What a journey this has been…The Math Pod began last year as Not-A-Book-Study and was an innovative way to connect educators in the Northeast Region of Ontario (Sudbury/North Bay and surrounding area) to their math learning with Cathy Fosnot through Stephen Hurley’s VoicEd.ca Radio. Their reach was much further of course and word began to spread about this math podcast.
This year, we wanted to build on that thinking and design and apply what we learned from the field. People told us that ten weeks was too long so instead we did three cycles, four weeks each throughout the year. After each cycle, we send out surveys and sought your feedback and worked to improve the podcast through each cycle. You can access the previous reports here: Cycle 1, Cycle 2. Special thanks to Dragana Martinovic and the team at the Math Knowledge Network and KNEAR for your ongoing support! This type of responsive design is at the heart of the Math Pod’s success. We can only do it with your involvement and feedback! We will be sending out our final survey of the year next week so please look for it!
This week’s episode was jam packed with so much learning it made my head spin! I had to check in with colleagues, Kathy Prince and Ve Anusic afterwards because I just didn’t feel that “a-ha” moment everyone was getting around the reversal error in algebra. Cathy Fosnot challenged all of us to realize that when we create problems that are focused on arithmetic rather than relationship, variance and structure we move away from algebra. Similar to last week’s example with the “red blue red blue what comes next” situation, we train our students to find THE correct answer rather than thinking more broadly about generalizations, patterns and relationships with objects. We need to always move away from procedure into broader mathematical concepts to think more deeply and with denser structures.
We were also joined this week by Ryan Tackaberry, a math coach from the Peel District School Board, and he courageously shared a problem he was working on with students. What an amazing opportunity to be professional coached by Cathy Fosnot! His shared his problem and student samples in a tweet:
Cathy coached him so we could all gain understanding of the decisions he made when designing the program, responding to student work and developing their understanding of arithmetic to algebra. Following this, we also discussed Fosnot’s Landscape for Teacher Learning in Algebra:
Ryan shared his on reflections, following the coaching session with Cathy, about where he was on this landscape and what he saw his next move to be. Thank you Ryan for your willingness to share that thinking in public! It is through this sharing that we all learn.
I am happy to report that after being coached by both Kathy Prince and Ve Anusic I finally got my “a-ha” moment…it only took me three days longer than Stephen Hurley who got it right away, live, on air!
We want to thank all of you, the educators all over Ontario, those who joined us online and live on the podcast and those who shared your thinking through blogs, vlogs, work samples and tweets for all the time you have devoted to learning math, one podcast at a time!
We hope to see you all next year!