I’ve mentioned my enthusiasm for Sam Shah’s outreach to new math edubloggers, including his how-to guide for getting started. I contributed a video profile to his project where I try to describe why getting a blog has been such an awesome, weird thing for my career and then convince you to get one yourself:
Hi my name is Dan Meyer and I’ve been blogging for six years. I still remember the day I set it up – just a casual decision to create a free blog. I blogged not because I wanted a huge readership but because I wanted to debrief myself after particularly good or bad lessons. I wanted to be able to read about it later. That’s it. But it turns out people like reading about that sort of thing so I slowly got a readership and even with a small one I started getting so much better as a teacher. I would ask for feedback explicitly. I would throw some praise on the people who offered critical feedback. That’s not easy to do. And the result of all that critical feedback, I’m pretty sure, is that I grew two years of professional growth for every one year I was in the classroom, which is totally unscientific there, but that’s how it felt. I’m pretty sure that without my collection of blogs and readers and critical comments, I’d still be back there totally psyched about that amazing worksheet I came up with. So give it a try. Get a blog. Write for yourself. Let other people know about it. And above all have fun.
RickAugust 21, 2012 - 9:18 am -
Dang, six years? It seems like just yesterday I was reading about how math must assess. And look at you now…some 10k subscribers and growing. :-)
NoraAugust 21, 2012 - 11:09 am -
I started my blog a few months ago and have found this little niche of other math bloggers.
My lessons have improved ten-fold since starting this blog for three reasons.
1) I’ve been stealing from other bloggers. :)
2) Having a blog motivates me to be creative, I want to share my best ideas.
3) I have the expertise of many other math educators at my fingertips. Ask for advice and you shall receive.
TomAugust 21, 2012 - 6:13 pm -
OK I GOT ONE :)
I actually started in May and then, whoa, first-year teacher end of the school year happened. Now I’m gearing up for the school year and am planning to use my blog just how Dan started – a lesson debrief. And if some people stop by and offer feedback and have some discussions, well that would be swell.
Nutter ButtersmithAugust 21, 2012 - 6:56 pm -
I just started a math blog back in June. I wasn’t sure what I would write about, but I did it anyways.
I joined the blog initiative, and between that, #made4math Mondays, and #myfavfridays, I’m blogging A LOT!
Thanks for the encouragement!
Mary DoomsAugust 22, 2012 - 3:59 am -
I joined the blogger initiative and it has been an incredible shot in the arm! And yes, the critical feedback is fabulous. I’ve started blogging about Standards Based Grading in a percentage based world and the comments point out methods, and ideas I hadn’t considered. Blogging DOES make you a better teacher.
Julie ReulbachAugust 22, 2012 - 5:25 am -
Yeah! Thanks so much for helping out with this amazing initiative!
GarthAugust 22, 2012 - 5:59 am -
I started my blog for pretty much the same reasons but I end up getting so much more. Writing helps me see my ideas but when people respond it helps me see good ideas from really bad ideas. I have lots of less that clever ideas and people out there have some really great ideas. Without blogs my idea pool would be pretty shallow and stagnant.
Andrew StadelAugust 22, 2012 - 7:24 am -
“Above all have fun.” Totally agreed!
Heather KohnAugust 22, 2012 - 10:26 am -
I joined the challenge and am so looking forward to the critical feedback you mention… bring it on!
Sybilla BeckmannAugust 23, 2012 - 5:05 pm -
This math blogging community is so cool! I have been writing about how math teaching needs the kind of healthy competition for the admiration of one’s peers that is derived by discussing and building on each other’s ideas (in informal and more formal settings/writing). This is the essence of what drives excellence in research communities. We also need to develop repositories of information for and about math teaching. These ideas led to the development of the online Mathematics Teaching Community at https://mathematicsteachingcommunity.math.uga.edu Everyone in the math teaching bloggosphere is invited there! There you can post questions, activities, discussion items, links to interesting and useful things — anything for or about math teaching. Use the tags to search for topics of interest. It is for all of us who teach math at any level, PreK through college. I think we all need to band together to make math teaching the vigorous, vibrant profession it should to be! See more about the site under the meta tag.
James KeyAugust 24, 2012 - 5:27 am -
I did it! I created my own blog and posted some materials for my first lesson! I invite you to visit me here:
You will find links to 4 handouts/activities that I created, as well as a description of the concepts students explore. Treats points, lines, and planes — how to name them, and what we get when they intersect. Simple questions with a rich set of answers!
Dan MeyerAugust 28, 2012 - 7:58 pm -
Rick! What’s up, Rick! I still owe you a beer!
Everybody who just picked up a blog: great work. Now keep writing.
Erika HettingerJuly 3, 2013 - 11:18 am -
I am new to your blog, and look forward to getting a lot out of it. I am also going to start my own math teaching blog.
This upcoming school year, I am going to be teaching a class that sits in between Algebra 2 and PreCalc…there is no curriculum, no textbook and is designed for the students who barely passed Alg 2, but who we have found will not be successful in PreCalc without some sort of intervention. I am very excited about this, but also very overwhelmed.
And speaking of being overwhelmed….I googled your name and there seems to be many blogs, ideas, etc. that can help me. But, I have no idea where to get started. Your 101Questions site seems to be something that I can base a project-based math class on, but I can’t figure out how to navigate that to find what I need.
Do you have any suggestions for how I can get started? How can I search from within your sites to find actual lesson ideas that I can use with my students? Any ideas to point me in the right direction would be very welcome.
Thank you for all that you are doing to change the way mathematics is being taught.
Dan MeyerJuly 7, 2013 - 9:05 pm -
Hi Erika, thanks for the question. I think the first thing I’d do is check out this link, which will take you to a list of multimedia tasks I’ve created for the classroom.
This post will give you a lot of the theory behind them. If I can help you out at all after that, please drop me an email or a comment.