This Week in Math Ed: December 16, 2016

I'm in catch-up mode again, having been busy with mid-December travel for PARCC followed by the holidays. I was also slowed by some changes to Nuzzel that caused the code I wrote about in October to stop working. It took a while to figure out, but I think things are in working order again. If you're curious about the fix, it's mostly a matter of passing a valid session cookie to Nuzzel so it gives me the logged-in version of the site.

Math Ed Said

December 9: Just as it did on December 8, Graham Fletcher's "The Progression of Fractions" tops the list.

Shared by: Denise Gaskins, Jeremiah Ruesch, Michael Jerrell, Kristin Frang, Stephanie Holloway, Farshid Safi, Andrew Stadel, Shelley Carlisle, Bridget Dunbar, Jamie Duncan, Andrew Gael, Allison Peet, Cathy Yenca, Jill Gough, Tim Stirrup

December 10: A March 2014 post by Robert Kaplinsky was most shared on the 10th. In "Why Does Depth of Knowledge Matter?" Robert shows how some changes to the depth of knowledge of some circle area problems resulted in drastic changes in student scores.

Shared by: Sue Wilson, Shauna Hedgepeth, Regan Galvan, Brandi Moore, OCTM

Commentary: Ever since I read and wrote about Jack Schneider's chapter about Bloom's Taxonomy in his book From the Ivory Tower to the Schoolhouse, my first thought about Bloom's Taxonomy has been, "That's not what Bloom had in mind when he designed it." Therefore, now when I hear about Webb's DOK, I think, "What did Webb have in mind when he designed it?" On my to-do list for 2017 will be to dig into the origins of DOK by reading Webb's original piece, Criteria for Alignment of Expectations and Assessments in Mathematics and Science Education. It's not that I think we're misusing Webb's DOK. I just think we gain by knowing about the origins of ideas, that's all.

December 11: Another older story resurfaced on this day, this time "Why Understanding These Four Types of Mistakes Can Help Us Learn" by Eduardo BriceƱo in KQED's MindShift blog. By looking at both high and low intentionality and learning opportunities, Eduardo describes the risks and rewards of making mistakes.

Shared by: Jack Brown, Clint Chan, DeAnn Huinker, Richelle Marynowski, Ruth Knop, Peg Cagle, Jamie Garner, Jill Gough, DeAnn Huinker

December 12: Christopher Danielson appeared in the MiddleWeb blog with "How I Learned to Love Middle School Geometry." I can see where Christopher is coming from here, as I tended to prefer learning/doing geometry as a student, but found algebra preferable to teach.

Shared by: Mark Chubb, Evelyn Lamb, John Golden, Megan Schmidt, Christopher Danielson

December 13: When I think of bloggers who got my attention by surfacing in TWiME, Joe Schwartz might be first on my list. He appears again with a post called "Emily," in which he uses the engagement and understanding of one unassuming student, Emily, as a benchmark for his teaching.

Shared by: Chris Hunter, John Golden, Chris Kalmbach, Marilyn Burns, Michael Pershan, Joe Schwartz

December 14: Dan Meyer encourages math education conference organizers to consider traditionally underrepresented speakers. In his post, "The Bureau of Non-White Dude Math Education Keynote Speakers," Dan suggested about forty quality, non-white-male speakers, and asked for more suggestions in the comments.

Shared by: Andrew Stadel, Jennifer Lawler, Sara VanDerWerf, Sue Wilson, Life LeGeros, John Berray, Megan Schmidt, Bryan Meyer, Laura Wagenman, Jose Vilson, Cathy Yenca, Martin Joyce, Kimberly Goff, Lisa Bejarano, Matt Vaudrey, David Coffey, Tracy Johnston Zager, Farshid Safi, Keith Devlin, Carrie Muir, Robert Kaplinsky, Dan Meyer

December 15: The conversation continued around Dan's "The Bureau of Non-White Dude Math Education Keynote Speakers."

Shared by: Nicole Bridge, Bethany Sansing-Helton, Kyle Pearce, Sahar Khatri, Theodore Chao, Jonathan Osters, Sara VanDerWerf, Laura Wagenman, Toya J Frank, Annie Perkins, Kate Owens, Ilana Horn, Ethan Weker, Mike Flynn, Matthew Oldridge, Heather Johnson, Jason Merrill, Evelyn Lamb, Kate Nowak, Amy Hogan, Audrey McLaren, Andrew Browning-Couch, Bridget Dunbar, Jill Gough

Commentary: TODOS had a critique of Dan's post:

Dan Meyer at ASSM 2016, literally on a platform.
TODOS is an organization I respect, and their (from "them" or the individual representing them) response took me to the sticky place I think of as, "You're being an ally wrong." Dan's primary platform is as a well-known speaker in math education, and he used that platform in an attempt to promote others. It reminded me a bit of the #CancelColbert fallout, when Colbert used his platform — political satire on TV — to illustrate the absurdity of Washington NFL franchise owner Daniel Snyder's foundation to support American Indians. For me, that turned into "You're being an ally wrong," although the Colbert situation is clearly quite different than Dan's. In the responses to Dan and TODOS, I tried to heed the advice of Bryan Meyer, which was, "Let's listen." In this instance, the conversation fizzled before I felt we got away from the "you're being an ally wrong" place. Maybe my takeaway is that you can't say "Dan used his platform" without claiming that it's "Dan's platform," and using it without claiming it is something privilege itself doesn't allow me or Dan to do. What comes after that? I'm not sure.

Lastly, it does not escape me that I'm a white male discussing this in a post that is highlighting posts made almost entirely by other white males. Not all weeks are like this, but this one was.

Everything Else

I have two more posts to write, so I'll save research, news, and other happenings for the second one, which I hope to have out before it's no longer 2016.