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Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had Book Study:


Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had



[Please register before responding to the prompts below.]

Please read the prompts for each chapter and add your thoughts and comments below. Please keep your entries professional and respectful.

Use the reply option if you have a question or comment on someone else's post. We can make this an interactive space - an ongoing conversation - and get the most out of our learning together.

Starting January 17, each Friday, we will post prompts for that week’s chapter.  It's okay to go back to previous weeks if you fall behind. 

Book Study Prompts and Responses:

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  • 02/14/2020 9:22 PM | Karen Campe

    Try one of the techniques from the chapter in your teaching, such as the routine “I think _______ is unreasonable because _______” (pages 90-91) or one of the variations of “My Favorite No” (pages 96-101).  You might need to try it a few times to get your students used to the routines (and if you are lucky enough to have a colleague who is also willing to try, plan together and discuss results).  Tell us how it went.

  • 02/14/2020 9:21 PM | Karen Campe

    Jen Muhammad (pages 91-93) regularly externalizes the internal voice she wants students to use.  How might you try this strategy in your teaching style?  

  • 02/14/2020 9:21 PM | Karen Campe

    Reflect on Shawn’s problem scenario and chart on pages 81-84 and how this encouraged thoroughness among the students.  Do your curriculum materials reduce the cognitive demand on students by over-scaffolding worksheets?  What ideas does Shawn’s approach give you for changing this?

  • 02/08/2020 9:13 PM | Karen Campe

    Tracy ends the chapter discussing equity and some different responses to mistakes she has observed from girls and boys. Watch Reshma Saujani’s TED Talk “Teaching Girls Bravery, Not Perfection” at https://youtu.be/fC9da6eqaqg . Share your thoughts on this issue.

  • 02/08/2020 9:13 PM | Karen Campe

    What do you make of the distinction between mistakes and errors? Next time you’re teaching, note down mistakes you observe that reveal conceptual misunderstanding and errors that reveal students’ need to work on precision. How does distinguishing between the two affect the way you think while teaching?

  • 02/08/2020 9:12 PM | Karen Campe

    Reflect on the list of teachers’ comments on page 57. What language do you currently use when students make mistakes? What language might you use going forward?

  • 01/31/2020 11:02 PM | Karen Campe

    On her website, Tracy shares a link to James Tanton’s videos about thinking like a mathematician, and this is a chance for you to engage with some math yourself.

    Watch part 1 at this link and try out some of the demonstrated strategies for math problems. Tell us about the experience. 

    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPt1inAIs3k

    Full set of videos: http://www.jamestanton.com/?p=1097

  • 01/31/2020 11:00 PM | Karen Campe

    The chapter details 3 classroom examples in which the teachers’ language, tasks, and instructional strategies encouraged their students to take on challenges. Comment on one strategy, teacher move, or feedback phrasing from Heidi’s, Cindy’s, or Shawn’s classrooms that you use or aspire to use in your teaching.

  • 01/31/2020 10:59 PM | Karen Campe

    Write about obedience versus risk taking in mathematics. What came to mind when you read the passage on page 31?  What are you thinking now or what questions do you have?

  • 01/24/2020 9:17 PM | Karen Campe

    Look for some mathematical objects, books, videos, or experiences applicable to your grade level that might exemplify what mathematicians do (from the resources Tracy lists in the book or others you have sourced).  Tell us what you found.

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The ATOMIC Mission is to ensure that every Connecticut student receives world-class education in mathematics by providing vision, leadership and support to the K-16 mathematics community and by providing every teacher of mathematics the opportunity to grow professionally.

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