[NBI] Week two of the Math Blogging Initiation
Sam’s Math Blogging Initiation continues to be on a roll, with over 120 bloggers posting in week two!
Here’s my stable of bloggers:
MathNinjaTeacher | @MathNinjaTeach | The Education of Future Math Ninjas
MathNinjaTeacher @mathninjateach has a blog named The Education of Future Math Ninjas. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled If only… and the author sums it up as follows: This post is about several things I wish I knew before the madness of the first week began. For instance, how not to have a mental breakdown. A memorable quotation from the post is: I also wish someone would have told me that I would feel like I was a crazy person for awhile.
My notes: MathNinjaTeacher is a brand new high school math teacher, and she’s got some insights about what the opening weeks feel like to a completely new teacher. I wish many administrators would read this post to help them to calibrate the deluge of emails and memos that can weigh all of us down but have an especially overwhelming effect on the newest teacher. And I love the phrase “take the square root of okra.
Paul Gitchos | Second Thoughts
Paul Gitchos has a blog named Second Thoughts. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled iPads in the High School math classroom and the author sums it up as follows: I’m thinking about possible uses for classroom carts of iPads, and looking for more ideas. Specifically, I’m seeking ways to use the devices strategically to get deeper into the mathematics. A memorable quotation from the post is: For exploring how the coefficients of a quadratic effect the shape of its graph, Desmos would be smooth as okra in gumbo.
My notes: Paul has made a mid career switch into math teaching, and this blog will chronicle his first year of teaching. Paul has put together a great list of iPad apps-I especially like Desmos. He might also want to check out this list of iOS apps for math teaching put together by @mathhombre.
Leslie Billings | @leslie_su76 | Leslie Billings Forever Student
Leslie Billings @leslie_su76 has a blog named Leslie Billings Forever Student. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Is it Friday yet? and the author sums it up as follows: This post is about how a difficult student can make me question my career choice, and how people I respect can help me answer that question. It is about continuing in the direction I have chosen in spite of my doubts. And it’s about including random words unobtrusively. A memorable quotation from the post is: Was it vainglorious of me to think that I, who failed both Calculus II and Statistics the first time I took them (almost 25 years ago), knew enough math to teach it?
My notes: Leslie has been teaching math for 25 years and has a great post about the self-doubts even our most experienced teachers can face, and how much an individual student can affect our feelings of competence. And another reference to okra—I’m sensing a theme…
Michelle Riley | @mathwithriley | A Year of Growth
Michelle Riley @mathwithriley has a blog named A Year of Growth. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Tough Days and the author sums it up as follows: This short and sweet post is about how I deal with those inevitable bad days as a teacher. A memorable quotation from the post is: Then, I go across the hall to my friend C and vent about what went wrong (and how to fix it in the future) and let her tell me how wonderful I am (the compliments always help!).
My notes: Michelle is in her fourth year of teaching high school math (Geometry and Algebra II). She’s written a great post with a prescription about how to get through a bad day—have a good cry, read some of the positive notes that you’ve accumulated, and don’t do any work that evening.
Nate Gildersleeve | @Mrmacx | Hard Enough Problems
Nate Gildersleeve @Mrmacx has a blog named Hard Enough Problems. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Things I wish I hadn’t learned the hard way. and the author sums it up as follows: This post is about how I wish I had realized how much I have to teach behavior in addition to content. It also covers how explicitly I have to teach all my expectations, from general class procedures down to how a specific 5 minute task will go. A memorable quotation from the post is: Because really what I wish I had known is that anything you want to happen in your class, and run smoothly in your class, you have to explicitly teach students how to do.
My notes: Nate is an 8th grade math teacher in the Pacific Northwest. He’s written a great post about teaching behavior, and how he had to learn to do this on the fly, and he’s come to a great conclusion—most students want to succeed, and we should find ways to engage them in working together to improve class.
Roy Dallmann | @RoyDallmann | Dallmann’s Deliberations
Roy Dallmann @RoyDallmann has a blog named Dallmann’s Deliberations. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled This Can’t be Mine and the author sums it up as follows: Walking into my first classroom was supposed to be such an uplifting occasion. Once reality set in, I had two choices: adapt to find the hidden potentials or spend 10 regret-filled and pessimistic months. I’m choosing the former. A memorable quotation from the post is: Although I didn’t have a firm vision of what “my classroom” would be, there was some subconscious vision akin to Plato’s universal ideal in my mind.
My notes: Roy is a first year teacher, living in Egypt, blending his love of ancient history with his love for math. He’s written a great reflection on his first day teaching in a new land, with a strong sense of hope and opportunity.
Joe Ochiltree | brainopennow
Joe Ochiltree has a blog named brainopennow. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Syllabus Vainglory and the author sums it up as follows: In which I feature my new syllabus along with various propositions for why you would spit out your breakfast okra. Features “Scribd” embedding technology. A memorable quotation from the post is: Call me vainglorious, but when you read my charmingly avuncular yet somehow Hemingway-esque syllabus, I attest you will spit out that reheated breakfast okra forthwith!
My notes: Joe teaches Statistics and has shared his syllabus for all the world to see. I like that he’s trying to explain to his students why this course is useful and giving them a good sense of what they’ll be doing in class. I wish more folks shared their syllabi and course descriptions so that we would all have more to learn from.
Bruno Reddy | @mrreddymaths | Mr Reddy Maths Blog
Bruno Reddy @mrreddymaths has a blog named Mr Reddy Maths Blog. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Pleased with this animation…division-using-place-value-blocks” and the author sums it up as follows: I want pupils to use manipulatives in lessons as much as possible but sometimes it’s just difficult showing how I want them to be used. So an animation or video could help in this regard.
One of the resources I’m most proud of (read: spent a disproportionate amount of time on), is a PowerPoint animation that ties the concrete, visual and abstract of short division all together. A memorable quotation from the post is: With a bit of patience, you can get PowerPoint to make some very handy animations and here’s one I did that I’m quite pleased with.”
My notes: Bruno teaches middle school maths at King Solomon Academy in the UK. This post shares a very neat animation to help students better understand long division, and it made me wish I had been introduced to this skill in this manner.
Nolan | Classroom Rationalizations
Nolan has a blog named Classroom Rationalizations. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Teaching Absolute Value” and the author sums it up as follows: My post explores a few leading questions I use to begin lessons on absolute value. It is my attempt to have students UNDERSTAND the concept while thinking about distance, direction, and multiple solutions instead of just trying to memorize steps. A memorable quotation from the post is: By talking about concepts in everyday situations without the distractions of notation, students can get a firm grasp of the concept before diving into problems where they will just try and memorize steps.
My notes: Nolan teaches Algebra II, and has shared a worksheet and written a great post about teaching absolute value that pushes students away from simple misconceptions like absolute value must always be positive and emphasizes the deeper connection to distance.
Rebecka Peterson | @RebeckaMozdeh | Epsilon-Delta
Rebecka Peterson @RebeckaMozdeh has a blog named Epsilon-Delta. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Week 2 :: A Warm Up I’m proud of and the author sums it up as follows: I’m not gonna lie: I’m swamped with beginning of the year/new school/new job stuff. But! Here’s a quick post on a warm up I’m proud of for transformations (Pre-Calculus). A memorable quotation from the post is: Plotting these transformations gets us thinking about translations and (I think) reveals the “opposite” behavior of the “inside” transformations.
My Notes: Rebecka is a math teacher from Oklahoma who is starting a new job, but she’s made time to write up a pretty interesting warm up to introduce students to the ideas of functions as transformations. She’s also gotten her first shoutout from Dan Meyer on Twitter and comment, so she’s well on her way to blogging superstardom.