Math Rocks Mission #1: Getting Started with Blogging

In order to explore your curiosity this year and to reflect on your learning, one of the tools you will need is a blog.

We have two different missions for you, depending on if you have a blog or if you don’t.

If you don’t have a blog, look for the section of this post titled “ACK! I need a blog! Stat!”and only read that. Just skip to that part. Like now! GO!

If you already have a blog, look immediately below to find the section titled “I have a blog… Now what, Mister?!” 

I have a blog… Now what, Mister?!

Your mission is threefold.

1. You are going to write a blog post on one of the following two prompts.

  • What is one of your favorite open-ended/rich problems?  How do you use it in your classroom? (If you have a problem you have been wanting to try, but haven’t had the courage or opportunity to try it out yet, write about how you would or will use the problem in your classroom.)

  • What is one thing that happens in your classroom that makes it distinctly yours? It can be something you do that is unique in your school… It can be something more amorphous… However you want to interpret the question! Whatever!

Just pick one prompt and post about it!

<rant> Now some part of you might be thinking: my rich problem isn’t rich enough! I’m embarrassed by it! I am new to teaching — so my classroom isn’t really distinctly mine yet. So I don’t have a perfect answer to the prompts! If that happens to you, just write about something similar. But I said this last year when getting people to write their first post: If you feel like you aren’t awesome at teaching, welcome to the club. If you feel constantly like everything else you see out there is better, welcome to the club. So if you’re new to teaching and have material that you’re proud of it, post it! We’re all starting this at different points, but the one thing I’ve learned is that I can steal ideas or be inspired or commiserate with first year teachers as easily as a veteran teacher. So try not to be self-conscious and obsessive. We’re all here to reflect on what we do, and to learn from each other. We’re not trying to be the best and we’re not out to impress each other. We’re out to get better. No one in the mathtwitterblogosphere is judging you, but yourself. So if you’re a sucky writer, own it and don’t worry about not being Tolstoy. If you feel like what you want to write has already been said on a lot of other places, write it anyway. This is you, for you, by you. Phew. </rant>

2. You are going to write a comment on this blog post – the one you’re reading right now. Your comment will say:

  • Your name
  • Your Twitter handle (which you’ll have by the end of today)
  • Your blog name
  • The title of your post
  • The URL of your post
  • One (or two) sentences from your post to capture a reader’s interest

Example

Hi, I’m Brian Stockus. You can find me on Twitter @bstockus and on my blog, Teaching to the Beat of a Different Drummer. The title of my blogpost is aptly named “Explore MTBoS: Mission #1″ (http://bstockus.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/exploring-mtbos-mission-1/).

I was going for originality.

To entice you to read what already sounds like a real page turner from the title alone: “Have you ever done something for a terrible reason, but then it turned out to have good unintended consequences? That’s what happened to me when I tried out a new activity in my classroom geared at test prep that ended up empowering my students and gave me greater insight into their thinking.”

3. Once you’ve posted your comment advertising your blog post, look at the three previous comments (the ones above yours). Read the posts of these three people and write a comment on each of their blogs! If you are one of those eager beavers who are the first three to post, just find three comments as people begin to post.

ACK! I need a blog! Stat!

You made it here! Phew! Now for your mission. Your mission has a few parts…but don’t be daunted…

1. Come up with a blog title. It can be funny, it can be serious, it can make no sense, whatever. However, my one admonition: don’t spend more than 10 minutes coming up with this blog title. The more you struggle to choose it, the more annoying it is going to be, and I’m afraid you’re going to use this hassle of coming up with a blog title to be enough to stop you from blogging. This cannot happen. Not on my watch! So 10 minutes is all you have.

2. Start a blog. If you have no idea how to do this, go to my favorite blogging site wordpress.com and get a blog! Here’s an awesome two minute video showing the process.

The link is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N0zXEwtjCI

3. Write a short blog post on one of the topics below. Yep, you’re already ready to go. See how easy setting up a blog was? EASY!

  • Who are you? Introduce yourself! How’d you get into teaching? What do you like most about your job?
  • What is one of your favorite open-ended/rich problems?  How do you use it in your classroom? (If you have a problem you have been wanting to try, but haven’t had the courage or opportunity to try it out yet, write about how you would or will use the problem in your classroom.)

  • What is one thing that happens in your classroom that makes it distinctly yours? It can be something you do that is unique in your school… It can be something more amorphous… However you want to interpret the question! Whatever!

I suppose it can be a long blog post, too. Whatever floats your boat. If you’re adventurous, bonus points (okay, there aren’t really points) and twenty unicorn rainbows (these are real, however!) if you include an image or a video or a link.

<rant> Now some part of you might be thinking: my rich problem isn’t rich enough! I’m embarrassed by it! I am new to teaching — so my classroom isn’t really distinctly mine yet. So I don’t have a perfect answer to the prompts! If that happens to you, just write about something similar. But I said this last year when getting people to write their first post: If you feel like you aren’t awesome at teaching, welcome to the club. If you feel constantly like everything else you see out there is better, welcome to the club. So if you’re new to teaching and have material that you’re proud of it, post it! We’re all starting this at different points, but the one thing I’ve learned is that I can steal ideas or be inspired or commiserate with first year teachers as easily as a veteran teacher. So try not to be self-conscious and obsessive. We’re all here to reflect on what we do, and to learn from each other. We’re not trying to be the best and we’re not out to impress each other. We’re out to get better. No one in the mathtwitterblogosphere is judging you, but yourself. So if you’re a sucky writer, own it and don’t worry about not being Tolstoy. If you feel like what you want to write has already been said on a lot of other places, write it anyway. This is you, for you, by you. Phew. </rant>

4. You are going to write a comment on this blog post – the one you’re reading right now. Your comment will say:

  • Your name
  • Your Twitter handle (which you’ll have by the end of today)
  • Your blog name
  • The title of your post
  • The URL of your post
  • One (or two) sentences from your post to capture a reader’s interest

Example

Hi, I’m Brian Stockus. You can find me on Twitter @bstockus and on my blog, Teaching to the Beat of a Different Drummer. The title of my blogpost is aptly named “Explore MTBoS: Mission #1″ (http://bstockus.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/exploring-mtbos-mission-1/).

I was going for originality.

To entice you to read what already sounds like a real page turner from the title alone: “Have you ever done something for a terrible reason, but then it turned out to have good unintended consequences? That’s what happened to me when I tried out a new activity in my classroom geared at test prep that ended up empowering my students and gave me greater insight into their thinking.”

5. Once you’ve posted your comment advertising your blog post, look at the three previous comments (the ones above yours). Read the posts of these three people and write a comment on each of their blogs! If you are one of those eager beavers who are the first three to post, just find three comments as people begin to post.

We know this is a lot, asking you, “Hey, start a blog.” But you did it! And you’re going to try it out! And for that, we’re proud. You rock!

******

From Exploring the MTBoS Mission #1 by Sam Shah (with minor adaptations)

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28 thoughts on “Math Rocks Mission #1: Getting Started with Blogging

  1. Hi this is Amber Mitchell
    BLOG NAME:justdoitlivelife
    Title: Changing Lives
    justdoitlivelife.wordpress.com

    As a coach, I fell in love with sharing my knowledge and it brought me to teaching. The thing I love most about my job is changing lives.

    Like

  2. Your name: Leilani Losli
    Your Twitter handle: @llintx
    Your blog name: Dear Parent, Dear Teacher
    The title of your post: Dear Teacher: Round Rock ISD Math Rocks: Mission #1
    The URL of your post: http://leilanilosli.com/2015/07/27/dear-teacher-round-rock-isd-math-rocks-mission-1/
    One (or two) sentences from your post to capture a reader’s interest:
    Last spring, I was asked to model a numberless word problem (a blog for another day!). The trick was that the teacher wanted me to model it right then. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, so I wrote this on the board:

    Mr. Garcia is putting a fence around his garden.

    Like

    • Hi
      Hi I am Linda Hicks-Green, District Instructional Coach from Round Rock ISD. You can find me at Large Math and on Twitter@Greenhicksgreen. My blog post is about cream, cold brew coffee, and engaging math tasks focusing on food.

      Like

  3. Hi! I’m Kari Maurer. You can follow me on Twitter @KariMaurer1 and on my blog Number Sense and Problem Solving. My RRISD Math Rocks post is called “When All Else Fails, Ask a Question.”
    https://numbersenseandproblemsolving.wordpress.com/
    “When I changed my teaching mindset from ‘telling’ to ‘asking’ it was like a weight was lifted from my chest. I no longer needed to know all the answers and be the expert. I began learning from my students and encouraging them to learn from each other. Wow! It was amazing….”

    Like

  4. Hi all,
    I’m Charlia Jones!
    Twitter handle: @C07Jones1
    Blog name: BloggingwithmrsJones
    Title: Hello Everyone

    BloggingwithmrsJones.wordpress.com

    Like

  5. Your name: Kari Harris
    Your Twitter: @kjkharris
    Your blog name: Live, love laugh math
    The title of your post: Surprise! “Where would you like for me to sit?”
    The URL of your post: https://kjkharris.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/surprise-where-would-you-like-for-me-to-sit/
    One (or two) sentences from your post to capture a reader’s interest: So what happens when you are scheduled for your formal observation a week earlier than you put on your own calendar? Surprise!

    Like

  6. Hi! I’m Shametria Routt! You can find me on Twitter @shametriaroutt and on my blog “The Routty Math Teacher” at http://www.therouttymathteacher.com. My blog post is titled “Math Rocks Mission 1” (http://www.therouttymathteacher.com/2015/07/math-rocks-mission-1.html)

    One of the tools that I have found to be the most powerful is using math journals in the classroom. Math journaling requires the students to respond to a problem that I pose designed to assess their understanding of the content that we’ve been studying. The responses give me detailed insight into the students’ thinking and understanding of the content. Check it out!

    Like

  7. Yikes! I’m so behind!

    You can find me on Twitter @jchey1 – and I’ll be humorously blogging at itsmymathblog.wordpress.com.

    I am still trying to figure out how to get started. This is such an adventure!

    Like

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