This Week in Math Ed: October 7, 2016

Math Ed Said

September 30: Six different links (some math-related, some not) were shared four times this day, but one stands out to me: "Pentomino Puzzles" by Jon Orr. The post describes an activity using Pentominoes and a hundred grid chart, with students generalizing the patterns they find.

Shared by: Jon Orr, Fred G. Harwood, Rebecca Price, David Keller

October 1: Nautilus published a nice story about Richard Guy called "An 'Infinitely Rich' Mathematician Turns 100."

Shared by: Steve Humble, POWER Org Math, Patrick Honner, Paul Morris, Steven Strogatz, Egan J Chernoff, Carrie Muir

October 2: Dylan Kane wrote about "Discovery," in which he justifies the reasons he thinks it's not always a good idea to let students figure things out for themselves.

Comment: As I mentioned in the comments of Dylan's post, there's some good research from the field of science education that is useful here. Furtak, Seidel, Iverson, and Briggs (2012) did a meta-analysis of inquiry-based science teaching studies and drew distinctions between types of inquiry, including whether inquiry-based activities were teacher-guided or student-led. When compared to traditional instruction, they found that inquiry approaches had positive effects. However, teacher-guided inquiry approaches had a mean effect size more than double the size than for student-led inquiry. In math education, these kinds of results support the push-back against pure "discovery" approaches, which are often described as having little to no teacher guidance. Historically, this also supports Freudenthal's decision to shift his philosophies about learning mathematics from "reinvention" to "guided reinvention," which stressed the role of the teacher in instruction.

Shared by: Dylan Kane, Michael Pershan, Henri Picciotto, Josh Fisher, Jon Orr, Matthew Oldridge, Bryan Meyer

Cathy Fosnot at the 2015 NCTM Annual Meeting
October 3: The most shared link this day goes to a webinar that's no longer available, sadly. However, with a little digging I can see people were excited about a new book by Cathy Fosnot called Conferring With Young Mathematicians at Work, which builds on her Young Mathematicians at Work series.

Shared by: Pam Harris, Brian Bushart, TCM - NCTM, Katherine Bryant, Christina Moore, Early Math, Jennifer Lawler

October 4: is doing something they call the "Desmos Fellows Potluck," in which they ask for Desmos users to create and share graphs from things that interest them.

Shared by:, Bob Lochel, Dan Anderson, Jennifer Lawler, Mary Bourassa, Michael Fenton, Joshua Bowman

October 5: Jason Merrill shared a model of flipping a water bottle in Desmos.

Shared by: Shauna Hedgepeth, Kate Owens, Brett Parker, Eli Luberoff, Shelley Carranza, Shelby Aaberg, Anna Vance, Denis Sheeran, Michael Fenton, Scott Leverentz, Luke Walsh, Brandi Moore, Andrew Stadel, Chris Lusto, George Carganilla, Chris Adams

October 6: In recognition of World Teachers' Day, Springer has made a number of research articles and book chapters free for the month of October, including the special issue of the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education that I had an article in, focused on "Mathematics Teachers as Partners in Task Design."

Shared by: Raymond Johnson, Shauna Hedgepeth, Tom Snarsky, Egan J Chernoff, Jennifer Lawler

Around the Math Ed Web

There are only a few hours left to get the early-bird registration discount for the NCTM Regional Conferences in Phoenix and Philadelphia. If you're wanting a discount on Innov8, you have until next Friday, October 14th.

Last week at the Global Math Department meeting, Linda Dacey presented "Unleashing the Power of Math Games and Puzzles, K-5." Next week you can look forward to "Teaching Ideas to Prepare Your Students for the AP Stats Exam" with Amy Hogan, Bob Lochel, and Doug Tyson.

The #TCMchat next Wednesday will focus on the article "Assessming Students' Understanding of Fraction Multiplication."

Research Notes

Added to the Journal of Mathematical Behavior, we have:
And that's it. If you're looking for more, you might check out the journal Research in Mathematics Education, which is published by Routledge and the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics. I'm not sure why this journal hasn't been on my radar, but you can see the current issue here.

Math Ed in the News

Math Ed in Colorado

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.

Calculus Center @ CSU

For a glimpse at the kind of support CSU students get in calculus, see "New Calculus Center offers study help and camaraderie" in CSU's Source.

Mathematics of Voting

The next meeting of the Rocky Mountain Math Teachers' Circle will be October 8 from 8:30 to noon at 1201 Larimer St., Room 4125. The topic will be the mathematics of voting, and you need to RSVP to attend.

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 Opportunity

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

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.