The MS Proportionality Strand

The MS Proportionality Strand

Here’s the latest installment in my efforts to understand our students’ development of math concepts in the middle grades (based on the Texas curriculum laid out in the TEKS). My previous video looked at the Geometry strand, and I found the research eye-opening (and useful when working with students). As a long-time 8th grade math teacher, the take-away for me… Read more →

Filling the Gaps

Filling the Gaps

Recently, as I worked with some struggling math students, we spent a fair amount of time addressing gaps in prior learning. They were open to our classroom activities, so so it was interesting to challenge their thinking and observe their growth. For example, it was clear most of their previous discussions of relations and functions had focused on tables to the exclusion of… Read more →

The MS Geometry Strand

The MS Geometry Strand

Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy) creates a great series of short videos showing the development of early math skills throughout the elementary grades. These Progression Videos not only show the importance of each part of the instructional sequence, but they also help you reflect on math pedagogy and how the brain makes connections and develops fluency. I felt it would be useful… Read more →

Growth Mindset and High Expectations for All

Growth Mindset and High Expectations for All

In most job interviews, I believe the interviewers have the one question. They will ask lots of things, look at resumes and transcripts, but there is one question that he or she really cares about, that makes the difference in his or her final decision. The question may be different for each person on an interview panel, but I believe it’s there. When I… Read more →

Pencils or Sharpies in Math Class?

Pencils or Sharpies in Math Class?

For years, I was a victim of the way I was taught. Each year, the school supply list required black and blue pens, a red pen for trading-and-grading, and pencils for math. As I did my math homework, I remember my aunt fussing at me if I wasn’t using a pencil. So when I set up my own classroom, I allowed… Read more →

Shading your DESMOS triangle

Shading your DESMOS triangle

In a recent post I showed how I created movable triangles of fixed dimensions on a Desmos graph. It’s nice to have an outlined triangle, but nicer to shade in that triangle and make it easier to see. That is accomplished through clever application of Desmos’ ability to shade inequalities. This is actually a simpler application than others. I have… Read more →

Reflections on Number Talks

Reflections on Number Talks

I’ve been working through Jo Boaler’s “How to Learn Math” course, and it’s fantastic. It was really good until about session 5 when it became awesome. She describes a classroom activity that I believe is just as beneficial for math teachers as it is for students. She uses Number Talks as a way to develop number sense and flexibility among students…. Read more →

Newly Acquired DESMOS Skills

Newly Acquired DESMOS Skills

If you haven’t heard of Desmos yet, prepare to explore some new horizons. Imagine an online graphing calculator that is intuitive, elegant, and powerful. Not imagine that is only one facet of a greater mathematics learning tool. That’s Desmos. I’ve been working with Desmos’ activity builder creating some new things, translating some of our old manipulatives to a new format, and… Read more →

The Performance of Math

The Performance of Math

I’ve posted about the demonstration of the volumes of matching cones and cylinders in the past.  Today, part of my workday was spent looking for “digital resources” related to this relationship. I found some great stuff, and I found some of the horrible pieces I came across in the past. So here’s the deal. We expect middle school students to… Read more →