This Week in Math Ed: February 17, 2017

Here's yet another abbreviated edition of TWiME.

Math Ed Said

February 10: People were sharing a recent interview with John Urschel from HBO's Real Sports.

Shared by: Andrew Gael, Andrew Stadel, Denise Spangler, Kristin Gray, Janice Novakowski, Sarah Bush, Kimberly Wassmuth, NCTM

February 11: Sometimes mathematicians play football, sometimes they do magic. "Raymond Smullyan, Puzzle-Creating Logician, Dies at 97" wrote the New York Times. Here's a 1982 appearance by Smullyan on The Tonight Show:

Shared by: Keith Devlin, Jorge Nuno Silva, Kent Haines, Jim Wilder, Justin Lanier, Eddi Vulić, Steven Strogatz

February 12: I'll admit, I don't know exactly why people were sharing Sara VanDerWerf's "Secondary Number Talks (I'll convince you with ducks)" post from last year. I can only say it was a good post then, and people obviously think it's still a good post now.

Shared by: rosa, Susan Davidson, Ben Braun, Kate Nowak, Geoff Krall, Lisa Bejarano, Morgan Fierst, Melinda Knapp, Nicole Bridge, Amanda Jansen

February 13: People were sharing the Washington Post story, "Justice Department warned White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, officials say."

Shared by: Ilana Horn, Spencer Bagley, John Allen Paulos, Keith Devlin, Mister Ed, Matthew Haden

February 14: Another day, another political story: "Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence."

Shared by: Keith Devlin, Paul Morris, Kathy Henderson, Mister Ed, John Allen Paulos, Spencer Bagley, Samuel Otten, Kenneth Tilton, Kay Endriss

Comment: It seems one or two political stories make their way into TWiME each week, which is lower than I'd imagine given how much attention politics is getting on Twitter. I think math still surfaces to the top in TWiME because there are so many political news outlets that the same links aren't shared by everybody.

If you really want something math ed and Russia-related, maybe you should check out the work of Daniil Elkonin (1904-1984) and Vasily Davydov (1930-1998), students of Lev Vygotsky. I don't know all that much about them myself, but the Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education tells me that Elkonin and Davydov an approach to learning math built on two principles: (1) dialectical logic, where general ideas are established before more advanced, specific ideas are developed, and (2) learning from one's own activity and building mathematical ideas from their origin. Like I said, I don't know all that much about Davydov, but I can already tell that I'd need to read a lot more about this before those two principles would make sense to me. But if you wanted something Russian but also math ed, that's what came to mind.

February 15: Robert Kaplinsky warned us to Beware of Fake Math Modeling Problems." Robert finds an example where modeling seems to partly be the "smaller version of" kind of modeling, and then the questions students are expected to answer really aren't there to help them understand what's happening in the thing they're supposed to be modeling.

Shared by: Lisa Melton Pizzuto, Michelle Dupree, Zack Miller, Kate Fisher, Andrew Gael, Andrew Browning-Couch, Math Coach Rivera, Mike Flynn, Lindel

February 16: People were sharing some of the accessibility features found in Desmos.

Shared by: Denise Green, Rosa Serratore, Daniel Luevanos, Jason Merrill, Martin Joyce, Jen Silverman, Cathy Yenca, Eli Luberoff

This Week in Math Ed: February 10, 2017

I'm in catch-up mode again so all I have for this week is Math Ed Said. Thanks for your patience!

Math Ed Said

Dan Meyer presenting at the 2016 ASSM Annual Meeting.
February 3: Dan Meyer said "Here Are Ten New Desmos Activities" and people couldn't wait to help share them.

Shared by: Leigh Ann Mitchell, Craig Klement, Levi Patrick, Pam J. Wilson, Jen McAleer, Ed Southhall, Melissa Haun, Christy Poole, Judy Larsen, Geoff Krall, Robert Kaplinsky, Tom Boito, Dan Burfeind, Sean Sweeney, Gene Jordan, David Petro, Kimberly Wassmuth, Bob Lochel, Kyle Pearce, Jami D Packer, Imtiaz Damji, Sarah Aldous

February 4: Even more people were sharing Dan Meyer's list of ten new Desmos activities.

Shared by: Jennifer Blinzler, Alex Jaffurs, Martin Joyce, Matthew Oldridge, Nita Cochran, Richer Maths

February 5: Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova wrote "The History of Zero: How Ancient Mesopotamia Invented the Mathematical Concept of Naught and Ancient India Gave It Symbolic Form." It's an in-depth review of a new book by Robert Kaplan called The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero.

Shared by: Federico Chialvo, Carrie Muir, John Golden, Elizabeth Statmore, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Nat Banting, Karin Brodie, Ilana Horn

February 6: I feel like it's been a while since Katrina Schwartz's writing as been featured in TWiME, but here she is with "How Playing With Math Helps Teachers Better Empathize With Students." This article focuses on Math Teachers' Circles and the ways they engage people with mathematics.

Shared by: Melissa Hosten, David Coffey, Robbyn Glinsmann, Theresa Walker, Kimberly Wassmuth, OCTM, Andrew Gael, Fawn Nguyen, Justin Lanier, NCTM, NCTM, Regan Galvan, Lisa Melton Pizzuto, John Golden

February 7: After Elizabeth Warren was prevented from reading from Coretta Scott King's 1986 letter about Jeff Sessions on the floor of the U.S. Senate, folks in the math ed community helped share the document.

Shared by: Jessica Faurote, Elham Kazemi, Sheri Eastman, Amy Ellen Zimmer, Annie Perkins, John Carter, David Coffey, Laura Wagenman, Joelleen Bidwell, Kathy Henderson, Keith Devlin

February 8: Well-known educator Richard DuFour died on the 8th and people sadly shared the news.

Shared by: Karyn Vogel, Jessie Hester, Math Coach Rivera, Kate Fisher, Peter Cincotta, Jill Gough, Terry Johanson, Juli K. Dixon, Diana Suddreth, Beth Chinderle, Beth Chinderle, Penny Bentley, Tim Kanold

February 9: "Active learning" doesn't always mean physically active, but physical activity in learning can be beneficial, too, according to a study reported on by the Daily Mail. The research was published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience with the title, "Motor-Enriched Learning Activities Can Improve Mathematical Performance in Preadolescent Children."

Shared by: Andrew Gael, Malke Rosenfeld, Mark McCourt, Math Coach Rivera, Christopher Rohde, Tim Kanold, Janine Franklin

This Week in Math Ed: February 3, 2017

I haven't had much work time to keep up with the goings-on in the math ed community, and I've been spending more of my evenings and weekends dissertating instead of blogging. (Gotta graduate sometime!) I'm way behind on TWiME, but I have been able to grab the the most-shared posts on my math ed Twitter list each week. I may not be able to make time to dig into all the latest news and research, but I can at least share this.

Math Ed Said

January 27: Jose Vilson talked about writing with the Global Math Department in a session called "Writing: Your Questions Answered."

Shared by: Bridget Dunbar, Sahar Khatri, Heather Kohn, Sharon Vestal, Jose Vilson, Global Math

January 28: The refugee band was the talk of the day, including the sharing of this NY Times story: "Refugees Detained at U.S. Airports, Prompting Legal Challenges to Trump's Immigration Order."

Shared by: Spencer Bagley, Sahar Khatri, Keith Devlin, Earl Samuelson, Karen King, Zach Cresswell

A creatively-drawn congressional district in California.
January 29: As the saying goes, gerrymandering is when politicians choose their voters instead of voters choosing their politicians. If you're thinking there should be a mathematical solution to this problem, then you're likely to learn about it during a 5-day summer session at Tufts University called Geometry of Redistricting. The session is August 7-11 and applications are open until March 15.

Shared by: Anne Schwartz, Joshua Bowman, David Radcliffe, John Allen Paulos, Steven Strogatz, Bethany Sansing-Helton, Rebecca Gasper, Margret Hjalmarson, Ilana Horn, Kay Endriss, Ryan R Ruff, Spencer Bagley, Ralph Pantozzi, Kate Nowak, Tom Henderson, Christopher Hanusa, Dave Richeson, Mike Lawler, Keith Devlin, Carrie Muir, Evelyn Lamb

January 30: The American Mathematical Society announced that they opposed the Executive Order suspending immigration from seven nations.

Shared by: Martin Joyce, Travis Olson, Ron King, Dana C. Ernst, michiexile, Kathy Henderson, Amy Hogan, Andrew Gael, Carrie Muir, Mitch Keller, Joshua Bowman, John Allen Paulos, Evelyn Lamb, David Radcliffe, Ben Braun

January 31: Folks were sharing Robert Kaplinsky's guide for depth of knowledge in secondary math.
Shared by: Andrew Stadel, Zack Miller, Nanette Johnson, Jeremiah Ruesch, Jen McAleer, Mary Bourassa, Daniel Luevanos, Robert Kaplinsky

February 1: At a school in North Carolina, a "Teacher Has Personalized Handshakes With Every One of His Students." I believe I saw people split on this in my tweetstream, as people questioned how teachers can connect to students' culture without appropriating students' culture.

Shared by: Ann Gaffney, Doug Moore, Brian Mierzwa, Michael Pershan, Jill Buecking, Justin Bock, Paul Morris, Annie Perkins, John Rowe, Janice Cotcher

February 2: Quanta Magazine had a great interview with Francis Su, the outgoing president of the MAA. It's called "To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics" and it covers Su's perspectives on "human flourishing" and how the math community can be open to more people.

Shared by: T R, Kevin Lawrence, Keith Devlin, John Allen Paulos, Joshua Bowman, Joelleen Bidwell, Steven Strogatz, Dana C. Ernst, Kate Owens, Michael Pershan, Earl Samuelson, Carrie Muir, Steph Gunning, MAA, Ben Braun, Matt Lane, Egan J Chernoff, Francis Su

This Week in Math Ed: January 27, 2017

Math Ed Said

Speakers in the tools and tech strand
 at the 2017 NCTM Annual Meeting
January 20: A promotional image for speakers in the tools and technology strand got a lot of retweets and send people to the page for the NCTM 2017 Annual Meeting.

Shared by: Annie Forest, Sarah Bush, Kimberly Wassmuth, Andrew Gael, The Math Forum, Cathy Yenca, Kathy Henderson, Janice Novakowski, PhET Sims, Shelley Carranza, Carl Oliver, Marc Garneau, Kristin Gray, Andrew Stadel

January 21: People in the math education community were sharing the NY Times gallery of "Pictures From Women's Marches Around the United States and the World."

Shared by: Keith Devlin, Emily Harmon, Bryan Meyer, Karen, Robin Hosemann, Joshua Bowman, Andrew Gael, Christine K, Kay Endriss, Norma Gordon

January 22: As you might expect, estimation exercises in the news get the attention of math teachers. People shared the NY Times article, "Crowd Scientists Say Women's March in Washington Had 3 Times More People Than Trump's Inauguration."

Shared by: Andy Martinson, Egan J Chernoff, Mister Ed, Gretchen Eastman, Nerissa Gerodias, Jorge Nuno Silva, Keith Devlin, Nick Yates, Kay Endriss, Annie Perkins, Earl Samuelson, Dan Anderson, Lisa Bejarano, Amy Hogan

January 23: Lara Pudwell wrote on the AMS Blog, "What is an Experimental Math Course and Why Should We Care?" She advises that experimental courses should focus on the approach to mathematics and be flexible with the content.

Shared by: Dana C. Ernst, Tom Snarsky, Francis Su, Keegan Phillips, Ben Braun, TJ Hitchman

January 24: Robert Kaplinsky has been posting about Depth of Knowledge lately, something I've been studying up on myself. Here Robert uses sets of examples to illustrate what different DOK levels look like at the elementary level.

Shared by: Chris Kalmbach, Daniel Luevanos, Tanya Beck, Andrew Gael, Greg George, Robert Kaplinsky, Laura Wagenman, Allison Hintz, Mark Chubb

January 25: Concerns about the role of science in a new presidential administration had people sharing "Thanks to Trump, Scientists Are Planning To Run For Office."

Shared by: Matt Lane, Ed Campos Jr, MotherWupper, Karen King, Doug Moore, Janice Cotcher, Andrew Gael

January 26: People were buzzing about the NCTM Ignite lineup.

Shared by: Julie Wright, NCTM, Avery Pickford, Andrew Stadel, Mary Bourassa, Janice Novakowski, Suzanne Alejandre, Sarah Bush

Around the Math Ed Web

Are you a college instructor wanting to know more about inquiry based learning? You might want to check out these IBL summer workshops at DePaul, Cal Poly, and Nazareth College.

I'm not interested in sharing information about every math-related webinar and MOOC, but the set of offerings from the Place @ the Friday Institute has a set of courses designed specifically for math teachers and their courses are beginning now.

I'm having trouble with the Global Math Department conferences on BigMarker right now, but trust me, they're still hammering out the dents in math ed every Tuesday night.

Research Notes

To save myself a little time in the research notes, I may not always list the institution of each author. Some journals make it near-impossible to copy and paste this from the article page — looking at you, Taylor & Francis!

In the March 2017 issue of The Journal of Mathematical Behavior:
Four new articles in Mathematical Thinking and Learning:
Here are the math ed articles in the International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education:
Rogers Hall at the 2014 ICLS Conference
New in Cognition and Instruction:
New in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education:
One new article in the Journal of the Learning Sciences:
New in the April 2017 issue of Teaching and Teacher Education:

Math Ed in Colorado

CCTM SAT Workshops

CCTM is offering three workshops designed to help teachers become more familiar with the PSAT and SAT. Each half-day workshop will provide an orientation to some of the PSAT/SAT materials that are available and instructional practices that support students to do well on these tests. The cost of the workshop is $15 for a CCTM member and $45 for a non-member. The workshops are from 8:30 am to noon for each of the three dates and locations:
  • Saturday, February 11, at the Littleton Public Schools Board Room
  • Saturday, February 25, at the CSU-Pueblo Physics/Math Building
  • Saturday, March 4, at the CSU-Fort Collins Lory Student Center

Winter 2017 CMT

The Winter 2017 issue of the Colorado Mathematics Teacher is available for all to read. To support the CMT and the work of CCTM, become a member.

CoMMIT Meeting

The next meeting of the Colorado Metropolitan Math Intervention Team (CoMMIT) will be held Friday, February 3 from 8:30 to noon in the Littleton Public Schools board room (5776 S. Crocker St., Littleton). The featured speakers will be Doug Clements and Julie Sarama of the University of Denver.

CML Meeting

The next meeting of the Colorado Mathematics Leaders will be Monday, February 6th in Jeffco. Stay tuned to the CML listserv for details.

SLD Webinars

CDE is offering a series of five one-hour webinars addressing the needs of struggling learners with specific learning disabilities. The webinars will be on the first Monday of each month:
  • February 6: Focusing on the Nonstrategic Math Learner
  • March 6: Learning Whole Number Operations
  • April 3: Let's Be Rational: Learning Integers, Fractions, Decimals
  • May 1: Mathese: The Language of Mathematics
  • June 5: Bridging the Arithmetic to Algebra Gap
Register for any or all of the webinars in this series at

Colorado Academic Standards Review & Revision

The first monthly informational webinar about the review of the Colorado Academic Standards will be Tuesday, February 7, from 3:30 to 4:30. Connection information can be found on the CDE website.

CDE continues to collect standard-specific feedback using an online standards feedback system. This is a unique opportunity for any Coloradan to provide line-by-line recommendations that will be considered by the standards review committees. All forms of feedback are welcome: if you think something should stay as-is, be revised for clarity, moved to another grade, or removed altogether. Do not let this opportunity pass if you have ideas that you think should be considered! The online standards feedback system will be open through Sunday, April 30, 2017. This end date has been extended again because your input is so critical to the review and revision process.

Colorado Revised Teacher Rubric

CDE's Educator Effectiveness unit is collecting public feedback about its teacher rubric. See here for dates and locations of focus groups (must register by 2/24) and an online form to submit specific feedback about the rubric.

Girls Lead the Way

Monday, January 30th is the deadline to register 9th-12th grade girls for the Girls Lead the Way Leadership Conference. The conference is February 11 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.

This Week in Math Ed: January 20, 2017

Math Ed Said

January 13: As I mentioned in the last TWiME, people were excited to see that Desmos will be included in California's state tests.

Shared by: Eric Milou, Ellen byron, Matt Vaudrey, Megan W. Taylor, Bryn Humberstone, Cathy Yenca, David Wartowski, Monica Brannan, Sharon Rendon, Elizabeth Statmore, Jeremiah Ruesch, Kathy Henderson, Christopher Rohde, Bridget Dunbar, Judy Keeney

January 14: Prompted by the blogging initiative at ExploreMTBoS, Marissa W wrote "Soft Skills: Encouraging Perseverance #MTBoSBlogsplosion."

Shared by: Jennifer Dao, Marissa W, Tom Hall, Nolan Doyle, Alex Overwijk, Sara VanDerWerf, Marissa W

January 15: I think math teachers were a bit envious of the technology used by the New York Times in the story "You Draw It: What Got Better or Worse During Obama's Presidency." Politics aside, it was a cool way to make and test your predictions on a graph.

Shared by: Federico Chialvo, Denis Sheeran, Sue Wilson, George Woodbury, Tom Snarsky, John Scammell, Judy Keeney, Gregory Taylor, John Golden, Keith Devlin, Nerissa Gerodias, Bridget Dunbar, Samuel Otten, Martin Joyce, Sharon Vestal, Tyler Anderson, Nick Yates, Norma Gordon, Eli Luberoff, Geoff Krall, Laura Kinnel, Darren Burris

January 16: In a post that's sort of about baking, and sort of about a book, but not really about either, Christopher Danielson gives us "Muffins, math, and the lies we tell about both."

Shared by: John A. Pelesko, Judy Larsen, Sharon Vestal, Justin Lanier, Michelle Naidu, Mathalicious, Ilona Vashchyshyn

January 17: Kristin Gray's post on the Teaching Channel is about "Lesson Study: Choosing a Mathematical Goal and Task." It's the first in a series, so be prepared to read, be given something to think about, and return for the rest of the discussion.

Shared by: Lisa Melton Pizzuto, Rosa Serratore, Julie Kubiak,David Petersen, Illustrative Maths, Andrew Gael, Sadie Estrella, Kristin Gray

Fawn Nguyen at the 2016 NCTM Innov8
January 18: If you're wondering why Fawn Nguyen's "Growth vs. Proficiency" post from last August would suddenly get attention, it all relates to a question asked by Senator Al Franken during Betsy DeVos's confirmation hearing to be Secretary of Education. DeVos didn't appear 100% prepared to answer Franken's question, which sent members of the public to the internet to see if they couldn't figure out what the whole growth vs. proficiency debate was all about.

Shared by: Kevin Lawrence, Jennifer Dao, Patty Stephens, Andrew Gael, Ilana Horn, Casey McCormick, Fawn Nguyen, Earl Samuelson

January 19: Folks were still talking about Fawn's post, but there was also notable sharing of "The Teach to One Math Experiment in Mountain View, CA Is a Trainwreck."

Shared by: T R, Gregory Taylor, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Dan Meyer, Elizabeth Statmore, Kate Nowak, Maria H. Andersen