This Week in Math Ed: October 14, 2016

Math Ed Said

October 7: After initially getting stumped when tasked with turning bottle flipping into a math lesson, Dan Meyer (with the help of commenters) comes through with "I Was Wrong About #BottleFlipping."

Shared by: Dan Meyer, Dawn DuPriest, Nancy Terry, Kat Hendry, Kimberly Wassmuth, April Pforts, Eddi Vulić, Avery Pickford, Martin Joyce

October 8: This Quanta article was a popular long-read for the weekend. "Meet the New Math, Unlike the Old Math" takes a patient look at the role of standards in math and science education reform.

Shared by: Mike Thayer, Tom Boito, Steven Strogatz, Jennifer Lawler, Kathy Henderson, Greg George

Polygon in Polygon
October 9: Here's a rather mesmerizing "Polygon in Polygon," created in Desmos, that illustrates the patterns made by the vertices of a square when it "rolls" around on the inside of different kinds of polygons.

Shared by: solve my maths, Taylor Belcher, John Golden, Eddi Vulić, Malke Rosenfeld, Dan Anderson, Jennifer Michaelis

October 10: Graham Fletcher wrote about "Geometric Subitizing: A Different Kind of Number Talk." It certainly looks clever, and I hope teachers of young students who are willing to try it take a bit of a researcher's eye when sharing how the activity works with their students.

Shared by: Graham Fletcher, Jamie Duncan, Justin Bock, Joe Schwartz, Mike Flynn, John Golden, Shauna Hedgepeth, Jennifer Lawler, Amanda Haskell

October 11: It's posts like this that exemplify the rewards I feel for digging through everything that gets shared each week. Joe Schwartz wrote about "Unknown Unknowns," in which by asking students to say everything they know about a figure he finds out so much more than asking them to solve a single problem.

Shared by: Marilyn Burns, Nicole Bridge, Lenny VerMaas, John Golden, Gregory Taylor, Simon Gregg, Kristin Gray, Denise Gaskins, Brian Bushart, TCM - NCTM, Michael Jerrell, T R

October 12: A recent OECD report says "Math Students From High-Performing Countries Memorize Less, PISA Shows." Not too surprisingly, there's also an association between students who say they rely on memorization in mathematics and students who claim higher levels of anxiety towards mathematics.

Shared by: DeAnn Huinker, Lane Walker, Egan J Chernoff, Heather Johnson, Peg Cagle, Shauna Hedgepeth, Laurie Hailer, Ethan Weker, Chris Shore, Ilona Vashchyshyn

October 13: The website Getting Smart talks about the forthcoming curriculum from Open Up Resources in their post, "Middle School Math: Comprehensive and Open."

Shared by: Kate Nowak, Jen Silverman, Martin Joyce, Illustrative Maths, Kristin Gray, Nik Doran, Sadie Estrella, David Petersen, Bridget Dunbar, Andrew Gael, Bridget Dunbar

Around the Math Ed Web

This week's #TCMchat focused on the article "Assessming Students' Understanding of Fraction Multiplication." Next week it's the #MTMSchat for the middle school crowd, and the free article to be discussed is "All Talk and More Action" by Maryellen Williams-Candek.

This week's Global Math Department meeting was "Teaching Ideas to Prepare Your Students for the AP Stats Exam" with Amy Hogan, Bob Lochel, and Doug Tyson. Next week you can look forward to "6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life" with Ellie Cowen and Megan Nee.

Research Notes

Appearing in the November 2016 issue of Educational Studies in Mathematics:
New in Mathematical Thinking and Learning:
The November 2016 ZDM is out, and it takes the theme of "Methods for helping early childhood educators to assess and understand young children's mathematical minds."
There's one math ed-related article in the October 2016 issue of the American Educational Research Journal:
I've been checking Paul Ernest's web page every week in the hopes of seeing something new, and today I've been rewarded with a new issue of the Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal. The articles are Word docs, which I'd rather not link to, so here's a link to the whole issue and a list of the articles:
  • "The Euclidean Tradition as a Paradigm for Scientific Thinking" by Melissa Andrade-Molina and Ole Ravn
  • "The Mathematics of Space-Time and the Limits of Human Understanding" by Paul Ernest
  • "Revisiting Piaget: Could Postformal Thinking be the Next Step?" by Elizabeth Scott-Janda and Gulden Karakok
  • "On Student Understanding of the Concept of Infinity" by Michael Gr. Voskoglou
  • "The Contribution of Teacher Confidence to 'Excellent' Mathematics Teaching" by Judith McCullouch
  • "Teachers' Professed Beliefs about the Nature of Mathematics, its Teaching and Learning: Inconsistencies among Data from Different Instruments" by K. G. Garegae
  • "A Concept of Mathematical Certainty and the Gettier Problem" by Sergei Korchevoi
  • "Normative Judgments attached to Mathematical Proofs" by Eyob Demeke
  • "Existence of Numbers: From a Philosophical Perspective" by Min Bahadur Shrestha
  • "Critical Analysis of the Foundations of Pure Mathematics" by Temur Z. Kalanov
  • "Mathematics for Human Flourishing" by Luke Tunstall
  • "Using Sets to Make Sense of the World: A Case Study of One Man's Vision" by F. Keith Robins

Math Ed in the News

Math Ed in Colorado

Elementary Mathematics Specialist Endorsement

I am looking to recruit people interested in doing the work necessary to establish an elementary mathematics specialist endorsement in Colorado. Such an endorsement has been wished-for by quite a number of people in K-12 and higher ed, and we now have an opportunity to do the work in the coming weeks. From the COmath community, I'm especially interested in elementary teachers with extra mathematics training, like a math major or minor, or other specific preparation to teach mathematics. The committee will probably consist of 4-6 representatives from higher ed, 4-6 district math specialists, and 4-6 classroom teachers who have extra training and expertise in mathematics teaching. Volunteers from rural districts would be especially appreciated! Email me if you are interested and I will follow up with more information in the coming days.

Computer Science Standards Input Meetings

During the 2016 legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 16-1198 requiring CDE to develop academic standards for computer science for secondary students. The new law allows districts to elect to adopt these standards for their high school students. These voluntary, secondary computer science standards must be adopted by the State Board of Education by July 2018, and CDE is hosting three stakeholder meetings in October and November to engage a broad array of stakeholders to inform the development process:
  • Monday, October 31 in Pueblo
  • Monday, November 14 in Denver
  • Thursday, November 17 in Grand Junction
There will also be a webinar on Monday, November 28 from 3:30 to 5:00. For more information and to register to attend any of these meetings, see the announcement on the CDE Standards and Instructional Support webpage.

Math Day at Colorado State University

Math Day at CSU is Thursday, November 3. Math Day is a day of individual and team competitive mathematics for high school students, with scholarships available for high-performing students. The cost is $20 per student and registration is by recommendation of high school teachers. The registration deadline is Monday, October 24.

Teaching English Learners Workshop now in Bayfield, Too

If you have emerging bilingual students in your class, and you want to know more about helping them access mathematical content, there are now two upcoming workshops to attend. Rebekah Ottenbreit of CDE is offering "Teaching Math to English Learners" on October 18 in Grand Junction, and on October 20 in Bayfield. The all-day workshop will offer tools and strategies for making math more accessible to English learners through teaching the Colorado English Proficiency (CELP) standards. You can register for the workshop on the CDE website.

Job Openings

Fort Lewis College in Durango is looking for a non-tenure track lecturer with statistics experience.

CDE has two jobs which aren't math ed, but they might be of interest to someone who reads this. First, we're looking for an Assessment Principal Consultant who would oversee assessments for Grades 10 and 11. Second we need a Digital Literacy Instructional Specialist who would work in the department and with schools around issues related to ed tech and digital literacy.

Math on the "Planes"

Registration for next February's conference is open. The focus will be Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions for K-5 math students, with Dr. Karen Karp as the workshop leader.