Monday, July 13, 2015

Five Things I Learned at PCMI: Monday 7/13/15

1. I currently display question stems (i.e. talk moves) on a poster at the front of the room, but as Jennifer’s morning presentation showed, putting them on small laminated index cards is even better. In her class, each student gets a stack of question stems bound together with a ring. Green cards are for probing questions or new ideas, red cards are for questions or disagreements. Jennifer noted that her students liked using them so much that they started to raise their hand while holding the question stem they were about to use.

2. Jo Boaler has a document on youcubed that outlines seven classroom norms for growth mindset and how to effectively implement them. In our Reflecting On Practice session, we tried to recreate some of her norms with a bit more, um... color. Read the original here:

3. Alice told me about a recent episode of This American titled Episode 550: Three Miles. The show is about a program that brings together kids from two schools. One school is public and in the country’s poorest congressional district. The other is private and costs $43,000/year. They are three miles apart. The hope is that kids connect, but some of the public school kids just can’t get over the divide. The episode focuses on what happens when you get to see the other side and it looks a lot better. Listen to it here:

4. The TI-Nspire has a number of interactive applets that provide great for discovery lessons throughout the middle and high school math curricula. I got the chance to use them today, and I was impressed by the number and versatility of the calculators. However, I’m not convinced that these applets don’t exist for free online. Since all of my students have laptops, it might not be worth the investment, especially considering that the cost of a cheap Chromebook is just about the same as a TI-Nspire plus a textbook. The jury is still out for me, but you can form your own opinions here:

5. PCMI will be hosting a mini PCMI weekend session somewhere in the Boston area. Details still need to be worked out, but it sounds like a good time!

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