Global Math Department – The Impetus

Tonight, I am giving a webinar or a talk on the Global Math Department about the work we have done in Iowa since I have been at the Iowa Department of Education.  I really like to challenge myself to do things like this because they force me to grow and think.  Think about what I do, why I do it, and what is the impact.  As I thought about what started this journey, it struck me that it was gaps in knowledge. Not students or teachers knowledge, but my knowledge!  I found myself learning many things that I wish I would have known.  Things that I wish I would have known so I could have been a better teacher, made students smarter about math, make them ready for the real-world, to be problem solvers and college and career ready.

I realized that there was so much that was known about good math education and I had no idea.  I did not know what I did not know.  Which means, this gap in knowledge had an impact.  It had an impact on students.  Ugh! The one thing that I was trying to avoid and yet due to my own gaps, I contributed to the gaps of my students.  I did not know that.  I was mortified.  Then I thought, I wished I had known.  I would have done differently.  I had done instruction, assessment, professional development, alignment, lesson study, research projects, etc.  All these things without this knowledge and understanding.  Yikes.  I did what I knew at the time but now I wanted to undo everything.  If I didn’t know these thing, were there others that also did not know?

This is how my journey began. This moment. This moment when I realized, I must tell others so they can do better.  I must share this information so others know what they do not know.   So, I started sharing, emails, Tweets, webinars, blogs, conference sessions, etc.  Basically, anything and everything that I could to anyone and everyone using anything and everything.  Then it grew, educators wanted to know more.  They were starting to find things they could use and knowledge they could share.  This excited me for students in Iowa because I thought we would do better.

I kept trying to use this blog as a way to make us smarter about the things in a way that was useable and kept feeling like I did not really find my niche yet.  However, through getting the talk ready, it finally occurred to me.  I should write about what I didn’t know I didn’t know and wished I had.  So, I am renaming this blog and as different things come across my path, that I think, hey, if I would have know this when I was teacher, then I would have been a better teacher.  Those, those are the things that I am going to write about that.  I am going to focus on the things that I wished I would have known, how it would have changed the experience for students, how I would have used that information, etc.

I hope others will contribute topic for discussion and share their learning as well. 🙂

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Math is a Verb #ilovemathing

If a student is literate, then it means they can read and write.  But if is a student is numerate, then it means they can what?   Think and solve?

Recently, on Twitter,@jamestanton posted James Tanton is a Hypocrite (and I am James Tanton, by the way). https://buff.ly/2GGENZe Which is a great read and makes sense.  He shared he was “sad by the cultural acceptance, if not pride, of disliking math and being unashamedly vocal about it. “I am not a math person.” “I can’t do math.” “Math was my worst subject in school.” “I hate math.”

We do not do this for reading.  It is not cool for people to say I cannot read.  Others would say they were dumb.  It is not okay to say I hate reading, gasp!

Is it so acceptable to say they hate math because it is a thing and not an action like reading?  What I mean by this, is we use math as a noun and expect students to be proficient at it.  People cannot be proficient at nouns.  They can be proficient at things they can do like running, speaking, fishing, golfing, etc.  They cannot be proficient at car because car is a noun.  Expecting students to be proficient at reading and math, huh?

Math as a verb makes it equal to reading.  So, MATHING would be when people are thinking, aka: problem solving, communicating reasoning, and modeling and analyzing data. See, all verbs! Students need to be proficient in reading and mathing.  Let us establish, just like reading, it is not cool to graduate from school not reading or mathing. Students will math every day for the rest of their lives about almost everything. Example: I cannot find my shoes. What shall I do about that? That is mathing, thinking, problem solving.

@jamestanton  also asked, “Can we indeed start a global movement: videos, photos, commentary of people letting go of their unprocessed utterances and trying something new?”

I say yes!  Math as a verb, make mathing cool, some slogans might be: Real Humans Math (aka think) Everyday, or Real People Math (aka think) Every day, I love Mathing, I spent my weekend mathing some great problems, Mathing is a verb, Have you mathed a great problem lately, What’s on your winter mathing list?, etc #ilovemathing #mathisaverb

 

Are you Coherent?   There’s a “Task” for that. 

coherence

The purpose of this blog is to write about different resources on the Iowa Core Website Mathematics Website to highlight some of the features of the resources.  There is a 5 min screen-cast at the bottom of this blog for visual learners.

2/14/17   Today, there is an “app” for everything but for standards and mathematics, there’s a “task for that.  The Coherence Maps from Achieve the Core offers “tasks” to understand the standards.  These “tasks” show the mathematics behind the standards.

The Coherence Maps – Shows the connections between Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.  The first opens up to a page to the different grade levels, then further opens into domains and clusters.  The clusters are annotated as major or supporting clusters.  Opening an individual standard:

  • Explore the map – Click on the magnifying glass to minimize the expanded standard card and explore the map.
  • Arrows: An arrow (A->B) indicates related standards in cases where a student who cannot meet A is not likely to be able to meet B.  (Note, the arrow does not necessarily mean that A must be mastered before B, or that learning B is the immediate next step after learning A.
  • Dashed Lines: A dashed line (A–B) indicates related standards.

The “Tasks”gives an illustration of the standard, a check for understanding, and solution.  To access the HS standards, enter through 8th grade.

Learn more about the Coherence Map – Standards relate to one another, both within and across grades. The Coherence Map is an interactive website that illustrates the coherent structure of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics K-8. This site provides one representation of how the Standards are connected to each other, and is derived from this wiring diagram.  The wiring diagram give a visual picture of how all the students are coherent and build for future learning.

The resources below explain what coherence means in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and how this tool can be used to support understanding and instructional planning.

1.How to use the Coherence Map Each of the Standards is illustrated with tasks, lessons, and assessments, as well as excerpts from the progression documents. The Coherence Map and supporting resources can be used to:

  • Build student understanding by linking together concepts within and across grades.
  • Identify gaps in a student’s knowledge by tracing a standard back through its logical pre-requisites.
  • Visualize and understand how supporting standards relate to the major work of the grade.

2. Understand Coherence

  • Use the Coherence Activity: Uncovering Progressions and Themes from the Deep Dive Into the Math Shifts Professional Development to support a stronger understanding of coherence.

Using these resources can have a huge impact on instruction.  It is easy to see if a student is struggling with a standard, what the prior knowledge they must possess is.  Educators can look at the map, see the previous skill, and work backwards until they identify where the gap is.  The idea just occurred to me, that this tool could support writing pre-assessments based on the standards that come before.  That would have been such a useful tool while I was in the classroom.

Call to Action:

  • Pick a grade level and domain to explore for Coherence
  • Share with a colleague
  • Use these resources to identify where student gaps exist

To get to the Coherence Map on the Iowa Core Mathematics Standards.  Look in the Instruction column,  select Mathematical Content and Practice Standards, then look under Resources.

Next Blog:  Progression Documents – Explains why standards are sequenced the way they are, points out cognitive difficulties and pedagogical solutions, and gives more detail on challenging areas of the mathematics.

I hope you will read the next blog, provide feedback, and share with others.  These resources can help educators to focus on instruction and experiences for students to grow their love of mathematics.

coherenceScreencast

Please contact me with questions at april.pforts@iowa.gov

Disclaimer: We are a local control state so districts can choose to use free or vendor resources and which vendor they will use. “The Iowa Department of Education endorses the free resources directly linked in the Iowa Core subject pages; other vendors, products, or services which are published on the site have not been reviewed.”

Do you know how to shift?

atc

The purpose of this blog is to write about different resources on the Iowa Core Website Mathematics Website to highlight some of the features of the resources.  There is a 5 min screen-cast at the bottom of this blog for visual learners.

2/13/17  Do you know how to learn about the mathematical shifts?  Achieve the Core has ready made modules for professional development for self-study, and small/large group. Standards Shifts in Mathematics.  It is far easier to edit resources than it is to build them from scratch.  Start with great resources made my experts and design them to meet your specific educational need.

The Standards Shifts in Mathematics is where to find many resources:

On The Shifts page there is a summary of the The Common Core State Standards Shifts in Mathematics with resources to learn more and deeply understand each shift.  The Focus has a grade level resources to understand the major and supporting clusters.  Additionally, the Focus section contains a resource for Widely Applicable Prerequisites High School.  Under the Coherence section are Coherence Maps and The Structure is the Standards.

My favorite part of this resource are the two modules for professional development.  Each of these modules contain a User’s Guide, Power Point Presentation with and without notes, Activities, Reflection, and Related Research and Readings.  Be sure to read the User’s Guide first.  There are adaptions for if you need a one, two, or four professional development session.   There is an Introduction the Math Shifts and Deep Dive into the Math Shifts.

Call to Action:

  • Pick a resource to explore
  • Share with a colleague
  • Use a module for professional development

To get to the Standard Shifts in Mathematics on the Iowa Core Mathematics Standards.  Look in the Instruction column,  select Mathematical Content and Practice Standards, then look under Resources.

Next Blog: Coherence Maps – Shows the connections between Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

I hope you will read the next blog, provide feedback, and share with others.  These resources can help educators to focus on instruction and experiences for students to grow their love of mathematics.

atcScreencast

Please contact me with questions at april.pforts@iowa.gov

Disclaimer: We are a local control state so districts can choose to use free or vendor resources and which vendor they will use. “The Iowa Department of Education endorses the free resources directly linked in the Iowa Core subject pages; other vendors, products, or services which are published on the site have not been reviewed.”