This Week at Global Math – 4/7/20


Edited By Casey McCormick  @cmmteach

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Online Professional Development Sessions


Six (Un)Productive Practices in Mathematics Teaching

Presented by 

Juli K. Dixon

Juli Dixon reveals six ways we undermine efforts to increase student achievement and then she goes on to share what to do about them. These teaching practices are commonplace and often required by administrators. Many of them may have been generated from practices in English language arts (ELA) and might work very well in that content area. As a result of this session, you will understand that they are often unproductive when applied during mathematics instruction and may even lead to issues of access and equity. This session helps you to see why these practices are unproductive and also assists you in generating a plan for what to do about them. Participants will: · Make sense of six (un)productive mathematics teaching practices; · Explore reasons for why the practices exist; and · Learn productive strategies to counteract the madness ☺.

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

Next Week 

The Power of Words

Presented by: Diana McClean and Sam Kaplan

Evaluating our word choice can help change our thinking. Overtime we (educators) have become numb to the powerful student facing descriptors that when used haphazardly can define student identity. This talk will put forward ideas to think deeply about ways we can shift our language to improve student identities.


Register for the webinar here, and join us next week!

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

Surprised by Joy


“Be surprised by joy. Be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of the barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain.” – Henri Nouwen

It’s a strange idea in the current state we’re in. I get it. It’s significantly easier to be surprised by despair, disappointment, frustration, and the constant need to adjust right now. I have found myself at moments overwhelmed by the state of surprise in all of these feelings. Here’s some real phrases that came out of my mouth in the last 24 hours that exemplify those types of surprises in my life right now. 

In reference to my mom, while talking to my sisters virtually: “She went WHERE? To get WHAT!? That is NOT ESSENTIAL.”

In reference to my husband’s birthday, which we celebrated alone, to the despair to my extroverted heart, “It’s not that I didn’t know we wouldn’t see anyone, it’s that I’m all the sudden overwhelmed with how disappointed I am that we can’t.”

And, to every parent out there with a toddler, the inevitable: “You can’t sit on my face right now. Mommy is in a meeting.” 

We are settling into a month’s long shelter-at-home order here in North Carolina, and we are one week in. About two weeks ago, I noticed the number of people mentioning how family had become their new center, rather than work. It happened quickly, as people realized the number of physical hours we normally spend with our immediate family increased drastically from our regular span. As more educators fluctuate between spring break and beginning teaching online, we feel a new strain that wasn’t there before, as we sense the tension in being physically housed in the same space as our loved ones without the freedom to spend time with them as we typically have when we are together in this space. Our bodies are place-conscious; they know how we normally act in certain spaces and places. When those places change, our bodies and minds struggle with that tension – the tension between place, emotion, and space. 

The same is true for our virtual spaces, such as the #MTBoS community or here within the GMD. Our virtual space is place-conscious; it reflects back to us a certain way of being, the way we normally associate with one another, the typical topics we share. As the current crisis has required, the virtual space has required our minds, thoughts, and tweets to adjust, and there is a tension between what we once were and where we currently are. 

For me, that is why this week, I have been overwhelmingly surprised by joy #onhere. There is no shortness of joy in the midst of change in the #MTBoS, but I have been surprised at where I have found it recently. 

Sometimes it’s in the seemingly simple of what once was. 

Like when @RPhillipsMath shared about her kids doing math at home:


Or when @ChezBoogie was living a real math problem and got mad hype. 


Sometimes, I find it in beautiful things. 

Like in @Fawnpnguyen’s garden, and the smell of jasmine. 



Or in @Samira_Mian’s video of #islamicgeometry, where I never knew what she would do next. 

Sometimes, I find it through what we share together. 

Like @HthrLynnJ’s wildscaped backyard

And in EVERY SINGLE #MathArtChallenge posted by @anniek_p and submitted by others

But especially listening to the joy in the video posted by @DavidKButlerUoA of his submission  of the Hitomezashi Stitching. 


Sometimes, I find it in humor. 

Like in @SamPerrinNTNU’s perfect dad-tweet to the strange y-axis post going around. 



Or every tweet @Howie_Hua has posted lately, but for sure this one that went viral. 


And sometimes, I find joy in the way the world has found math humanizing this week. 

Like @mathillustrated finding the wage gap being taught in a text book. 



Or when @TinaCardone appreciated her energy company’s critical use of data in *not* posting this month’s energy savings in comparison to last year. 


Each one of these posts surprised me with joy. I found myself grinning from ear to ear, feeling my heart swell, and bringing me hope. For even in a time when despair, disappointment, and frustration are easy to find, there is still joy to be found. 


I hope you find yourself pleasantly surprised by joy this week wherever you are, but especially #onhere. 


Flattening the Curve but not my waistline (GO SNACKS!), 

Lauren Baucom


Distance Learning (to Tweet)

I’ve had my Twitter since 2012 and have sent out a few tweets while at conferences and retweeted a few things that resonated. Rarely have I felt comfortable putting my own thoughts out there (unless they were thoughts about reality television, neighbors doing rain dances in the middle of the night, or cats doing funny things). This is not a critique of the #MTBoS community, which has always been kind and helpful in the rare moments that I have tweeted about math and teaching, but a reflection of my own self doubt. Would the tweet be funny enough? Thoughtful enough? Ask the right question? Ask a question I should already know the answer to? But in this new situation we find ourselves in, I’m so desperate for answers, support, and community that I’m able to shake off the concerns and put myself out there more. Turns out, all I needed to turn from a lurker to a tweeter was a global pandemic. Here are some of the highlights from my more-active-than-usual week on Twitter:

From Neil Webb (@neilmwebb), the thing you’ve probably already seen but just in case you haven’t it’s definitely the thing you need to hear right now:

From Kate Ariemma Marin (@ProfessorMarin) the tweet to help you with all decision making moving forward:


And from Desmos, the update to help with your co-teaching struggles:



And from my own support system:



Happy tweeting! (or lurking… whichever makes you happy right now)


Written by Karli Orr (@msorrmath)

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