I was moved by Jamie Garner’s (@mavenofmath) recent post about her #mathconfession. I encourage you to read it here. Here are a few rambling thoughts and musings she’s sparked in my brain. I think most of use walk through this world with an unconscious fear that we will be exposed as a fraud…that we are not […]

# To Design for the Average is to Design for Nobody

I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase “differentiated instruction” because it’s always felt redundant to me. How is “differentiated instruction” different from “effective instruction”? Are there ever really times when we want instruction to be “undifferentiated”? What are the implications for lesson design? I bring this point up because, in my humble opinion, thinking about […]

# Array-Bow of Skittles and Multiplication Strategies

This lesson write-up is for teaching a two-digit by two-digit multiplication 3-Act Math lesson where students estimate the number of Skittles in a jar before using information and math to find a more accurate estimate. It uses Graham Fletcher’s Array-Bow lesson and while it addresses standard 4.NBT.5, it’s appropriate for 4th and 5th grade students of all levels. The write-up contains a lesson pathway with specific questions/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 make it better together.

# Proportional Reasoning by Jumping Rope

This lesson write-up is for teaching 6th (and 7th) grade proportional reasoning skills (6.RP.1, 6.RP.2, 6.RP.3) using Graham Fletcher’s Rope Jumper lesson. The write-up contains a lesson pathway with specific questions/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.

# Decimal Division Strategies and Sense Making for 5th Grade

This lesson write-up is for any 5th or 6th grade teacher who wants to have students explore decimal concepts and refine decimal skills while solving an interesting, low-floor investigation. The lesson covers mostly the decimal division standards (5.NBT.6, 5.NBT.7, 6.NS.3) using Graham Fletcher’s Tomato-Tomato lesson. The activity is accessible to all learners and offers multiple approaches to a solution. 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.

# Video of Think Like A Fitbit: Measure What We Value

Here’s a link to Think Like A Fitbit: Measure What We Value, my Ignite! talk from CMC South given November 4th, 2016 in Palm Springs.

Feel free to download and share with others. I’m particularly curious how you are able to use this video in your own PD sessions with teachers to further professional growth for all math educators. What conversations does it create? What cognitive conflict does it spark? What change and instructional shifts does it inspire?

Comments are encouraged; feedback welcomed. Let’s keep the dialogue going.

# 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, […]