
TheMint.org  Ideas for Teachers  Credit: Buy Now & Pay Later
Has some activities about using credit cards and making decisions.

@fawnpnguyen we have standards we create ourselves. this is our current working list: https://t.co/f0uaWdI

Favorites: Piecewise Functions « X Y Pi
Explains how she teachers piecewise functions.

Round the Room Activity  Using Intercepts to Graph  Walking in Mathland
Graphing using the x and yintercepts activity.

Teaching Statistics: My Favorite Friday #5
How @druinok does her Day 1 with Algebra 2.

Coefficients of Determination: RACKO
RACKO has students put 8 cards in order.

5 Ways Math Can Improve Your Life  MSN Living
My sister just sent me this article: 5 Ways Math Can Improve Your Life http://t.co/U3Myzde

Facebook Privacy Settings for Students  YouTube
If you were going to educate teens on Facebook privacy settings, would this be what you'd say? http://t.co/jG3Khpmr

@park_star @lmhenry9 playing with interest is good for practicing percents. Sadly, rates are so low this happens http://t.co/f40TNWOi

Made It. Ate It. Loved It.: Sweet and Sour Chicken
@jreulbach @Fouss @lmhenry9 I know you will appreciate the comments on the blog regarding Celsius/Fahrenheit http://t.co/EINcYMh9

Individual  Money Math: Lessons for Life
From the Treasury

Mint and Scholastic's plans for teaching money management.

Thirteen Ed Online  Original Lesson Plans
Lesson plans on financial management  grade levels included.

NEFE High School Financial Planning Program
Website Glenn recommended  provides free materials. @lmhenry9 Lisa, if you need some material for FREE go to the NEFE site and order stu books and teacher materials. http://t.co/MaLL1wlY

Family Economics and Financial Education
Univ. of Arizone website for Financial Management Curriculum

New Year, New Mindset  Pi Crust
Mindset coaching

square root of negative one teach math: Made 4 Math: Two PIzza Boxes and a Hot Glue Gun
Privacy Dividers for Test Day

#Made4Math Monday – Blind Draw « the radical rational…
Give students a drawing and have them describe it using only geometric terms.

Practice using a BINGO format. Well done.

From a Math Class: Made4Math Monday #3?
Jeopardy Review Game

Has a link to a right triangle trig tarsia puzzle
Sunday, August 26, 2012
My Weekly Diigo Links (weekly)
Friday, August 24, 2012
Freshly Minted New Math Bloggers Week 1
David Price (@compactspaces)  Compact Spaces
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "First NBI (and ever!) post" and the author sums it up as follows: Since teachers have offices but no fixed rooms at my school, a major concern of my mine is how to build a strong classroom culture (and smoothly running classroom) without the use of four walls. Thus one of my goals is to figure out some portable ways of incorporating things like rules/norms, student work, and supplies into the structure of my classes. A memorable quotation from the post is: Goal: Start to figure out what “mobile solutions” I can use to make my classes run more smoothly and create the classroom culture I want.
My reactions: I take for granted that I have a room of my own. I appreciated the concerns he shared because they are concerns that I could relate to, even though I have just one classroom.
Sarah Educating (@saraheducating)  Sarah Educating
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Old habits die hard?" and the author sums it up as follows: In this post, I talk about how one of my goals this year is to do better at providing students with useful, timely feedback about their learning, despite my issues with procrastination. One of the ways I want to do this is to lead students through selfassessment of tests (and maybe other projects?) more often. Why? I've done this a bit in the past and I think it can be a really powerful tool. A memorable quotation from the post is: Why yes, Parent Trap was my favorite childhood movie!
My reactions: Some interesting ideas. I really appreciated that she put a disclaimer before she described what happened in her classroom. There are a lot of times I read blog posts and I think it's a good idea, then when I step back and think about how it would work in my classroom, I realize it's not possible. Then I wonder under what circumstances the author did it. Those of you who do SBG may want to read this post and think about what she does with her classes.
Mathaholic  Confessions of a Mathaholic
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Analytical, Numerical, or Graphical?" and the author sums it up as follows: The post is about my adopting graphing calculators into the precalculus curriculum and embracing solving problems using multiple methods. A memorable quotation from the post is: But while I used to look at the graphing calculators as a crutch to critical thinking skills, I now see it as a useful tool in allowing the student to use numerical and graphical methods to solve problems.
My reactions: Interesting thoughts. I have taught for 20 years and I have used a graphing calculator most of the time in my Algebra 2 classes. My emphasis has always been on the analytical and knowing how to graph/do the process by hand, However, the author brings up some very valid points  ones I had not thought about before. S/He has given me something to think about.
Kristin Elix (@mathchica)  7th Grade Math Mania
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "My Most Prized Possession From My First Year" and the author sums it up as follows: Last year was my first year of teaching and I prided myself in my ability to form lasting relationships with my students. This post is an example of a result of forming a positive relationship with one of my students who was very quiet at the beginning of the year. I formed a relationship with her that I feel is lasting and I know I've made a difference in her life, simply because I took the time to smile at her and show her I care! A memorable quotation from the post is: While I want to teach my kids math, I also want to teach them how to be kind, caring, respectful young adults and I want to show my students that they are wanted, loved, and appreciated, and that I will always be there for them.
My reactions: I keep a "smile file" of letters and notes like this. I can see why it's so special to her.
Emily Steinmetz  Crazy in Math
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Try, try, and try again..." and the author sums it up as follows: Two ideas that I am trying to work through without annoying my students. A memorable quotation from the post is: I hope I am better at these two ideas than most people are at their New Year's Resolutions....
My reactions: She is using math buddies in a different fashion than I have heard of before. It's an intriguing concept to me and I hope that she blogs more about it later in the year.
Jill Gorneau  Prepared To Be Wrong
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Focusing on what comes first" and the author sums it up as follows: I decided to post about a new focus for my lessons for the year. I attended a Dan Meyer workshop over the summer and I've been mulling over how relevant the Three Act Lessons are for my adult students. I picked up so many tidbits from Dan, and this post is my conclusion on how I can best use his insights for my students. A memorable quotation from the post is: Ask Dan how his wife’s knitting is coming along from that trip.
My reactions: It's always good to see someone else's reactions to someone or something you have seen before. I think it will be interesting to see if she gets a similar or different reaction to the 3 Act Lessons than teachers of teenagers have.
Joe B (@forumjoe)  lim joe→∞
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "New Beginnings" and the author sums it up as follows: It's about my blog, my objectives and why I've created it. A memorable quotation from the post is: It was Mathsy, it was nerdy and it was appropriate for me. It signified growth, it showed that I’m getting older, do I get wiser at the same time? As my age approaches infinity, does my wisdom? I loved the sort of questions this title signified.
My reactions: It's neat to read how people chose the title of their blogs. If I could change the title of mine (which at this point I can't), I think I'd choose something shorter. Regardless, the title fits me. :)
Katrina Hamilton (@klwarsin)  Lady Leibniz and the Galileo Girls
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Experimentation" and the author sums it up as follows: I'm switching to standards based grading. This post focuses on why I wanted to change from what I did and how I'm going to introduce my new policy to my administration, my students and the parents. A memorable quotation from the post is: In the end, for my students (and most parents), it was about the final grade, NOT the fascinating, mysterious, totally awesome math (or physics) we'd been studying.
My reactions: I was in the spot she is now 3 years ago when starting Standards Based Grading. It sounds like she has thought this through and I hope she does well with it.
Kate (@fourkatie)  Axis of Reflection
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "What's in a name?" and the author sums it up as follows: A blog was born, it was named, and then it languished. In response the new blogger initiative I shared how I picked the name for my blog and why I decided to blog over a year ago and what got me actually blogging. A memorable quotation from the post is: I felt that I had been lurking and reading and benefiting from the marvelous mathtwitterblogosphere and that perhaps it was time to contribute something back to that community.
My reactions: I have "known" Kate for quite a while on Twitter. I'm glad to see she's reviving her blog. Thanks for sharing why you named it what you did.
Leslie Billings (@leslie_su76)  mslcbillings
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Begin as you mean to go on" and the author sums it up as follows: This post is about first day/week goals. I look at specifics for my two classes, then summarize with a generalization. A memorable quotation from the post is: The only way to make sure it happens is to start with it right away, first week and don’t let up.
My reactions: I like her thought about how she doesn't want to begin with administratia because that would imply that's what the year will be about. It's a great thought and makes complete sense to me. Now if I can only figure out what I'm going to do with my kids day one...
Bruno Reddy (@mrreddymaths)  Mr Reddy Maths
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "My FirstWeekBack Goal: Hook, Line and Sinker" and the author sums it up as follows: It's the happyending story I tell pupils on their first day of secondary school to help them believe they can realise their potential. A memorable quotation from the post is: I get all MichellePfeiffer on them and sell them something they never thought they could afford…to dream huge.
My reactions: This is a neat visualization process. Very nicely done.
Mary Watson (@mkwatson)  Reality Squared
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Excited Exhaustion" and the author sums it up as follows: This post is a summary of my feeling about my first week so that in the future I can look back and remember all the great things that happened this week and help me focus on what needs to happen to help next week go a bit better. A memorable quotation from the post is: One day, I hope I can pay that forward for another new teacher.
My reactions: I am SO right there with her right now. I am probably the least prepared at this point in my 20 years. It usually takes me 34 weeks to find my school groove.
Brendan K (@tinmousetrap)  TinMousetrap
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "A Goal for The First Week of School" and the author sums it up as follows: I have a goal this year to avoid rushing through course expectations, policies, and procedures as a 'fileitaway' formality. I would love to have different outlines for different class that carefully reflect my expectations for them. No more 'cookiecutter' handouts! A memorable quotation from the post is: As for my other classes during the first week, my goal is to provide a more authentic vision of my expectations.
My reactions: Another newbie to SBG. He has some solid goals for the start of his year.
Dorrie Bright (@hwalksintoabar)  h walks into a bar
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Within these walls" and the author sums it up as follows: Anticipation and creating space (creating space and anticipation?) A memorable quotation from the post is: Gratitude for process.
My reactions: Dorrie is teaching Physics in a new space to her that needs transformed for her needs. Looks like she has some neat stuff and I hope she'll post some pictures.
Bernt Jolicoeur (@brentjolicoeur)  Reflections & Transformations
The first post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "(NBI) Improvements to Make This Year" and the author sums it up as follows: I've tried to summarize my personal goals for improvement this year. I have also touched on some of the other week 1 prompts in my initial blog posts I think. A memorable quotation from the post is: My primary foci of change for this year revolves around this key theme. (I have no idea??)
My reactions: Brent sets three goals for himself this year. They sound very similar to goals I set for myself every year.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
My Weekly Diigo Links (weekly)

Drawing On Math: Binder System
Tina's take on the interactive notebook system  she uses binders.
tags: binder interactive notebook

Math Tales from the Spring: You Can't Keep A Good Calculator Down
How to "resurrect" dead graphing calculators.
tags: calculator

@lmhenry9 Bellaire, OH http://t.co/l7fMdyz

Math Tales from the Spring: Speed Dating (I promise this is really about math)
Mrs. H's version of speed dating  she switches up a little

Math Tales from the Spring: Around The World Partner Activity
practice by moving around the room  problems on one side, answers/solutions on the other. Set a time limit.
tags: practice

Math Tales from the Spring: Appointment Test Review
have students set "appointments" to work problems together

Math Tales from the Spring: SelfChecking Practice Activity
12 practice problems linked problem to answer
tags: practice

Math Tales from the Spring: Similarities and DifferencesA Smartboard Activity
Using the SMART Board to separate things into 2 categories. Could have lots of uses...
tags: smartboard

Math Tales from the Spring: Linear Art Project for Algebra I
Art project made out of lines  could it be adapted to parts of parabolas?
tags: graphing

Math Tales from the Spring: Poker Chip Test Review
uses poker chips as an incentive (tied to bonus points)
tags: review games

Math Tales from the Spring: Ghosts in the Graveyard
Ghosts in the Graveyard review game
tags: review games

Math Tales from the Spring: SOFAS
Mnemonic for factoring sum/difference of cubes.

Math Tales from the Spring: Revenge of the NERDS??
Matrices used in solving the bowl equation (video link)
tags: matrices

Math Tales from the Spring: Turn Around Words
helping students to remember which words change the order in an algebraic expression.
tags: algebra writing expressions

I Want to Teach Forever: Lesson Idea: HandsOn Volume and Surface Area
Surface area and Volume lesson
tags: surface area volume geometry

I Want to Teach Forever: Lesson Idea: Model Exponential Decay with Skittles (or M&Ms)
Exponential Decay with M&Ms or Skittles
tags: exponentials alg2

I Want to Teach Forever: Spring Cleaning: What Can I Do With All These Transparencies?
How to recycle transparencies
tags: transparancies

I Want to Teach Forever: Two Review Games: Multiplying Polynomials and FOIL
Multiplying Polynomials
tags: multiplying polynomials

I Want to Teach Forever: Four Fun Ways to Review Factoring Trinomials
Factoring Review
tags: factoring

I Want to Teach Forever: 3 Ideas to Prepare Students for College Placement Exams
Ideas for preparing students for College Placement tests
tags: college

I Want to Teach Forever: Lesson Idea: Probability using Deal or No Deal
Deal or No Deal Probability Game
tags: probability

I Want to Teach Forever: March Madness Probability Activity & More
March Madness probability activity
tags: probability

I Want to Teach Forever: Parent Function Poster Idea
Parent Function Posters

I Want to Teach Forever: Feed Your Students a Hot Cup of Alphabet Slope
Label the slopes of each letter of the alphabet as positive, negative, zero, undefined, or nonlinear.

I Want to Teach Forever: 2 New Factoring Bingo Games
Factoring Bingo

Everybody is a Genius: Parallel Lines & Transversals
Parallel Lines/Transversals diagrams

QR Code Treasure Hunt Generator from classtools.net
QR Scavenger Hunt Generator
tags: QR codes

Hangout notes: 8/15/12 10:55 AM  Google Docs
Here are the notes from today's Alg2 hangout: https://t.co/UwKZjZmZ

square root of negative one teach math: Visualizing Volumes
Cutting decorations to show solids of rotation.
tags: calc

square root of negative one teach math: Conic Card FollowUp
Follow up on the conic cards
tags: conics

square root of negative one teach math: Cake Day in Calculus
Using a bundt cake to do volume of rotation

square root of negative one teach math: Crazy for Conic Cards!
Conic Card Sort
tags: conics

square root of negative one teach math: Puzzles!
Puzzle matching template
tags: games

square root of negative one teach math: How High is the Ceiling?
Find the height of the ceiling (or anything else) using a paper clinometer (measures the angle of elevation).
tags: trigonometry alg2

square root of negative one teach math: Scavenger Hunts to Share
Trig Scavenger Hunt
tags: trigonometry alg2

square root of negative one teach math: How To Get Students To Do Anything
Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
tags: recipe

square root of negative one teach math: Quick and Dirty Review
Review with postit solutions on the board.
tags: review

f(t): Review and Practice: Add Em Up
Kate Nowak's Add Em Up  work 4 problems, add the answers and use that to check.
tags: review

also for a great list of habits & references
List of Mathematical Habits of Mind
tags: habits of mind

Burger, E.B. and Starbird, M.: The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking.
Book  The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
tags: habits of mind

Practice/Review structure from Kate Nowak
tags: review

Teacher Discounts: 90+ Stores Offering Discounts for Teachers & Educators
List of stores that offer discounts to teachers.
tags: discounts

Daily Assessment Of Students With Tiered Exit Cards
I appreciated the emphasis on feedback & differentiation in this video "Daily Assessment w/Tiered Exit Cards" http://t.co/ngM5UkZH #mathchat
tags: mathchat

Sam's Fundamental Counting Principle worksheet
tags: Probability
Saturday, August 18, 2012
PreSchool Funk 2012
I can certainly pinpoint reasons why it is so bad this year.
We had a wonderful trip to Johnson City, TN in June for the Monte Carlo Nationals which included a trip to Bristol Motor Speedway for a tour and laps around the track.
Twitter Math Camp. Enough said.
Well, maybe not enough. As awesome as Twitter Math Camp was, I honestly think it is what is having such a profound affect on this year's funk. I guess it's for two reasons. One, as much as I hate to say it, I am experiencing such a let down after TMC finished. For a week, I did NOTHING. Most of that was I had done a lot in the days and weeks leading up to TMC in addition to Mommy duties. I am finding at this point that I am missing my friends a lot. It was so wonderful to be together with people that I have conversed with online for years and who I feel "get" me. It was phenomenal to have the conversations we did  about teaching, about math, and about life. I have never been in a group of math teachers who "get" how I feel about teaching and mathematics. It was great to feel "normal" and in a group of likeminded individuals and I miss them all immensely. I am grateful for their presence in my life and I am glad to know that they are only a tweet away.
But there is a second reason why I am experiencing such a let down. As I approach this school year, I am feeling awfully inadequate. I have been reading what others are doing as they start school and I look at what I am planning and it feels so mundane. I am struggling to figure out what math I want my students to do the first day and I see everyone's great ideas and find myself frustrated that I can't come up with something as good. Then I reflect on how my class tends to go and, again, I look at what everyone else is doing and what we shared at TMC and think about how mediocre my class is in comparison.
Now, before you all think that I am having myself a huge pity party (which I am to an extent), I also know that I don't totally suck. I realize that when we blog about stuff we share our good stuff, but also that we don't do the good stuff every day. Kristen Fouss taught me that when I visited her class 2 years ago. However, with Common Core, there is certainly the pressure to change how we teach. I am encouraged by Mrs. H (Math Tales from the Spring if you're not familiar) that I can make changes even after teaching for 20 years. It doesn't change that I am nervous and scared about it, though. I also know that good teachers aren't afraid to beg, borrow, and steal whatever they think will work for their classroom and adapt it accordingly. I've done that the last two years in particular and I am getting rather good at it. It doesn't change that for once, I'd like to come up with a good original thought and have others be able to use it as I have done with their stuff.
I wish I had favorited the tweet that had the link to a short article I read last week. The article was addressed to veteran teachers and one of the things that stuck with me was about enthusiasm. It made the point to not be overenthusiastic the first day because that's not what you (as a veteran teacher) are. It shows you are trying too hard  which is oftentimes what first year teachers do. As I have been looking at first day posts (this one by MissCalcul8 sticks out  I really like this by the way), I have really liked some of them but I keep coming back to "this is not me." But what is "me" at this point? I'm not sure. Some of the stuff I have seen I have really liked, but trying to make it work in my classroom doesn't make sense  I'm a 40 something teacher with 20 years experience, and, let's face it, we aren't exactly known for being "hip" and "current." My twist on "Call Me Maybe" probably wouldn't come across real well. In fact, I'd be more afraid that it would come across as being a hasbeen trying to hold on to her youth (which I'm not).
Which brings me back to my funk. I'm not a teaching hasbeen trying to hold onto my early teaching years. For that matter, I don't want to revisit my young teaching years (for the most part). But I do want to be the best teacher I can be. There is a part of me that knows I cannot let go of how I have taught in the past. I still think that showing students examples and letting them work through them with guidance in the classroom is an effective way to teach mathematics. It may not be the best way all of the time, but I still think it's more effective than some will give it credit. But how much? What is the right balance? Where do I begin in making changes without completely going overboard?
I guess I better figure out the answers soon. Students come a week from Wednesday and I go back a week from Monday. There isn't much time left in vacation. Although, really, at this point, vacation is a loose term meaning I'm not at work. Honestly, the real work starts this week with prepping my room and beginning lesson plans for the upcoming year. So long, Summer 2012. I will fondly look back upon you often this year.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
New Math Bloggers: Need Help?
Like Sue VanHattum, I also wanted to offer help. If it weren't for the encouragement of many in the math twitterblogosphere (such as Julie, Kristen, and Shelli), I wouldn't have gotten very far. So, like Sue, I am going to offer some help for up to 5 new bloggers who need some encouragement. If you have questions and would like some answers from someone who's been there, post in the comments, please. I'll take the first 5. You can then email me at lmhenry9 at gmail and I'll answer them.
Meanwhile, I look forward to hear what you all have to say!
#globalmath Presentation on Review Games
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Revised SBG Scale
Monday, August 13, 2012
#made4math Monday, August 13, 2012
In June, when I left school, I had talked to my principal about not using a textbook. She was very supportive but would like me to watch the paper usage. In fact, she'd really like me to work on teaching them how to take notes and she likes Cornell Notes. So, I had tweeted looking for help. Enter my good friend Shelli to the rescue! They do AVID at their school and Cornell Notes is an integral part. She had posted this great post about how to use Cornell Notes and included a bookmark for students to use. Well, like so many other #made4math posts, I've taken her idea and improved it....
First, here's my file:
Sunday, August 12, 2012
My Weekly Diigo Links (weekly)

Math Mama Writes...: Open Source Textbooks for Calculus and PreCalculus
Lists open source texts.

LEGO® KidsFest :: Event Information
@lmhenry9 http://t.co/kigFLT3

#CCSS Alg 2 #Statistics and #Probability webinar Tuesday at 7 pm EDT. It's free! http://t.co/Iz98WGwz #mathchat #math #stats #edtech
tags: CCSS Statistics Probability mathchat math stats edtech

Without further ado: The new, high quality recordi
#tmc12 Without further ado: The new, high quality recording of Tweet Me Maybe http://t.co/2m55NLl4
tags: tmc12

square root of negative one teach math: Made 4 Math: TShirt Wall Display
Tshirt display on her wall.
tags: display

Sequences and Series: An Exploratory Unit « Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere
Sam's sequences and series unit.
tags: sequences

Made4Math #5 Polynomial Station Activities « the radical rational…
Improving my polynomial stations.
tags: polynomials

Round Robin – Parabola Patterns #made4math 8/6/12 « the radical rational…
Parabola round robins

Simplifying Radicals: School Supplies
How she does her supply list.

Math Teacher Mambo: Fun Problem...
Interesting problem

Technology Integration for Math Engagement » Standards Based Grading Rubric for Math
I like some of the words he uses here to describe his levels.
tags: SBG

Technology Integration for Math Engagement » Using Whiteboards in Math
Talks about how he uses whiteboarding in his class.
tags: whiteboarding games

Math in the Middle: Made 4 Math #5 Show Off Student Work
Suggestion for displaying student work.
tags: display

Math Bulletin Boards
tags: bulletin boards

Real, and irrational...: Trigonometry Unit Circle Fun  Made4Math!
Paper plate with the unit circle
tags: unit circle trigonometry

Real, and irrational...: My Favorite Friday  Oreo Truffles!
Oreo Truffle recipe
tags: recipe

Real, and irrational...: Foldable Templates
15 pages of foldables.

it is what it is: smartie pants...
Idea of something to hand students on day one.
tags: day1

Getting Started with GeoGebra – Tutorials, Examples and More « Bowman in Arabia
Bowman's GeoGebra tutorials and stuff from his TMC12 session.
tags: geogebra

MATH Whiteboarding « Bowman in Arabia
Bowman explains how he uses whiteboarding in his classes.
tags: whiteboarding

Calculator Boot Camp « Maximizing Learning
TI Graphing Calculator Boot Camp
tags: calculator bootcamp

Tech Tips for Teachers: Use Sticky Note Templates to Get Organized
Has links to templates that you can put sticky notes on and run through a laser printer.
tags: templates postit notes

@samjshah I use cups in a similar fashion http://t.co/CZnFmjXb It helps them to think about how urgent their questions are.

I really like how she does her level descriptions here.
tags: SBG

Create Mathcasts Using Snagit http://t.co/5YrHYSrk

24 Famous Fonts You Can Download for Free
24 famous fonts you can download for free, including Coke, Price is Right & Star Wars: http://t.co/3HLZcbpD

An Unexpected Ass Kicking  Blog Of Impossible Things
This blog post just blew my mind. I don't know what to think about anything anymore. http://t.co/A27aZIRq

Please share your Twitter details if you’re willing to help other educators  The Edublogger
Please share your Twitter details if you’re willing to help other educators http://t.co/HNAHfrFv #Edchat #CE12

Interactive Notebooks 101  by Global Math Department
@reminoodle @_CindyWallace_ @druinok Also of interest: I'm going to do an overview tomorrow at 9pm ET at https://t.co/VeBrgFLp

Something to share w/our students: 7 Habits of Hig
Something to share w/our students: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teen Maths Students http://t.co/Tx7B8NlV via @mathsinsider
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Teaching in an "On Demand" World
(Commence Rant)
I understand that we are in a digital age. DVR, Hulu, and the like lets us watch our favorite television shows whenever we want after they are broadcast. I can upload the pictures I just took of my kids to Facebook, Twitter, etc. to show all of my friends. For that matter, I could have just taken 50 pictures of said children and upload them all, good, bad or indifferent. I get emails from USA Today telling me the breaking news (including spoiling all of the good stuff in that is going to broadcast in Prime Time Olympic coverage). I think we have gotten way too spoiled with all of this.
Not everything can be so immediate. Twitter conversations can be read at any point in time, but it does lose a little when you are replying to a tweet 18 hours after it happens. Regardless of the time lag, I'm still glad when people do respond later on. Sometimes it helps me find something I missed. There are all sorts of interactions that happen online at scheduled times, like #mathchat or the Global Math Department meeting. As much as I'd like to take part in these, there are other things going on in my life that may preclude my involvement, so I miss them. I might be able to go back and find an archive of #mathchat or maybe at some point, whoever is doing the Global Math Department meeting may decide to record it and upload it to the internet, but it won't be the same as interacting in real time. Twitter Math Camp was a phenomenal experience, but like any other in real life conference, if you can't attend, you miss out. Maybe someone will be wonderful and blog about their experience at the conference and if you're really lucky, it got taped and posted on the internet, but again, if you couldn't make it, you missed it.
As much as the digital age has connected us, I think it has also caused us to lose sight of the most important connection  the human connection. I mean the facetoface, real time connections we make. We have become so accustomed to on demand stuff that we have forgotten that there is this thing called real life that should take precedence. And this attitude has permeated society. I watched last night and this morning as hours before the actual announcement of Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential running mate it was revealed who it was going to be. Whatever happened to the element of suspense and surprise?
(End rant)
So how does this relate to math education? After all, that's what I blog about here... As I think of the nature of learning mathematics, it takes time. Mathematics is not always neat and pretty. In fact, it can be rather messy for many students. In a culture of immediacy, how do you develop in students the perseverance that is often necessary to be successful? If students are looking to work the problem(s) quickly, get the correct answer, and move on, and they don't, how do you keep them going without them giving up? How do you get them past the instant gratification they are constantly seeking? That's the larger issue I see through all of this. As adults, we know that we can't always get what we want quickly. If we think hard enough, we can recall what it was like before the internet and cell phones (well, most of us anyway). These students don't know anything else. How do you blend both worlds successfully?