### A Better Way To Teach Math

This episode was recorded and edited before the coronavirus & distance learning was front of mind for educators. Valuable takeaways though regardless if you're virtual or in person One of challenges of teaching math is being able to satisfying answer the question 'why'? Before we can even answer the question for students, we have to answer the question for ourselves. Why does the math work this way? It's much easier to teach a student how to do a problem. It's a bit harder to explain to them why it works the way it does. It's even more challenging to help…

### 4 Things Every Math Teacher Should Stop Saying

In today's video, we look at 4 things that every math teacher should stop saying, as well as what to say instead. 1. Does anyone have any questions? Instead - "What questions do you have?" or "I want to hear 3 different questiosn about this topic before moving on." 2. What's the answer to this problem? Instead - "How did you approach this problem?" or "What's something you tried on this problem?" 3. That's correct. ** Instead - "Tell me what you did here and why." or "Convince me that this is the correct answer." 4. That's wrong. ** Instead…

### How To Have Better Math Discussions In Class

Last summer I read a book by the NCTM that was all about how we should teach math.  I wrote about HERE.  One of the chapters was about how to orchestrate productive math discussions in class.  Turns out the NCTM realized a lot of people struggle with this so they created a whole separate book that just focused on that:  5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions.  I read that this summer. I'm really glad I spread these readings apart.  I think if I read both books last summer, it all would have just been jumbled together in my mind.  Having…

### Week 36 – Last Week, \$3k Candy, and My 100th Post!

Last week was the last week of actual instruction.  I opted to take it easy.  Life will go on even if I don't try to cram the teaching of volume of 3d figures into two days.  Also, this is my 100th post on this blog! LAST WEEK ACTIVITIES Last week, I shared all of our previous quizzes, tests, and reassessments with answer keys with the students.  This week, I decided to make a more proper review sheet in the form of a Quizlet.  I've never used Quizlet but students kept suggesting it.  It's virtual flashcards.  On one side I put the…

### Week 23 – Math Magic To Solve 2-Step Equations

This week I've been really been getting a bit of filming done.  Below you'll find a short film I did for my Pre-Algebra classes on a lesson for 2-Step Equations.  I found the lesson on Julie Reulbach's blog, who modified her lesson from Sadie Estrella's idea.  Check both of those links for some in-depth write-ups. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiWvrU81Czo Here is THE SLIDE SHOW I used to guide our game and discussion.  Also, here are the DISCUSSION PROBLEMS they worked on after our lesson. I got most of my ideas for the classroom economy from MYCLASSROOMECONOMY.ORG. They have everything you need to get started.…

### Week 19 – Bring On The Primes

I made a short film this week on my lesson on primes and prime factorization in my 6th grade math class.  It's one of the first lessons I've use manipulatives in that class.  I share my struggle with using manipulatives in the video, as well as what worked with the lesson, what didn't, and what I would change for next time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=282M_kTxtTM It was really fun to make the video, but it's hard to be teacher and filmmaker at the same time.  I was wanting to really hear what they were saying but also wanted to make sure I was…

### Week 18 – Fractions, Why Are You So Difficult!?

It's the end of the first week back.  I got my new group of Robotics students, we began with some divisibility and exponents in 6th Grade Math, and we're exploring multiplying rational numbers in Pre-Algebra. Robotics Robotics is just a semester course so I have a new group this semester.  Last semester was nine 7th-8th grade boys.  This semester is eleven 6th grade boys, a 7th grade girl, and and a 7th grade boy.  Really different dynamic, but almost all of them I've had in math class before.  The semester feels like it's running a bit on autopilot since not…

### Week 16 (A) – An Atypical Tuesday In The Life of A Teacher / Filmmaker

I took my 'day in the life' idea and turned into two videos.  This is the first one.  It was all filmed last Tuesday, Dec 8th, 2015.  The holiday video that I refer to in this video will be up very soon! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpUe7LsmqeQ A few things noted in the video: The Waze App (using real-time traffic into to find quickest route) A reflection on discussion based math learning A reflection on blogging in the math classroom A guide to developing mission statements with students: Casey Neistat YouTube channel GibsonEdu Media Voiceover Information

### Week 2 – Let The Learning Begin

I'm finishing up my second week of classes.  For the most part they went well! CLASSROOM ECONOMY Students turned in their applications and I'm in the process of assigning positions.  Students picked their top 3 job choices and I told them I'd do my best to give them one of those three jobs.  A few jobs required a letter of recommendation and I was impressed with a few of the the letters that came in (I told them I'd be extra impressed if it was delivered in an official school envelope).  The hard part is working through the matrix of…

### Reflecting on ‘Building A Better Teacher’

Just finished up 'Building A Better Teacher' by Elizabeth Green. I anticipated a book that would discuss teacher preparation programs in the US and how we can do better.  I was surprised by how much of the book seemed to focus on the history and development of an inquiry-based approach in a math classroom (which being a math teacher, I loved).  I think Green went in that direction since math education seems to be where our teachers are lacking direction the most.  The latter half focused more on the developments in teacher preparation programs (triumphs and failures) as well as…