Week 4 of the 2016 Blogging Initiative!

This is the final week of the blogging initiative! Congratulations on whatever you’ve accomplished. Maybe you’ve written one post, maybe you have an about page and three new posts, or maybe you’ve gone above and beyond the initiative to write still more posts this year. As we’ve mentioned a few times, this week you’ll be sharing about a lesson. Perhaps you’ve already chosen it and compiled all your resources to share. If not, think to the week ahead and consider what you’re teaching (or observing) so that you can be sure to take a photo, gather samples of student work or record part of the conversation (#phonespockets anyone?) to be able to include direct quotes. None of these are required but all require planning ahead so think now about what you might want in your post!

You might think, “But Tina! I’m not teaching an exciting lesson this week!” In which case I will reply, “But Blogger! That’s exactly what we want to read about!” And if you don’t believe me, check this out:

You can choose a lesson that went great and share what exactly made it work for your population. It can be an original, a lesson you found or a medley. You can choose a lesson that went terribly and hypothesize what went wrong. You could ask for help or share your recovery plan like others have on Productive Struggle. You can choose any lesson in between – it went okay, part went well but those ten minutes in the middle were rough, it was your regular routine, you tried changing your routine and it was just fine – whatever you want to write about, we want to read.

Because here’s the thing. No matter what lesson you write about, you’re going to do more than post a lesson plan and move on. You’re going to tell us a story. This community is better than a random site that posts worksheets and lesson plans because you get the story behind it. You learn about the context of the classroom, the personality of the teacher, the mid-class tweaks and the reflection on what they would do differently next time. Context matters, that’s why we had you start with your about page. So tell us a story about a lesson you taught, and give us a glimpse into your inner monologue.

Deadline: Press submit by the end of the day Saturday, February 6, 2016.

If you’d like a little graphic to include in your post, here is a little whatchamacallit we made:


When you’ve written and published your blogpost:

  1. Tweet out the link to your blogpost with a short description, and include the #MTBoS hashtag.
  2. If you’re a mentee, email your mentor the link! And if you’re a mentor, read and comment on your mentee’s post!
  3. In the comments to this blogpost here, throw down the link to your blogpost and a short teaser.
  4. Look at the three comments that are listed above your comment. Click on those three links, read the three blogposts, and talk to the authors by leaving a comment on their blogposts (not here).

And that’s all!

P.S. If you enjoyed thinking about and responding to different prompts each week, sign up for the Global Math Department newsletter. They highlight a few posts each week that are particularly worthy of your attention. One of them is bound to inspire you to write about something – how you approach the same problem, a question you’re exploring based on the post or a tangentially related idea that you now realize other people might want to read about! Plus, there’s a possibility of ongoing blogging prompts in the works – watch the newsletter for updates soon!


Kicking off the 2016 Blogging Initiative

Happy new year! What were your resolutions? Mine are to exercise more and learn to play the ukulele. Oh, and to blog more! Did you resolve to blog more too? Yes? You’re in the right place! No? Where are your priorities?! Make a resolution right now to blog.

We are here to help you accomplish the first month of regular blogging in 2016. Whether you are brand new to blogging, write regularly or have a blog that’s feeling neglected, we will have some prompts for you. This week your task is to prep your blog. Dust it off or set it up, and give it some TLC.


New Bloggers

  1. Get a blog (we use wordpress). The title you choose will identify your blog but it won’t define you so set yourself a brainstorming deadline and then commit.
  2. Set up your blog.
    • Create an ABOUT page. Include your school profile so people can understand your context. It will help your readers foster ecological thinking (from Lani’s TMC presentation).
    • Post a picture.
  3. Comment below with the link to your blog and a tweet sized description! Also tweet out your blog link and description.
  4. Visit some other blogs in the comments and leave a comment on their blog. Welcome everyone to 2016 and cheer them on for joining this initiative!

Don’t have a twitter account? Check out these instructions to get started.

Need a bit more help? There’s a spreadsheet for that! If you missed out on the first round of mentoring we created a more self directed option. Check out the spreadsheet to find someone to guide you through this process.


Comfortable Bloggers

  1. Update your ABOUT page. Polish or add your school profile to that page so people can understand your context. It will help your readers foster ecological thinking (from Lani’s TMC presentation).
  2. Advertise the new blogging initiative and comfortable blogging initiative by publishing a post (feel free to copy this one or write your own).
  3. Comment below with the link to your blog and a tweet sized description! Also tweet out your blog link and description.
  4. Visit some other blogs in the comments and leave a comment on their blog. Welcome everyone to 2016 and cheer them on for joining this initiative!

Want to cheer someone on who really would appreciate it? There’s a spreadsheet for that! If you missed out on the first round of mentoring we created a more self directed option. Check out the spreadsheet to find someone to guide through this process.



Week 4 (posted on Jan 31) you will be blogging about a lesson you’ve taught. It would be a good idea to start thinking about what lesson you might choose so you can be sure to take some pictures before the students leave, you erase the white boards and hand back their work so you have nothing to share!

If you’d like to add a badge to your blog to show that you are a part of this community feel free to include one (or all!) of these:

MTBoS Blogging Initiative        exploreMTBoS        global math logo BW


A New Exploration!

Are you new to the MTBoS? Don’t even remember that MTBoS stands for the unwieldy mathtwitterblogosphere? No worries! This post is for you!

Are you an expert MTBoSer? This post is for you!

Have you flagged in your engagement with the MTBoS and want to re-energize? This post is for you!

Are you looking for your lost pet chinchilla and somehow came across this post in your search for Fluffy-the-Destroyer? This post is not for you. (But good luck! Did you look under the kitchen sink yet?)

Because we love how much we’ve gotten out of working with other math teachers — asking questions, getting lesson ideas, pushing our teaching to be a little less sucky — we want others to join us in our little faculty lounge.


And we want to expand our global math department in both depth and breadth so it is becomes a huge faculty lounge. And here’s our plan…

Stage 1: Spread the word!

Have a colleague who has expressed interest in the cool resources you share? Have a new teacher in your department who is hungry to be awesome? Tell them about this site and tell ’em to sign up! Going to a conference? Tell everyone you meet about your amazing online math community (especially the check-in-clerk at the hotel!) and send them here. Own a blog? Write a post there directing people here, so they can find out about this!

Why do we want everyone looking at this site? Because that’s the only way they can sign up for (dum dum DUM) stage 2!

Stage 2: Mentoring!

From now until December 1st we will have two forms open:

menteeOne form (click here!) for people new to MTBoS who want a mentor. This is for people who are interested, but want a little personal help getting started. Twooter? Blerg? What are these things? Or people who have tried using twitter but are intimidated or don’t quite know how to engage or make it useful. Or people who want to blog but don’t quite know how to start! Or people who have started blogging but need a push…

mentorOne form (click here!) for MTBoS veterans who are willing to mentor. This is for people who have been blogging and tweeting, and are interested in shepherding others as they explore what great things are out there. They’ll connect with those new to the community, and help them find sites of interest to visit, people to talk with, and answer any questions.

The timing is purposeful — NCTM regional conferences as well as many state conferences are happening between now and December. There are a number of speakers who will be talking about the MTBoS! The sign up forms will be open during that time, so we can initiate them all as one group.

Starting in December anyone who knows anything about this community will help all those who want to learn more about the community. Mentors and mentees will be matched up and work together to explore, and mentees will have access to the expertise of the whole community once they learn how to tweet. (We all will watch the #MTBoS hashtag extra carefully, where newbies will be asking questions… and we all will be able to answer ’em!)


During this time in December, newbies will have the opportunity to engage at their own pace to learn about reading blogs, reading and contributing to twitter, organizing all that amazing information and the plethora of other resources this community has to offer. For them, this time will be not about drinking from a firehose and doing everything, but using their mentors to find the things that they might find interesting and useful.

Stage 3: Blogging Initiation!

We are suggesting a new year’s resolution for the entirety of the global math department: blog more. In January we will run a four week blogging initiation, hosted here. It will include entry level prompts for new bloggers as well as challenge prompts for experienced bloggers. Everyone is invited to participate and give back to this amazing community by sharing your expertise and reflecting on your practice.

Stage 4: The Future!

The future holds whatever you can imagine. If you love having a weekly blogging prompt we are negotiating an agreement with the global math department newsletter to bring back Sunday Funday. While official mentoring duties will be complete everyone should be looking out for new recruits and getting ready to welcome a new crew from the NCTM annual meeting in San Francisco!


Your tasks:

  1. Explore some websites to use with your students.
  2. Visit some websites for your own professional growth.
  3. Comment on this post about what else you’ve discovered.

The MathTwitterBlogosphere is filled with all sorts of amazing resources. You’ve certainly run across some of them as you’ve browsed blogs and Twitter, but there are always still more to find. Here are a few of our favorites. If you discover others in your explorations please leave them in the comments!

At the NCTM booth we had informational pages on many resources. Check out the static pages and then follow the links below to the interactive version!

These are some sites that are fun for you and your students to engage with:

Here’s a site to share with parents to help them engage their kids in mathematical conversation and play: Talking Math With Your Kids.

Analyze some Math Mistakes teachers have submitted, work with other commenters to pinpoint what the student’s misunderstanding is and brainstorm how to help the student correct the mistake. Learn and share how to help students avoid some of their mistakes caused by lack of conceptual development at Nix the Tricks.

When you’re frustrated with all the mistakes students make, remind yourself why you teach by reading several teachers’ One Good Thing from each day of school. Over the summer, refill your enthusiasm repository to overflowing by attending Twitter Math Camp.

Are you a first year teacher? Here are some letters to you: Letter to a New Teacher. Even as a eighth year teacher I enjoy reading them to remind myself of what is important.  This is just one of many Math Themed Memes, coined #matheme that people have participated in.

On Tuesday nights our community holds Global Math Department meetings via webinar. It’s the department and PD you’ve always wished for. You can attend in your pajamas.

If you’d like a window inside a variety of math classrooms, in two minute clips, check out Mathagogy. And here’s another window inside an even wider variety of (mostly math) classrooms, in full-day recaps: A Day in the Life of a Teacher.

Thanks for exploring with us and keep on sharing!


Your tasks:

  1. Pick a handle and a profile image and start a Twitter account.
  2. Find some people to start following on Twitter.
  3. Write your first tweets!
  4. Tweet to @ExploreMTBoS. Say hi and let us know you’re up and going!
  5. Comment on this post and include your Twitter handle and a thought about Twitter.
  6. Try out some of the Twitter mini-missions from the bottom of this post.

You made it to task two! I hope you enjoyed browsing some blogs already. You didn’t read and comment on a blog post yet? Not to worry. Feel free to go back and do that now, and leave a comment on the post. Or even better, wait until after you’ve gotten started on Twitter. Then you can tweet about the blog posts you discover! Reading blogs is not a one time adventure. That mission was the beginning of what will hopefully be a long and informative journey of reading and sharing.

Now, let’s focus on Twitter. Blogs are monologues. You get to share a complete idea with an introduction and a conclusion. And a blog post is static. People can comment but the post itself is just one person sharing a thing. Twitter is about conversations. You get to share snippets of ideas, build understanding, ask questions and it all happens much closer to real time. For the first week, some of you read blog posts that were written several years ago. I wouldn’t recommend trying to catch up on tweets from more than a day ago. That’s not because they aren’t interesting, but because you can only read so much. Twitter is more like stopping by the faculty room than reading a book. Sure, I’m curious what they talked about during first lunch, but I’m here during second lunch, so I’m going to listen to and join in on the conversation happening right now.

Twitter is chatting with the world. You may only know of Twitter as a place for pop stars or people tweeting their breakfast photos, but we promise that the MTBoS sub-community on Twitter is very different.  It’s microblogging. It’s the world’s best teacher’s lounge. It’s a free-flowing and wide-ranging conversational tapestry, a place to ask a pressing question, let off some steam, share and reshare resources, find inspiration and encouragement, and crack hilarious jokes. It’s a great place to tune in, vet an idea, and let your colors shine through.

Get Signed Up:

IMG_6385You’ll need a name to go by on Twitter. This is your username or handle. It’s that thing that starts with an @ that you always see people advertising. It starts like that because if I want to speak to Justin, I want my message directed at Justin: @j_lanier. If he wants to reply back to me, he’ll start his message @crstn85. So, if I want to talk to you, you need a name. It could be your full name, a funny phrase, something mathy, or anything else. I stuck with the username I’ve had since AIM when I was 10; not the brightest idea since I no longer go by Cristina so no one knows what my jumble of letters means. Justin also has some regrets—that underscore is two screens away on the phone keyboard. However, we’re both surviving just fine. Rest assured, your username of choice will not make or break your experience on Twitter. One thing we were both successful at was choosing a short username. A tweet has a 140 character length limit, and that can get tough if you’re trying to talk to three people and one of them is @MathyMcMatherso!

Once you have a name, you’ll need a profile image, or avatar. We would love to see your smiling face—especially if we met you in person at NCTM, because it will help us connect you to the person we talked to. But it doesn’t have to be a photo of you—any square image will do.


Use your face,


or an image,


or your face with an image!

Don’t put this off until later! If you don’t add an image you’ll stay the dreaded egg and people are less likely to follow you because you don’t look any different from a spam bot—a robo-account that sends unwanted messages rampantly. You can change your profile image as often as you want, so there’s no pressure to pick the perfect photo today.

Armed with these two pieces for your new digital identity, head on over to twitter.com and create your account! You’ll want to fill in your profile information for the same reason you want an image, and the same fact holds true – you can edit your profile info whenever you like. If you’re not sure about being public or private read more about a few teacher’s choices on that. Public is certainly preferable as you get started, but you should know (and follow) your school’s social media guidelines. Anecdote: my PreCalc students googled me after I shared that I would be presenting at NCTM. When I returned one of them said, “I wanted to follow you on Twitter but I thought I should wait until graduation.” Teaching kids proper boundaries and not writing anything you wouldn’t want a student or parent to run across are good things to live by regardless. Having a public Twitter account doesn’t change that.

One step in signing up for Twitter is following people. Note that Twitter tries to get you to follow pop stars and corporate brands, but you can skip this step if you want to. Or just unfollow them again right afterwards. In terms of accounts you might actually want to follow here are some suggestions to help get you started:

  • Follow @ExploreMTBoS.
  • Search the MTBoS directory for people who teach the same stuff you do or who have interests that match yours.
  • There are 188 people who wrote their twitter handle on the We Are MTBoS poster at NCTM Boston.
  • Many math professional organizations—like NCTM and affiliates—have Twitter accounts.
  • Check out this list of tweeps (Explorers Spring 2015) – they are recent converts!
  • And of course, you might look to see who the people you follow choose to follow.
Capture convo

If you are only following Anna you won’t see anyone else’s answer to her question.

Once you get started reading your Twitter feed you’ll be able to refine by only following people who tweet things you’re interested in. Some people mix in photos of their (adorable) children, others get really excited about sportsball events. If you can build a balance of elementary, middle school, high school, and college teachers, as well as math education researchers, you will get the full benefit of the diverse perspectives of our community. A great way to build a well-rounded feed is to see who talks to each other. If you notice that you’re only getting to see part of a conversation, follow all the people mentioned in the tweet and your feed will suddenly be filled with a complete conversation.

Start Tweeting:

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 9.17.21 PM

Here’s how to tweet to the @ExploreMTBoS account.

Once you’ve gotten past all the sign-up requirements, it’s time to celebrate with your inaugural tweet! Say something, anything. We won’t take the glory of your first tweet from you, but please make one of your tweets to us – @ExploreMTBoS. Introduce yourself as an explorer and share something about yourself. Leave your Twitter handle and any questions or thoughts you have in the comments of this post as well.

Since Twitter has a character limit there is some shorthand that happens. The forced brevity is awesome for helping you edit down to a single precise thought, but it also means that we use abbreviations for many things. Additionally, since there isn’t space for a pleasant opener, tweets can seem terse. You’ll learn to interpret tone over time, for now assume everything is meant kindly. Please, please ask if you have questions, about abbreviations or anything else! Anyone in this community is happy to help you navigate.

For Twitter to really work, you are going to want to commit to trying it out for a week or more, and that means hanging out. If you just sign up, tweet the mission, and then sign out, you aren’t going to be having mini-discussions and reading other peoples’s mini-discussions! So for this week, at the very least, check your Twitter feed regularly! Write to people and reply to people. Toss out your random musings. Really give it a chance. See what it’s like —and we hope you’ll see what’s caused so many math teachers to fall in love with Twitter. Next week we’ll tell you about how some people organize the information overload so you won’t be permanently overwhelmed!

And now, time for a FAQ. We will continue to develop this FAQ from questions in the comments and the questions that come to @ExploreMTBoS. Just like in class, if you’re wondering, chances are many other people are wondering the same thing. Ask now so we can fill you all in!

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

Who can see my tweet?

If you’re public, potentially anyone. But that doesn’t mean that they will. People mostly read their feed. Your tweet shows up in someone’s feed if they are following you. People also read their mentions. Your tweet shows up in someone’s mentions if you include their @name. Check out part 2 of this guide if you’re ready for the nitty gritty details.

What’s with the #?

When there are a lot of people talking, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Hashtags like #NCTMBoston and #MTBoS let people search for a specific topic and see everyone who is talking about it. This is a great way to find new people to follow, or to follow along with an event without having to follow all the people there. Fun fact: the # has many names, including octothorpe! (History of the octothorpe via video and podcast).

What are chats?

Some people like having conversations in real time rather than spread out across the day. They meet to discuss specific topics at a certain time. They use hashtags as well, so everyone participating searches for the hashtag to see everyone involved in the conversation. These conversations can happen really fast; if you’re feeling brave, jump on in! This week there will be special #MTBoS chats to help you get your feet wet.


Fun things to try as you get started or as you move from lurking to engaged. Do a few or do them all!

Twitter Mini-missions:

  • Announce and introduce yourself in a tweet and include the hashtag #MTBoS.
  • Pick three people you follow, but with whom you haven’t interacted—recently or ever. Say hello and introduce yourself to them, beginning your tweet with @theirname.
  • Pick three people who follow you, but with whom you haven’t interacted—recently or ever. Say hello and introduce yourself to them, beginning your tweet with @theirname.
  • Open up the #MTBoS feed and peruse it. Retweet something that you find compelling.
  • Announce a blog post you’ve written, new or old. Include #MTBoS.
  • Share a blog post that you’ve read recently that blew you away. Include #MTBoS.
  • Share a question that’s been on your mind about your classroom practice. Include #MTBoS.
  • Take a photo of your chalk-or-smartboard, or of a piece of student work. Tweet it and include #MTBoS.
  • Share an online math resource you really love. Include #MTBoS.
  • Tweet something mundane about your life. Include #MTBoS!
  • #makeupawackyhashtagandtrytogetittocatchon.
  • Respond to a famous person or guru’s tweet.
  • Tweet a favorite quotation or fact about mathematics. #MTBoS it up.
  • Share something awesome about your day of teaching. #MTBoS.
  • Share something hard about your days of teaching. #MTBoS
  • Open up the #MTBoS feed and find some new tweeps to follow.
  • And while you’re there, send a reply to a few interesting tweets you see.
  • Tweet a tweet that’s exactly 140 characters long. #sosweet
  • Think of someone whose tweets you appreciate. On Friday, give them a #FF (Follow Friday) shoutout.

And by the time you’ve done all those things you’ll be wondering how everyone keeps track of all these amazing ideas! Read on to get some help organizing everything.

Mission #7: A Day in Your Life

DITLifeYou’ve read about what other people are doing in snippets and snapshots. You’ve shared about yourself in 140 characters or less. This week is your chance to know more, and to share more. Just about this time last year, a concurrence of events led to people who were frustrated with the perception of teachers by the general public. We wanted the world to know exactly what it is like to walk a mile in our shoes. Some of our shoes drive a long commute while others walk across campus to get to class. Certain teachers’ shoes are tied tight to race from one class to the next as they try to beat their students. Others have a change of shoes as they get out on the track or court or field to coach. All of us have a different story to tell, but we all have tired feet by the end of the day!

While we started with an outside audience in mind, we were each fascinated by everyone else’s stories. The ways people balance home and school. The differences between public, private and boarding schools. The small, large, urban, suburban, rural… The project turned into a fascinating compilation of experiences from across the world. I still hope it opens peoples’ eyes who are outside of the teaching profession, but it opened my eyes to the variety of ways educators manifest themselves.

A fair warning: it’s really challenging to encapsulate an entire day. Some of us started with the alarm going off in the morning and ended with the lights turning out at night. Others stuck to a school day. Even detailing one full class period is a great insight into the mind of a teacher. So, with the challenges in mind, decide how much of your day you want to write about and set out with a notebook (digital or paper) to record one day this week.

If you’re not a classroom teacher, we still want to hear about your day! The prompt is “Day in the Life of an Educator” and if you’re reading this post you’re probably educating someone, somewhere.

You’re welcome to try to describe a typical day, but I think more of the character of teaching comes through when you decide “I choose today!” and write about that day, no matter what happens.

Bonus Options:
Write about the day from the perspective of your shoes.
Document the things you found interesting and examine their potential to be math lessons a la Michael Pershan.
Record yourself (audio or video) describing your day or living it!

And of course, your favorite paragraph: Share your post with a tweet (including #MTBoS and #DITLife) and leave it in a comment below. Then, read and comment on the blog posts of the three commenters directly above you. Be sure that you are commenting on their blog and not here.

If there aren’t enough posts here to satiate you, check out the archive from last year’s Day in the Life. And, because it’s Tina, here’s a form to add yourself to the archive!

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).