Math Rocks Mission #8: Breaking the Cycle

This week’s mission harkens back to our first session in July. One of the first things we did was watch Tracy Zager’s Shadowcon talk called Breaking the Cycle. You don’t have to re-watch her talk, but it might help get you in the head space for this mission because you’ll be continuing to explore Tracy’s ideas.

  • The first thing you need to do is read Andrew Gael’s post about a survey he gave to learn more about how the staff at his school views mathematics.
  • Next, read Justin Lanier’s call to action referenced in Andrew’s post. If you want extra credit*, watch Justin’s talk where he goes into much more detail about his thoughts on math and beauty.
  • Pick a day and survey your students. You can survey the students in just your class, or if you can rally some other teachers, go ahead and survey students in several classes! Feel free to modify the language of the statements that Justin provides. For example, you might change “clear-cut” to something like “makes sense.” For younger grades, you might conduct the survey orally or you might further refine the statements to be more grade-level appropriate for your students.
  • On your blog, write a reflection about your experiences and what you learned about your students.
  • Tweet out a link to your blog using the hashtags #MTBoS and #ElemMathChat.

As usual, link your blog post in the comments. Then read and comment on three other blog posts.

*There isn’t actually any extra credit, but you can still call it that. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Math Rocks Mission #8: Breaking the Cycle

  1. I just posted for this challenge. I didn’t have a classroom to survey, but I watch the faces of the students and teachers I work with. I’m always looking for smiles and laughter during math. This challenge reminded my of a very past due task I needed to do: Way back when I was just about to earn my degree and my credential, the last math class was offered at the same time as my student teaching. The internet was new, but my profession agreed to let us meet “online” and I took the class that way. He made me promise though, that I would make sure that math was fun, and that it was accessible to all of my students, especially the girls. I finally remembered to send him a “Thank you” for taking a risk on me, and I let him know that my “Mission” is to make math fun and enjoyable through rich and challenging experiences. Thanks, Brian, for a great challenge!


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