their students persevere. This prompted us, and made us curious to think about perseverance more clearly and more critically. We started asking questions such as what exactly do we mean when we say perseverance? When can conversations around perseverance be harmful for some students? And what kind of resource, or framework, can we produce that will support teachers and teacher educators in thinking about perseverance in rich and productive ways?

We are conscious of the fact that terms like productive struggle, grit, and growth mind-set are typically used to frame what is lacking in Black and Brown communities. We caution against reinstating this framing here as well in which students of color are yet again depicted as deficient and low-performing. Instead, we believe that as teachers, we can create the conditions for more perseverance to occur in our classrooms as a result of facilitating their discovery of appropriate strategies at a more conscious and explicit level.  

In this post, we offer the following sacrificial graphic to show how we came to understand the teacher’s role and agency in helping students work hard at making sense, not just working hard. While we often conflate persistence and perseverance, we came to understand that perseverance entails making sense of problems. In our experience, when students are confronted with a difficult mathematical challenge, those that are successful are able to rely on familiar strategies that help them (even if only temporarily) make sense of the problem at hand. As they chip away at understanding parts of the challenge, they are then motivated to continue working through or persist in solving the problem. This then becomes a fruitful cycle of making sense of mathematics through heuristics motivating one to persist. For this reason, we believe we should pay more attention to ways in which we help make explicit for students the kinds of strategies at their disposal so that they are more likely to handle challenging problems in the future and persevere through them. We offer the cycle below, as our current thinking around how these 3 dimensions of perseverance (persistence, heuristics, and sense-making) work together.

We are interested in math teachers’ experiences with perseverance in their classroom. Let us know what thoughts and reflections you have about our proposed definition of perseverance as consisting of the connections between persistence, problem-solving strategies, and sense-making. 

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