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Edited By Carl Oliver @carloliwitter
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Online Professional Development Sessions

Engage students with statistics in a way that helps them struggle with the ubiquitous challenge of variability. In this week's session, Conceptual understanding is not enough! Supporting students to see statistics as epistemic tools., Ryan Seth Jones will frame statistical work as modeling variability and then discusses the learning implications for different kinds of variability. Learn how this variable can engage students, and how to helps students describe it while learning how statistics can reveal the world's secrets. To register for the talk click here

Last week at Global Math Brette Woessner (@ReadySetBrette) described ways to improve student collaboration in her talk Reducing Status to Improve Collaboration. Letting your class work in groups has been shown to let students build valuable teamwork skills and can form the right conditions for powerful conversation among students. If you want to listen to Brette's recording click here 

Great Blogging Action

Getting Hands On

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Teaching 6th graders for the past three years, I've found teaching students prime factorization to be one of the driest topics, so it was extremely refreshing and exciting to see teacher and filmmaker Thom H. Gibson's (@gibsonedu) vlog "Bring on the Primes". Students got hands on with interlocking cubes as they learned about prime factorization. Check out the entire video featuring engaged students and Thom reflecting on his struggles with using manipulatives and sharing how the lessons went. Did I mention there is also an original prime factorization song involved?! 
 
Thom isn't the only one eager to have his students play with manipulatives. In his latest post, Sam Shah's students explore the question, "“Which [regular] polygons fit together snugly? Which don’t?” (sans manipulatives) Unable to find regular polygons tiles (other than a triangle, square, and hexagon), he turns to twitter and #mtbos (Christopher Danielson and Kate Nowak) comes to the rescue. Sam now has some wonderful and amazing regular polygon tiles to use in the future! Sam wants more than just students playing around with the manipulatives before getting into algebra. He wants his students to use the manipulatives and "gasp with surprise and horror and delight" as they realize the connection between configurations of different sided regular polygons that fit snugly (Like the 3, 7, and 42). Read the rest of Sam's post to read how he plans to do that!
 
Written by Sahar Khatri (@khatrimath)
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Hot on Twitter

Symmetry!

Tessellations seem to have taken over my Twitter feed.  And it seems like there is one person behind the curtain.
 
 


I’m not going to lie, when @samjshah and his awesomeness come across my blog feed I’m guaranteed to spend the next 2 hours lost down a rabbit hole of Dr. Math and Wolfram Alpha, trying to make sense of it all.  Each time I leave with an understanding that’s clear as mud…but I still leave a little smarter than when I entered.  It seems like there’s 25 grade levels between Sam and I, but he makes me want to know what he’s up to so I always read on.
This week Sam shared the beautiful gift he received from the man behind the curtain. If you don’t know about the 4, 5, 20. And the 3, 8, 24. And the 3, 10, 15. And the 4, 5, 20 you need to check this out.  24 hours later I’m still digging.
 
Written by @gfletchy (Graham Fletcher)
 
 
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January 10 kicked off the 2016 MTBoS Blogging Initiative, an event which encourages new and veteran bloggers alike to write once a week - just for 4 weeks - on a specific topic.  This year, Initiative Masters Sam ShahTina Cardone and Julie Reulbach have not only set up the four challenges, but they have paired mentor bloggers with mentees in an effort spread the joy of the MTBoS.  The first week's challenge was to blog about One Good Thing that happened in school during the week OR to fully chronicle an entire day in a teacher's life.  

I loved hearing about details of the days of people who I've been conversing with on line for several years - you know, walking a mile in someone else's shoes?  Maybe reading a blog is not the same as living someone else's life, but it is a glimpse into the reality of someone who may be only (at this point) a virtual presence in your world.  And you may meet someone completely new.  For example, in scrolling through the comments for Week 1's assignment (everyone who participates shares a link to their blog post for the week), I discovered the blog of Joanne L. Robert, a middle school teacher in North Carolina, whose blog is a treasure trove of math, science and inspirational links, including this very cool video

What struck me most about the Day in the Life posts I looked at (including my own at a whopping 1700 words) was HOW MUCH WE ALL DO every day.  Some posts just gave me good ideas from old and new acquaintances.  Amy Zimmer, over at Mrs. Z Teaches in Mathland, talked about a trig sum and difference formula activity which I must definitely borrow, especially because it involves neon paper!    This week'sassignment is to write about a favorite activity, lesson, or tool that we use, so the posts are bound to be filled to with great ideas, like Julie's glowing post on deltamath.  Check out the comments to the assignment post as the week goes on for links.

​Today is the day on which we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and by clicking on a link in an intriguing tweet I came across this compelling post about Hip Hop Chess written by a highly enterprising (and thoughtful) physical education teacher.  It's got me thinking about how I can integrate some chess into my classes, and how I might be able to connect to students whose love of math is, well, not.  
 
Cheers - 
Wendy Menard (@wmukluk)
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