September 16, 2012

New Bloggers: Week 4

We have reached the end of the new blogger initiation and I'm so proud of everyone who participated, whether they made it to week 4 or not.  I'm keeping track of the introductory posts on the #matheme page.  The prompts they have been getting are really great.  I will post a link to all of them soon, even if you're not a new blogger they are great to think on and share about.

Carl Edgren @carledgren has a blog named Teaching Systematically. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled I believe in public education and the author sums it up as follows: "This post deviates from the blogger initiation posts and instead talks about the Chicago Teacher's Union Strike. It's not about the money! Don't believe the media and the politicians that try to spin everything against the teachers. We are fighting to save public education and provide the learning experience the students deserve!" A memorable quotation from the post is: "I'm fighting for public education."

Mary Dooms has a blog named Curiouser and Curiouser. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Educating parents and students on standards based grading and the author sums it up as follows: "Parents and students are accustomed to a gradebook that captures the end result. They need time to digest the idea that a grade book can be thought of as a running record of student progress." A memorable quotation from the post is: (Continuing to educate students about SBG) "hit home today when a student said to me, “Rumor has it you are counting a pre-test as a grade."

Heather Kohn @heather_kohn has a blog named Growing Exponentially. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled You've Got It! and the author sums it up as follows: "In my classroom, I use two sayings frequently... one that I love and one that I wish I could stop saying. I explain why I love the one I do and why I need to stop confusing students with the other one." A memorable quotation from the post is: "When I say “You’ve got it!” students hear and feel that they know something well enough to explain it to others."

Chris Rime @chrisrime has a blog named Partially Derivative. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled NBI #4 — In which the intrepid blogger realizes that time flies! and the author sums it up as follows: "A lot of rambling, punctuated by possibly-meaningful insights. An awesome motorcycle ad is presented. A nifty psychological trick for inviting questions is provided." A memorable quotation from the post is: "This will come as no surprise to anyone in the room, but… a week goes by tremendously quickly!"

Mark Davis @graphpapershirt has a blog named Graph Paper Shirt. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My students write commitments and the author sums it up as follows: "In this post I outline how and why my students wrote class commitments instead of class goals for the semester. I also provide a link to the document that the students used for instructions...something I created and shared, which is the whole goal of by blog...creating and sharing instead of just collecting ideas from others." A memorable quotation from the post is: "Students need to learn that actions result in what they desire, not simply writing down “I will get a 90% or better in class this year.”"

barrylewis @2ndarymathedist has a blog named Gleaming Number Rockets. The fourth post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Downbeat Mathematics & Clever Ones and the author sums it up as follows: "Shining a bright light under the hood of mathematics is important if students are to have the chance to develop deep mathematical understanding. I think instruction should be as explicit a possible during introduction and discovery of new ideas and procedures, and only after that should students be acquainted with algorithmic shortcuts, if any exist. By explicit I mean that we and our students should roll up our sleeves, meet the math head-on, and see how beautifully it works." A memorable quotation from the post is: "I think there are ways to teach important aspects of number theory to students even though they are lurching through the developmental moors that lie between concrete and formal thinking."

If you have been reading all of these new blogs, I offer you a heartfelt thanks and some serious kudos.  If you have been a new/returning blogger, congratulations!  You are now initiated.  I have been slacking on blogging lately, but have many posts brewing and now that I've moved and am getting over my start of the year cold I should be back to sharing my own stuff, not just cheering on others.

Next time you are at a loss and need blogging inspiration, check out all the posts and prompts from this month.

September 7, 2012

New Bloggers: Week 3


Sam started a new blogger initiation and the crew is more than half way done with their assignments.  A group of us divvied up the introductions since there are so, so many enthusiastic newbies!  We lost a few members the third week (I would have dropped out too I think, school starting has me all thrown off!) but still have an awesome group participating.  I'm keeping track of the introductory posts on the #matheme page.  The prompts they have been getting are really great.  I will post a link to all of them at the end of this process, even if you're not a new blogger they are great to think on and share about.

Without further ado, may I present the following 7 new/restarting bloggers:

Brent Jolicoeur: Reflections & Transformations 

Brent Jolicoeur @brentjolicoeur has a blog named Reflections & Transformations. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled (NBI) A problem I'm looking forward to and the author sums it up as follows: "This post shows one of the problems I'm looking forward to in my precalculus class. I think it is a good end of unit summary" A memorable quotation from the post is: "I think it really does a good job synthesizing all of the material covered in the unit."

Kevin Krenz: Rational Limits 

Kevin Krenz @kevin_krenz has a blog named Rational Limits. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled [NBI] My teaching story and the author sums it up as follows: "Every teacher has a combination of characteristics that make them a unique educator. Before my first year of teaching, I did this activity which helped identify precisely what those characteristics are and where they come from (spoiler: they were from my teachers)." A memorable quotation from the post is: "The qualities of my favorite teachers not only influence how I like to teach, but my students recognize them in my teaching."

Malcolm Eckel: Solving Problems 

Malcolm Eckel has a blog named Solving Problems. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Good judgement... and the author sums it up as follows: "My favorite quote, period - not about math in particular, but life in general." A memorable quotation from the post is: "One is tempted to say “that’s what I get for trying something new and different!” and just sulk, but I try to remind myself – if I hadn’t screwed that up, I wouldn’t know how to do it better next time."

barrylewis: Gleaming Number Rockets 

barrylewis @2ndarymathedist has a blog named Gleaming Number Rockets. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Misconceptions--One Rule to Ring Them All. As if. and the author sums it up as follows: "It seems that the set of rules for adding and multiplying signed numbers is one of the more common arithmetic Lego bricks that barefoot middle school learners tend to step on. I wonder if there is anything we can do to help students correct those misconceptions, and I wonder if the reliance on RULES is itself one of the main doorways that these sorts of misconceptions barge through." A memorable quotation from the post is: "The 18 ft. Great White in the pool, however, is the multiplication of two negatives."

Kyle Eck: k-gram 

Kyle Eck @kylejeck has a blog named k-gram. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Pre-what? and the author sums it up as follows: "A quick idea on how to make Algebra 2 and Pre-calculus more useful to students by incorporating real-life models as motivation for learning math." A memorable quotation from the post is: "Using math to model real-life situations gives it meaning."

Alex Freuman: Math Teachering 

Alex Freuman @freuman has a blog named Math Teachering. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled An Influx of International Students and the author sums it up as follows: "I've been charged with placing international boarding students among geometry, algebra 2, pre-calculus and calculus. It has been a true odyssey and I am learning from my (many) mistakes. Please feel free to learn from them too." A memorable quotation from the post is: "Among the many major changes we are undertaking this year at my school ..... , none terrify me more than beginning a boarding program for international students."

Tofer Carlson: teachertofer 

Tofer Carlson has a blog named teachertofer. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Circling a Solution and the author sums it up as follows: "A past student recently emailed me with a problem that I really enjoyed figuring out for myself--it requires using analytical, graphical and algebraic reasoning." A memorable quotation from the post is: "This is a really hard problem for my students to do, but not one that’s impossible—and when a student can make the first leap or second leap, they get excited and build resiliency."

September 3, 2012

New Bloggers: Week 2

Sam started a new blogger initiation and the crew is now half way done with their assignments.  A group of us divvied up the introductions since there are so, so many enthusiastic newbies!  Impressively, 99.2% of those who participated the first week came back for the second week.  I'm keeping track of the introductory posts on the #matheme page.  The prompts they have been getting are really great.  I will post a link to all of them at the end of this process, even if you're not a new blogger they are great to think on and share about.

Without further ado, may I present the following 10 new/restarting bloggers:

Haydee C. @mathymissc has a blog named MathyMissC. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled I Wish... and the author sums it up as follows: "There are things that I wish I had learned about during my teacher training program. I really wish someone had told me the truth about meetings, emails, parent communication, copy machines, and paper flow." A memorable quotation from the post is: "By the end of the year, meetings were like okra to me...not my favorite."

Erin W @ewade4 has a blog named Wading Thru Math. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled If only I'd known... and the author sums it up as follows: "As I reflect back on my first year of teaching, these are a few things I wish I'd known. Hopefully, something I've said can encourage new teachers, and even veterans! Some are things I have to constantly remind myself." A memorable quotation from the post is: "While the first year can be trying…it’s all worth it in the end!"

Katrina Hamilton @klwarsin has a blog named Lady Leibmiz and the Galileo Girls. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled How It Works... and the author sums it up as follows: "I asked my students (high school girls in calculus and AP calculus) to respond to the XKCD comic "How It Works", and shared the responses. There's a little bit of pot and kettle calling each other names, a little bit of hurt pride, and quite a bit of attitude." A memorable quotation from the post is: "I have a classroom of girls who don't suck at math."

Tim Reinheimer @timreinheimer has a blog named Asymptotically Cool. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled reasons to be thankful and the author sums it up as follows: "When I get down about a day of teaching I remind myself of several things. Then I start to feel thankful." A memorable quotation from the post is: "I could be working in a cubical."

Bridget Kapala @gidgebridge has a blog named im4msmath. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Here We Go Yum Yum and the author sums it up as follows: "My post this week is about my first day back at school, how decorating my room was so much better because of the posts I have read in the blogosphere. It is also about a dish that I don't really care for....okra." A memorable quotation from the post is: "Now I don’t mean to sound vainglorious, because truthfully…..they were mostly ideas I have stolen from the blogosophere from all you benevolent bloggers."

Barry Lewis @2ndarymathedist has a blog named Gleaming Number Rockets. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled SPARK Problem and the author sums it up as follows: "This was an opening activity for part of our study of angle classification. It was a small, simple thing, but I liked it because it was successful in getting my kids up, thinking, talking, and defending claims about their ideas. I like that lightweight openers like this can involve just about everyone and get them waxing their neural rails for what lies ahead." A memorable quotation from the post is: "It's not what I would ever call real-world problem solving, but it does at least beckon from that place, and bringing real into math class can sometimes be a good interest piquer, like, all of a sudden— a pinata."

Lisa Nussdorfer @nussder has a blog named Instruction for all. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My favorite graphic organizer for factoring quadratics and the author sums it up as follows: "This post is how I used a graphic organizer as way to help students factor quadratics and my reflection." A memorable quotation from the post is: "I found that a paper/pencil GO was more attractive to teenagers than the tactile experience."

Dave Enrico @denrico1 has a blog named Me Dot. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Penny For Your Thoughts? and the author sums it up as follows: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression, which is why I plan on showering my students with money on the first day of school. Plus, it's educational! No, really!" A memorable quotation from the post is: "So here’s how the lesson goes: It’s the first day of school, the air reeks of Axe and insecurity, and my cherubs walk in the door."

Sarah @mathequalslove has a blog named Math Equals Love. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Teaching Integer Operations with the Integer Operations Work Mat, Colored Counters, and Number Line and the author sums it up as follows: "Here is a file I created and laminated to help my students visualize integer operations. It includes space for adding and subtracting integers with colored counters and a number line." A memorable quotation from the post is: "And, I just can't wait to teach my students how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers."

Chris Rime @chrisrime has a blog named Partially Derivative. The second post for the Blogging Initiation is titled New Blogger Initiative: #2 — In which students learn about fractions and the author sums it up as follows: "Students find fractions super duper hard. They tend to mix up the algorithms for the basic operations. The Magical Fraction Box is magical, because when students use it, they stop mixing up and forgetting the algorithms. Everyone should use the magical fraction box." A memorable quotation from the post is: "Last year, my eighth graders struggled mightily with the basic operations on fractions."