Here are all of the posts about failure from week three of the 2017 Blogging Initiative! Below are the posts, sorted by grade level, with general posts at the bottom. Take time to read and comment if you would like!

**6-8**

**AnnaMarie Pacura** @ampacura, has a blog named I Am a Math Teacher.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled “Take Chances. Make Mistakes. Get Messy.”” and the author sums it up as follows: *My reflection on some of my teaching mistakes, errors, and failures, including teaching about interest, using integer chips, and feeling like a failure this school year; but ultimately remembering the wise words from Ms. Frizzle to “Take Chances. Make Mistakes. Get Messy.”*

**AnnaMarie Pacura** @ampacura, has a blog named I Am a Math Teacher.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Failures as a Math Student” and the author sums it up as follows: *So of course after I posted my week 4 post for the MTBoS Blogsplosion blogging initiative, I thought of some more failures of mine, only this time not as a math teacher, but as a math student. Here are two of my failures in my journey as a math student.*

**Cathy Yenca** @mathycathy, has a blog named MathyCathy’s Blog.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled “We All Fall Down” #MTBoS #MTBoSblogsplosion Week 4” and the author sums it up as follows: *Lesson failures with a common theme. If/when this happens to you, what are your next instructional moves?*

**David Walker** , has a blog named Common Core Geometry.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled The MTBoS, Week 4: My Biggest Failure” and the author sums it up as follows: *I am a math teacher. My biggest problem, though, isn’t my failure to teach math, but my failure to teach science.*

**Algebra 1 or 2**

**Jeny Potier** @jjfreo, has a blog named Mathematics Dreaming – Rational to Real.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled On Curiosity and Wonderment” and the author sums it up as follows: *Don’t Bore your students with another maths ‘investigation’! Change the lexicon – Challenge them to use their curiosity and wonderment while at play!*

**Karen Campe** @KarenCampe, has a blog named Reflections and Tangents.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Where Are You? I’ll Meet You There” and the author sums it up as follows: *Mistakes I have made in teaching without knowing where my students are in their learning before I started the lesson. Important to use formative assessment to guide teaching decisions, structure lessons to guide students’ conceptual understanding, and use technology wisely. Reflect and improve with help from the MTBoS!*

**Liz Mastalio** @MissMastalio, has a blog named Mastalio. Math. Mavericks..

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Brain Melts and Typos” and the author sums it up as follows: *One of my dumber mistakes turned into a kind of cool thing.*

**Jennifer** @abel_jennifer, has a blog named Mathsational.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MTBoSBlogsplosion Week 4: Daily Failures” and the author sums it up as follows: *A summary of all the mistakes that I made in a week, clerical errors during midterms and careless mistakes during lessons.*

**General**

**Sam Shah** @samjshah, has a blog named Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Profound Impact” and the author sums it up as follows: *I muse about what three actions have been most impactful on my growth as a teacher, and then share the blogpost that set one of those actions into gear. *

**TAnnalet** @TAnnalet, has a blog named Chasing Number Sense.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled The Best Intentions…” and the author sums it up as follows: *The most important impact of this fail was that it made me more sensitive to my assumptions, made me question the questions I ask my kids and the prompts I give to them. It made me experience that I can’t force a problem on my students, it has to come from them.*

**Mark Chubb** @MarkChubb3, has a blog named Thinking Mathematically.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Lessons learned from 3 Mistakes” and the author sums it up as follows: *There are different kinds of mistakes we make. Some are small, some are large. My post is about 3 mistakes I’ve made, and things I can generalize because of these mistakes.*

**Gregory Taylor** @mathtans, has a blog named Mathie x Pensive.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Failure is Relative” and the author sums it up as follows: *Can you succeed, and yet still feel like a failure? Do you know of survivorship bias, or of the necessarily failures to achieve success? I push back. Then, the story of the time I nearly left teaching over ten years ago.*

**Nathaniel Highstein** @nhighstein, has a blog named 17Goldenfish.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Students Know” and the author sums it up as follows: *I learned as a new art teacher that students are much more interested in their teacher being honest than in their teacher being a hero.*

**Big Honkin’ WordPress** @sergtpeppa, has a blog named Big Honkin’ WordPress.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Week 4: We All Fall Down” and the author sums it up as follows: *A look back at all the things I would do over this week. Spoiler: There are lots, even in a calmer week.*

**Marissa W** @viemath, has a blog named La Vie Mathematique.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled I’m An Expert at Making Mistakes #MTBoSBlogsplosion” and the author sums it up as follows: *This post is about three mistakes that I’ve made in teaching that stick out to me – one about a lesson I’ve taught, one about planning, and one about managing behavior.*

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For the last week of the blogging initiative, we are going to try to push you slightly out of your comfort zone.

As teachers, we are striving to do good by our students. And often times, we post on our blogs things that worked well. Engaging activities, rich problems, neat teaching tips that we invented that save us time and energy, whatever. And as we go through our blog readers, we get inspired! Our minds whirr! And if you’re anything like… all of us… there’s a little tinny voice in your head saying: “Wow, I suck. Everyone else in the world is doing amazing things everyday in their classroom, and I’m falling down left and right. *Pout* *Sadface*”

But here’s the thing: we all are constantly making mistakes every day. *Times where we could have made better choices. Mathematical errors that we accidentally teach our kids. Things we said to a colleague or student that wish we could have taken back. Terrible curricular sequencing decisions. Asking bad questions. Facilitating groups poorly. *I don’t know about you, but I think I made about (give or take three) a bajillion mistakes each day.

“We all fall down.”

And the thing is: people in the #MTBoS don’t make a point of regularly blogging about mistakes, errors in teaching, poor decisions. It’s compelling to have a great class/activity/moment and want to share it with others. For others, yes, but also for you. There’s a moment of pride when you hit “post.”

What I argue is that although less compelling, sharing those other moments — the failures — is important. For your own reflection, yes. But mainly for others. Yes, maybe others can learn from your mistakes. But I think that it could lead to something bigger: *a normalizing of making mistakes/errors/failures* as part of our own growth as teachers. Shite that doesn’t go well? Why does that have to be our own private shame? It’s *normal*. That’s what we want kids to do in their learning process, right? So we in the #MTBoS should do the same!

So here’s your task:

You are going to write a blogpost about one mistake/error/failure you made, and proudly and publicly share that with the world. *OR*… and this is more ambitious but wow would reading this keep us glued to the screen… keep a log of teaching failures for a day, a few days, or even the entire week… and then publish it!

We recognize that this prompt could make you feel deeply uncomfortable. So we wanted to give an alterna-prompt for you if this is absolutely beyond you right now. (And that is OK!) If you are just not into writing about failures, you should *take a photograph of something related to your teaching* and write a post using that photograph as the central idea. This is super open-ended, and you should interpret it as you wish!

**Deadline: Press submit by the end of the day Saturday, January 28, 2017.**

Once you are finished with your blog post, fill out the form below and your blog post will be featured on this site next week!

Don’t forget to tweet your post out with the hashtags #MTBoS #MtbosBlogsplosion

If you want to know where some of the inspiration for this post came from, it was from a “CV of Failures” that was making it’s rounds around the twitterverse a number of months ago. Here’s an excerpt from an article about the CV:

And here’s the article itself.

]]>**6-8**

**Learning Behind the Learning** @MNmMath, has a blog named mNm Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Learning Behind the Learning” and the author sums it up as follows: *This post is about the things I do to ensure all students are vested in our math class. I share a few teacher techniques I use to create a learning environment where all are engaged and feel safe to take risks and become part of our learning community.*

**Melynee Naegele** @MNmMath, has a blog named mNm Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Inspiration” and the author sums it up as follows: *Inspiration comes from fellow math revolutionaries. It can also come from mathematicians who have come before like those found in Hidden Figures. Find your comrades to keep yourself grounded, motivated and fueled for the good fight!*

**David Walker** , has a blog named Common Core Geometry.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled The MTBoS, Week 3: Middle School Math Links” and the author sums it up as follows: *Most MTBoS bloggers are high school teachers. So here I provide links to several of my fellow middle school teachers.*

**Pat Ciula** , has a blog named Just MSU.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Out of the Woods” and the author sums it up as follows: *I have gained so many insights from the collective wisdom of the MTBoS! In this post I offer possible reasons for student disengagement during a hands-on task. *

**AnnaMarie Pacura** @ampacura, has a blog named I Am a Math Teacher.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Reading & Sharing in the #MTBoSBlogsplosion ” and the author sums it up as follows: *Since going public with my twitter account and being introduced to the MTBoS, I have connected with so many other amazing math teachers all over the world, and have brought things into my own middle school math classroom, that I never would have thought of on my own. This post shares just some of the specific blogs and posts that have helped me grow and become a better math teacher.*

**Algebra 1 and 2**

**Cindy Cravens** @cindycravens, has a blog named Engineering Algebra.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Catching up to MTBoS Blogging Inititative for 2017” and the author sums it up as follows: *I list a few of my favorite things that I like to use in my classroom. Desmos & hyperdocs are a couple. I also discuss soft skills.*

**Mark Kreie** @kreiem, has a blog named Kreie classroom – 1:1 Laptops, Team Teaching, and the CCSS.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Explore MTBoS 2017 – Week 3” and the author sums it up as follows: *One of my favorite blogs to read is the Desmos Blog.*

**Micaela Newman** @altmath, has a blog named Alternative Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Quadratics: Sharing the Love MTBoS Blogging Initiative” and the author sums it up as follows: *Keeping track and sharing of some great resources for planning my Quadratic Functions unit. *

**Geometry**

**Jennifer Abel** @abel_jennifer, has a blog named Mathsational.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MTBoSBlogsplosion Week 3: Blog Props” and the author sums it up as follows: *Katrina Newell is making great google interactive activities that everyone should know about. She had great ideas about how to replace some of your cut and paste proof activities with drag and drop google assignments. She’s awesome!*

**PreCalculus**

**Lucy Logsdon** @lsauared76, has a blog named Dividing by Zero.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MTBoSBlogsplosion Round #3” and the author sums it up as follows: *Trigonometry is looming…new semester means new classes and a new interactive notebook. Love the ideas I get from the #MTBoS!*

**General**

**Amy Zimmer** @zimmerdiamonds, has a blog named Ms. Z Teaches in Mathland.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Great Posts a Round 2/3 Combo” and the author sums it up as follows: *A very short post on two of my favorite soft skills math bloggers*

**Liz Mastalio** @MissMastalio, has a blog named Mastalio. Math. Mavericks..

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Not My Words” and the author sums it up as follows: *I went through my tagged feedly folders and picked some of my favorite inspirational, funny, or useful blog posts from other math teachers. Mostly, I just wanted to show off some of my favorite blogs.*

**Jenni Clarkin** @mrsclarkin, has a blog named Something to Smile About.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Doing your own PD when you aren’t getting what you need!” and the author sums it up as follows: *How one person, me, learned how to use social media for PD when she wasn’t getting what she needed from her school. Resources and examples provided including two great recent blogger posts.*

**Nathaniel Highstein** @nhighstein, has a blog named 17Goldenfish.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Read and Share: Some Important Voices in My Classroom” and the author sums it up as follows: *I thought that I would share a few of the voices who have had the greatest day-to-day impact in my own classroom, and have linked their name to a recent post that taught me something or caused me to reflect on my practice. *

**Cheryl Leung** @MathEasyAsPi, has a blog named MathEasyAsPi.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Math for Small Children and Others” and the author sums it up as follows: *Math should be fun whether you are five or fifteen. My blogpost highlights a great blog that marries art and math for young children. It also highlights a blogpost for high school students that looked like so much fun that I spent the next two days making a middle school variation. Finally, it highlights a blog that keeps me from complacency. *

**Gregory Taylor** @mathtans, has a blog named Mathie x Pensive.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Sharing: Days in the Lives” and the author sums it up as follows: *Many educators have been blogging their “Day in the Life” this school year. This is a random compilation of over 20 of those posts, stretching from Aug 2016 to Jan 2017. Why not pick one (or more) summation(s) that you like, and drop by their website(s)?*

**Denise Gaskins** @letsplaymath, has a blog named Let’s Play Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Hidden Figures Teaching Resources” and the author sums it up as follows: *I’ve collected several blog posts and resources for teaching about the movie Hidden Figures.*

**SergtPeppa** @sergtpeppa, has a blog named Big Honkin’ WordPress.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled What I’m Reading” and the author sums it up as follows: *A post on Dan Goldner’s Fault-Tolerant Mathematics Programs and Chris Lehmann’s Making Advisory Work. Plus some other good people that I try to read.*

**John O’Malley IV** @jomalleyiv, has a blog named Functions Are Fun.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Loving Local – Shoutout to Illinois Bloggers” and the author sums it up as follows: *In the spirit of reading other blogs, I have focused on looking at some of my fellow bloggers from my state of Illinois. *

**Marissa W** @viemath, has a blog named La Vie Mathématique.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled You Guys Are Great #MTBoSBlogsplosion” and the author sums it up as follows: *Posts that I’ve read that helped me in some way, from lesson planning to great teaching, to random ones that I’ve read recently. *

Many of you probably landed here because of blogposts written by other math teachers. So, this week let’s all give back to the community by sharing our favorite blog post or posts!

**This week, the prompt is Read and Share! **

We will read blog posts by other math educators and then chose one (or many) to write about on our blogs.

**You can either:**

- Write about a single blogpost. Please leave a comment on their post!
- Compile a bunch of blogposts that you love. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- You can pick a bunch of various posts.
- You can blog around a theme. Examples:
- A unit you are getting ready to cover
- Helpful classroom tools or ideas
- People or posts that inspire you
- And more and more!!

- You can read blogs by people who are in your area and blog about them. Yes, the #MTBoS has a search engine that can show you that!

**Helpful tips**

Please include a link back to the post(s) your are referring to in your post. To add a link to your post, highlight the text you want to link, and then click the paperclip looking icon.

**Where to find great posts!**

RIGHT HERE is a great place to start, especially since many of our contributors are first time bloggers and would love to get feedback. Please look through the posts from the first two weeks of this initiative (listed at the end of this post) and pick one that appeals to you, then blog about it!

Yes! That exists! Google search is great, but has it’s limitation. This is a Google Search that was designed by John Stevens, and is the number one place to search for topics ONLY from blogs posts. The example below shows the results on a search for quadratics.

The #MTBoS directory helps you find teachers in the #MTBoS using many different parameters, including geographical region, academic content/interest, special interests and more! You can also add yourself to the directory!

**Deadline: Press submit by the end of the day Saturday, January 21, 2017.**

Once you are finished with your blog post, fill out the form below and your blog post will be featured on this site next week!

Don’t forget to tweet your post out with the hashtags #MTBoS #MtbosBlogsplosion

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**Grades 6 – 8**

**Jdaomath** @jdaomath, has a blog named mathemusings..

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Soft Skills: Building Confidence” and the author sums it up as follows: *Exploring different structures and strategies that build student confidence. Student jobs, Open Ended Warm-ups, Error Analysis/ My Favorite No. *

**David Walker** , has a blog named Common Core Geometry.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled The MTBoS, Week 2: Two Important Soft Skills” and the author sums it up as follows: *One important soft skill is how to ask the students questions. A second is how to listen to their answers.*

**Tom Hall** @trigoTOMetry, has a blog named Trigotometry.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MTBoSBlogsplosion: Positive Praise” and the author sums it up as follows: *My growth in using positive praise this year and how I want to use it in the future.*

**AnnaMarie Pacura** @ampacura, has a blog named I Am a Math Teacher.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled The Soft Skills of Teaching Middle School Mathematics” and the author sums it up as follows: *My reflection on the unique set of soft skills that are needed to be a great middle school math teaching, including the passion of being a learner, and the delicate balance that is teaching middle schoolers.*

**Cathy Yenca** @mathycathy, has a blog named MathyCathy’s Blog.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Teaching ^(Adolescent Humans) Mathematics #MTBoS #MtbosBlogsplosion” and the author sums it up as follows: *Check out a few classroom-culture-building experiences that have evolved in my middle school mathematics classroom. *

**Algebra 1 or 2**

**Laura Jenkins** @mrsjtweetsmath, has a blog named Mrs. J’s Classroom.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled These are a few of my favorite things…from the #MTBoS” and the author sums it up as follows: *3 things stolen from #MTBoS that you can use in your classroom today!*

**Pre-Calculus**

**Aimee Shackleton** @aimeeshack, has a blog named Techsponential learning.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Favourite websites – Desmos classroom activities” and the author sums it up as follows: *An introduction to using Desmos.com in the classroom, focusing on classroom activities.*

**Fracqua** , has a blog named Matematici.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled How to test a lot without testing much” and the author sums it up as follows: *Here I talk about my struggles in the search of a balance between testing students often and freeing students from tests.*

**General**

**Sam Shah** @samjshah, has a blog named Continuous Everywhere But Differentiable Nowhere.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Girls and Math” and the author sums it up as follows: *This post takes snippets of my year that revolve around encouraging girls in mathematics. It is not a success story, nor is it a failure. It has just given me some food for thought.*

**Micaela Newman** @altmath, has a blog named Alternative Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Soft Skills: MTBoS Blogging Initiative ” and the author sums it up as follows: *Reflection on what we mean by soft skills and how they sow up in my teaching. Also..be kind to yourself. If you are thinking about this, you probably have some skills *

**Liz Mastalio** @MissMastalio, has a blog named Mastalio. Math. Mavericks..

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Honestly, the Math is Secondary” and the author sums it up as follows: *The most important thing you can do is get to know your students as people. Even when they don’t want you to. You just have to be sneaky about it.*

**Pat Ciula** , has a blog named Just MSU.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Week 2, With Time to Spare!” and the author sums it up as follows: *Not feeling like I could add anything significant about Soft Skills, I shared two remarkable and insightful contributions made by others, and included some Talking Points.*

**Nolan Doyle** @ndoyle1015, has a blog named Math Mulligans.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Soft Skills” and the author sums it up as follows: *I believe every interaction you have with your students involves soft skills. There are some soft skills I feel come naturally to me yet others that are much more challenging. For those more challenging soft skills, I have to set goals and create structures in my classroom and instruction to help me improve.*

**Anna Blinstein** @borschtwithanna, has a blog named Borscht With Anna.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Why Might Students Be Motivated in Math Class” and the author sums it up as follows: *One aspect of “soft skills” is motivating students to care about your class and put work into learning mathematics. I have recently been thinking about the ways that different groups of students might be motivated or connect to the class in different ways and how we might need to structure the class and our interactions with them differently. *

**Jamie Garner** @mavenofmath, has a blog named mavenofmath.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Math Story” and the author sums it up as follows: *Every teacher has a story. Here is mine.*

**Jennifer Abel** @abel_jennifer, has a blog named Mathsational.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MTBoSBlogsplosion Week 2: Soft Skills – Collaboration” and the author sums it up as follows: *Using Kagan Strategies to to structure collaborative assignments.*

**Karen D. Campe** @KarenCampe, has a blog named Reflections and Tangents.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Exams Ahead!” and the author sums it up as follows: *Preparing for semester exams: how to be successful and not overwhelmed.*

**Gregory Taylor** @mathtans, has a blog named Mathie x Pensive.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Soft Skills: The Middle Ground” and the author sums it up as follows: *I claim I have soft skills, but only use them by request, in part because dealing with people is exhausting. Is that just me? Also, a tip about finding “the middle ground” between love and hate, and how familiarity can be a factor.*

**Denise Gaskins** @letsplaymath, has a blog named Let’s Play Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Math Inspirations: Why Study Mathematics?” and the author sums it up as follows: *If you or your students are singing the “Higher Math Blues,” here are some quotations that may cheer you up — or at least give you the strength of vision to keep on slogging.*

**Jenn Vadnais** @RilesBlue, has a blog named Communicating Mathematically.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Teacher Moves – Soft Skills” and the author sums it up as follows: *The post provides concrete examples of how teachers can use soft skills in their daily interactions with students.*

**Nathaniel Highstein** @nhighstein, has a blog named 17Goldenfish.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled MTBoS 2017 Soft Skills: My Grade 8 Exit Trip” and the author sums it up as follows: *This post includes some details of a trip I organize each year at the end of 8th grade. Students have a chance to showcase some academic skills, but the important message is that we love them and that they are strongest when they demonstrate that they love each other.*

**Cheryl Leung** @MathEasyAsPi, has a blog named Math Easy As Pi.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled A Matter Of Belief” and the author sums it up as follows: *My post is a sideways examination of soft skills. I wrote about a young woman gaining confidence in her abilities in math and the things that I think might have helped her discover her very real strength. *

**Marissa W** @viemath, has a blog named La Vie Mathématique.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Soft Skills: Encouraging Perseverance #MTBoSBlogsplosion” and the author sums it up as follows: *This post is about how I encourage perseverance by using vertical and horizontal non-permanent surfaces, and Sara VanDerWerf’s Scale of Persistence videos about people stuck on an escalator and a beagle going after a chicken nugget. *

**Pamela Rawson** @rawsonmath, has a blog named rawsonmath.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled “I’m not good at math.”” and the author sums it up as follows: *A brief glimpse into how I work with my students to get them to move from “I can’t” to “I can.” Teaching skills through problem solving teaches my students that they are capable of doing more than just arithmetic or following algorithmic solutions.*

**Janet Hollister** @JanetHollister, has a blog named Pi R Sqaure.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Soft Skills – Building From Strength” and the author sums it up as follows: *In this blog post I remember a student that was an amazing problem solver when it comes to 3-D puzzles and struggled with procedural math. We used his visualization skill to help him find success in mathematics.*

**Wwndtd** @wwndtd, has a blog named What Would Neil deGrasse Tyson Do?.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MTBoSBlogsplosion: Soft Skills” and the author sums it up as follows: *Distancing their verbal responses from the specter of “correct” has been really useful in getting more kids to talk more often. *

**Mark Chubb** @markchubb3, has a blog named Thinking Mathematically.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled The smallest decisions have the biggest impact!” and the author sums it up as follows: *How do we know how much scaffolding to provide? When do we give it? What does it look like? This post offers thinking behind our little decisions we make, and what those decisions mean for our students. *

**Julie Reulbach** @jreulbach, has a blog named I Speak Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Student Blogging Class, 2017” and the author sums it up as follows: *This post is about a blogging class that I teach during the Winterm week at my school. I love that I get to share blogging with students, and that I get to teach something other than math for one week of the year.*

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Years ago, Riley Lark spearheaded an amazingly awesome virtual conference on Soft Skills. It was in 2010 to be specific, and the blogging prompt was on something we don’t often talk about:

I’ve organized a ‘conference’ to focus more specifically on the soft skills we need to be effective teachers. Not the killer worksheets, or the progressive grading systems, but **on the skills of raising children**. This conference is a great opportunity for us to share the way we bring out the shy kids in our classes, handle teasing, build confidence, create opportunities for leadership, and acknowledge the beauty and significance of the blossoming lives for which we are responsible.

My contribution to this virtual conference was one of the hardest things for me to write. I spent days thinking about it, and after I had finished writing a long winded post, I realized how much veneer I had put on my thoughts, and how I am really crappy at soft skills. So I deleted it all and started over. I love kids and I love teaching, but these “soft skills” are hard. But they are central to being a master teacher.

So here’s your challenge…

**This Week’s Theme: Soft Skills**

- Go look at that virtual conference. Read some of the blogposts whose summaries speak to you. And peruse the sample prompts Riley included at the bottom of this post calling for presenters to help you brainstorm ideas.
- Write your own blogpost on soft skills. It could be analytic or emotional. It could capture a teacher move or response you have, or it could be a story.

(In my opinion, Rebecka Peterson is the master of soft skills, and she writes about them on the one-good-thing blog regularly. Not explicitly. But I learn about soft skills by reading about her moments, her feelings, her empathy, her graciousness. She shows, not tells.) - Tweet out your blogpost! Be sure to include the hashtags #MTBoS #MtbosBlogsplosion in your tweet!
- Once you are finished with your blog post, fill out the form below and your blog post will be featured on this site next week!

**Deadline: Press submit by the end of the day Saturday, January 14, 2017.**

**Grades 6 – 8**

**Cheryl Leung@** @MathEasyAsPi, has a blog named Math Easy As Pi.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Minions In Math – My Favorite Thing” and the author sums it up as follows: *Miniature robots zoomed across coordinate planes, putting on light displays at ordered pairs. This was the perfect way to review linear relationships and introduce systems of equations while simultaneously developing some coding experience. *

**Melynee Naegele** @MNmMath, has a blog named mNm Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled One of My Favorites” and the author sums it up as follows: *Tools I use to streamline instructional routines.*

**AnnaMarie Pacura** @ampacura, has a blog named I Am A Math Teacher.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled MTBoS 2017 Blogging Initiative: My Favorites” and the author sums it up as follows: *I shared my favorite middle school math resources that have used so far this year in my 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Algebra 1 classes, and one that I hope to use soon.*

**David Walker** , has a blog named Common Core Geometry.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled The MTBoS Week 1: My Favorite Game” and the author sums it up as follows: *Last year I was a sub, and I played this game to engage the students. Now I’m a full-time teacher, and this game works great when introducing new material.*

**Algebra 1 and 2**

**Julie Morgan** @fractionfanatic, has a blog named fractionfanatic.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favourites” and the author sums it up as follows: *A new favourite foldable made this year. It’s purpose is to help my pupils understand how to sketch quadratics.*

**Nathaniel Highstein** @nhighstein, has a blog named 17Goldenfish.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled MTBoS 2017: My favorite… tool for teaching transformations” and the author sums it up as follows: *Using Desmos Marbleslides consistently across function families has made a huge difference in my students’ comfort and facility in transforming graphs from a parent function. Fun, depth of understanding, and perseverance!*

**SB Vaughn** @vaughn_trapped, has a blog named vlogakavaughnlog.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Completing The Square Completes Me” and the author sums it up as follows: *I just love completing the square. It can make heroes!*

**Taylor Cesarski** @tcesarski, has a blog named Exponential Growth.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled MTBoS My Favorite Thing” and the author sums it up as follows: *As a student teacher, I’m excited to implement two-column practice this semester as a way for students to practice working with equations while also talking about mathematics! Collaboration on this activity allows students to be accountable for their mistakes and work together towards mastery. *

**Trever Reeh** @treverreeh, has a blog named Math Techniques and Strategies.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorite Marshmallow Catapult” and the author sums it up as follows: *Students always ask me what parabolas are good for and why you need to know the equation of one? This activity is hands-on and gives students insight on how mathematical modeling will help them in their future.*

**Jennifer Abel** @abel_jennifer, has a blog named Mathsational.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MTBoSBlogsplosion Week 1: My Favorite Lesson So Far This Year – Candy Catapult Quadratics” and the author sums it up as follows: *Algebra 2 students use a catapult to shoot candy, collect data, and write equations of parabolas. They even use parametric equations to make predictions (but don’t tell them that).*

**Geometry**

**Elena Histand Stuckey** @elhistuck, has a blog named Finding the Good.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorites” and the author sums it up as follows: *My post outlines why I finally started a blog and my new favorite idea for using plastic overhead transparencies without the overhead projector. *

**Pre-Calculus**

**Sam Shah** @samjshah, has a blog named Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled 2, 4, 6, 8, What Do We Appreciate? A Card Sort!” and the author sums it up as follows: *I don’t really think of doing card sorts in my class. They take time to create, and I always second guess their value. But I did what I thought was a really basic card sort in my standard precalculus class before we embarked on a unit on sequences, and it turned out to be just challenging enough to generate great conversations. *

**Fracqua** has a blog named Matematiche.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Blogging initiative” and the author sums it up as follows: *Tricks to get students work in groups quickly, happily and effectively*

**Statistics**

**Gregory Taylor** @mathtans, has a blog named Mathie x Pensive.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Fave: Media Math” and the author sums it up as follows: *It’s about a media assignment that involves looking at bias within a student-chosen article about statistics. Includes reference to a webpage that allows analysis of sample sizes, by raosoft.*

**Jenni Clarkin** @mrsclarkin, has a blog named Something to Smile About.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorite Class to Teach” and the author sums it up as follows: *A little about me and why AP Stats is my favorite class to teach. Find out what makes it great and the awesome community of people who are part of it and want you to be too!*

**General**

**Suzanne Milkowich** @smilkowich, has a blog named I Teach Math….

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My favorite thing is….whiteboards!” and the author sums it up as follows: *I reference my three favorite things. Kahoot, the Grudge Game, and whiteboards.*

**Julie Reulbach** @jreulbach, has a blog named I Speak Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled You MUST Try Desmos Activity Builder” and the author sums it up as follows: *Desmos Activity Builder is the favorite thing that I use in my classroom. I created a Desmos Activity Builder that will expose teachers to many of the features Activity Builder has to offer. Go to my post to experience Activity Builder for yourself!*

**TAnnalet** @TAnnalet, has a blog named Chasing Number Sense.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorite: From Sharing to Discussion” and the author sums it up as follows: *I often notice that students are eager to share their ideas but are not paying attention to the ideas of others. I shared an example of a lesson where I noticed authentic mathematical discussion and noted how it was supporting my less confident students. I also have a few questions that I hope the MTBOS community can wonder about with me.*

**Jennifer Potier** @jjfreo, has a blog named Mathematics Dreaming – From Rational to Real.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Two of My Favourites – 2016 in Review” and the author sums it up as follows: *The Mathematics classroom should be a safe, engaging and inspirational place to learn and love Mathematics. This post shares two of my most successful resources in 2016 – one very specific, and one very general. My belief is about learning to let go of a teacher centred learning environment and moving towards a challenging, motivating student-centred atmosphere that encourages exploration, questioning, challenge and collaboration. If your students aren’t challenged, OR if they do not learn to question, then they are NOT learning. *

**Geonz** @geonz, has a blog named Resource ROom Blog.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MTBOS I think I’m here…” and the author sums it up as follows: *It’s about my goal(s) for the year and trying to figure out how to move the blog to my website and have a blog launch page. *

**Micaela Newman** @altmath, has a blog named Alternative Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Student Grouping: My Favorite” and the author sums it up as follows: *A simple way to adjust card sorts by using student groups to enhance discourse. Keeps the students engaged and working with many different voices. *

**Julia Finneyfrock** @jfinneyfrock, has a blog named Designated Deriver .

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorite: Seesaw!” and the author sums it up as follows: *My favorite is about the app Seesaw! Seesaw is an interactive app for students and teachers to share videos, pictures and more! *

**Brianne Beebe** @BusyMissBeebe, has a blog named Busy Miss Beebe.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My New Favorite Routine” and the author sums it up as follows: *I’m loving my new routine. It’s become my favorite thing.*

**Anna Blinstein** @borschtwithanna, has a blog named Borscht With Anna.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MtbosBlogsplosion – My Favorites” and the author sums it up as follows: *Using structured forms for peer feedback has been very helpful for my students this year. I’m sharing a form we have used for write-ups (developed by my awesome colleague Mandy) and one I just made for homework.*

**Greta ** @g_brgmn, has a blog named Count it All Joy.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorites: 2 Equation Activities” and the author sums it up as follows: *SolveMe Mobiles is an app that is easy to use and great for getting students thinking algebraically. Balance Points is a movement activity/brain break that has student physically show the answer to an equation.*

**Algebra’s Friend** @algebrasfriend, has a blog named Algebra’s Friend.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Don’t judge a book by its cover – preview it!” and the author sums it up as follows: *I recommend Stenhouse Publishers as a site for previewing professional reading.*

**Wwndtd** @wwndtd, has a blog named What Would Neil deGrasse Tyson Do?.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #MTBoSBlogspolsion: My Favorite” and the author sums it up as follows: *So many dry erase fumes, so little time! (Maybe that’s why everyone loves whiteboards!)*

**Jamie Garner** @mavenofmath, has a blog named Maven of Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled #mathconfession” and the author sums it up as follows: *Mathematicians and teachers of mathematics are not perfect. Here is my #mathconfession. What’s yours?*

**Denise Gaskins** @letsplaymath, has a blog named Let’s Play Math.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorite Math Games” and the author sums it up as follows: *I’ve posted a lot of math games in 10+ years of blogging. Here, I’ve collected links to 26 games for preschool through adult players.*

**SergtPeppa** @sergtpeppa, has a blog named Big Honkin’ WordPress.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorite: Group Roles” and the author sums it up as follows: *Some thinking on groupwork roles and how we’ve thought through them and implemented them for emerging multilinguals.*

**Liz Mastalio** @MissMastalio, has a blog named Mastalio. Math. Mavericks..

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorite: Classroom Tool” and the author sums it up as follows: *My favorite (and my student’s favorite) thing about my classroom is when we write on the tables with dry erase markers. It’s a motivational tool that makes my students more comfortable making mistakes!*

**Pamela Rawson** @rawsonmath, has a blog named rawsonmath.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorite Games” and the author sums it up as follows: *Advisory is about building relationships. Sometimes you have to put aside the work and just play a game together.*

**Janet Hollister** @JanetHollister, has a blog named Pi R Square.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorite Math Practice” and the author sums it up as follows: *This post is about how my understanding of the math practices has developed over time and how I have come to appreciate MP 7. *

**Anne Nedved** @anedved, has a blog named Growing the Math Mind.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled New learning for the new year.. My favorite strategy” and the author sums it up as follows: *Three strategies that have transformed my teaching*

**Adrienne Jones** @aidigator, has a blog named Like a Good Teacher I Try New Things.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My Favorites” and the author sums it up as follows: *Making connections to my students and how that is as important as the math that happens. I let them know a bit about me which builds trust. *

**John O’Malley IV** @jomalleyiv, has a blog named Functions Are Fun.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled Marker Magic – Practice @ The Board” and the author sums it up as follows: *This post is about one of my favorite ways for students to practice skills. *

**Keegan Phillips** @missmathematic, has a blog named inspiredmath.

The post for the Blogging Initiation is titled My favorite…” and the author sums it up as follows: *When you’re passionate about 5 million different pursuits and things, how can you choose just one? This is exactly why I want to teach!*

With the start of a new year, there is no better time to start a new blog! For those of you who have blogs, it is also the perfect time to get inspired to write again!

Please join us to participate in this years blogging initiative! To join, all you need to do is write just one post a week for the next four weeks. To make it easier for you, we will post a new prompt every Sunday! Once you have blogged, please fill out the form below. Each week, your blogs will be posted on this site for all to enjoy!

**This Week’s Theme: My Favorites**

This week, the blogging theme will be “My Favorites”, where you can post about one (or many) of your favorite things! Called a “My Favorite,” it can be something that makes teaching a specific math topic work really well. It does not have to be a lesson, but can be anything in teaching that you love! It can also be something that you have blogged or tweeted about before. Some ideas of favorites that have been shared are:

- A lesson (or part of one) that went great
- A game your students love to play
- A fun and/or effective way to practice facts
- A website or app you love to use in class
- An organizational trick or tip that has been life changing
- A product that you use in your classroom that you can’t live without!

**Blog Newbies!**

If you are brand new to blogging, you can read Starting A Blog from the 2015 initiative. This post will give you specific instructions on how to start a blog.

**Hot Tip! Don’t stress about your blog name!**

The hardest part about blogging is often coming up with a title. Do not let this detail derail you! A great suggestion is to make your blog address your name. Then, you can title your blog later – or change the title anytime you want! To see what this looks like, check out Sam Shah’s blog. His web address is samjshah.com, but the site name is “*Continuous Everywhere But Differentiable Nowhere*“. No one cares about your blog name, they just want to read interesting, inspiring, and helpful posts!

**Hashtag it! #MTBoS #MtbosBlogsplosion **

Don’t forget to tweet out your blog link and add hashtags so other teachers in the MTBoS community can easily find your post! If you are not tweeting yet, you should be! There is an amazing community of math educators there just waiting to inspire and support you! Check out How To Start a Twitter Account to get started! Also, if you are brand new to Twitter or just want to get more out of it, there are more Twitter tips on Julie Reulbach’s blogpost, Tweet, Connect, Repeat.

This year, we are joining up with the #mtbosblogsplosion. Special thanks to Carl Oliver, @carloliwitter, for jump starting blogging for many people in our community!

Hashtags to add to your tweets: #MTBoS #MtbosBlogsplosion

Also, if you have a wordpress blog, please re-blog this post to get the word out!

**Deadline: Press submit by the end of the day Saturday, January 7, 2017.**

Yes, this is a quick turn around this week – but we don’t want you to put it off or delay! Once you are finished with your blog post, fill out the form below and your blog post will be featured on this site next week!

]]>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:

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```Dear #MTBoS please be more boring. https://t.co/Rfg1dezHSC

— Kate Nowak (@k8nowak) January 4, 2016

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:

- Tweet out the link to your blogpost with a short description, and include the #MTBoS hashtag.
- If you’re a mentee, email your mentor the link! And if you’re a mentor, read and comment on your mentee’s post!
- In the comments to
*this blogpost here*, throw down the link to your blogpost and a short teaser. - 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!

]]>This week, the blogging prompt is going to be around **questioning**.

Ages ago (in internet time, that would be 2010), Dan Meyer showed us an infamous example of a bad textbook question.

Around that time, I was figuring out how to switch from saying “soooo… any questions?” to “what questions do you have?”

How we question — on assessments, verbally — and how students learn to question is an important part what we do on a daily basis. Good questioning can provoke class discussion, debate, uncover misconceptions, and invoke curiosity and wonder.

This blogging prompt is designed to help all of us think a bit more about our own questioning. Pick one of the following and blog about it!

- You’re planning a lesson and you try to come up with super good question to ask to get kids to think about something. What is that question? Why did you phrase it the way you did? Why do you think it will prompt discussion/thinking?
- You taught a lesson. You asked a question. How did it go? Flop? Success? Muse on why it turned out the way it did. Is there a way to improve the question?
- You come up with a question. You realize there is a better way to ask it. You rewrite it. Talk about this.
- A student asked a question that got you twitterpated. What was the question?
- A student asked a question that really got other students thinking. What was the question?
- A student asked a question and you didn’t know how to answer it well. Now class is over. Think about how you could have responded better.
- A student asked a question. What did that question tell you about their thinking?
- You write an awesome test question. Discuss why you think it’s awesome. If you gave it, how did your kids do. Did it elicit what you hoped? Is there a way to improve it?
- You wrote a test question that sucked. Kids didn’t interpret it correctly, or there was something about it that didn’t quite work. Rewrite it.
- You come up with a question. What is the purpose of the question? Who benefits from the question — you or the student(s)?
- You have a great memory and remember a conversation you had with kids, an interesting back and forth. Type out that conversation!
*Anything else that you can think of that will help you think about questioning.*

**Deadline:** Press submit by the end of the day Saturday, January 30, 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:

- Tweet out the link to your blogpost with a short description, and include the #MTBoS hashtag.
- If you’re a mentee, email your mentor the link! And if you’re a mentor, read and comment on your mentee’s post!
- In the comments to
*this blogpost here*, throw down the link to your blogpost and a short teaser. - 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!

PS. If you enjoyed thinking about questioning, there is a collective #MTBoS blog you can check out! It is called BetterQs, and you can read posts on it, and if you want to become an occasional or regular author, just click on “Want to Join?” at the top of the blog and fill out the form!

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