This Week in Math Ed: January 29, 2016

Math Ed Said

January 22: "Draw the Kitty" by Jonathan Claydon was the most popular post last Friday, and I'm pretty sure it being Friday might have contributed to the popularity of the post. Thanks to Jonathan, Andrew Gael, Glenn Waddell, Gregory Taylor, and Taylor Belcher for sharing.

Doug Clements presenting at the 2011 RME Conference
January 23: A host of people including Matthew Oldridge, Jo Boaler, Keith Devlin, Susan Davidson, Richelle Marynowski, Tim Hudson, and Trena Wilkerson retweeted Doug Clements's share of a research article, "Developing Multiplication Fact Fluency."

January 24: Dave Radcliffe, James Cleveland, Dylan Kane, Michael Welch, and Mikael Johansson shared Ta-Nehisi Coates article in The Atlantic, "Bernie Sanders and the Liberal Imagination."

January 25: Dan Meyer, Geoff Krall, Megan Schmidt, Dave Radcliffe, Mark Chubb, Jedidiah Butler, and Jana Sanchez shared Christopher Danielson's "Parent Letters." Here Chris looks at how a report from a commercial math practice app helps parents understand an arithmetic strategy as well as their child's performance.

January 26: Pick from three: (1) Jon Orr's "Better Questions – Two Truths & One Lie" (shared by Laura Wheeler, Shauna Hedgepeth, Bridget Dunbar and Jana Sanchez); (2) the Quartz story "An NFL Player Was Just Accepted to the Math PhD Program at MIT" (shared by Steve Phelps, OCTM, George Woodbury, and Egan Chernoff); and/or (3) Joe Schwartz's "What I'm Looking For" (shared by Joe, Patrick Honner, Michael Pershan, and Josh Fisher).

January 27: NCTM announced a new conference called "Innov8" and 16 members of my MathEd Twitter list had something to say about it or gave it a retweet: NCTM, Travis Olson, Diane J. Briars, Stephanie Iacadoro, Matt Larson, Teaching Children Math, Emily Campbell, Amanda Jansen, Bridget Dunbar, Dan Meyer, John SanGiovanni, Bridget Dunbar, Mathematics Teacher, Jessica Faurote, Farshid Safi, The Math Forum, and David Keller chimed in. Details about the event are to come, but there are some sure signs here that Innov8 will not just be another version of the annual meeting or the regional conferences as they are currently designed.

January 28: Cal Armstrong, Michael Pershan, Matt Enlow, Bridget Dunbar, Eddi Vulić, Sendhil Revuluri, Dylan Kane, and Dan Goldner shared Ben Blum-Smith's "Lessons from Bowen and Darryl." It's a great post that should get teachers thinking about the intentionality of their teaching, including how problems are chosen, how students are grouped, and how we can strategically call on students to share their ideas.

Complimenting Ben's post is one called "Planning Lessons" by David Wees, which was shared by 6 people on Thursday.

Around the Math Ed Web

The 2016 conference of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) is currently underway. I'm seeing some quality activity on the #AMTE2016 hashtag, so go there to follow along.

In the Global Math Department, this week's topic was "Using Direct Measurement Videos to Learn to Make Mathematical Models," presented by Peter Bohacek. Next week's topic is "Google Apps for Education in the Math Classroom."

At the Mathematics Educators StackExchange, recent topics have looked at the use of the terms "specific" and "particular," working with polynomials, accepting late homework, and innumeracy.

In the Google+ Mathematics Education (K-12) Community, recent posts have looked at John Hattie's work and Josh Fisher, as usual, has kept busy sharing blog posts.

Research Notes

Three new articles and a book review have recently appeared in Mathematical Thinking and Learning:
By far, the article above that instantly grabbed my attention was the "Shortcomings" article by Gravemeijer et al. I really want to give it a more proper summary in the coming days, but to do that you really need to know Sfard (1991), which is another article I've been meaning to give a proper summary. In short, however, Gravemeijer et al. say this: Reform math isn't working as well as it should, and it's not because traditional is better — and we have evidence to back that up. Rather, reform mathematics is struggling because we're too task-focused, especially in how we make student performance on particular tasks the goal of student understanding. True conceptual understanding needs to go beyond tasks, and focus on students' mastery of mathematical phenomena as processes and objects, as Sfard described in 1991.

Here's another new math-related article in Teaching and Teacher Education that I think I missed:
Lastly, and not quite new for 2016, is a great exchange between Danny Martin and leaders of NCTM. If Principles to Actions was the most important document in math education last year, then this is the most important discussion of that document, captured in the Journal of Urban Mathematics Education:

Math Ed in the News

Math Ed in Colorado

The Colorado Math Leaders met on Tuesday in Colorado Springs. It was my first time meeting the group, although there were a few familiar faces there. We had excellent discussions around NCTM's Principles to Actions and we're looking to hold our next meeting on February 23rd.

The next session of the Northern Colorado Math Circles are on Monday, February 22nd. Contact Gulden Karakok or Delia Haefeli for more information or to RSVP.

The next CCTM board meeting is this Saturday, January 30th. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone!

The Math on the "Planes" conference, presented by the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is coming up on February 26-27.