This year middle school math teacher professional development kicked off at the end of August with the theme Inspiring All Math Learners. Rebecca Burke, BUSD middle school math coach, led teachers in the exploration of ways of surrounding students in their classrooms with “inspiring math” that excites, extends and supports math curiosity. This might include a library of math books, geometric puzzles such as tangrams or polyominoes, magic squares, logic puzzles, classic and historical math problems, recreational math, computer coding, math websites, games, cartoon math, arithmetic puzzles, exploring the history of math or conducting math research.
Chapters from Jo Boaler’s book, What’s Math Got to Do With It?, provided research on how to support math learning. Allison Krasnow, BUSD Technology TSA, brought technology tools for teachers that increase student engagement, help students know what they do and don’t know about a mathematical topic, provide ways to explore mathematical ideas and embed videos into math lessons: Desmos, Geogebra, Plickers, PearDeck, Khan Academy, Google Forms, MoveNote, ExplainEverything.
Here are a few bits of math fun teachers explored:
- Learn to make Martin Gardner’s famous hexaflexagon from Vi-Hart’s Hexaflexagon series on YouTube.
- Explore math ideas at Numberphile : http://www.numberphile.com/
- Oh, so many good math books to read. Here are a few titles to take a look at:
Number Devil, Phantom Tollbooth, Math Curse, The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Math Adventures, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, The Joy of Mathematics