I cannot believe that it is already Week Three of the Math Blogger Initiation! Congratulations to all of the new bloggers that made it this far – especially this time of year! The start of school is always the most stressful time for all teachers so I’m especially proud of the new bloggers that are still hanging in there!
Ms. Philosoraptor – Normalcurvasaurus
Ms. Philosoraptor has a blog named **Normalcurvasaurus**. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled **The Question“** and the author sums it up as follows: **This post is about students asking ‘The Question’ of ‘Why do we have to learn this?’ and what my response may be depending upon the situation.** A memorable quotation from the post is: **I have been lucky enough, or probably just do not have enough experience yet, never to have had a student ask me The Question (which ‘Why do we have to learn this?’ will be referred to from now on in this post).**
I liked the links supplied to articles in this post for “Why do we have to learn this”. I also enjoyed the deeper explanations at the bottom for PreCalculus classes. Sometimes students doing this higher level of math in High School lose site of why it is important. Thanks for an informative post!
Matt Owen – Just Tell Me the Answer
Matt Owen @_MattOwen_ has a blog named **Just Tell Me the Answer**. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled **Answering “The Question”“** and the author sums it up as follows: **This post is about what I plan to say to students this year when they ask “When am I ever going to use this?” Side topic: writing a post after you’ve just read someone else’s version of the same post.** A memorable quotation from the post is: **They answered The Question themselves that day.**
I enjoyed Matt’s though on focusing on predictions to answer the “Why do I have to learn this” question. I especially LOVED his “preemptive strike” when he asks the students “Why did we do this?” This is brilliance and I’m going to start trying to do this for as many lessons as I can! Students always learn more and value it more when they come up with the ideas instead of you just telling them!
Nathan Kraft – Out Rockin’ Constantly
Nathan Kraft @nathankraft1 has a blog named **Out Rockin’ Constantly**. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled **PEMDAS must die!“** and the author sums it up as follows: **Every year I get a few eighth graders who insist that you always multiply before you divide. And you always add before you subtract. There is no doubt in my mind that the acronym, PEMDAS, is the culprit.** A memorable quotation from the post is: **They only remember PEMDAS.**
I “met” Nathan earlier in the week when he tweeted me and made me laugh. I immediately followed him on Twitter, which led me to reading his blog post before I even knew he would be one of my new bloggers to host! Thus, I was thrilled to get to host Nathan this week! First, I share his PEMDAS angst. Nathan, I went all GEMS two years ago and never looked back. Second, I am a sucker for any singing, rapping math teacher. You simply must head over to his blog post to listen to his “Distributive Property” song to “Teach Me How to Dougie”. Nathan – I need a good decimal song and Sean Sweeney is having a baby this month. Help! 🙂
@makingairplanes has a blog named **Making Paper Airplanes**. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled **Memorizing Formulas“** and the author sums it up as follows: **Hundreds of years ago, St. Augustine hit the nail on the head when he despaired of the purpose of formulas. Something I need to work on this year is finding new ways to teach that don’t rely on me writing down formulas and students copying them. Knowing how to derive a formula and understand why it works is a skill that I have found invaluable, and hope to be able to pass it on to students.** A memorable quotation from the post is: **I want students to figure the formulas out – to be able to get to the answer the long way if they forget a formula on an assessment, to understand why the formula works the way it does and how to use it correctly.**
Written by 6th grade math teacher, this blog speaks to my heart! I teach accelerated students who ALWAYS want the formula too! This is the hardest thing for me to “cure” with accelerated students. They believe in the strength of their calculation power and love to race to the next mind bender before every stopping to think, “Do my answer make sense.”. I would love to brainstorm more ways to get student to slow down and think about the math, not just the formulas and the “right” answer.
Vanvleettv @vanvleettv has a blog named **Everything’s Rational**. The third post for the Blogging Initiation is titled **New Blogger Initiative: Common Misconception“** and the author sums it up as follows: **This post covers a misconception that I learned is a tough one for some kids to get over in Algebra 1…and Algebra 2. It involves a special case in multiplying binomials.** A memorable quotation from the post is: **Last year I realized how much I didn’t know about how my students’ minds worked.**
First of all, you need to go and read this blog JUST for the kitten poster, “Every time you ‘distribute’ an exponent into a binomial…a little kitten dies.” I love having students do error analysis so I’m glad that she blogged about it. One of my favorite ways for students to do error analysis is through the “My Favorite No”, which I also first discovered on Kate’s blog. It’s quick, easy, and your current student provide the errors so you don’t have to do “prep” work to find them. It do this a couple of times a week with index cards.