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Included this week: This week's Global Math webinar details some experiences related to NCTM in Boston. This week's newsletter edited by David Wees (@davidwees)
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This Week at Global Math

The Global Math Department was delayed this week due to the editor being at NCSM and NCTM in Boston.  

Next Tuesday, April 21st, anyone who went to NCTM and wants to share something amazing they learned or presented is welcome to share here.

This session will be hosted and moderated by S. Leigh Nataro (@mathteacher24).

End of the Year Fun

If you’re lucky enough to have gone to NCTM Boston this week, and you saw Jennifer Silverman’s presentation on radians, I recommend you share what you learned with the rest of us. If it’s anything like the materials that are at her website http://www.jensilvermath.com/, we will all excited by your perspective.

Full disclosure – she happens to be my good friend, but she is also a mind-blowingly smart, talented, and creative teacher and mathematician. If you’re looking for a fun activity or a lesson plan that is rich in discovery, and that taps into students’ intuition and curiosity, she’s the one to go to. Perhaps my favourite thing about her work is exemplified in the image above – she creates stunning visuals (using GeoGebra – my favourite) that teach without words.

(Written by Audrey McLaren - @a_mcsquared)
I love that school supply speciality stores sell colorful posters for teachers to hang in their classrooms.  Some are inexpensive so adding a couple of extra dollars to have the posters laminated shouldn’t pose a large investment.  We hang them up at the beginning of the year, some with mathematical ideas and others with motivating phrases, with the hope of helping students as they go through the year in your classroom.

By now, many of you have realized these inspirational posters have not produced the resiliency or growth mindset you possibly hoped they would when you hung them up.  Thankfully, three invested educators (Ann Gaffney, Heidi Fessenden, and Tracy Zager) have a presentation they ran at NCTM to assist attendees of #NCTM2015 in “Developing Risk Takers”.  They discussed three specific instructional strategies teachers can start trying as soon as they get back home:

“Look for Risks to Highlight in Large-Group Discussions”
“Teach Risk Taking through Individual Written Feedback” 
“Model Risk Taking Publicly”

After the sharing of transcripts, student work samples, and classroom videos, participants worked together and thought about how to use the strategies in their own classroom contexts, as the strategies have come from three different classrooms (grades 1 - 7) in very different settings.

Here’s an example from their written feedback strategy showing the improvement of one student from September to January.

September


January


The session takeaways included having the opportunities to think deeply about the role of risk taking in the doing, teaching, and learning of math as well as three new strategies to try right away.  If I could have attended the conference, this would definitely be a session in which I would have a front row seat.

Thank you to @TracyZager for your contributions to this article.

(Written by Jenise Sexton - @MrsJeniseSexton)
 
At Shadowcon, there were six amazing five minute presentations from six amazing educators each of which ended with a call to action.

Tracy Zager presented on the need to break the cycle of fear of mathematics that exists amongst many elementary school educators.

Elham Kazemi presented about sitting amongst students and how collaborative planning and teacher time-outs can support teachers in learning about student learning.

Laila Nur presented about the need to incorporate more humor in the math classroom and just be ready to be more human with our students.

Kristin Gray presented about her own curiosity about her students and her teaching and how this led her to keep a journal of their collective work together.

Christopher Danielson presented on how sometimes when we listen to students we hear what we want to hear rather than what was actually said by the student.

Michael Pershan presented on how there are four different pedagogical sins we can commit by giving poorly constructed hints to our students.

The video recordings of their presentations will be on the Shadowcon website soon but in the meantime you can read their brief introductions and their calls to action on the Shadowcon website and think about how you can integrate one of their ideas into your practice and see how it impacts your work with your students.

(Written by David Wees - @davidwees)
 
Here's a puzzle I spotted in the NCTM exhibition hall. What questions does this picture raise for you? Which of those questions seems like mathematics would be useful to answer?

Share your questions and any solutions you develop from your questions with the rest of the math education community by tweeting them out with the #MTBoS hashtag.
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