2012 Math Blogging Initiation

In August 2012, I organized a math blogging initiation to help those who were interested in blogging about math but needed a little push to get started. There was a two week sign-up period, and at the end of that 140 teachers signed on to write a blogpost each week for four weeks. To help them, I was going to email them a set of prompts to write on, if they so chose to do so.

An archive of the blogging initiation is here, including a link to all posts, and all emails sent to participants.

Archive of Blog Posts

A sorting of many of the participants, by middle / high school, and with information on subjects taught!

Week One (around 140 submitted blogposts):

Week Two (around 120 submitted blogposts):

Week Three (around 90 submitted blogposts):

Week Four (a little less than 70 submitted blogposts):

Week One Email with Prompts

Hi everyone!

Welcome! I was expecting the new blogger initiative to generate only 20, maybe 30, people at most. Silly me! There are almost 200 of you, and that is way awesome. You’re all coming from different places — some haven’t yet started teaching (this will be your first year! **the crowd goes wild!***) and others have been teaching for a couple of decades. Some haven’t yet started up a blog, while others set one up a few weeks ago, and others started blogging a long time ago but then fell off the wagon and need a swift kick in the butt to get started again. My hope? Y’all will read each other and get to know each other and fall in love with each other. (And, of course, that you do all four blogposts!)

What’s fascinating to me is how many of you said — in the optional section of the sign up form — that you were anxious or nervous or terrified (while also being excited, of course) about doing this. Really? Hu-uh. I hope you aren’t building it up in your head to be some giant task like writing the great American novel or carving Mt. Rushmore. If you are, perish that perspective! You’re just jotting a few notes down for yourself. Nothing formal, nothing serious, maybe funny, archiving your teaching life, sharing some good stuff with others. It’s not super serious, it doesn’t have to be perfect, no one is going to be judging you. Let me say that again: no one is going to be judging you. I mean, like, this was my fourth blogpost. Sophie Germain blogged about vomit. And Julie, like we all do, has occasional spouts of verbal spewage. If you feel like you aren’t awesome at teaching, welcome to the club If you feel constantly like everything else you see out there is better, welcome to the club. You’re blogging for yourself. So if you’re new to teaching and have material that you’re proud of it, post it! We’re all starting this at different points, but the one thing I’ve learned is that I can steal ideas or be inspired or commiserate with first year teachers as easily as a veteran teacher. So try not to be self-conscious and obsessive. We’re all here to reflect on what we do, and to learn from each other. No one in the mathtwitterblogosphere is judging you, but yourself. So if you’re a sucky writer, own it and don’t worry about not being Tolstoy. If you feel like what you want to write has already been said on a lot of other places, write it anyway. This is you, for you, by you. And if you are nervous about not having the time, just set a timer for 30 or 45 minutes and say that’s all the time you’ll spend on writing. (That’s all I tend to spend, anyway.)

Let’s begin! First off, if you haven’t actually acquired a blog, read the next paragraph. If you have, skip ahead.

GET A BLOG: First, you need to sign up for a blog. I’m going to advocate for WordPress.com — and I’ll be giving instructions for signing up for that. Sign up here. If you haven’t yet decided on a blog title/URL, my advice is don’t worry about it and just get something down so you can start. It would be silly if obsessing over the title was the barrier to getting you going. But others disagree, and I so you can read that perspective while learning about roses by any other name. Now play around! Pick a theme to make your site beautiful. And you know what? Although not part of the blogger initiative, why not write a very short post saying who you are, what you teach, where in the country you are, what kind of school you’re at? Just something short to practice throwing something out there. (Here’s how you publish a post.)

THE FIRST WEEK’S BLOG PROMPTS, due Tuesday, August 21st (say, at 11:59pm): 

We have choices for you, because we realize so many of you are coming from such different places, and have different interests, and this is your first week. So pick any one of the prompts and go at it!

1. Meetings are starting up. School is revving up. You are teeming with ideas (which is why we’re doing this Blogging Initiation now). What is one goal you have for the first week of school (or “had,” if you already started).

2. Where does the name of your blog originate? Why did you choose that? (Bonus follow up: Why did you decide to blog?)

3. Talk about one or two specific things you plan on doing differently this year… and how specifically you are going to implement them/get the buy-in. Why do you want to do these things?  (If you are a new teacher, what are two specific things you plan on doing this year?)

4.  Respond
:Inline image 1

5. Take a photograph of something you’re proud of. It could be something from your classroom. Something a student gave to you/wrote for you. A bulletin board. A poster. A jar of candy you keep in your office to share with students. Explain what it means to you.

6. One of my favorite topics/units/concepts to teach is_____. Why is it your favorite? (Alterna-question: change “favorite” to “least favorite”.)

Just remember: it doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be super insightful, it doesn’t have to be great. It just has to get you started. Baby steps.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE DONE: When you are done (sometime before 11:59pm on Tuesday, August 21st), fill out this form. That way we’ll be able to see what you’ve done! You’ll get a new prompt in your email a week from now with your prompts for week two!

WHAT WE WILL DO: A bunch of us will divvy up your posts. And we’ll each write a post linking to your posts. It’ll probably take us a week to do this… while we do that, you’ll be working on the second prompt… etc.

Always our best,

The Blogging Initiation Team

(currently includes: Sam, Sue, Kate, Tina, Bowman, Shelli, Julie, Megan, Lisa, David, Anne, Fawn)

PS. I’m leaving for my sister’s wedding tomorrow so I won’t be able to field any questions/emails. Sorry!


Week Two Email With Prompts

Hi all!

We’re now at Week Two of the Math Blogger Initiation. Thank you for submitting your week one submissions! If you didn’t do it, shame on you! Seven smacks with a wooden paddle! But no worries, now that you’ve been punished, you may start up!

And now, let’s get over that and start with the prompts for this week, which are below. Many of you have started, or are in the process of starting up for school, so don’t worry if your post isn’t super long or perfect if you don’t have time. Just remember, it’s a great way to reflect about what you’re about to do or what you’ve started to do… pre-brief or de-brief.

While you are working on week two, we will be collecting up your week one submissions and we’ll blog about them… each of us will blog about some of your works, so in total we’ll have blogged about all your works. It will take us up to a week to do this, so be a little patient with us.

Prompts for week two (don’t do all of them! just pick one!):

1) Find one worksheet or activity or test or unit or question or powerpoint slide or syllabus or anything that you are proud of. Share it. If it is a .doc or .pdf, maybe you want to practice embedding it into the blogpost (example of an embedded document here). Instructions on how to do it using WordPress and Scribd are here.

2) At their 10 year reunion, what do you want kids to still be saying about your class? (Bonus/Alternatives: About you? About what they learned?)

3) What do you wish had been part of your teacher training or mentoring? (All new teachers should learn ___ before entering the classroom.)

4) You had a particularly tough day at school (and it’s not a Friday), enough to make you question and test your devotion to teaching. What would you do that evening to get going again the next morning?

5) Here’s a comic. Respond.:  http://xkcd.com/385/

6) Write a blogpost about anything you want. Just be sure to use the words: avuncular, vainglorious, okra, and Hemmingway-esque in your post at some point. But do not reveal to the reader that this was your task. (You may do this with any of the topics above for double rainbow bonus points!)

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE DONE: When you are done (sometime before 11:59pm on Tuesday, August 28st), fill out this form. That way we’ll be able to see what you’ve done! You’ll get a new prompt in your email a week from now with your prompts for week three!

WHAT WE WILL DO: A bunch of us will divvy up your posts. And we’ll each write a post linking to your posts. It’ll probably take us a week to do this… while we do that, you’ll be working on the third prompt…

Always our best,

The Math Blogging Initiation Team

(currently includes: Sam, Sue, Kate, Tina, Bowman, Shelli, Julie, Megan, Lisa, Anne, Fawn)

Week Three Email with Prompts

Hi all!

Guess what? You’re halfway done! By the time this email gets sent out, you will either have submitted your week two blogpost or you are about to! Great job! Halfway! This will not be all zeno’s paradox-y and you WILL get to the end and all will rejoyce. First off, Here are all the week one posts that we’ve collected on our blogs:

Week ONE posts: JulieFawnAnneMeganBowmanSamLisaJohn@druinokTinaKateSue

There are a lot and you definitely shouldn’t feel like you need to read them all. But you should read some, fo’ sho’. It would be awesome if you took the time to write a short comment on a couple of them – even if it’s just to say “good job! here’s a pat on the back!” If you want to subscribe to most of the new blogs (at least the ones which were submitted on time), you can subscribe to this longcrazylink into your GoogleReader and it will put the entire bundle of blogs in there! John Burk took a lot of time to create this for y’all and what’s nice is you can unsubscribe from individual blogs if you want to pare the bundle down. (If your blog isn’t in the bundle, apologies but because of the nature of how it was created, it can’t be modified. Le sigh.)

Additionally, I wanted to say now that you’ve made it halfway, you might want to consider submitting your blog to MathBlogging.org. The submission form is here.

Without further ado, here are week three prompts:

1. Introduce and show the solution to a math problem that you particularly like. In order to do this, if you’re using wordpress, I want to introduce you to how to write math equations. It’s not very tough once you learn a few commands. Use you a language called LaTeX. To write y=x^2, all you have to do is write y=x^2, and yes, you do use those dollar signs. If you want to write y=x^252, you have to type y=x^{252} (using the braces to tell the computer to put EVERYTHING in the exponent instead of just the 2). If you want to type the square root of x^52, you type \sqrt{x^{52}}. If you want to type a fraction, like 1/2, you type \frac{1}{2}. So if you type \frac{x^3-2x^2+1}{x^2+1}, that will show up as a fancy rational function on your blog. And finally, if you want to type trig or greek symbols, it’s pretty easy. For example, sin(2theta+pi/2) would be written \sin(2\theta+\pi/2). More LaTeX math stuff can be found here. Just make sure you remember to always start and end your math commands with dollar signs, and you close all the braces you open!

2. Your students come into class rife with misconceptions. EEEP! What is a misconception that you see a lot? If you haven’t done so yet, brainstorm a way to deal with that misconception so that students will leave your class with that misconception fixed. (Or if you have a misconception that you deal effectively with, how do you do that?)

3. A student comes up to you and says “why do we have to learn this?” (where “this” really means mathematics that goes beyond counting change or calculating a tip). How do you respond? (This prompt was inspired by Steve Grossberg’s week one post [ed note: I misspelled Steve’s last name in the email that went out].) (Alterna-question: You are having a parent-teacher conference and the father says “Well I was never really good at math either…” when talking about his child. How do you respond?)

4. A student is interviewing you for a school newspaper. She asks you “why do you teach, and why do you teach math?” Respond. You can talk about how you got into teaching, your “math autobiography,” where your drive comes from, whatever. Or create a fake interview where you ask yourself questions and you respond!

5. Statement: “Algebra 2 and Precalculus are a hodgepodge of ideas.” If you agree, what are some unifying and fundamental themes/ideas/concepts that can frame these courses so they can designed to be less of a mess and be something more coherent.

6. Is there a quotation about mathematics that you like? If so, what it is and why do you like it? If not, browse this database of mathematical quotations and find one to write on.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE DONE: When you are done (sometime before 11:59pm on Tuesday, September 4th), fill out this form. That way we’ll be able to see what you’ve done! You’ll get a new prompt in your email a week from now with your prompts for week three!

WHAT WE WILL DO: A bunch of us will divvy up your posts. And we’ll each write a post linking to your posts. It’ll probably take us a week to do this… while we do that, you’ll be working on the fourth prompt… Some get up sooner than later, but just be patient.

Always our best,
The Math Blogging Initiation Team

(currently includes: Sam, Sue, Kate, Tina, Bowman, Shelli, Julie, Megan, Lisa, Anne, Fawn, John)

PS. Some of you put some thoughts on the week one submission form. Here are some of the thought/questions (paraphrased) and responses:

Q: Will you post the prompts somewhere at the end of this, so if we continue after the initiation, we can use them to inspire us? Will you continue emailing prompts after the four weeks if we want you to?

A: Great idea. Yes, we’ll put them (and some more we brainstormed) on the mathtwitterblogosphere site. As for continuing emailing prompts, that’s a great idea, but not something I can commit to now. But maybe one of the others on the blogging initiation team will want to do that?

Note: I didn’t respond to the prompts, but wrote something else.

Response: Cool! Whatever! You wrote, and that’s the point of this! And you had something you wanted to write about!!! Now the only question is: did you use “avuncular” in your post?

Note: I wonder if I will even read this blog I’m writing after a year.

Response:  I have archived my teaching for years, so I like having that evolution documented. But yeah, I hope so but who knows? No shame one way or the other.

Note: I don’t think I’m interesting or that anyone will get anything out of reading my blog.

Response: Write for yourself!!! As long as you get something out of writing/reflecting, you’re in a good place!

Note: It takes a while to learn how to use the blog site

Response: Most definitely. But once you get the basics down, it’s cake from there. And you’ll find you can get fancy when you feel like getting fancy!

Note: A lot of prompts were about the start of the school year. Will that continue?

Response: Nope! Just trying to be timely.

Q: How do you get your blog out to more people, besides sitting around and waiting?

A: I will repeat that it’s good to blog for yourself primarily. But to get yourself out there, two big things you can do is start twittering and connecting with others. Once you have a personal relationship, people on twitter associate that person with a blog. Also, comment on other peoples’s blogs, because that will get them to notice you. Finally, be patient. Because the real answer is time. If you write it, they will come. As you start amassing more and more posts, and a conversation starts about something you posted about, you can show people that link. The longer you’re at it, the more people will notice, because you have a lot of material! But though it’s easy to become obsessed with stats at the beginning, try not to.

Note: Writing is not like riding a bike — you do forget over time.

Response: Yup. But we’re math teachers, so no need to work on being a fabulous word-smith if you’re not one. Be yourself. If you write like you’re talking aloud, that sometimes helps.

Note: My current ice cream obsession is Ben and Jerry’s “Cinnamon Buns.”

Response: Send some my way!!! Sounds good!

Note: Submitting this post is frightening.

Response: Baby steps! I’m proud of you! But what’s there to be scared of? You’re in a no judgement zone!

Q: I want to keep my blog anonymous so students and parents don’t read it. Advice on how to do this?

A: Just be sure to be SUPER careful to not talk about anything specific — whether it comes to a conversation, a description of a classroom/school, what city you live in, whatever. I don’t think there’s anything more than that. Also, don’t share it with anyone at your school, even your close colleagues. That is if you are really sure you want to keep it anonymous. Here are some thoughts about privacy.

Q: Was something wrong with the fourth prompt which had pictures of calculators and said “respond”?

A: Nope. You’re a math teacher. You must have some opinion about calculators in your job. It was purposefully meant to be open-ended. Sorry if it was unclear!

Week Four Email with Prompts

Hi all,

Congratulations. You’ve reached week four of the math blogging initiation. As usual, we’ll be posting your week three responses as soon as we can (probably will take about a week). But if there was any doubt, you officially are a math teacher blogger! Now that this is over, you know what it takes to write a post. You can continue to write weekly or whenever the mood strikes you (it’s all up to you!). And you know what? Sometimes I’ll go a while without posting, and then realize I’m in a teacher funk, and I’ll sit down and force myself to blog. So you can use it for that too. (And if you don’t know what to blog about, you can see what others blog about, or soon we’ll post the list of prompts we generated on the mathtwitterblogosphere site). But you’re on your own, now, and you can fly, little eagles! We’re so proud. Even if you missed a post here or there, or submitted late, or whatever! You did it, and during the harrowing time which is the start of the school year. Kudos!

The round up of week two responses are here: JulieFawnAnneMeganBowmanSamLisaJohn@druinokTinaKateSue

Your prompts for this fourth and final week are:

1. Read another blogger’s post for the Math Blogging Initiation. Write a comment on their post. Then write a post responding to it. Now, be sure in your comment and your post to be supportive and kind. Remember, no judgment zone. You can offer advice, or share a related story, or say what that reminds you of, or something you do that’s alternative to what they did. Just frame it in a positive way. Many people new to blogging are nervous about what people think about what they write, and although you don’t always have to agree (though you may!), you should frame your response in a positive way. (In short, no calling anyone a doodoohead.)

2. Take a moment and think about you in the classroom. You might have some favorite phrases in your classroom. Like instead of saying “Any questions?” you might commonly say “What questions are there?” Or you might have a motto like Ms. Frizzle: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” They might be something that you do something naturally and don’t even realize it! What are some of these phrases? Why do you like using them? (Alterna-questions: What are some things you say in your classroom that you wish you didn’t?)

3. A syllabus to a course states that “classroom engagement” is 10% of the course grade. Respond.

4. The “hey girl” internet meme has grown to include a “hey girl (teacher)” meme. Here is an example. If you know anything about it, use the MemeGenerator website and the image of Ryan Gosling (obvi) to generate one (or more) funny images with hilariously poignant caption.

5. It’s week four. Write a post on whatever you want!

Bonus Points: By now, you might have tried writing equations, showing an image in your post, or embedding a PDF document. Lastly, you can earn some awesomeness if you embed a youtube video in your wordpress.com blogs. Instructions are here.

Finally, as usual, submit them using this form by Tuesday, September 11th at 11:59pm. We’ll write posts featuring your responses.

Hopefully this Math Blogging Initiation has been worthwhile for you, either to show you this is something useful for you, or to show you that it isn’t. Regardless, we hope you’ve taken something away from it! Our heads exploded when we saw how many of you there were, and we’re grateful for having the opportunity to read some of your thoughts, and learn from you. And we mean this sincerely, but not literally, because our heads are still intact.

Always our best,
The Math Blogging Initiation Team

(currently includes: Sam, Sue, Kate, Tina, Bowman, Shelli, Julie, Megan, Lisa, Anne, Fawn, John)

PS. Some of you put some thoughts on the week two submission form. Here are some of the thought/questions (paraphrased) and responses:

Note: I got some negative comments on my blog and so I deleted it.

Response: ARGH! Shucks. I am sorry — I don’t know if people were trying to be helpful or if they were just negative, but I hate negative and unhelpful comments. I’m sorry. It’s a good remind for those commenting to know that real people are out there responding as human beings to what you write. So being a supportive community is important. Not that you always have to agree, but you have to be sensitive to the writer, and also not assume you know anything about where the writer is at in terms of their career, or who their students are, or what they are dealing with. At the same time, when you receive a comment, you should try to read it in the most generous light, because most commenters are probably not trolls or trying intentionally to be negative.

Q: I used 3 of the 4 special words (okra, vainglorious, Hemmingway-esque)… how many double rainbow bonus points is that worth?

A: 6.2

Note: Hemingway only has one m in it.

Response: Yes, but obviously you never learned the rule that when you add an -esque to a deceased while male author’s name, you double the third letter of their name. It’s in Strunk and White.

Note: Your challenge is working as I expected you guys planned, for me anyway. I wouldn’t have 4 posts written without your prompts and encouragement.

Response: YES!!!

Q: Can we have new blogs categorized? Are there middle school teachers out there?

Response: Sure! You just have to do it, and send it to us and we’ll post it ;) hahahaha. As for middle school teachers, there are a TON of them. In my opinion, this lady is the queen of middle school bloggers at the moment: http://ispeakmath.wordpress.com/.

Note/Question: Thanks for doing this. I am really enjoying it and it is challenging me beyond belief. I wish we could continue with the prompts, even after the 4 weeks — but maybe not displaying them on blogs? But something to keep us thinking.

Response: A few people have said this, but personally I don’t think this is something I can sustain. There are only so many prompts we could come up with (and we will eventually make them available together). However, if someone wants to set this up and have people sign up, feel free! Also, you can come up with ideas by reading other peoples’s posts and what they’re writing about / what questions they’re responding to (implicitly and explicitly).

Note: Reading 8 paragraphs which are essentially the same about 8 different blog posts is draining.

Response: Yes. We were only anticipating 30 responses at most, which means that each helper would have more time and ability to read the posts and summarize them / present them interestingly. But with the initial 140 responses, that became impractical. But you can (and probably have) just skim to get the essence of what each post is about, which we think turned out very nicely.

Q: How do you catch a unique bird?

A: 42

Note: Fitting in okra was the most difficult.

Response: Indubitably

Final Email after the Math Blogging Initiation

Hi all,

This is it.

Some of us did all four weeks, some did just a few. And honestly, if you tried it and found out it was not for you, that’s important and you wouldn’t have known it otherwise. (There are lots of professional development things that aren’t for me.) So thanks for keeping an open mind! And if you tried it and decided it was for you: egg-celent.

For those of you who want to continue, some unsolicited advice:

1. You don’t need to blog every week. This was just a “boot camp” to get started! Sometimes I blog twice in a day and then go a couple of weeks with nothing. Normally it has to do with how much free time I have. Blog when you feel like it, blog for yourself, don’t rely on having commenters/readers. There’s something super valuable about codifying and archiving your thoughts about a worksheet, a lesson, etc.

2. Have fun with it, and let it push you as a teacher. One of the things I started realizing was that having a blog not only let me archive and reflect upon stuff, but it also made me want to take risks. I wanted to try out things I was scared to do (whether it be not grading homework, employing Standards Based Grading, including more regular groupwork in classes, etc.) because they were new. (“Why try something new when what I’m doing works pretty well?”) But knowing I have a blog to write about these things made me feel more excited about trying them (even when they didn’t work out perfectly)… I got excited to share what I was doing. It’s like we’re in a laboratory with experiments always in progress… and we each year experiment and refine and experiment and refine. Your blog can be like your lab notebook.

Finally: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. It was on a lark that we decided to do this. It was a little haphazard I know. (One example of it: I tried to email all y’all that signed up, and no matter what I tried to do, the internet thought I was a spammer. That was two hours down the drain until @jreulbach stepped in to save me!) But you guys don’t even know how much this has exceeded our wildest expectations. We expected 20, maybe 30, responses, and this became something much bigger. This is all because of you. So THANK YOU. For being awesome. For taking risks. For engaging. It’s been a pleasure.

Here is a webpage with all the posts, and prompts, archived: https://samjshah.com/math-blogging-initiation/

Here is a webpage with a lot of you sorted by grade level and with information about subjects taught: http://ispeakmath.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/new-bloggers-from-the-math-blogger-initiation-sorted-by-division/

Now for some remaining things…

Here is my week three Q&A:

Note: This is taking too much time! I need to spend more time preparing for teaching and less writing!

Response: Gotcha. Now that this initiation is over, you can work at your own leisure! Usually I’m not writing when I’m super busy (or sick). But it’s when I’m super busy that I usually have a lot to write about. A nice catch 22.

Note: Thank you! I’ve felt overwhelmed but with your prompts I was able to actually do something.

Response: Welcome! Obvi! Baby steps is the way to start!

Note: I don’t know if what I’m writing is of use to anyone, but I’ve taken so much from others online that I feel the need to give back, and blogging is a way to try.

Response: I bet you what you’re doing is of use to someone! And if not, is it of use to you? If it is, then it has use!

Note: :)

Response: ;)

Note: Still a struggle, but I’ll keep going.

Response: Good! Hopefully now that you’re done, you can see if you’ve gotten anything out of this. If not, no worries. At least you tried and learned it’s not for you!

Note: Each week, I’ve read the prompts, thought that none of them appealed to me, but kept them in mind for 2-3 days. Then, out of the complete blue, I get a great answer to one of them. It’s spooky.

Response: BOO!

Note: Wish I knew WordPress took LaTeX before I started using Blogger… (alterna-note: Using weebly makes writing equations hard…)

Response: Ah, if you just trusted me from the beginning when I suggested you use WordPress… You see, I know all!

Note: I learned I have to upgrade to upload a video.

Response: If you’re using WordPress, that’s true. But if you upload your video to youtube (for free) you can embed your youtube video on your WordPress blog for free.

Note: LaTeX wasn’t too bad. LaTeX is cool.

Response: Yup!!! Love it!

Note: With school in sesh, blogging on a schedule is hard!

Response: TOTES agree. Now this initiation is done, and you can blog when you are free to blog!

Note: Although I always send these in at the last minute and I’m kicking and screaming before I do it, they are really helpful and fun. I want to go back through and do more of the prompts. I also have a whole list of things that I want to blog about, but it’s hard to make myself prioritize the time for writing, something that feels difficult sometimes.

Response: AWWWESOME (re: kicking and screaming -> helpful and fun!). As for having TOO much to blog about, I have that too sometimes (and sometimes, nothing, for weeks). I just keep an ongoing list on my electronic to do list so when I do have time I look at the list to see if there is anything I feel like I want to write about.

Note: I have gotten so used to posting it has become second nature to me. I long to put my thoughts to paper, er, to screen. And I am shocked at the various people reading my blog. Teachers in other subject areas are responding to me in person or email. It’s a tremendous feeling to know my voice is being heard. Thanks for doing this.

Response: **WE IS MELTING**

Here is my week four Q&A:

Q: Anyone invent a way to add time?

A: I think Hermione in Harry Potter had some sort of device which helped her. Also, if you have a TARDIS like in Dr. Who, that might help? I’m pretty sure using a Delorean for time travel is just a myth.

Note: Thanks! Thanks!

Response: Obvi!

Note: I am really going to try to continue, but no promises.

Response: Okay, we didn’t pinky swear so we’re fine.

Note: Can we still have questions/prompts emailed to us?

Response: Nope. But you can do other prompts that you didn’t do! They’re all here.

Q: How should I stay connected once this is over? Should I advertise posts?

A: You should definitely read blogs, comment on other blogs, tweet with people, tweet your blog posts. But to stay connected, you need to make reading/commenting and/or twittering a regular part of your schedule. There’s no magic way. It takes time.

Note: You should have asked bloggers who aren’t going to continue blogging (probably, definitely) why they aren’t!

Response: You’re totally right. Whoops!

Q: Bulleted & Numbered lists on wordpress mess up formatting on the last bullet/number. What’s going on?

A: No idea. But wordpress.com has a great support forum where I usually find most of my answers! Just go hereand search for bullets or lists!

Note: My 21 month old twins got me out of bed three times last night. I’m tired. (It feels good to kvetch sometimes. Thanks for reading.)

Response: I’m exhausted for you. Hey, I heard about this?

Q: When using Scribd.com for my documents, some equations/tables/formatting gets messed up. What’s the way around this?

A: The only thing I do is save the document as a PDF and THEN upload the pdf to Scribd.com. That usually fixes all formatting problems. A little annoying, but not that hard a workaround.

Q: What’s the best way to follow WordPress blogs?

A: I use Google Reader to follow all blogs — regardless of whether they are on wordpress or not. If you need help, this page might help!

Q: Can you tell me a joke?

A: Yes.

Q: Is there a way to find out which “mentor” bloggers blogged about us each week?

A: Hm… not really. Your blog might have a “trackback” when the mentor blogger linked to your post. It might appear in the comment section of your post. If not, you will probably have to just click on the 12 bloggers and scroll through to find your name!

With that, we’re out.


The Math Blogging Initiation Team


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