2017 Week Four Round Up of #MTBoS Blog Posts, We All Fall Down

The final week!  Sam and I have really enjoyed running the initiative this year.  We hope you will join us next year! And, invite a friend or two!  – Julie

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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2017 Week Two Round Up of #MTBoS Blog Posts

Here are all of the posts about Soft Skills for week two 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! Be on the lookout later today for the prompt for week 3!

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.

 

2017 Week One Round Up of #MTBoS Blog Posts

Thanks to all who posted during week one 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!  Be on the lookout later today for the prompt for week 2!

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!

Blogs

Your tasks:

  1. Read a blog post

  2. Leave a comment on it.

  3. Share about the blog post you read in a comment on this post.

Welcome to our MTBoS Orientation! Below you’ll find an activity to complete, and detailed instructions on how to do it.

In addition to instructions, we’ll also weave in further ways to pursue the activity. Two things we’re aiming for are helping you to connect to quality resources that you’ll find helpful in your classroom, and helping you to connect with other teachers online that you ”click” with. You’ll find ways to push out in both these directions. Everyone’s different—how much prior experience they have online, what their classroom looks like, the areas they hope to grow in, and their personal tastes. We hope you’ll find experiences online that speak to you, and that we can help.

All right, reading a blog post. Let’s look at a few places online where you can find a blog post to read.

1. How to Find a Blog Post to Read:

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a) On the MathTwitterBlogosphere Weebly site, you’ll find some lists of teachers who blog about different age groups and courses, as well as by special interests. They’re a great place to find some blogs to begin reading. You can also check out the site’s page of A Few Good Blog Posts.

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b) Maybe there’s a specific topic you’d like to read about, like quadratics or division or similar triangles. Then you can head over to the MTBoS Search Engine and type that term in. Scroll through the results, pick a post and read it. Not sure what to search for? Random Post button!

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c) Maybe you’d like to read a post by someone with a particular profile—like someone who’s a math coach, or who’s interested in flipped classrooms, or who lives in your state/region/province. Then head over to new MTBoS Directory and poke around for someone. Take a look at their blog and read a post. And maybe while you’re at the directory, you’ll add yourself to it!

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d) For each of the past couple of years, Geoff Krall has compiled and curated a Math Blogging Retrospectus. Community members submit some of their favorite posts of the year—it’s a great place to find some great posts to read! If you find a post you like, definitely go and check out the author’s blog.

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e) If you have some spare time, get lost down the rabbit hole of blog rolls. Many bloggers keep a list of the blogs they enjoy reading in a list on the side of their blog. One of the best ways of finding new blog posts and bloggers is to springboard from blogrolls or other mentions of blogs by bloggers whose work you enjoy.

f) Maybe you already have a blog that you enjoy reading, but there are old posts that you’ve never gotten around to reading. You could take this as a chance to do a deep dive into their archive. Or if you’re on Twitter, maybe there’s someone there whose tweets you enjoy, but you’ve never read their blog. Here’s your chance to see what they can do with more than 140 characters!

2. How to Leave a Comment on a Post:

When you visit a blog, it’s usually a whole page of individual blog posts. In order to comment, you’ll need to be on the page of a specific post, which you can get to by clicking on the title of that blog post. When you scroll down to the bottom of a post, there will be a prompt that says something like “leave a comment” or “leave a reply.” It will ask you for some information. It’s your call if you want to use your real name or come up with a fun pseudonym. Listing your website is optional, don’t feel bad about skipping it. And don’t worry, your email address will not be published with your comment.

When you comment on a blog post, you can write a question to the author, share a related experience or a resource you like, or just express your appreciation to the author.

Maybe the author or another commenter will respond to your comment. You can always return to the blog post at a later time in order to check. If you’d like, you can receive a notification when additional comments on a post are added. There should be a checkbox underneath the comment box giving you the option to “check here for notification of follow up comments.” It’s definitely worth giving it a try!

Making a comment can sometimes hit a snag:

  • You might not see your comment show up on a post right away. Don’t worry: often bloggers moderate the comments on their blog, which means they approve comments before they show up on posts.
  • It can sometimes be tricky to “log in” in order to post a comment. Depending on the platform the blog author uses, you might need to have an account of some kind in order to comment.
  • If you’re not careful, you might hit “back” on your browser, and your comment might get deleted. As a precaution, sometimes you might choose to compose a comment that’s on the long side in another document, and then cut and paste it to the comment box.

If you run into any trouble leaving comments somewhere, feel free to get in touch with us. Email is one way: exploremtbos@gmail.com

3. How to Leave a Comment Here:

Don’t just comment on the blog you read! Once you’ve read a post, come back here to this post and comment on it as well, down below. (The same process applies.) With your comment, you’ll be sharing what you find with your fellow MTBoS explorers. In the comment, include the link to the blog—just copy and paste it—and let us know what you liked about it. Have a look around to see if any of the blog posts shared by the other commenters are compelling to you, and maybe go check some out. That’s another great way to find new blogs—recommendations from fellow travelers. You might even go for extra credit and read and respond to several blog posts!

Have a great time finding some blog posts that inspire and engage you. When you’re ready, click on to task two to get started on Twitter!

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.

dailydesmos

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

mathmistakes

  • 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.

onegoodthing

  • 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

  • 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!

mssundayfunday

  • 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

  • #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

  • 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!

collaborativemathematics

  • 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).

Mission #1: The Power of The Blog

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Sam Shah here, and I’m beyond floored by how many people are interested in participating in Exploring the MTBoS. Floored, and overjoyed.

wowie

[this was a picture from my birthday, but I pretty much look like this all the time]

I honestly thought we’d find a few people out there who were interested in this beautiful, amazing group of math teachers — and BAM! There are a zillion of you, from all over, teaching all sorts of different things, all with differing experiences with blogs and twitter. I can’t tell you how much my heart swelled when I was reading through all the comments of people who signed up. I’m in heaven.

Now let’s see if we can’t make this worthwhile for you.

Almost all of you have read a few math teacher blogs — and that’s what brought you here. So we thought we’d center the first week around blogging… Each week a different one of us (Sam Shah, Tina Cardone, Justin Lanier, and Julie Reulbach) are going to be leading up a mission. This week (obviously) is my week.

So let’s go! Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

Mission #1: The Power of The Blog

For this Explore the MathTwitterBlogosphere program, you’re going to be doing a bunch of different challenges. Each of them is going to end with you doing a little reflection related to what you did. Thus, it’s important (at least for these few weeks) to have a blog to write on. Although we are going to be asking you to keep a blog for these 8 weeks, we are not going to be making you continue it. If you know me, you know that my current mantra about this online community is “There’s no right way to participate in this weird disjointed passionate community. Do what moves you. Do what makes sense for you.”

Part of this experience going outside of your comfort zone and exploring various things to see if any of them will prove useful for you. So try out keeping and writing in this blog for the next few weeks and see how it goes. If it turns out you find it useful and want to continue posting regularly, great. If not, that’s just as great. You have to do what’s useful for you! That being said…

We have two different missions for you, depending on if you have a blog or if you don’t.

If you don’t have a blog, look for the section of this post titled “ACK! I need a blog! Stat!” and only read that. Just skip to that part. Like now! GO!

If you already have a blog, look immediately below to find the section titled “I have a blog… Now what, Mister?!” 

I have a blog… Now what, Mister?!

Your mission is threefold.

1. You are going to write a blogpost on one of the following two prompts.

  • What is one of your favorite open-ended/rich problems?  How do you use it in your classroom? (If you have a problem you have been wanting to try, but haven’t had the courage or opportunity to try it out yet, write about how you would or will use the problem in your classroom.)

  • What is one thing that happens in your classroom that makes it distinctly yours? It can be something you do that is unique in your school… It can be something more amorphous… However you want to interpret the question! Whatever!

Just pick one prompt and post about it!

<rant> Now some part of you might be thinking: my rich problem isn’t rich enough! I’m embarrassed by it! I am new to teaching — so my classroom isn’t really distinctly mine yet. So I don’t have a perfect answer to the prompts! If that happens to you, just write about something similar. But I said this last year when getting people to write their first post: If you feel like you aren’t awesome at teaching, welcome to the club. If you feel constantly like everything else you see out there is better, welcome to the club. So if you’re new to teaching and have material that you’re proud of it, post it! We’re all starting this at different points, but the one thing I’ve learned is that I can steal ideas or be inspired or commiserate with first year teachers as easily as a veteran teacher. So try not to be self-conscious and obsessive. We’re all here to reflect on what we do, and to learn from each other. We’re not trying to be the best and we’re not out to impress each other. We’re out to get better. No one in the mathtwitterblogosphere is judging you, but yourself. So if you’re a sucky writer, own it and don’t worry about not being Tolstoy. If you feel like what you want to write has already been said on a lot of other places, write it anyway. This is you, for you, by you. Phew. </rant> 

2. You are going to write a comment on this blogpost. Your comment will say:

Your name (or pseudonym, if you’re using one)
Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
Your blog name
The title of your post
The URL of your post
One (or two) sentences from your post to capture a reader’s interest

Example:
My name is Sam Shah (@samjshah) and I’m blogging at _Continuous Everywhere But Differentiable Nowhere_. The title of my blogpost is “Senior Letters 2012” (http://samjshah.com/2012/05/31/senior-letter-2012/).

To whet your appetite: “Each year at the end of the school year, I say goodbye to my seniors. And each year, I’ve written a letter to the seniors with some imparting thoughts as they go off in the world.”

3. Once you’ve posted your comment advertising your blogpost, look at the three previous comments (the ones above yours). Read the posts of these three people and write a comment each of their blogs! If you are one of those eager beavers who are the first three to post, just find three comments as people begin to post!

Seriously, that’s it for this week for you! Trust us — we’re going to have more in the coming weeks. But we’re starting with the basics!

ACK! I need a blog! Stat!

You made it here! Phew! Now for your mission. Your mission has a few parts… but don’t be daunted…

1. Come up with a blog title. It can be funny, it can be serious, it can make no sense, whatever. However, my one admonition: don’t spend more than 10 minutes coming up with this blog title. The more you struggle to choose it, the more annoying it is going to be, and I’m afraid you’re going to use this hassle of coming up with a blog title to be enough to stop you from blogging. This cannot happen. Not on my watch! So 10 minutes is all you have.

2. Start a blog. If you have no idea how to do this, go to my favorite blogging site wordpress.com and get a blog! Here’s an awesome two minute video showing the process.


The link is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N0zXEwtjCI

3. Write a short blogpost on one of the following prompts. Yup, you’re already ready to go. See how easy setting up a blog was? EASY!:

  • Who are you? Introduce yourself to the MathTwitterBlogosphere! How’d you get into teaching? What do you like most about your job?
  • What is one of your favorite open-ended/rich problems?  How do you use it in your classroom? (If you have a problem you have been wanting to try, but haven’t had the courage or opportunity to try it out yet, write about how you would or will use the problem in your classroom.)

  • What is one thing that happens in your classroom that makes it distinctly yours? It can be something you do that is unique in your school… It can be something more amorphous… However you want to interpret the question! Whatever!
  • What brought you to the MTBoS? What do you hope to get out of participating in the #MTBoS?

I suppose it can be a long blogpost too. Whatever floats your boat. If you’re adventurous, bonus points (okay, there aren’t really points) and twenty unicorn rainbows (there are real, however!) if you include an image or a video or a link.

<rant> Now some part of you might be thinking: my rich problem isn’t rich enough! I’m embarrassed by it! I am new to teaching — so my classroom isn’t really distinctly mine yet. So I don’t have a perfect answer to the prompts! If that happens to you, just write about something similar. But I said this last year when getting people to write their first post: If you feel like you aren’t awesome at teaching, welcome to the club. If you feel constantly like everything else you see out there is better, welcome to the club. So if you’re new to teaching and have material that you’re proud of it, post it! We’re all starting this at different points, but the one thing I’ve learned is that I can steal ideas or be inspired or commiserate with first year teachers as easily as a veteran teacher. So try not to be self-conscious and obsessive. We’re all here to reflect on what we do, and to learn from each other. We’re not trying to be the best and we’re not out to impress each other. We’re out to get better. No one in the mathtwitterblogosphere is judging you, but yourself. So if you’re a sucky writer, own it and don’t worry about not being Tolstoy. If you feel like what you want to write has already been said on a lot of other places, write it anyway. This is you, for you, by you. Phew. </rant>

4. You are going to write a comment on this blogpost. Your comment will say:

Your name (or pseudonym, if you’re using one)
Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
Your blog name
The title of your post
The URL of your post
One (or two) sentences from your post to capture a reader’s interest

Example:
My name is Sam Shah (@samjshah) and I’m blogging at _Continuous Everywhere But Differentiable Nowhere_. The title of my blogpost is “Senior Letters 2012” (http://samjshah.com/2012/05/31/senior-letter-2012/).

To whet your appetite: “Each year at the end of the school year, I say goodbye to my seniors. And each year, I’ve written a letter to the seniors with some imparting thoughts as they go off in the world.”

5. Once you’ve posted your comment advertising your blogpost, look at the three previous comments (the ones above yours). Read the posts of these three people and write a comment each of their blogs! If you are one of those eager beavers who are the first three to post, just find three comments as people begin to post!

We know this is a lot, asking you: hey, start a blog. But you did it! And you’re going to try it out! And for that, we are proud mama and papa bears! You are awesomesauce!

** Also, please be sure to comment on other bloggers posts on THEIR blogs instead of here.  Everyone loves getting comments on their blogs!