Shira Helft and Rick Barlow gave one of the most stellar talks at a recent, stellar math education conference. Like many teachers of ELL populations, they struggled to help their students speak mathematically. They described their transition from blunt prompts like “justify your answer” to precise participation structures they developed with their colleagues. They talked about two of those structures in their session — “math fights” and “middle bits” — which are simultaneously accessible and demanding. We could have kept that session running for another few days for all I cared.
They gave that talk to a room of maybe 50 teachers. It should have been 500, or however many math teachers there are in the world. (I assume around 500.) I hassled the Global Math Department to set them up with a forum, so here they are.
The live show is Tuesday, May 5, 6:00 PM Pacific Time. The recording will live on forever. Do yourself and your students a favor and watch it.
2015 May 4. I’m informed there’s a 100-person cap on live attendance, which means 400 of the world’s 500 math teachers will have to watch the recording. I’ll be sure to add that here once it’s available.