Mission #3: Collaboration Nation

Tina here, excited to share this week’s new mission with you.

The awesome part about this community is all the sharing we do. Last week you experienced Twitter – that’s all about conversation. Twitter works for the short things we want to share – ideas, links, questions. The character limit is a bonus, it means no one is carrying on a monologue; Twitter is meant for dialogue.

Many times, those conversations leave you wanting more. You wish someone would elaborate on the thought they started in a tweet or share the entire lesson rather than a snippet. That’s where a blog comes in handy.

Sometimes, though, ideas are even bigger than a single person’s blog and turn into a theme that we compile or a new blog entirely (kind of like this one). This week is all about the things the MTBoS has accomplished when we join forces. These projects only work because people contribute to them, people like you! Some are places where people submit blog posts, so to participate this week you’ll write something to submit. Others are places to interact in other ways. So go ahead and explore, then post about the experience on your blog. I’ve offered suggested ways to interact and post, but feel free to complete the mission however you would like!

To be clear, your mission this week is to pick one (1, ein) of these sites to blog about. Maybe you’ll click through three of them before you settle on the one (I, unus) you want to use for your post. Maybe you’ve been meaning to try something and you’ll jump directly to that option without browsing the rest. However you decide to explore, the links you don’t click through to this week will be here for you to refer back to, as well as on the Resources Page. The goal of this entire Explore MTBoS experience is to introduce you to the wonders that the MathTwitterBlogoSphere has to offer, not to require mastery of all areas by the end of 8 weeks. You can continue exploring as time goes by and since you know yourself best, pick the one (-, ichi) you might continue to use.


  • Daily Desmos, @DailyDesmos: Have you tried the Desmos graphing calculator yet? Whether you have or not, the daily challenges that are posted at Daily Desmos are a great way to stretch your brain.
    To complete this mission: try to solve some of the challenges, share one with your students (the recent focus on linear graphs is particularly well suited for this) or submit a graph for guest post Fridays.
    For your blog post: share what graphs you interacted with and something cool you learned about Desmos in the process


  • 101questions, @ddmeyer: Have you seen something in the world lately that has you thinking “I know there’s a great math lesson in here somewhere?” That’s what all the people who have submitted to 101questions thought, and now they’re testing the theory on visitors to this site before presenting it to students.
    To complete this mission: Respond to the first few that randomly appear, search the database by grade level or submit your own photo or video.
    For your blog post: share what you found the most perplexing and why. Would you try a lesson based on one of these in your classes?


  • Estimation180, @mr_stadel: Looking for a warm-up to get your students’ brains in math mode? Estimation is a skill that frequently gets left out of upper level curriculum, but is key to critical thinking. This site is filled entirely with intriguing estimation puzzles.
    To complete this mission: Scan the archives and make some estimates of your own, then share with a group of students to see how strong their estimation muscles are or submit your own problem.
    For your blog post: share some ideas on how to incorporate estimation into your classroom.


  • VisualPatterns, @fawnpnguyen: This site is also great for warm-ups, or full-length lessons! This database of visual patterns is ideal for building reasoning skills, introducing variables and asking students to generalize.
    To complete this mission: Browse the available puzzles or submit your own. Solve some with a class or a student or a friend.
    For your blog post: share how you could use visual patterns in your curriculum and some characteristics of an appropriate pattern for that lesson.


  • Math Mistakes, @mpershan: All of our students make mistakes, sometimes it’s immediately obvious what they were thinking, but other times we have no idea what was going on in their brains or how to correct the misconception they have. This database offers us a place to practice finding misconceptions and discuss what the next step to take with a student might be.
    To complete this mission: Respond to the first few that randomly appear, search the database or submit your own photo of a student mistake.
    For your blog post: share how you help students identify their mistakes and learn from them.


  • One Good Thing, @rdpickle: This blog is a place for a few teachers to share our favorite moments from each day, the reasons we teach and the small celebrations of our and our students accomplishments. Teaching is exhausting and burnout happens all too often, One Good Thing reminds us why it’s worth the effort.
    To complete this mission: Read some posts
    For your blog post: Write a one good thing post on your own blog and if you want to regularly contribute, you can request to be added to the blog (tweet @rdpickle, @samjshah or @crstn85).

productive struggle

  • Productive Struggle, @crstn85: We ask students to engage in productive struggle, but often forget to engage in the same process as teachers. We have lessons that flop despite careful planning, and that’s normal! Productive Struggle is a place to get advice and put all of our expertise together to turn failures into successes.
    To complete this mission: Read some posts and leave comments (on the original poster’s blog if possible)
    For your blog post: Write about your own lesson that went poorly, ask for advice and then submit it!


  • Made4Math, @druinok: Love the dollar section at Target, fabric on your bulletin board or your label maker? You’ll be in good company at this blog!
    To complete this mission: Read some posts and leave comments (on the original poster’s blog)
    For your blog post: Write about a crafty-project you created for your classroom and submit it!


  • MS Sunday Funday, @jreulbach: Middle school teachers are taking over the blogging world, one theme at a time. They pick a theme to write about each week and then share all the posts on this page. They are playing along with Explore MTBoS instead of asking people to double post now, but don’t let that stop you from submitting!
    To complete this mission: Read some posts and leave comments (on the original poster’s blog)
    For your blog post: Write about a recent theme and submit it! (scroll down for the form)


  • #Matheme, @crstn85: Not a middle school teacher but still want to write about a theme? Check out the Math Themed Meme page. This page archives some topics that many people wrote about, either because it’s such an interesting topic or because someone organized a theme.
    To complete this mission: Read some posts and leave comments (on the original poster’s blog)
    For your blog post: Write about any of the themes and submit it! Note: we are going to have a Day in the Life week as part of Explore MTBoS, so don’t use that theme unless you want to do it twice!


  • Mathagogy, @pepsmccrea: Is the written word just not enough for you? Itching to get inside of all these classrooms to see how it really works? Mathagogy lets you do just that, in two minute videos of classroom activities.
    To complete this mission: Watch a video or three and leave a comment or three.
    For your blog post: Write about a lesson you watched and how it will change your approach to that topic, or take some video of your own, write about the lesson and submit it!


  • Collaborative Mathematics, @CollaboMath: Here’s another site with video. This one poses a problem via a short clip, then people respond via video as well. The challenges are intended to cultivate creativity, resourcefulness, self-confidence, and perseverance.
    To complete this mission: Pick a challenge, ponder it, watch the video responses, leave a comment.
    For your blog post: Write about your solution or your analysis of other solutions or post a video and submit it!

I know these aren’t all the collaborative sites out there because while brainstorming this list with the Explore MTBoS team I was introduced to two new ones! So, feel free to share other sites we should add to this list and please don’t feel left out if I skipped your pet project!

When you’ve completed this week’s mission:

  1. Leave a comment on this post – include a url that leads directly to your blog post and a snippet that might convince me to follow the url.
  2. Comment on the blogs of the three commenters above you because they’re awesome and deserve to hear it!
  3. Just because last week was Twitter week doesn’t mean we’re done with Twitter! Tweet your blog post. Use a hashtag and include some extra words (beyond the title which is all wordpress autotweets) so people are more likely to find the post and want to click on it. Go ahead and mention the Twitter account associated with the site, they’ll be excited to see you wrote about it (even if they’re too busy to say thank you, I promise they’re excited).

73 thoughts on “Mission #3: Collaboration Nation

  1. This is a great list of resources. I decided to post about One Good Thing on my blog http://verticalasymptote.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/one-good-thing/. I’m getting all caught up this week!

  2. Nik Doran

    “I cannot stress enough how awesome these projects are for your classroom – so go look, share and collaborate!”

  3. Too often it’s easiest to get caught up in the negative, so I immensely enjoyed One Good Thing. I decided to blog about one good thing in my classroom too! http://mathmama95.com/2013/10/26/say-no-to-yes/

  4. Like other people, I am also trying to get caught up, so I just finished mission #3 on Math Mistakes. I love that I have some new resources to go to for the daily lesson plans. http://cindyflim.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=53&action=edit

  5. Also trying to catch up here! I checked out Estimation180, really easy and great resource!

  6. late to the party..but still can get partial credit right?


    “…There are more talented and more creative teachers than I am. Chances are someone has already looked at this and is working on something that will make me smile….”

  7. Finally got around to posting on this. I did a bit of noticing and wondering from the #matheme page:


  8. So good to see I’m not the only one getting this done weeks after it was posted! I LOVED the Daily Desmos blog, and I wrote about that here:

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