September 2, 2013

Matheme - What's New in the 'Sphere

It's Labor Day (here in the US) which is the end of the summer in so many respects. I've always gone back to school after Labor Day, it marks the beginning of September (the month that the equinox falls in) and for many people it's the last big beach/pool/barbecue weekend. I spent part of my day updating the matheme page: adding a new theme, updating old ones and double checking details. Because apparently that's how I mark the end of summer on a rainy day- reflecting on our accomplishments as a community.

Twitter Chats:

One of the projects that came out of Twitter Math Camp 2013 was organizing weekly chats for different subject areas. Some have taken off like crazy (I know they're going on because my feed blows up!) and others are getting a slow start, both types would benefit from your voice so put them on your calendar with an alert so you don't forget.

#alg1chat (Sunday 9 pm EDT)
#alg2chat (Monday 9 pm EDT)
#geomchat (Wednesday 9 pm EDT)
#msmathchat (Wednesday 9 pm EDT)
#precalcchat (Thursday 8:30 pm EDT)
#statschat (Thursday 9 pm EDT)
#calcchat (Friday 11 am IST)

In addition to the subject chats there have been ongoing book groups. If anyone has archived posts or compilations of tweets on past book groups I'd love to include them.

First Day/Week of School:

With everyone who has started school or is about to start, this has been a very popular theme lately. There are some cool ideas that I hope to use during the year, but mostly it's fun to read these because they give a bit more insight to a teacher's personality than the standard post. Plus the enthusiasm that everyone is showing for the start of the year is contagious. I'm struggling to focus on school when it seems far off (it's not!) and since I was happy with how the first days went last year. Reading about everyone who is excited to be working with students again gives me hope that I'll survive the rest of my PD and get to do the part of this job that I love - teach kids. I recommend checking out the new posts for this year or delving back into past years whether you're long past the start of school or find it looming ever closer.


I haven't seen many of these posts lately, and I wish I would. Partly I'm being selfish - I have to write goals as part of my evaluation process and I have yet to settle on any. But I'm also interested in hearing big ideas - when you share lessons that you love, part of why you love them is they fit a need, a theme or an overarching concept that is central to your classroom. I want to know what those are. There has been some conversation lately about the big ideas of Algebra. What are the big ideas of your classroom? Read a few then share your own!

Noticing and Wondering:

Max wrote an awesome post on Noticing and Wondering where he linked a slew of other posts. I took advantage of his legwork and created a new theme based on this awesome technique. I haven't written about it yet, but I'm excited to use these questions for journaling at the end of every class. Remind me to tell you how that goes!

What else have you seen going on in the Math Twitter BlogoSphere? If someone who was away from twitter all summer asked you to summarize what went on, would the matheme page contain the big ideas? Is there a theme you wish was there (that's been popular or that you'd like to popularize)? The page is intended as a resource for the community, help me keep it up to date!

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