Math Talks and 180 Days Restored

It often takes just one teacher* to ask me to do something — like putting the sites back up — that motivates me like no other. Because I know that if I could do this for this one teacher, then I’m doing this for his students. I have heard a few teachers say, “I’m not sharing my stuff with the new teacher! I spent ____ working on this unit.” (This is not unlike divorced parents behaving like assholes when we’ve lost focus of the kids.)

So, 180 Days is back up again because Karlene’s comment and generous offer to help rebuild the site prompted both of us — she did more than half of the posts — to work nonstop in one day. (I still need to go back in to tag and check links on half of them, so please be patient.)

Kara, thank you for offering to help with Math Talks. Then Joe’s sense of urgency “Is the website going to be back up before the start of school? I hope so!” was all I needed to put aside sleep to get the site restored. For having only 15 weeks/posts on the site, the task to reformat each kid’s comment and insert images was hellish.

I’ve started a spreadsheet “Math Talks Prompts” that includes questions I’d used last year. I’m hoping you can add to and share it widely so we can build up this great bank of questions that we all have access to. It’s important that we don’t just throw out two random numbers connected by a random operation for students to do a number talk on.

Speaking of math talks, Jo Boaler’s How To Learn Math: For Students is up and ends mid December 2014. (You may start and end the course any time during this time period.) Spread the word! Our school will put it in the first week’s newsletter, we’ll mention it at Back-to-School Night, my colleague Erin will show some clips from the course in her Exploratory class. I think Jo’s course is one of the first key steps in bridging the gap between Common Core and parents who have lots of questions about CC.

 

* Andrew Stadel, don’t even try. Even though your tweet is pretty funny.

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9 Comments

  1. Doug McKenzie
    Posted July 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for putting 180 Days back up. I have been thinking that a good math class is like a good piece of music or a great meal, with some simple parts and some wild and inspired. There has to be harmony to make it feel whole, but also contrast to keep it moving. A good problem may be the main course, but you need some practice and homework for the soup and salad courses. I like it when I can read about not just what the great hands-on lesson was, but also about the other little activities for review, class management problems, etc. Sometimes the big institutional sites or curriculum sources seem to be saying do these problems, and all of your students will suddenly get it… but we know it doesn’t work that way.

    • Fawn Nguyen
      Posted July 18, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Doug. Thank you for offering to help with 180 Days too! I was so overwhelmed that night that we chatted and could only focus on this main site. But everything happens for a reason, this WordPress is a thousand times better (even though Andrew Stadel says it’s a “billion times” better, you have to understand, he’s not very good at estimating).

      Did you just liken a classroom to a meal? We must be best friends and don’t even know it. :) That’s what I’m hoping — that when we share HOW a lesson went in our own classroom we breathe life into it, we bring in the nuances and dynamics of student interactions. It’s always messy, but it’s honest. I have seen too many videotaped classrooms of 15 well-behaved students and I wonder what planet they’re from.

      Thank you, Doug.

      • Doug McKenzie
        Posted July 20, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        “I have seen too many videotaped classrooms of 15 well-behaved students and I wonder what planet they’re from. ” AAAAAAAARRRGGGGHHHHH! It is my own fault for being such a follower, but I think those things have set my teaching back ten years.

        “It’s always messy, but it’s honest.”
        I realized yesterday that in math it is possible to be seduced by the idea of a perfect or single solution, but in engineering and innovation – problem solving – you have to think a little differently, look for the best answer in the moment, and then go on to other moments. At 20+ years of teaching, I am still learning to fully embrace and enjoy that truth.

  2. Jennifer K.
    Posted July 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I just signed up for Jo’s course and am working to get enrolled with her teacher/parent one soon. I learn something new and get a dose of inspiration every time you post. Thank you!

    • Fawn Nguyen
      Posted July 18, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      Yay, Jennifer!! I’m so happy to hear that. Thank you for dropping in.

  3. Madhu
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for restoring your blogs. I was doing summer check in to see any new posts and I went through the following thoughts in the span of 3 minutes.

    1. Ooh, new layout – this looks cool!
    2. Wait- restored…rebuild the site…what does this mean?
    3. I knew I should have copied all of the math talks before school ended
    4. *Sigh* Everything is back and my heartbeat is slowly returning to normal

    In all seriousness, I really appreciate all the resources that you share with the world. THANK YOU!

    • Fawn
      Posted August 16, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Madhu!

  4. Kara
    Posted August 11, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Yay! I <3 you! :)

    • Fawn
      Posted August 16, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Kara! <3 you back!

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