Included this week: This week's Global Math webinar details and some awesome tweeting and blogging. This week's newsletter edited by Ashli Black.
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This Week at Global Math

Join presenters Adam Yankay & S. Leigh Nataro (@mathteacher24) for the next GMD on Teaching and Assessing to Promote Learning and Problem Exploration

Using ideas from standards-based teaching, Bloom's taxonomy, and cognitive development theories, I've completely reformed my classroom experience. Students learn new material, are assessed, and review daily. Yes, all three! Students learn basic skills and develop problem-solving habits. I'd love to share what I do, offer any help, and solicit your feedback! Note: This is at the high school level.

Register to attend here here.
Last week (Tuesday, January 20th, 9 PM EDT) Evan Weinberg (@emwdx) presented on The Why and How of Computational Thinking.

View the recording here.

Great Blogging Action

Christopher Danielson recently released "A Better Shapes Book" for free on his blog. Before you read on, go take a look at it, download it, and enjoy!

Since some of my classes are studying geometry, this was a fortuitous release.  My students, who are in self-contained special ed classes, can identify benchmark shapes (squares, rectangles, triangles and circles), but we are currently investigating how squares and rectangles relate as quadrilaterals.  This book was the best way for our students to explore shape properties without having to read, write and remember a lot of vocabulary.  We were able to discuss what they saw and critique the arguments of classmates in a safe space, because all arguments were valid for one reason or another.  The elimination of the potential to be flat out "wrong" created a safe space for my student population.  As long as there was some semblance of justification, you were "right." The students liked that!

First we reviewed the book pages on the Smartboard as a group.  For each page the students would have about a minute to pick which shape didn't belong and why.  Then each student had an opportunity to share their choice and justification.  Students would subsequently have an opportunity to respond to each other's arguments.  Then we moved on to the next page and repeated the process.

As a group we got an opportunity to discuss why each shape could or could not belong depending on the property in focus.  After the whole group activity, students were asked to create their own pages.  They created first drafts and shared with a partner, then with me.  After going through the two editing stages (peer-to-peer and student-to-teacher) they were able to make final drafts of their pages in full technicolor (well, really just colored pencils).

Here are couple of their final drafts:


Some students showed full understanding by making pages where all four shapes could belong or not based on their properties.  Others showed partial understanding by creating a page where at least one shape could not belong based on its properties.  All in all it was a successful investigation.

Thanks Christopher!

PS - Christopher is looking for an elementary teacher in Minnesota who would like him to visit their class! More info here. (Disclaimer: This may already be sorted out by the time you read this post!)
written by Andrew Gael @bkdidact

I’ve Flipped on the Flipped Classroom

I feel the “Flipped Classroom” has gotten a bad reputation. Well at least, my first impression of the flipped classroom was teachers assigning Khan Academy videos outside of class, so students could just sit at their desk and do homework (worksheets) in class. I’ll admit, I wrote off the flipped classroom for a long time. That has recently changed. My feelings for the Khan videos, not so much.

Crystal Kirch hosted a webinar recently, definitely worth checking out. She shares best practices and practical ideas for flipping a classroom so the focus shifts to:
  • student-centered activities
  • active learners
  • higher order thinking
In addition, she does an excellent job presenting:
  • What the flipped classroom is NOT
  • Student Websites
  • Sample Video Tutorials
  • Resource Sites
My favorite: “prompt students to pause at key points.”
What are you waiting for? Stop reading this and watch the webinar. Read detailed notes on her blog.

Written by Andrew Stadel @mr_stadel

Some Noticing and Wondering

As someone who loves both Pacman, pumpkin pie, and Noticing & Wondering, Joe Schwartz's recent post on this Math Forum staple immediately called to me. The post overviews four different 'Notice & Wonder' prompts at three grade levels and is a great ground-level look at how to use the practice in the classroom.

If you've not had reason and/or opportunity before now to check out Notice & Wonder (in website or book form), I hope Joe's list of benefits below encourages you to give it a go in your own classroom:
  • It's easy for a teacher to remember and can be used in many situations.
  • There are no right or wrong answers, and nothing to solve.  It's anxiety-free.
  • It's a one-size-fits all prompt. It's as simple or challenging as the individual child that responds.
  • It can be a valuable formative assessment tool, and a window into the minds of our students.
  • It can be practiced, and kids can get better at it.  
  • Kids can utilize it as a protocol for understanding a problem before they go about deciding how to solve it.

Written by Ashli Black @mythagon

Recommended Viewing:

John Edmark of Stanford University has created some beautifully hypnotic sculptures using 3D printing and Fibonacci numbers. Think you can hypnotize a class with these videos of rotating solids?

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