This Week at Global Math – 1/28/20


Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions


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.

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

Next Week!

Meeting the Need of Introverts in the Collaborative Classroom

Presented by Megan Dubee

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 register early for this workshop, click 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

Number Strings
Lately, I have been digging into a variety of math language routines. So when I saw Robert Kaplinsky’s (@robertkaplinsky) tweet about Number Strings I got excited to explore this resource.

You might be asking yourself, “what is a number string?” According to the website, “A number string is a set of related math problems, crafted to support students to construct big ideas about mathematics and build their own strategies (Fosnot & Dolk 2002).” Dig into this valuable resource more if you are interested!

If you are interested in more routines, check out the website Fostering Math Practices. It supports the book Routines for Reasoning by Kelemanik, Lucenta & Creighton. Both are great resources for supporting all learners with instructional routines. The hashtag #fosteringMPs on Twitter is a good resource as well.

Amber Thienel (@amberthienel)

Math is a Web

Last week, Tim Hébert (@mr_a_quared) shared that the San Francisco Unified School District Math Department is based on the premise that “Math is a web. (Not a ladder.)” in the following tweet.

I agree that teachers (including myself) tend to concern themselves with prerequisite skills, and shifting this concern towards connections between ideas would have a profound impact on students, so I was happy to retweet in agreement. 

Then I thought about the resources I utilize to inform my instruction. That is, which webs have I used, or even seen? The two resources closest to webs I could think of are provided by the Achieve the Core website: Where to Focus K-8 Grades Mathematics and the Coherence Map.
Where to Focus Grades K-8 Mathematics shows the progression of specific math topics across all grade levels from kindergarten to eighth grade in a linear fashion.

It is clear from the graphic above that learning math is a process of continual building focused largely on algebra.

In the Coherence Map, taking a look at 7.RP.2, recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities, there are many connections across grade levels, but the connections between the ideas within grade levels are not as frequent. 

While I love and often use these resources, I see them as a strong start to helping educators shift their mindset from mathematics being a ladder to a web.
Last, in searching for what Tim was referring to, I found the SFUSD website ( and it is the math education website of my dreams. It has brief and well-organized resources for students, educators, instructional leaders, and my favorite, communities and families. I highly recommend it and I am very interested in understanding others’ experiences with webs and standards and math, so please share your thoughts!

Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)


January & February & Past & Present & Future

Starting in the future: @achambertloir tweeted a link to a talk from Kevin Buzzard [@XenaProject] called “The future of mathematics?” that may be of interest [slides PDF; follow up tweet and retweet]:

Moving to the past and further past, and in other presentation-news: the Joint Mathematics Meetings aka JMM were punctuated throughout by tweets that used the hashtag #DisruptJMM [check it out!]. As JMM finished up, attendees and participants from afar converged to a different hashtag: #DisruptMath [check it out!].
You can find all sorts of information through these hashtags; in general, I strongly support the use of hashtags in organizing/locating information [shout out to #MTBoS, #iTeachMath, #tmwyk, #noticewonder, etc].

A historical note about this particular hashtag: the main tweeters who have organically moved from #DisruptJMM to #DisruptMath are folks working in Higher Ed [i.e., professors of mathematics]. Mathematician Piper H had an AMS Inclusion/Exclusion blog post about this in April 2019; excerpt [underline added]:

Unrelated to JMM, and not being a professor or working in a post-secondary institution, I presented on the elsewhere-suggested hashtag of #DisruptMath, although I advocated for #DisruptMaths, back in August 2019. I hadn’t mentioned it since, but quote-retweeted my presentation [slides] as the hashtag [re]emerged among professors:

I’m not sure whether those who have used #DisruptJMM or #DisruptMath are generally familiar with the group whose work predates all of this, which comes from outside of math and math education, and who uses the hashtag #DisruptTexts.
My own presentation last summer gave an incomplete history [a screenshot of when this hashtag was first used by a #DisruptTexts founder; a link to the tweets containing the hashtag] and did not do justice to a full account [proper attribution for all four of the founders; a link to their website]. I’ve since updated the History slides thanks to feedback at my linked tweet above.
So: Irrespective of whether you plan to use #DisruptJMM or #DisruptMath or #DisruptMaths or none of these hashtags, let us all ensure we are aware of where #Disrupt[X] originated. For recent examples, check out the KQED Mind/Shift article, How the #DisruptTexts Movement Can Help English Teachers Be More Inclusive, or the founders’ own site’s link to a #DisruptTexts Column Call for Submissions.
Semi-finally: Looking ahead to February = Black History Month, I tweeted out some American Mathematical Society [AMS] February issues from 2018, 2019, and 2020:

The mentions above of an AMS blog post and the three consecutive years’ monthly issues may seem at odds with some of the other happenings at AMS: see, e.g., @lpachter’s tweeted blog post about signatories of the various letters around Diversity Statements and the faulty statistical analyses that Pachter identifies [there are a lot of ill-thought-out recent happenings in math education; see also @samjshah2’s tweet about the Museum of Mathematics’ awful(!) idea to “celebrate” MLK Day].
And finally: If you have already gone through the AMS kerfuffle and/or don’t have the bandwidth to engage with faulty analogies followed by statistical analyses of faulty statistical analyses, then here is a tweet to @AlexandraBerke’s new Coloring Book About Math [online link]:

Happy Spring Festival / Lunar New Year!

Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

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