# Think Like a Fitbit: My Ignite! Talk Resources

Welcome back math nerds! And if you’re new to Undercover Calculus, WELCOME! I gave an Ignite! talk at the California Math Council’s conference in Palm Springs. It was called “Think Like a Fitbit: Measure What We Value.” It was an honor to be asked to speak, and I was grateful for the opportunity.

It’s challenging to frame an inspiring argument with enough specific detail so that the call to action is, you know, actually actionable.

So, if you came to my talk and want to know more about these ideas, here are some resources. I hope they further your thinking as much as they’ve furthered mine. If you missed my talk, fear not! I’ve attached a recording of the slide show and attached the movie at the end of this post. Just scroll down. Or you can stream the video of my actual talk on Vimeo.

# How Much Money in the Bowl?

This lesson write-up is for any 5th or 6th (or 7th) grade teacher who wants students to explore decimal concepts and refine decimal operations while exploring a compelling task that is engaging and accessible to all learners. Using an image from Andrew Stadel’s Estimation 180 page, students estimate, investigate, and then calculate the value of a bowl full of coins and demonstrate learning for 5.NBT.2, 5.NBT.7, and 6.NS.3. The write-up contains a lesson pathway with specific questions and instructional moves to consider, analysis of the opportunities for student learning, and other wisdoms and insights we learned from teaching this lesson as a part of a lesson inquiry.

Give it a try with your own students. And then tell me how it went. Let’s get better together.

# Think Like A FitBit: Measuring What We Value

Welcome back math geeks!  Dusting off the old blog to share some of what I’ve been thinking about. I spent the summer asking math teachers the following question:  At the end of the school year, how do you want your students to feel about themselves as mathematical thinkers?  In other words, imagine asking your students: […]

# Fostering “Mathusiasm” with Jo Boaler’s Task “How Close to a 100?”

Good to have you back math nerds!  And if you’re just checking in for the first time, welcome! I had the opportunity to spend a day working with 10 elementary instructional coaches and reflecting on our work this year in the math classroom.  At one point, a colleague called another colleague a “rat bastard!” Now that’s a successful PD, […]

# Teaching Geometry with Ms. Pac-Man

I support an 8th grade math teacher in Inglewood, CA.  Fabian is a first-year teacher with a lot of professional responsibilities on his plate (8th grade science classes, an environmental science class, advisory, and 8th grade math classes). He is also a former student of mine.  I taught him AP Calculus about 10 years ago.  It’s […]

# The Freakonomics of Professional Development: How Do We Put the “D” Back in “PD”?

Yes, Allen, I am talking about practice. On my drive back from NorCal to Venice, I listened to some Freakonomics podcasts.  My head exploded.  I’d like to tell you about it. They’ve been doing a series on the research about self-improvement, productivity, growth mindsets, and grit.  In a sense, what does it take to expand and maximize your […]

# The Power of a Mathematical Mindsets and Rethinking the #ClassroomClock

Hello Math Fans!  Welcome back. I’m currently reading Jo Boaler’s new book Mathematical Mindsets and I’m looking for bookclub buddies, so I’d love to know if you’re reading it and how it’s supporting your thinking and work.  I invite you to share your thoughts in the comment section or reach me on Twitter (@mathgeek76). If you’re not reading it, […]

# #MTBoS Life: Ramblings and Musings from an Inspirational NCTM

I am long winded.  Most of my friends and colleagues know this.  And their true compassion shows as they listen as patiently and intently as they can and ask me questions to help my thinking.  Sometimes that question ends up as “So how does this connect to what we’re talking about?”  And I usually don’t know. […]

# The Powerful Phrase: “…in a way that makes sense to you.” (Part 2)

Goodness!  Time flies when you’re having fun.  It’s been some busy times here at Undercover Calculus; I need to buckle down and write more.  Thanks for being a patient fan! In my last post, I started talking about a clothesline math activity I facilitated with several elementary math coaches during a recent PD.  And now that I […]

# The Powerful Phrase: “…in a way that makes sense to you.” (Part 1)

I had the opportunity to work with several K-5 instructional coaches last week during a one-day workshop on increasing student engagement and discourse in the math classroom.  (My favorite workshop to lead!)  Leadership in the district is making a focused effort to support teachers in their practice of creating classrooms where Math Practice 3 thrives and students are […]