Math Blogger Initiation Week 4

And the fourth and final installment of the New Blogger Initiation. Some great new blogs popped up, ones that I definitely will be adding to my Google Reader. Please, click below and comment away!

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Making Paper Airplanes | Making Paper Airplanes

Making Paper Airplanes @makingairplanes has a blog named Making Paper Airplanes. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled “Change is in the air” and the author sums it up as follows: “Faced with a schedule change resulting in taking on a new, mixed-grade class a week into the school, I have to re-think my plan for this year’s math support class! It sure pays to be flexible…” A memorable quotation from the post is: “This isn’t quite what I signed up for, but it will be an adventure!”

–> My take: So many things about teaching feel so out of our control (the schedule, the students we get, the room we’re put in etc) that changes like this can be so frustrating! This blogger has quite a challenge ahead of shim (I don’t know if it’s a woman or man) and seems a bit pessimistic – the online math teacher community to the rescue! People have already given some great advice already. My advice: have the older students teach topics to the younger students. 

Bruno Reddy | Mr Reddy’s Maths Blog

“Bruno Reddy @mrreddymaths has a blog named Mr Reddy’s Maths Blog. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled “Language Revelation” and the author sums it up as follows: “I attend a real eye-opening training session on speech and language difficulties. There are 3 very short video clips of the training to help demonstrate what was going on.
I came to realise, through a very innocent activity that the trainer had us do, that I was getting it wrong for my pupils. Wrong in the way I interpreted their behaviour and wrong in the way I posed questions.” A memorable quotation from the post is: “Suddenly my mind was racing through the faces of my pupils who do exactly the same – they find it hard to look you in the eye, their movements are pronounced and they look pained when stuck for words.”

–> My take: It is great to see someone get excited about Professional Development –  a great experience seems to be more rare than it should. I really like some of the conclusions Bruno makes from this activity, as language is a something I am intensely interested in as someone who teacher 95% students for whom English is not their first language. It just makes me appreciate how important communication is in math. Random question that the British vocab in the blog title reminded me of: some of my students here say “factorize” instead of “factor.” What’s that all about? Is that a British thang?

Nathan Kraft | Out Rockin’ Constantly

Nathan Kraft @nathankraft1 has a blog named Out Rockin’ Constantly. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled “Exploiting My Son for Math” and the author sums it up as follows: “I use my son in pictures and videos to teach 7th/8th grade math.” A memorable quotation from the post is: “Over the last year I’ve been using him for all sorts of math lessons – many times under the guise that I’m spending quality time with him.”

–> My take: You have to watch some of the videos in this post. This kid is so cute! And the problems that Nathan poses are really interesting problems, totally fitting in the whole 3-acts type of lesson design. I am so intrigued by the first one I want to go try it out!

Tim Reinheimer | Asymptotically Cool

Tim Reinheimer @timreinheimer has a blog named Asymptotically Cool. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled “abstract misconception” and the author sums it up as follows: “I believe a lot of students have difficulties with algebraic rules because they don’t have any connection on which to base the abstract. In short, I believe the real world could help this problem.” A memorable quotation from the post is: “I believe a lot of students have difficulties with algebraic rules because they don’t have any connection on which to base the abstract.”

–> My take: I like this small idea to help students with the idea of the distributive property, though the science teacher in me is aaaagck-ing at the mismatch of units. Some of the basic rules for math seem arbitrary (like order of operations) but arise out of little situations like this. I guess the trick is to find these situations to latch onto.

Paul Gitchos | Second Thoughts

Paul Gitchos has a blog named Second Thoughts. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled “Thank you, Mrs. F” and the author sums it up as follows: “I’m feeling thankful that the majority of my students have had good training in working cooperatively in groups. In the post I acknowledge a colleague’s hard work.” A memorable quotation from the post is: “The most successful parts of my first couple days were due to the math teacher down the hall.”

–> My take: I usually express the opposite sentiment (I curse the teacher who didn’t really teach them what graphing meant) so I really love this positive post thanking a previous teacher for a job well done. It also made me realized how intensely satisfying a smoothly running classroom is. It feels like a waste of time to train students in things like that, but once they are trained, it is really worth it because it really facilitates learning.

Michelle Riley | A Year of Growth

Michelle Riley @mathwithriley has a blog named A Year of Growth. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled “Foldables and My Turn to Give Back” and the author sums it up as follows: “I stole a few foldables, charts, etc. from other bloggers, and this shows the way I tweaked them to work for me. I also created a (very) simple foldable for kinds of angles and shared that as my first thing I have shared with others. This is an older post… first week of school caught up with me and I ran out of time and brainpower to post something new.” A memorable quotation from the post is: “First of all, I need to say a huge thank you to the blogging community for being so willing to share!”

–> My take: Michelle totally gets the blogosphere – steal and share, steal and share, steal and share! I have to be honest that I’m not totally sold on the idea of foldables yet, but I do teach seniors, and I would probably be far more into them if I had younger students. From what I can gather with no experience with them, these seem like great foldables to steal if you use them in your classroom!!!

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Posted on September 13, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the suggestion! I am trying to work out a way to do a Peer Tutoring type thing that seems fair to the 7th graders, and to get my hands on other resources. This is my second year teaching a Math Lab class (and second year teaching/first year teaching not-as-a-long-term-sub), and I’m frustrated by the lack of district-level support and guidance. I had a solid plan for 6th grade that is not going to work now so I’ve been putting feelers out all week and am starting to feel better about the mixed class!

    (also trying to decide how “anonymous” to be on the blog… think I’m going to start letting go of some of that anonymity!)

  2. Thanks for giving me a mention.
    It’s given me the chance to read your blog for the first time and I really like the stuff you’re up to, especially the course website you’ve made. Thanks again Bowman.

  1. Pingback: Round Up of Week Four of the Math Blogging Initiation « Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere

  2. Pingback: New Blogger Initiation — Week 4 of 4 | Megan Hayes-Golding

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