My old math talks site needed to die. It was riddled with missing image icons and plagued by shitty formatting. I had to fix the main blog and do other things, so this could wait. Only 2 or 3 people in the universe were checking it out anyway.
Although traffic to math talks is low to nil, I’m really fond of it. It’s the most important one to me because it’s a collection of my students’ voices, their reasoning, their thinking, their growth —
So the old broken site betrayed how really proud I am of my kids and their mathematical sharing. I just built a new space for it — dot com and dot org were both taken, so I got mathtalks.net.
You see I wanted to write down what the kids were sharing during our number talks and pattern talks. To not write down what they say would be complete disrespect and pointless. I asked everyone in the class to do the same — we scribed to show respect to and to learn from one another.
Then I realized I couldn’t toss the papers that I’d written on into the recycling bin. Not until I recorded the notes somewhere — hence I started the blog for math talks.
Then as I was typing up what the kids had shared for pattern talks, I felt I needed to include a visual too to record their thinking because that was exactly what we did in class. They were circling this piece and that piece of the pattern; they were rearranging the pieces. I wanted to tell as complete a story as I could, so I did the only thing I knew — I drew on the pattern in Paint and attached it to every voice/thinking that described it. (Unfortunately I lost many of these images.)
This site — this small endeavor — was a personal need to record. I still see Daniel’s proud face as he tries to explain where “4n + 3” comes from. I still hear the excitement in Audrey’s voice as she shares a different way of seeing the pattern. I still hear kids comparing their algebraic expressions and arguing. I still see Blanca shaking her head, having a tough time seeing the general term. I choke up seeing how far Natalie has come along since we started math talks.
So selfishly this site was for me all along.