In one of my recent classes, we had a guest speaker. The speaker was a Black professor of math education. She spoke of one of her favorite high school math classes and math teachers. He was a white Calculus teacher. She loved that class and thought he was a phenomenal instructor. However, she mentioned that … Continue reading Your cultural lexicon: who’s “in” and who’s “out”
(Note: this blog post is cross-posted in my weekly page of doctoral musings (Week 5). If you're interested in the journey or random insights from research, be sure to check those out. In this case I found the research article eminently practical so I figured it'd be worth posting on the BLOG blog.) Of all … Continue reading A protocol for emerging bilingual problem solvers: a reflection on Kitchen (2014)
In this miniseries we’ve covered how to promote and incorporate diverse identities into your syllabus, ways to promote a myriad of types of mathematical thinking, how to establish and teach norms, and laying out the year in a Hilbertian “challenge problem” style. Now we’re going to put it all together. I’ll give some additional suggestions … Continue reading Math Syllabus Bootcamp Mini-Series Part 5: Putting it all together. Additional nuts & bolts and an example syllabus.
(This is Part 3 in a mini-series on constructing a math syllabus. I hope it challenges you to think about possible ways to vision your classroom, even if you don't utilize all the ideas. Check out the previous entries via the links below.) Norms exist in every classroom, whether they are on a placard on … Continue reading Math Syllabus Bootcamp Part 3: Norms. What are expectations for quality collaborative work?
Update 8/2/21. After reviewing feedback from teachers who have implemented the rubric in its draft form, I feel confident in removing that modifier of "draft." Consider the rubric below for the Standards of Mathematical Practice as Version 1.0. The Common Core Standards of Mathematical Practice (MPs) have been available for a while now. They lay … Continue reading A rubric to assess the eight Common Core State Standards of Mathematical Practice
Whenever and however we come back together as math classes this Fall, we're going to need to spend considerable time building up students' mathematical identities. Chances are students are going to be entering your classroom with a wider array of math learning experiences over the prior six months than ever before. Therefore we need a … Continue reading Where does a letter occur in a word? A matching activity
Sometimes we overthink it. We (*ahem*) create big curriculum maps full of dynamic problem based lessons created by the most intrepid teachers on the internets. As useful and helpful as these are, the most reliable-to-hit-the-content, easiest-to-plan problems come from stuff that already exists. Textbooks and online problem sets are the most robust source of quality … Continue reading How a problem becomes a lesson
The following Problem Based math lesson covers the concept of transversals crossing parallel lines and their angle relationships. The scenario of the task predicated on needing to determine "safe" and "troublesome" intersections in town. Intersections that are closer to right angles are deemed "safe," while intersections with extreme angles result in limited-vision turns. But that … Continue reading Transversals Lesson: Street Views
It's something we've all experienced: we'll lecture and feel like students got it. Maybe they'll even do well on the practice problems we assign them. Then the next day or the next week we try something a bit more open ended - a problem based lesson, a 3-Act Task, an Open Middle task - and … Continue reading Why don’t students feel like they’re learning? (when they actually are)
Far from a simple undertaking, incorporating more inquiry in your class is a challenging process. You and your students may have to unlearn some of the tendencies you’ve built up over the years. So I hope you don’t take this “five steps” post as a flippant, “it’s so easy” post. The opposite is true: problem … Continue reading Five steps to plan a problem based lesson