Friday Five: #4

Turns out that Desmos already posts a ‘Friday Five‘. Wonder if I subconsciously stole the name from them?

I’m posting this early (although it is Friday here) because I have a hundred little things — and one big thing — to do today.

  1. Megan Schmidt (@veganmathbeagle) is wowing us on twitter with her number spiral investigations. See below. Megan’s own blog post is here. I love them so much that I’ve been storifying her tweets, including ones not in her post.
  2. I am a huge fan (like the rest of the #MTBoS) of Notice and Wonder. If you’re not sure what this is, go check out Annie Fetter’s 2011 Ignite Talk. I was planning on writing a post, but then Joe Schwartz wrote one about Notice and Wonder with second graders that is so much better than anything I could write. It’s important to allow students to notice in both mathematical and non-mathematical ways, but I like how Joe orients students towards the more mathematical wonderings.
  3. love this paper-sharing activity for exploring infinite geometric series with students, thanks to Sam Shah and Bowen Kerin. It doesn’t need to be tied to a unit, either — a friend did it with a spare 10 minutes. The key for me is to ham it up; take the script that Sam suggests and really overact. I take different coloured paper, and make a big deal over each paper-master choosing their favourite colour. A recent improvement, at least for me, was to let the groups vary in size (within reason). That way, we explore several series in the same activity.
  4. Sara Van Der Werf writes how vocabulary can be the ultimate block to tackling a mathematical question — out of 80 students, 80 incorrect responses to a question involving ‘annual’ but 80 correct responses when changed to ‘in a year’. Sara offers a simple tweak, and some great reflections.
  5. This week I posted about focusing on relationships with students. Then I read Ilana Horn’s Who Belongs in our Math Classrooms. Powerful stuff. I was particularly interested in the linked article from PBS Newshour about the effect of teachers mispronouncing names. On this theme, I can think of no better way to end than with the transcript of Francis Su’s talk The Lesson of Grace in Teaching. David Butler called it a touchstone of what’s important in teaching. He’s absolutely right.

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