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Edited By Carl Oliver @carloliwitter
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Online Professional Development Sessions

This week, we are lucky to have Robert Berry joining us. Robert will be presenting #blackkidsdomath. Hear stories of Black boys who are successful with school mathematics. Focus on the experiences that shaped these boys’ interwoven identities, especially their mathematics identity. We will focus on items related to identity and agency and discussing teaching practices that can be used by teachers of Black learners to cultivate their identities as capable of participating in, and being doers of, mathematics. Join us tonight at 9 EST here.
Last week Denis Sheeran presented Google Apps for Education in the Math Classroom. Some schools have gone Google Classroom, some use chromebooks, and others are just starting to think about their tech future. No matter where you are in the process, you can access GAFE and begin to move math class to a mix of traditional and digital environments for students. To view the recording click here.

Great Blogging Action

Connecting Knowledge and Building Problem Solving Ability 
David Wees's latest post, "Teaching Problems or Teaching Mathematics" echoes the struggle I have with teaching my students. On one hand, it's really easy to teach students strategies that would help students solve specific kinds of problems, but on the other hand does that really help students in the long run? Is that really problem solving? According to David, if teaching math is just about how to solve specific kinds of problems using prescribed strategies, we deprive students of making connections between concepts. As a result "a relatively unorganized and over-whelming set of problem-solving schema for students" is created. He offers some reflective questions to ask students that facilitate making connections:
  • How is what we learned today related to what we learned yesterday? 
  • How is this problem we solved today like the problems we solved last week? 
  • What did we learn today that we can probably generalize and use to solve other problems?
After reading David's post I went exploring on MTBoS to read further about making connections. My quest led me to Dylan Kane's blog, where he has a series of posts on problem solving. Specifically his post, Problem Solving: Classroom Application has left me so much to think about, but a major take away that echoes David's post is to explicitly make connections when students fail to make it on their own. Allowing students to struggle blindly isn't helpful for them as problem solvers since it creates "scattered and disconnected bits of knowledge." 
 
Written By Sahar Khatri (@khatrimath)
Counting Along with Kristen Grey
If you’ve been following Kristin Grey over the past year then you’re well aware that she’s made the transition form 5thgrade teacher to math coach.  What’s been great for us as subscribers to her blog, is watching her share the mathematical goodness throughout her school.  
Kristin recently came to terms that she’s obsessed with counting and we’re all benefitting from her addiction.  If you’re a k-2 teacher, or a parent of a primary student, you’ll definitely leave a little smarter after checking out her recent posts on counting found here and here
As an added bonus, Kristin recently twitted about the free resources she collected on her Pintrest page.

Written by Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy)

Hot on Twitter: Pasta Triangles

What do you notice? What do you wonder? What do you want for dinner now that I've used all the pasta? #MTBoS

#WhyITeach
Friday morning, making my way to work in the snow, a post from Anne Schwartz (@sophgermain) popped up in my feeder - "Why I am not quitting teaching". Never one to mince words, Anne reminds us that many of the aspects of the job that make it a struggle are part of its definition.  We all need to support one another through the inevitable difficulties - why many of us blog and tweet - but we also need to remember that teaching can be tough because, to paraphrase, that is what we signed up for.  Go read it.  Maybe twice.  Later the same day, Glenn Waddell wrote a reflective response; his professional path has taken him out of the classroom, but ultimately, he finds he is still true to the job.  Glenn titled his post with a hashtag -  #WhyITeach - could be the start of something.  Maybe we can all be tweeting and blogging about this.
 
Continuing in the reflective vein, Jim Doherty shared a quote about inquiry on the part of students and teachers in his post Modeling Good Behavior.  Inquiry (or enquiry as John Mason wrote in the original source of the quote) is not only a strategy for teaching, it is what the real world requires of us in order to solve problems in work and life.
 
Lots of food for thought this week - 
 
Written by Wendy Menard (@wmukluk)
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