I’m not a math teacher (okay, this year, I do have one pre-algebra student), but it’s not my focus or my training. That being said, I’m having a lot of fun running through the MTBoS with a crazy number of math teachers. I’m looking forward to Sundays for the new missions. For the third MTBoS mission, some of the suggested websites didn’t exactly pertain to me (as I’m not a math teacher). But there were two I really liked (I know we were supposed to choose one, but I got hooked on two). I chose to look through ideas I do believe in: possibility and positivity.
Here’s Dan Meyer‘s 101qs. Kind of a source for potential Three-Act Tasks or lots of other math questions. After poking through, and responding to, the first few tens of pictures (they’re kinda addicting), I thought that I might be messing with the math-y-ness of the project: I mostly asked how things worked rather than math questions. Then I realized, hey, that’s just fine. Those are the questions that pop in my head first, and why would they of any less use to math teachers? Perhaps I’m even helping to continue conversations, since my take on videos is probably pretty different from math teachers’ takes. (At least, this is what I’ll tell myself.) Now, I’m thinking of it as a source for science questions. Because science is really math (or is it the other way around?)
I already use a very large number of videos for chemistry and physics (especially physics) to have kids tease out the science in everyday stuff. I keep this list in delicious, where you can sort all the bookmarks by tags. My “weird” tag is used with surprising frequency. My delicious page here.
There’s a lot of new research that says positivity increases productivity, makes your marriage happier, and generally makes you a more pleasant human to be around. It’s not about forgetting the past or brushing over poor results and bad days, but rather focusing attention on the good things in life, even the almost-too-easy random acts of kindness. Not quite an attitude thing or a glass-half-full thing, but just a change in personal emphasis.
One of the things I took from teacher training was to create a file marked “Things for a bad day” or “Keepers” or something like that. In there, you put all of the notes from students and parents that you get, so that on bad days, you can go to the file drawer and remind yourself that things will improve.
So with that… here’s One Good Thing. I needed this site this week. For a bunch of personal and professional reasons, this week largely stunk. This is the digital file drawer of good experiences, as well as a good reminder that there must be something, something that happened during the day that registers on the good-o-meter. My One Good Thing for the day is planning for the liquid nitrogen demonstrations on Friday… big, fat, juicy lab planning makes me happy.