Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mission 4: Global Math Autumn Special!

In the whirlwind of Explore MTBoS, Mission 4 was all about listening and learning.  I have to confess, I am not an auditory learner.  I find it difficult to stay engaged in a webcast.  I start out well, and before long I'm multi-tasking and missing key points.

BUT today, I listened to all of the recording of the Global Math Autumn Special!!!  Yes, I graded papers while listening, and so I may have missed a few thoughts, but today I stayed the course.

Thoughts I want to pursue a bit more include these:

I read Wiliam's book on formative assessment and I use "hinge questions" but I need to get better at them.  I just graded tests.  The class averages range from 81 to 88 - that's not bad.  But the range of the grades was huge.  The low grades are really low!  I wonder if I could have done a better job during the unit catching the misunderstandings!

I was intrigued by Chris' newsletter presentation - signed up to get my copy. I was inspired by the back copies he sent (speedy response!!). I send a weekly email to my parents just letting them know what we accomplished the previous week and what our focus will be in the coming week. It's newsy, informal, and my parents love it! But I could include a challenge for families to work on together ... and until I figure out my own challenges, I will borrow from Chris' newsletter. I loved the puzzles and quotes!

The seating chart that was described was very fascinating.  I use my classroom data but not anywhere near as elaborate as that.  I'm wondering if there is a way to adapt the seating chart idea to fit our work in our school??  Right now, students sit where they choose so I'm not sure that assigning them seats at this stage will work.  

Hedge reminded me to be careful in sharing my own math biases.  I was one of those who did not enjoy statistics in college.  But that is not something I should share with students.  Instead, it would be much better to get students excited about the power of statistics!  I may have to listen to Hedge's presentation again so that I can note all the ways she collects data!

One of the statements made ... I apologize that I did not record who said it ... sticks with me tonight: "The way we share math with kids matters!"

I have quite a bit to think about.  Thanks to Global Math and the MTBoS for encouragement, inspiration, and great ideas!


  1. I will happily claim the quote, "The way we share math with kids matters." :D
    Glad you enjoyed listening in on Global Math and found it so fruitful to your thinking!

    1. Thank you, Justin! I thought I heard it in your presentation but then when I looked at my notes I wasn't sure.

      My students are enjoying math munch! Thanks for the extra effort in putting it together!

  2. I agree with you 100% about sharing math biases, or rather, that we should be careful about not sharing them. I think a lot of students come to us already with thoughts about not liking or being good at math; I get upset whenever parents excuse their child for that because the parents didn't like and/or weren't good with math either. It's a terrible cycle. I think we should absolutely show excitement toward all branches of math so that students can make decisions on their own. Thank you for reminding me of that!

    1. Mathinate - thanks for dropping a note! One definite outcome of the MTBoS is constant encouragement!

  3. I also saw the Autumn special. I found myself wanting to dig into the resources right away rather than hear all of the presenters! I loved how Hedge had multiple places the data for the labs could be used and not just for stats class. Those, I've learned, are my favorite type of resource...the ones that can be adapted to multiple classes and multiple levels.