• Home
  • Chapter 1 – Option 2 (Connection)


Chapter 1 – Option 2 (Connection)

01/17/2020 9:31 PM | Karen Campe

React to the word clouds on page 5. Is there a word that resonates with you? Surprises you? One that you want to aspire to include in your math teaching?

Note: the word clouds are also found at these links:




  • 01/17/2020 11:24 PM | Kimberly Rimbey
    If I'm forced to choose just one word, it's "truth." I'm just finished reading Mathematics for Human Flourishing by Francis Su. In that book, he talks about the virtues that can be developed with the pursuit of mathematics. Among them are many of the words listed here - truth, play, curiosity, exploration, joy, wonder, persistence. Today, I choose truth because I think math really can help us pursue and find truth - truth about the world around us and truth about ourselves.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 01/19/2020 4:05 PM | Alison Foley
    The word worksheets resonates with me as growing up that is exactly what I thought of when thinking about math - "which worksheet will be be completing today?" The only exciting time in math occurred when we got to work on the worksheet with a partner! I aspire to include wonder and joy in my math lessons. Instead of thinking "What are the exact right answers that will make my teacher happy on this worksheet?" (like I used to think as a kid), I want my students to wonder about mathematics, make connections between models, seek out and discover patterns, be creative and more.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 01/19/2020 8:41 PM | Stephanie Rousseau
    I can connect to many words on both figures but for this post, I will focus on what I aspire to and hope to inspire others to aspire to — and that is curiosity. Kids get to school SO curious about everything and some time, very early on I their mathematics education, it seems we strip away this natural curiosity as they learn the “right way” to “do math”. I see it with my own children (4 & 6). We were walking by a brick building one day and my four year old says “I wonder how many bricks that building has mommy.” Is she old enough to come up with a reasonable estimate? No. Could she truly solve that problem at this point? No. But she was CURIOUS. She’s thinking about quantity, she’s trying to use mathematics to make sense of the world around her. Both of my girls do this CONSTANTLY. As a math specialist/coach/interventionist, I help foster this at home, but I do get nervous for the day they get to a teacher who does have unresolved math anxiety and their curiosity of mathematics dwindles. And so I try to capture that curiosity with my intervention students and also encourage it and model it with classroom teachers using such practices as three act tasks. I work in a PreK-2 school and I always say that my goal for students at my school (all of them) is to leave our school still excited about all the possibilities that math has to offer. Now I think I would add that I want them to leave our school just as curious about Math as when they came in.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 01/20/2020 9:09 PM | Anonymous member
    Every student in my math classroom always tell me that the energy and passion I provide in my lesson is what makes them want to come to class and learn math. I include a series of questions from easy to hard integrated with other subjects in order for my students to have the big picture.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 01/22/2020 4:30 PM | Karen Campe
    The word that most resonates with me and that I aspire to include in my teaching is EXPLORE. I love using technology to explore new math concepts with students, and I’ve become much more welcoming of the tangents and detours that these explorations might lead to. Even though they might not be part of my original lesson objectives, taking the “scenic route” can make our math learning more robust and vibrant.

    I also want to mention that “exploration” or “discovery” math can get a bad rap. I believe that we can be more effective with these types of math experiences when they include guidance and reflection on the important math concepts learned in the activity. I’ve found that summarizing the lesson (by teacher or students) is essential to making the learning thorough and durable.

    Link  •  Reply
    • 01/23/2020 8:45 AM | Stephanie Rousseau

      I completely agree with the importance of more exploration and discovery. It takes a skilled teacher with deep content knowledge and a clear long-term objective to be able to successfully help students reflect and connect their learning during exploration/discovery time! So essential though!
      Link  •  Reply
  • 01/23/2020 6:54 AM | Stacey Haleks
    If I had a word to aspire to, it would be joy. Joy for my students because for so many of them I observe such a strong math phobia. It breaks my heart to see such fear on their faces when they know it's time for a math lesson and watching some of my most overall confident students change demeanor when it means they need to do math. I think too many of them see math as just a continuous problem to solve with no return other than trying to get to the correct answer.

    I am not delusional in thinking I would get all my students to LOVE math, but if they can find the fun and creativity it takes to be a mathematician, they would relax, open their minds, and see how they can use all their deep thinking, creativity, and open mindedness from other areas of their life to be successful in math as well. In that success, they will find joy.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 01/23/2020 6:59 PM | Jen Maxwell
    Even though math came easily for me throughout my schooling, I would still describe my mathematics education with the words used in figure 1.1. I remember worksheets and memorization. I remember being embarrassed and scared to share my thinking. In my current role as a math coach, I am hopeful. I believe many students would describe their math experience with the words used in figure 2. Our math teachers encourage students to take risks and we often engage our students in inquiry based lessons that spark curiosity. We encourage good thinking and de-emphasize quick answers that lack explanation.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 01/27/2020 6:56 PM | Susan Palma
    The word that most resonates with me is embarrassed. I was always very nervous to share my answers. I typically had a different way or different strategy for completing a problem and was embarrassed to share my thinking after being criticized for not solving the problem in the one and only way allowed. I aspire in a coaching role to support teachers and students with the openness to explore a variety of ways to thinking about mathematics.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 02/01/2020 9:37 AM | Becky Lyman
    HATE: That word sticks out to me on the first word cloud because I hear it all the time from my students. "I hate math" It makes me sad because I know they hate how we are teaching them math and not necessarily the subject itself or it's possible applications. I take it as a challenge to find a way to get those students to embrace math even a tiny bit and show that they can understand concepts and see how math can work. PERSIST: this word sticks with me on the second word cloud because I wish my students would persist and be ok with failing to get to a new understanding of what they are learning. If it's wrong they tend to just give up or revert back to that HATE word.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 02/02/2020 7:35 PM | Anonymous member
    Reflecting on the word clouds, I found that I connected more to the second word cloud. The word discovery resonated with me because it represents my journey with mathematics. The more we are immersed in the practices of mathematics the more we discover about mathematics and about problem solving. One word that surprised me was alone. While many of the words made sense to me, I wasn't expecting to see that one. The more I think about it, it makes sense if you are a student among many who doesn't understand and gives me added perspective as a teacher of mathematics. It also makes me think about teachers who currently teach math but may still feel like they aren't secure with teaching it.
    Link  •  Reply

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.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software