This Week at Global Math – 3/10/2020


Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions


Meaningful Student Math Reflections That Lead to Action

Presented by Matt Coaty

Students are used to the cycle of participating, studying, testing and then repeating the process all over again. Ending this cycle is a challenge, but it’s possible to give students opportunities to intentionally reflect on their progress, make adjustments, and set actionable goals related to math skills that need strengthening.

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

Next Week!

Creating a Thinking Classroom: From the VNPS and VRG to the Lessons to the Aha Moments

Presented by Jennifer Fairbanks

Take a look at how to set up your classroom with vertical whiteboards and visual random grouping. Explore how to incorporate your current lessons into having students working at the whiteboards. Learn how to create and find problems that will allow a classroom flow to lead to practice time, mistakes being uncovered, classroom discussions, and exciting discoveries.

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

Slow Reveal Graphs, Racially Expansive Histories, #SidewalkMath, and nCov1

Jenna Laib [@jennalaib] has continued to release examples of Slow Reveal Graphs:

I especially appreciate the one from fellow GMD Newsletter contributor Melvin Peralta [@melvinmperalta] that can be found in an earlier blog post and on google slides

In other news, I was impressed and excited to see the @MathforAmerica write-up on Master Teacher Nasriah Morrison’s co-facilitated Professional Learning Team with MfA Master Teacher Jae Berlin called Mathematicians and Scientists Who Look Like Me: Teaching Racially Expansive Histories:

Further information is included in a PDF (also available at the link above) called Racially Expansive STEM Histories: Resources. (I am working on encouraging Nas to become active on Twitter!)

Finally, two things that I’ve been working on and disseminating via Twitter, etc. First, I teach a class called Problem Solving & Posing in which we engaged with #sidewalkmath earlier in the school year. A student in our class has a wonderful write-up [I’m biased, but judge for yourself!] about what we did and the Sidewalk Movement, along with additional resources, now available online as a News Story.

Second, I have been trying to keep a thread of (mathy) items related to the coronavirus. Teachers play an important role in shaping how young people come to understand and process current events; for this particular item, the uncertainty around the virus itself as well as the potential global/local ramifications make it all that much more important for educators to be intentional about engaging with reliable information in a responsible way. The parent thread is linked below, and continues to be updated; I will be glad to receive other pointers for worthwhile additions!

In the weeks to come, I expect that matters will change rather significantly; some of these changes will be pedagogical (e.g. if prolonged distance learning is implemented) and others will be supportive in ways that aren’t based in acquiring content knowledge (e.g. helping students to maintain a sense of structure). Those who use Twitter and read the Global Math Department newsletter almost certainly possess a higher degree of “digital literacy” than a randomly selected educator; I hope that we can come together to collaborate creatively despite what may be very serious constraints. A pandemic is as good a reason as any to recommit to acting in ways that are best for our students, our families, and ourselves.

By Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

Assessments, Reflections, and Student Thinking

Aristotle Ou (@Camboyano) shared his end of chapter reflection practice on twitter, which requires students to revisit topics through summarizing prompts in College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) known as Learning Logs. 

This post kicked off numerous conversations for me in the last few weeks about how we make time for and respond to students communicating their own thinking and how this practice promotes learning for other students.

First, the math coach at my school site shared a guiding document that was adapted from The Education Trust (@EdTrust), Equity In Motion, Checking In: Are Math Assignments Measuring Up (April 2018). Since using this guiding document, our math department has created more opportunities for student communication on our assessments, which The Education Trust notes are underrepresented in math assignments in the graphic below.

At the most recent Math for America Los Angeles Professional Development, Master Teacher Fellows presented on how to support re-engagement with returned assessments.

One fellow begins re-engagement by contrasting a correct response next to an incorrect response, which allows students to see possible misconceptions. Following this exercise, students look at incorrect sample work, discuss errors and misconceptions, and write reflections and advice for the student in the sample work. The fellow also provided data from before and after this exercise which showed an increase in scores for most students. While the fellow noted that there is not a one-size-fits all solution, the practices of analyzing, discussing, and writing about common misconceptions in their classroom are what have moved students toward stronger understanding.

Another fellow presented on Two Structures for Looking at Student Work by Annie Fetter (@MFAnnie) at CMC-North 2019, where participants were asked to #NoticeWonder about student work, and generate questions for these students to which participants did not already know the answer. Among other benefits, these prompts honor student mathematical thinking, and challenge teachers to question their own assumptions about student thinking.

These discussions and resources are shifting my mindset around assessments from “What are students able to do, and what can I do to move them to where I want them to be?” to “What are my students communicating? Does the task allow me to understand what students are communicating? Am I prepared to understand? What is my responsibility when I understand student thinking?” 

By Christelle Rocha (@Maestra_Rocha)

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