RIP-BoS: A Tribute to the Math-Twitter Blog-O-Sphere
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
3w ago
When I was a first year teacher, the teachers in my province went on strike for two days. It was on the first of those two days that I signed up for Twitter in order to follow public opinion on the job action. It was only days later that–by accident–I found math teacher Twitter, and the Math-Twitter Blog-O-Sphere (or MTBoS, for short) quickly became the self-organized space filled with ideas, insight, resources, and support that set the trajectory for my career. The MTBoS gave me a forum to grow and provided outlets that found my ideas valuable. I routinely chatted with some of my idols; now t ..read more
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Going with Your Gut
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
6M ago
I teach university courses in mathematical problem solving at St. Francis Xavier University during my Summer break. The classes involve initiating numerous problem solving episodes and then interrogating and filtering our collective experience through the lens of current theory in the field. This structure provides plenty of opportunity to workshop new ways to launch tasks, and this year, I began experimenting with a new sort of launch routine that had pleasant results. This post is an attempt to reflect on why that may have been the case. First, however, you must indulge me by responding to a ..read more
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The Interview Quiz
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
9M ago
I love creating curious tasks for my students. I love anticipating their thinking, observing their milestones of thought, and then posing new, interesting wrinkles to sustain their problem solving. It really is what fuels my practice. Honestly, interacting with students keeps me coming back for more–day in and day out. It’s what I enjoy most about the job. I think that’s why I’ve always hated assessment events. They always seemed disconnected from the students. A couple years ago, I wondered what it might look like if assessments became a tool to bring the students and I into shared experience ..read more
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NCTM LA Ignite!
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
1y ago
I was one of eight educators invited to give an Ignite! talk at the 2022 NCTM Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. I want to thank the program committee (specifically, Aleda Klassen) for the invite, while, at the same time, express just how terrifying the entire experience was–in a good way. There was no official recording of the event (like previous years), but a fellow Saskatchewan educator, Kirsten Dyck, managed to bootleg us a copy! The videography gives a nice sense of the energy in the room. The content of the talk expresses the very root of my work in mathematics education–work that I’ve shar ..read more
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Oops, I forgot: Productive forgetting and convenient remembering
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
1y ago
**My good friend Joce Dagenais has translated portions of this post into French here.** In 2018, I made the cross-country trip to attend and present at the OAME Annual conference in Toronto. The session was attended by a particularly boisterous group of math teachers–all of whom I adore. Emerging as the ringleader of this rag-tag group of pedagogical hooligans was Fawn Nguyen, who, in her notorious brilliance, later distilled the ideas into a classroom routine by the name “Oops, I forgot…“–OIF, for short. This post is in response to requests to elaborate a touch on the idea and provide more su ..read more
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Trinomial Factoring Match
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
2y ago
Fractions, factors, and functions. A large portion of my career to date has been spent musing over how to engineer classroom environments that infuse meaning into these three mathematical structures. When it comes to polynomial factoring, the area model has provided the most success. After connecting 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication, the area model becomes a beautiful visual to make sense of the “adds to ___; multiplies to ___” phrase that echoes around the room. But we don’t keep the area model around forever. Once we’ve used the model to build meaning, we mobilize that understanding in more ..read more
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Triangles and Trapezoids
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
2y ago
Debating definitions has long been one of the favourite pastimes of math teacher Twitter. (see, for example, #sandwichchat or #vehiclechat). Recently, and in a move of pedagogical brilliance, the collegial tone of such debates was soured by an ongoing feud between Shelby Strong and Zak Champagne. The object under debate: The trapezoid. Both teams made their case and canvassed for support. Shelby argued for an inclusive definition, Zak argued for an exclusive one, and math teachers aligned themselves in one camp or the other: #TeamInclusive or #TeamExclusive. (You can pledge your allegiance in ..read more
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Oops, I forgot…
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
2y ago
In 2018, I made the cross-country trip to attend and present at the OAME Annual conference in Toronto. The session was attended by a particularly boisterous group of math teachers–all of whom I adore. Emerging as the ringleader of this rag-tag group of pedagogical hooligans was Fawn Nguyen, who, in her notorious brilliance, later distilled the ideas into a classroom routine by the name “Oops, I forgot…“–OIF, for short. This post is in response to requests to elaborate a touch on the idea and provide more support for teachers thinking about implementing it in their practice. Been doing “Oops ..read more
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Introducing Quadratics
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
2y ago
Quadratics feel important. This impression is no doubt influenced by the boated importance placed on calculus in secondary school. They represent the giant leap from linearity and pave the way for more elaborate functions; therefore, I often find myself musing on ways to have students meaningfully interact with the topic. Once the structure of the function is established, I’ve played around with interesting ways to help students visualize quadratic growth, connect that growth to the Cartesian plane, and build these functions to specifications; however, my introduction to quadratics in vertex-g ..read more
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COVID Math Fair
Musing Mathematically Blog
by natbanting
3y ago
In 2015, my students and I founded an annual math fair in my school division. Inspired by mathematical play, the fair grew from humble beginnings into a staple of my mathematical calendar. Like nearly everything about this school year, the fair was jeopardized by the pandemic; however, with a touch of innovation and the ongoing support from my school administration, the teams of educators in our five feeder elementary schools, our trustee, and the school community council, I managed to pull together three math invitation carts that could be disassembled, transported, and reassembled in the ele ..read more
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