This Week in Math Ed: July 22, 2016

Math Ed Said

July 15: Christopher Danielson announced his new book, "Which One Doesn't Belong?" will be available on August 15th.

Shared by: Christopher Danielson, Janice Novakowski, Kassia Wedekind, Gregory Taylor, Tracy Johnston Zager, Bridget Dunbar, Geoff Krall, Nat Banting, Malke Rosenfeld, Amie Albrecht, Dan Anderson, Allison Hintz, John Burk, WODB? Math, Crystal Lancour

July 16: Tina Palmer shared a post called "What I Learned at Twitter Math Camp Today (and it had nothing to do with math)." As the title says, it's not about math, but it is a passionate reflection about relative safety and the communities we can create for each other.

Shared by: Tina Palmer, Audrey McLaren, Meg Craig, Sara VanDerWerf, Nick Yates, Heather Kohn, James Cleveland, Nicole Bridge

July 17: Fellow Coloradan Lisa Bejarano Accountable Talk / Sentence Starters shared slides with prompts designed to support high-quality classroom discourse.

Shared by: Lisa Bejarano, Julie Reulbach, Anna Blinstein, Brian Lawler, Ed Campos Jr, Kaitie O'Bryan, Nolan Doyle

July 18: There was a tie between six different posts shared five times each, but the only math-focused on with new content was "10,000 Kicks: Practice in the Mathematics Classroom," an NCTM Mathematics Teacher blog post written by Tim Hickey, a high school math teacher from Virginia. The post struck a nerve with some, as the math community is hardly unified when it comes to the issue of worksheets and practice. NCTM's choice to publish and promote this is an example of the growing pains I think we'll see as they try to give more voice to their members and those members do not all agree.

Shared by: Robert Cop, NCTM, Kate Fisher, NCTM - MT, Bryan Meyer

July 19: David Butler teaches us about the Lunes of Alhazen in "David Butler and the Prisoner of Alhazen," a bit of very cool equal-area geometry discovered about a thousand years ago.

Shared by: David Butler, Tracy Johnston Zager, Shelby Aaberg, Judy Keeney, Amie Albrecht, Eddi Vulić, Bridget Dunbar, Megan Schmidt, Martin Joyce

July 20: Jose Vilson blogged about his choice to give a keynote at TMC16. The post, "Twitter Math Camp and the Convergence of The Work," has video of the keynote and rationalizes reasons for bringing math and social justice issues together in the keynote.

Shared by: Jose Vilson, Lisa Bejarano, Joe Schwartz, Megan Schmidt, Malke Rosenfeld, Wendy Menard, Jami D Packer, Alison Hansel, Mike Thayer, Julie Wright, Nicole Bridge

July 21: Julie Reulbach does us all a favor and gives us links and tips to "Experience (or Re-live) #TMC16, Virtually."

Shared by: Julie Reulbach, Casey McCormick, Heather Kohn, Kate Nowak, Sadie Estrella, Jami D. Packer, Judy Larsen

Research Notes

The September 2016 issue of Educational Studies in Mathematics is out:
Here are four more articles added to the September 2016 issue of The Journal of Mathematical Behavior:

Math Ed in the News

This Week in Math Ed: July 15, 2016

Math Ed Said

July 8: A New York Times op-ed says we should "Train Teachers Like Doctors." They make an important point: teachers with high-quality resisdency (student teaching) programs tend to stay in the profession longer. With teacher education enrollment currently in decline, it's a high priority to keep the teachers we are producing in the profession longer.

Shared by: Terry Jones, Carolina Vila, Julie Reulbach, Kimberly Wassmuth, Math for America

July 9: I'm not exactly sure what triggered the resharing of this 2011 blog post (an Alfie Kohn tweet, possibly?) but it gets at one of my pet peeves about how objectives are presented in the classroom. In "Objectively Speaking," Mike Fishback argues against the posting of learning objectives to begin a lesson, saying it takes away from students' agency as learners. I agree, especially when this happens in the form of, "Okay class, take out your notebooks and write down today's objective." If you can instead get to "Okay class, given what we did the past few days, what do you think we need to figure out next?" and build a common understanding around that, then that's a very different way of establishing the lesson's objective.

Shared by: Federico Chialvo, Kelly Woldseth, Susan Wilson, Mary Dooms, Robert Cop, MathDDSB

July 10: I'll give you two to choose from, each shared by four people:
  1. "To White Teachers Shouting 'Black Lives Matter.'" by Tom Rademacher
  2. "Critical Thinking in Academia and Calling a Spade a Spade" by Rafranz Davis
Shared by: (1) Bryan Meyer, Brian R Lawler, Chris Adams, Martin Joyce; (2) Nancy Terry, Kate Nowak, Ilana Horn, Nolan Doyle

July 11: People were talking about Sumaze!, a problem-solving app from MEI and Sigma Network. I don't spend enough time testing out math-related apps, but I'm glad I checked out this one. (Opinion: The quality of the math far exceeds the quality of the music. But that's better than many math apps which are the opposite!)

Shared by: Dan Meyer, Kimberly Wassmuth, MathDDSB, Kristin Gray, Dan Anderson, Tracy Johnston Zager, Annie Forest, Mark Chubb, Melissa Haun

July 12: Suzanne Alejandre announced that there is a Math and Social Justice Q&A now on The Math Forum.

Shared by: Suzanne Alejandre, Max Ray-Riek, Sadie Estrella, Sahar Khatri, Julie Wright

July 13: For this month's #TCMchat, the discussion revolved "13 Rules That Expire", a Teaching Children Mathematics article by Karen Karp, Sarah Bush, and Barbara Dougherty.

Shared by: Zak Champagne, Mike Rashid, Amy Spies, Brian Bushart, Sadie Estrella, TCM - NCTM, Jennifer Wilson, Janice Novakowski, NCTM, Allison Riddle, USU TeachMath, Mr. Keller, Siri Anderson

July 14: Marilyn Burns shared her post, "Word Problems," with a warning about how key word strategies do not help.

Shared by: Marilyn Burns, Annie Forest, Mr. Keller, Tracy Johnston Zager, Bridget Dunbar, Janice Novakowski

Around the Math Ed Web

Math Twitter is abuzz with posts from TMC, being held this year on the campus of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN. You can follow the #TMC16 hashtag, and Stacia McFadden created Storify posts for the morning and afternoon of Day 1 and the morning of Day 2 (so far).

Research Notes

New in the June/July issue of Educational Researcher:
The August 2016 issue of the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education is out:
The Journal of Urban Mathematics Education has published its first issue of 2016:

Math Ed in the News

It's that time of the summer where some weeks go by without much math education coverage (or good coverage) in the news. So you'll have to seek it out yourself or just wait until next week.

Math Ed in Colorado

I made it through a week with nobody asking me to post a new job opening, so I hope that means positions are filling and teachers are settling in and readying themselves for a new school year. If I hear anything new, I'll post it next week.

This Week in Math Ed: July 8, 2016

Math Ed Said

July 1: Mark Chubb starts us off this week with "Concept vs Procedure: An anecdote about what it means to be good at math." I highly recommend this post, and am reminded that the entirety of the learning experiences and assessment opportunities we design for students matter, not just the formal demonstrations of formalized algorithms.

Shared by: Mark Chubb, Margie Pearse, Mark Chubb, Chris Kalmbach, Robbyn Glinsmann, Julia Haun, Greg George, Barbara Rock, Chepina Rumsey, DeAnn Huinker, Jennifer Lawler, Julie Conrad

July 2: This October 2015 article from Eric Westervelt on the KQED Mindshift blog describes "How Adding Math to a Child's Home Routine Can Advance Achievement."

Shared by: Steph Gunning, Karyn Vogel, Alayne Armstrong, Kristin Frang, Gary A. Petko, Julie Wright, Jennifer Bell

July 3: From the Farnam Street blog, people (re)shared "Richard Feynman on Teaching Math to Kids and the Lessons of Knowledge." A post like this makes me glad the standard for mathematical practice is "attend to precision," not "be (a certain kind of) precise." Feynman had some good examples where curriculum materials in math and science stressed certain points or used certain language in the name of precision, but arguably did little to further student understanding.

Shared by: Earl Samuelson, Steven Strogatz, Jonathan Edmonds, George Woodbury, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Brian R Lawler, Eddi Vulić, Bridget Dunbar, Egan J Chernoff, Robert Gordon

Fireworks, Desmos style
July 4: It's a holiday in the U.S. You bring the math, and let Desmos set off...Fireworks!

Shared by:, Martin Joyce, Ron King, George Carganilla, Mr. Keller, TODOS

July 5: The title of this post speaks for itself: "Math, Desmos, and Artglass Windows." It's great to see some uses of Desmos beyond the classroom.

Shared by: Andrew Stadel, Eddi Vulić, Dan Anderson, Federico Chialvo, John Golden, Jen Silverman

July 6: Dan Meyer has a new blog series going, the latest of which is the post "Who Wore It Best: Maximizing Area." Two things I really, really like here: (1) I get to see three math ed technologies used side-by-side, which helps me understand the capabilities of each, and (2) Dan is putting the math first, and letting technology serve the math. That's hard to do with technology, as products are often presented as solutions in search of a problem.

Shared by: Nancy Terry, Dan Meyer, John Golden, Taylor Belcher, Craig Barton, Christine DiPaulo

July 7: Rafranz Davis wrote, "Another Night, Another Shooting," in the wake of yet more shootings of black Americans by the police.

Shared by: Nancy Terry, Jessica Faurote, Sara VanDerWerf, Christopher Danielson, Laura Wagenman, Nicole Bridge, Chris Hunter, Michelle Naidu, Megan Schmidt, Bob Lochel, Elizabeth Statmore

Around the Math Ed Web

The Global Math Department is taking a summer break and I'm not hearing much else other than people preparing for TMC. Let me know if I'm missing something!

Research Notes

The July 2016 issue of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education has arrived:
Another article has been added to the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Mathematical Behavior:
The August 2016 issue of ZDM has the focus, "Survey on research on mathematics education."
There's plenty of math ed articles in the latest Journal of the Learning Sciences:
This article has been added to the October 2016 issue of Teaching and Teacher Education:
The open access journal Numeracy has published their second issue of 2016:

Math Ed in the News

Comment: The last of the above articles, written by Ben Christopher and originally appearing on Priceonomics, is probably the single best take I've seen on the issue of accelerating students through (or past) middle school mathematics classes. In particular, this article makes it clear that 8th grade math, as described by the 8th grade standards, largely is what parents remember as "Algebra 1" from when they were in school. SFUSD's work with the SERP Institute and mathematics course pathways comes through loud and clear here, and I look forward to seeing new data come in as fewer students are skipping through the curriculum on a rush to Algebra 1 and beyond.

Math Ed in Colorado

Mark your calendars for next year's Math on the "Planes" conference, presented by the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities. The conference is February 24 and 25, 2017, at the Student Achievement Resource Center (SARC) in Centennial. You can download a flyer here.

We're still heavily into the math teacher hiring season:
  • NEW: There's an opening at Englewood High School and they're hoping to interview as soon as next week! If you are interested, contact Beth Hankle at for more information.
  • Roaring Fork Schools (Re-1) is seeking a dynamic and engaging, full-time alternative math teacher for Bridges High in Carbondale. This is an immediate hire to start in August for SY 2016-17. Roaring Fork Schools is 2.5 hours from Denver, has a world-class hot springs, and recently passed a $122 million bond issue. Apply here and contact Nate Adams if you have questions.
  • NEW: Prospect Ridge Academy in Broomfield is actively seeking an additional HS Math teacher due increased enrollment and the addition of sections. We are a college prep, math/science focus school with exciting growth potential. The position is currently a 0.6 (3 section) part time HS math position with the possibility of adding middle school math intervention and additional responsibilities to make the position full time if needed. Apply here.
  • A secondary math instructional coach is needed at Prairie Heights Middle School in Greeley. Email Vida Trevino for more information, or go here to apply.
  • Platte Canyon in Bailey needs someone to teach Algebra 1 through Precalculus. Apply at

This Week in Math Ed: July 1, 2016

Welcome to the 26th TWiME, marking the half-way point of 2016! I'm posting this a week behind my hoped-for schedule, so to catch up I'll abbreviate this TWiME to be just "Math Ed Said." The rest of the usual bits can wait for the next post.

Math Ed Said

June 24: Everyone was talking about Brexit, including math teachers. They shared the Washington Post story, "The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it," highlighting some of the post-vote confusion and uncertainty.

Shared by: Robin Mathews, Markus Sgbi, Julie Reulbach, Janice Cotcher, Matt Owen, Keith Devlin

June 25: A number of stories were shared by four people each, but I'll choose @druin's: "Making Thinking Visible - Chapter 1."

Shared by: Druin, Mary Dooms, Bridget Dunbar, Pam J. Wilson

June 26: Four people shared a geometry problem on Solve My Maths involving the fraction of an octagon occupied by a center square.

Shared by: solve my maths, Jamie Duncan, Amie Albrecht, John Golden

June 27: While a number of people were already talking about Tau Day (see June 28th below), Sara VanDerWerf's post, "Secondary Number Talks (I’ll convince you with ducks)" was popular on the 27th. High school teachers are prone to complain about the lack of arithmetic fluency, and Sara suggests we re-evaluate our claims of not having enough time to build that fluency with some strategically placed number talks.

Shared by: Sara VanDerWerf, Megan Schmidt, Crystal Kirch, Norma Gordon, Kaitie O'Bryan, Debbie Hurtado

June 28: Evelyn Lamb, writing at Scientific American, gives us "49 Ways to Celebrate the Most Perfect Day of the Year." If you're not one to get excited by the number tau, maybe perfect numbers are the thing for you on June 28.

Shared by: Evelyn Lamb, Patrick Honner, Zach Cresswell, Taylor Belcher, Rebecca Gasper, Kyle Harlow, Robert Cop, michiexile

Diane Briars and Matt Larson at NCTM 2016
June 29: People can't seem to resist jumping to conclusions when it comes to international assessments and the data they produce. Recently, an OECD report about the PISA led some to speculate that curriculum should emphasize pure math over applied math. Not so fast, says NCTM president Matt Larson, who urges us to "Read Beyond the Headlines." The 200+ page OECD report mentions a number of strategies to help expand opportunities for all students to learn mathematics, including building upon coherent standards, reducing the impacts of tracking, and learning to teach heterogeneous classes of students.

Shared by: Matt Larson, NCTM, Jennifer Lawler, Bridget Dunbar, Greg George, Max Ray-Riek, Eric Milou, Kelly Stidham

June 30: "The Problem with Story Problems" by Anita Bright in Rethinking Schools is likely to challenge you with its examples of bias, privilege, normativity we typically see in math word problems. It's easy for me to read something like this and think, "Okay, yes, I agree, go really, you're taking issue with wallpaper?" I have to remind myself that this article isn't about the wallpaper or any other particular example, and I'd be foolish to be derailed by such a detail. Focus on the bigger picture: the worldly contexts in which we mathematize are part of the student experience, and context deserves our scrutiny because it reflects our assumptions and values.

Shared by: Bryan Meyer, Elizabeth Self, Kate Nowak, TODOS