Virtual Conference on Mathematical Flavors
August 1st through August 29, 2018
There is a vibrant community of math educators that share their thinking on blogs. And often times, those posts are on particular lessons, teaching strategies, organizational strategies, or straight-up explorations of math. Things that get written usually engage with the micro-level. A day, a unit, a teacher move, a mathematical concept. The purpose of this conference is to take a moment to zoom out and connect the micro to the macro, to connect our everyday pedagogy to our kids’ conceptions of mathematics.
“Math” means very different things to each of our kids. And as teachers, we create spaces and experiences which shape our kids understanding of what mathematics is. So the key question we are asking in this conference is “What flavor of mathematics are you serving up in your classroom?” The extended and more formal prompt is here. It is a truism is that there is no one valid way to teach math. We’d love for you to become a presenter and give the world a taste of your classroom’s mathematics! How does your everyday work affect how your kids understand what math is all about? I hope you’ll join us by adding your presentation to the schedule below!
Keep checking back to see this program fill out with the presentations! Each week the keynote speakers presentations will go live, and additional presenters who submit their presentations will be added!
Tracy Zager – Keynote Speaker (@tracyzager)
Title of Talk: Satisfied in tjzager.com
Bio: I’m Tracy, a math coach, parent, editor, and author of Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms. I live in Maine with my husband, two kids, two dogs, and a hamster named Caramel.
Excerpt chosen by editor to whet your appetite: “I saw such beauty. I saw a young child walking carefully, one leg forward only. He’d stand on one and take a step with his left foot. Say ‘two’ out loud. Take another step with his left foot. ‘Three.’ He went up and back and up and back, over and over. Eventually, he started striding normally, alternating left and right feet, saying, ‘One, two, three…’ A little while later, I saw him walking like that with his hands in his pockets, (‘Look, Ma! No hands!’), thinking hard but with confidence, no longer vocalizing the numbers.”
Monica Tienda – Speaker (@matienda)
Title of Talk: Spicy Math in Fumbling Towards X
Author’s summary: I wrote this blogpost because Sam Shah’s ‘Call for Presenters’ made me want to write about math again. I just needed a swift kick in the asymptote. This blog is about how I reclaimed my ‘spice’ with 2 recent math adventures.
Sameer Shah – Speaker (@samjshah)
Title of Talk: Transformations: How Our Class Moves the Needle in Continuous Everywhere But Differentiable Nowhere
Author’s summary: I share what my students have said about how our time together has had an effect on them, and I reflect on their responses. There are three common threads I noticed in their writings, and so I muse on how I structure class to make these things happen.
Megan Dubee – Speaker (@megandubee)
Title of Talk: Why I’m not the teacher I had in Megan’s blog
Author’s summary: So often I hear that teachers always teach how they were taught. Entering my 11th year in the classroom, nothing could be further from the truth in my experience. Here’s why.
Tom James – Speaker (@TomJamesIV)
Title of Talk: Math is like a pomegranate in Occasionally Optimal
Author’s summary: The things students write about our math classes give us a window into the values we communicate, both implicitly and explicitly. But it can feel scarier to share the positive things students have written than anything critical.
Liz Caffrey – Speaker (@AsymptoticLiz)
Title of Talk: Essential Questions: the ingredient that flavors all of my math classes in Q > A
Author’s summary: What is math? What is the pattern and how many ways can I represent it? How does math connect to the world around me? How am I a mathematician? These are the Essential Questions that flavor my middle school math classes. Here I reflect a bit on each one.
Karen Campe – Speaker (@KarenCampe)
Title of Talk: Moving the Needle in Reflections and Tangents
Author’s summary: I want my teaching practice to push students towards greater confidence, agency, and deep understanding. I’m sharing three goals I have set for the upcoming year to try to “move the needle” in that direction.
The posts below are part of a group of educations that are thinking about different cultures within mathematics, and how those relate to teaching. For the rest of the group of posts in this series, see Week 4.
***Dan Anderson – Speaker (@dandersod)
Title of Talk: Mathematician Once Removed in A Recursive Process
Author’s summary: Am I a (pure) mathematician by T.W. Gowers’ definition? Does it matter?
***David Wees – Speaker (@davidwees)
Title of Talk: Two Cultures of Mathematics Education in The Reflective Educator
Author’s summary: There are many cultures of mathematics, a question is, which one dominates k-12 education and why? The majority of those two cultures are likely aligned to one of these two possibly overlapping goals of teaching mathematics. 1. To enable students to be able to solve a specific set of mathematical problems. 2. To teach students a body of mathematics.
***Anna Blinstein – Speaker (@ablinstein)
Title of Talk: Culture of Mathematics in Borscht With Anna
Author’s summary: This post is part of the Culture of Mathematics strand, in which competing aspects of mathematical norms and values are debated. My goal in writing this post was to question whether this distinction is important (I don’t think it is) and how we might change the conversation from “what kinds of questions are best for me to ask?” towards “how do we get students to ask more and better questions?”
***Carl Oliver – Speaker (@carloliwitter)
Title of Talk: Problem-Solving, Theory-Buliding and Collaboration: How I stopped sucking in Carl’s Teaching Blog
Author’s summary: This post is a story about how I worked with a math coach to change my philosophy around what it means to do math, and what it means to teach kids to do math.
This week we have something extra special — a mini-conference within our conference. There are a group of educators who are thinking about different cultures within mathematics, and how those relate to teaching. Their group draws its initial inspiration from writing by mathematicians that describe different camps and cultures — from problem solvers and theorists, musicians and artists, explorers, alchemists and wrestlers, to “makers of patterns.” Are each of these cultures represented in the math curriculum? Do different teachers emphasize different aspects of mathematics? Are all of these ways of thinking about math useful when thinking about teaching, or are some of them harmful? These are the sorts of questions our group is asking. The posts which are marked with a *** are part of this exciting group.
Lybrya Kebreab – Keynote Speaker (@lybryakebreab)
Title of Talk: This is how we DO math in Lybrya’s Log of Learning
Bio: Teacher on Special Assignment and elementary, middle and high school classroom teacher in Hacienda-La Puente for 15 years. Promoting equity, access, inclusion and social justice through the study of the beauty and joy in mathematics. Love to collaborate with others to grow, learn, debate and share.
Excerpt chosen by editor to whet your appetite: “Through no fault of their own, students in need of trauma-informed care often do not come to school fully prepared to learn and do mathematics. In 2018, it is especially imperative for educators to purposefully and consistently set a positive, light, risk-safe, culturally relevant tone in classrooms and schools. One way to do this is to plan playful, beautiful, joyful mathematics lessons for students! Some may see this as a nice ideal to which we all give plenty of lip-service, but do not truly believe or apply. To the naysayers, I quote the famous Bruno Mars, ‘Don’t believe me, just watch!’”
***Michael Pershan – Keynote Speaker (@mpershan)
Title of Talk: I don’t focus my classroom on solving problems in Teaching with Problems
Bio: I’m a classroom math teacher to 3rd and 4th Graders, and Algebra 1 and Geometry students. I love thinking and writing about math, education research, and teaching. Excerpt chosen by editor to whet your appetite: “If you’re oriented towards problem solving, you’re oriented towards the achievement of the few. If mathematical success is about solving valuable problems, that’s going to be inherently inequitable. Your history of math becomes the history of individual achievement, mostly represented by men from privileged cultures. It’s the same inequities that show up in the classroom around problem solving — some have a head start, some finish first — but played out over an entire field.”
Benjamin Woodford – Speaker (@BenWoodford1)
Title of Talk: What kind of math culture are you modeling? in Mr. Woodford’s Modern Education
Author’s summary: Why isn’t it more main stream to love math and to be enthusiastic about participating in mathematics learning? We can’t expect the students to have a better culture than the teachers. Consider why it is important to tell your story so that people can see the determination involved through the example you set.
Cindy Reagan – Speaker (@cljreagan)
Title of Talk: It’s More Than Math in Write Angles in Math
Author’s summary: A student reminded me of the importance of relationship and trust in my class – and that my purpose in the classroom extends way beyond “math.”
Jonathan Schoolcraft – Speaker (@jschool0218)
Title of Talk: Increase Your Confidence, Engage with Tech, and Know Your Mistakes Are Valuable in Algebracraft: The Tales of a High School Math Teacher
Author’s summary: There are three distinct ideals and philosophies that I use to help expand the worldview of math. These are increasing confidence in students, using tech tools and engaging students, and lastly, but so important, knowing that mistakes are valuable tools for learning and achievement.
Jodie Bailey – Speaker (@BaileyJodie)
Title of Talk: Eliminating the Gatekeeper in Embrace|Engage|Empower
Author’s summary: For two years, I had the most wonderful opportunity to teach amazing 5th grade students. Students rode a bus from their home school to spend 75 minutes with me where we delved into rich problems, debated ideas, and created deep connections. Sounds like a dream come true, no?
***Carmel Schettino – Speaker (@SchettinoPBL)
Title of Talk: How do you use empathy to teach math? in carmelschettino.org
Author’s summary: This is part of the responses to Michael Pershan’s Key Note on the concept of Cultures in Mathematics. The idea of using empathy in the math classroom helps us to define how certain students learn and can help us to open ourselves as teachers to the idea of “dynamic objectivity” and not see math as so “black and white.”
***Dylan Kane – Speaker (@dylanpkane)
Title of Talk: Problems in Five Twelve Thirteen
Author’s summary: What if our most important goal in math class was to help students love solving problems?
***Anna Weltman – Speaker (@AnnaWeltman)
Title of Talk: Whose Problems? in Recipes for Pi
Author’s summary: Whose problems are mathematicians– including our students– solving? This post looks at the culture of mathematics from the point of view of whose problems are solved and who is solving them.
***Joshua Bowman – Speaker (@Thalesdisciple)
Title of Talk: dialectics in mathematics in Thales’ triangles
Author’s summary: In mathematics as in life, we often encounter “polarities”—two concepts that seem to be in irreconcilable tension with each other. Sometimes we choose one over the other, or we try to synthesize them by selecting what we consider the best parts of each. Sometimes, however, the correct choice is to uphold both sides in a dialectic, maintaining the tension and allowing fruitful conversation to develop from it.
***Lara Jasien & Nadav Ehrenfeld – Speaker (@LaraJasien @EhrenfeldNadav)
Title of Talk: Modelling Mathematical Aesthetics: Exit Moves for Small Group Conversation that Foster a Culture of Intellectual Curiosity in a guest post in Teaching/Math/Culture
Author’s summary: As budding researchers of mathematics teaching and learning, we spend our days watching teachers go about their daily routines with their students. We look for the ways teachers support their students to engage in meaningful learning and position them as capable, curious thinkers. Our work is fundamentally concerned with the ways classroom culture shapes what it means to teach, learn, and do mathematics. Gowers’ essay provides us with an interesting new lens on the role of culture in mathematics. We want to share (what we think is) a problem-of-practice worth considering and then point to an often overlooked teaching move that we recently saw a teacher use in ways that counteracted this problem-of-practice.
Robert Q. Berry III – Keynote Speaker (@robertqberry)
Title of Talk: Unpacking Identities and Agency through the Voices of Black Boys in Robert Berry’s Blog
Bio: I am the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and Professor in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Equity issues are central to my work.
Excerpt chosen by editor to whet your appetite: “Bilal is an eighth-grade Black boy who has been successful with school mathematics and school in general. Bilal stated that mathematics is an easy subject for him to learn because he likes mathematics and he loves the challenge of problem solving. In fact, he credits his father for helping him develop a love for mathematics. When Bilal was younger, his father would play mathematics games, do mathematics puzzles, and teach him mathematics tricks. Because of Bilal’s early experiences, he has always done well in mathematics. In fact, Bilal was labeled academically gifted (AG) in the fourth grade. When Bilal was in sixth grade, his achievement in mathematics fell from his typical performance of earning A’s to logging C’s.”
Matt Enlow – Keynote Speaker (@CmonMattTHINK)
Title of Talk: Freedom and Power in Teacher Sedition
Bio: I’ve been teaching secondary-level mathematics since 1999, and doing so at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA since 2006. I’m kind of obsessed with math, and with helping others see what I see in it. My wife and I have 7-year-old boy/girl twins.
Excerpt chosen by editor to whet your appetite: “I have a passion for my subject that borders on obsession—which is both an asset and a liability as a math teacher. What makes it an asset is probably clear. (My highest marks on my student feedback surveys are always from the item, “My teacher is passionate about his/her subject area.”) The liability comes when I am prepping for a class, and casting about for interesting questions to ask. Invariably I will hit upon an idea or question that hooks me, and I am compelled to chase that rabbit down its hole, and then somehow it’s an hour or so later, and I am no closer to having something for my students to do.”
Heidi Allum – Speaker (@heidi_allum)
Title of Talk: I am No Chef, but Here are Some Ways That Might Bring More Flavour to your Math Classroom to Start the Year in The Learning Teacher
Author’s summary: Some small suggestions to find the spice of math as you start the new year from a classroom teacher who tried new things, went new math places, failed, and tried again.
Evan Rushton – Speaker (@E_Rushton)
Title of Talk: Do the Math in Embrace Mistakes
Author’s summary: Math is much more than computation. I challenge us to prove that to our students, parents, and fellow educators.
Christina Lincoln-Moore – Speaker (@virtuouscm)
Title of Talk: Talk Number to Me: Mathematics and Mindfulness in a guest post in arbitrarilyclose
Author’s summary: Is Social and Emotional Intelligence inherent to engendering robust mathematical identities? Absolutely! In order to fill the opportunity gap of under-performing students, we must choose to implement practices which ensure mathematics teaching and learning is a humane and affirming experience for students; especially those who historically have been marginalized in and by mathematics. Let’s use mathematics and mindfulness to change our world!
Chris Luzniak – Speaker (@cluzniak)
Title of Talk: Math with Opinions in CLopen Mathdebater
Author’s summary: “Those who know me, know I love to talk strategies for debate in the classroom. However, my struggle in writing this post is to be clear that in my classroom, debate is more than the claim/warrant structure I share in 30-60min sessions at conferences. For me, it is a real and important part of the fabric of my classroom culture.”
Jenna Laib – Speaker (@jennalaib)
Title of Talk: Keeping a Straight Face in Embrace the Challenge
Author’s summary: Most of the time, I can’t keep a straight face… but I trained myself to do it while listening to students in order to improve the culture of learning in the room. This simple action can give students space to experiment, reason to persevere, and desire to trust their own thinking.
Elizabeth Statmore – Speaker (@cheesemonkeysf)
Title of Talk: A Course in Thinking in cheesemonkey wonders
Author’s summary: In a conference on flavors of mathematical teaching and learning, you could be forgiven for expecting every session to address some version of the age-old arguments about whether there are math people and non-math people, about whether it is better to have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset, or about whether mathematics is the most beautiful of all the disciplines we teach in school. Which is probably why I feel so hesitant to confess my dirty little secret. In my classroom, I teach mathematics as one of the humanities.
Rebecka Peterson – Keynote Speaker (@RebeckaMozdeh)
Title of Talk: Grace in Epsilon-Delta
Bio: I’m a wife to Brett, mom to Jonas (2), and math teacher to Union Redskins in Tulsa, OK. I’m also the daughter of two immigrants, and I think my childhood really set the stage for the kind of teacher I want to be in adulthood: welcoming to and inclusive of all.
Excerpt chosen by editor to whet your appetite: “Six years ago was when I made the switch from teaching college to high school. It was a rough transition for me. I had dreamed of being a professor since before I had a high school diploma. And all of a sudden I found myself sharing this space with thirty-six teenagers who rotated out every fifty-five minutes, who seemed to want nothing to do with my content nor with me. It was a difficult time.”
Dan Meyer – Keynote Speaker (@ddmeyer)
Title of Talk: Learning the Wrong Lesson From Video Games in dy/dan
Bio: Former public school high school math teacher; currently head of the teaching team @Desmos.
Excerpt chosen by editor to whet your appetite: “I doubt anyone would argue with the goals of making math class more joyful and playful, but those goals are more easily adapted to a poster or conference slidedeck than to the actual experience of math students and teachers.”
Kevin Hall – Speaker (@ijkijKevin)
Title of Talk: Teaching from the novice perspective in ijkijKevin
Author’s summary: How can we create a feeling of connectedness between Algebra 1 topics? If you create units based not on the expert perspective (“When will I use these skills after I’ve learned them?”) but instead on the novice perspective (“What am I focusing on while I’m learning these skills?”), then you end up grouping topics together very differently. This post explores one such unit.
Sam Shoutis – Speaker (@shoutismath)
Title of Talk: Math in the world? in Maclaurin Musings
Author’s summary: Math in the world, or the world through math? Trying to find places to apply math to important issues that my students already care about.
Lane Walker – Speaker (@LaneWalker2)
Title of Talk: Changing the Way Students Approach Math in Math-World Liaison
Author’s summary: Last year I piloted a guided inquiry-based textbook, CPM (similar to Open Up), to pull together the strategies I have learned on Twitter that were also supported by research I was reading. Now that I no longer have to spend so much time figuring how how best to deliver content to my students, I am able to provide better feedback and it is more personalized. Now I can spend more time getting to know them, partnering with parents, and motivating their best learning.
Denise Russo – Speaker (@bluebeagle)
Title of Talk: A Good Student in Stranger in a Strange Land
Author’s summary: When you think of a good student, what image is formed in your mind? Your image is probably quite different from mine.
Lucy Logsdon – Speaker (@lsquared76)
Title of Talk: I’m Dishing it Up… in Dividing By Zero
Author’s summary: This post discusses the work that goes into our classes…and whether it is evident to others.
Jeremy Hughes – Speaker (@JeremyInSTEM)
Title of Talk: A Vision of Joy from Mathematical Play and Creativity in JeremyInSTEM
Author’s summary: As a Pre-Service Teacher, I have little opportunity to work with students for a long enough time to leave a lasting positive impact on their view on mathematics. However, I have a vision of what that impact could look like, and how I might work to achieve it.
Carmel Schettino – Speaker (@SchettinoPBL)
Title of Talk: Earning your status…and eating it too in Carmelschettino.org
Author’s summary: Having mathematical status isn’t necessarily something that is earned by an individual student but given to them by the other students in class based on the assumptions kids make and privilege we all bring into the classroom. Here’s an example of how I decided to deal with trying to move the needle on how kids give each that status.
Ben Orlin – Keynote Speaker (@benorlin)
Title of Talk: The Teacher Who Only Says Gimme in Math With Bad Drawings
Bio: I love teaching math, and have done it in the US and UK, from grades 6 to 12. I draw poorly and often. My first book, Math with Bad Drawings, comes out September 18th.
Excerpt chosen by editor to whet your appetite: “The way school is structured, students seem to perform for the teacher’s amusement. I say ‘jump’; they jump. I say ‘differentiate these functions’; they plug them into Wolfram Alpha. I say ‘studentwithextrahomeworksayswhat’; they say, ‘What?’”
Annie Perkins – Keynote Speaker (@anniek_p)
Title of Talk: Embrace Detours in Arbitrarily Close
Bio: I’m a public school math teacher who does a lot of mathematical art in my free time. Super passionate about building a bigger picture of who and what are mathematicians.
Excerpt chosen by editor to whet your appetite: “I don’t want any of my students to get to the ripe old age of 25, find out there are multiple sizes of infinity and become inconsolably enraged that such an amazing fact existed and no one had bothered to tell me about it. (You can ask my boyfriend. I refused to calm down for at least a week.) Nor do I want my students deprived of experiencing how math can help them make sense of and strengthen their place in the world.”
Marie Brigham – Speaker (@MarieMcMB)
Title of Talk: We All Scream for Ice Cream in The Art of Being Curious:
Author’s summary: 24 years in and I’m still struggling to find my flavor. State mandates, district decision-making, and the constant shifts in what we value as math educators has made finding my way exciting, confusing, frustrating, and inspired. I share my journey as an educator who really has a good sense of what quality math instruction looks like but who is still trying to get it right. I sense that I’m on the right track but would love your advice and a push in the right direction.
Denise Russo – Speaker (@bluebeagle)
Title of Talk: The Road (not) Less Traveled in Stranger in a Strange Land
Author’s summary: High school students are on a journey that leads them through my classroom. As a math teacher, it is my job to help them navigate the difficult terrain they encounter along the way.
Jed Williams – Speaker (@jedediyah)
Title of Talk: don’t be a math person in What the Function?
Author’s summary: I want my students to know that I’m passionate about doing awesome stuff with math, but I want them to look beyond the math to see the awesome stuff. I want students to realize that what we can do with math is so diverse that there’s a place for everyone.
Jim Moser – Speaker (@MoserJim)
Title of Talk: It’s About Culture: Celebrate What You Value! in Moser Math Blog
Author’s summary: My sincere hope is to have the students realize that: Math is not just a set of procedures, math is reasoning and problem solving. The way you get students to buy into that conception of math is by the culture that you create.
John Golden – Speaker (@mathhombre)
Title of Talk: Narrative Equity in Math Hombre
Author’s summary: A game designer presented his 7 rules for narrative equity in a game; the ability for all types of players to develop a story. Since I think of math as play, this had a lot of connections for me with my classroom and what learners get the chance to do.
Clara Maxcy – Speaker (@the30thvoice)
Title of Talk: Bam! I don’t know about you, but my (insert math topic here) doesn’t come seasoned! in One of Thirty Voices
Author’s summary: Every classroom has its own flavor; every teacher adds his/her seasonings and garnish. Here is my ‘Bam!’, ‘cause I don’t know about you, but my (insert math lesson here) doesn’t come seasoned!
Amy Roediger – Speaker (@AmyRoediger)
Title of Talk: Follow the Leader[board]? in A Lever and a Place to Stand
Author’s summary: I’m looking for ways to level the playing field, to help everyone focus on skills, not scores, with very little competition, so that everyone feels they can succeed. What are you doing to eliminate the leaderboard in your classroom?