some books i read the last year

Bolded are my recommendations.

Italics are things I re-read this year.

  1. Obie is Man Enough (Schuyler Bailer)
  2. A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
  3. The Raven Tower (Ann Leckie)
  4. Stay Gold (Toby McSmith)
  5. The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin)
  6. Airman (Eoin Colfer)
  7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)
  8. A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)
  9. A Wind in the Door (Madeleine L’Engle)
  10. The House on the Cerulean Sea (TJ Klune)
  11. Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng)
  12. The Stars and the Blackness Between Them (Junauda Petrus)
  13. Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story (Jacob Tobia)
  14. The Mysterious Benedict Society (Trenton Lee Stewart)
  15. A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (Hank Green)
  16. The Anthropocene Reviewed (John Green)
  17. One of Us in Next (Karen M. McManus)
  18. Honey Girl (Morgan Rogers)
  19. Two Can Keep a Secret (Karen M. McManus)
  20. One of Us is Lying (Karen M. McManus)
  21. Turtles all the Way Down (John Green)
  22. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (Hank Green)
  23. Cat’s Eye (Margaret Atwood)
  24. The Thief Lord (Cornelia Funke)
  25. Peter and the Starcatcher (Rick Elise)
  26. The Robber Bride (Margaret Atwood)
  27. Hagseed (Margaret Atwood)
  28. The Body is Not an Apology (Sonia Renee Taylor)
  29. Dragon Rider (Cornelia Funke)
  30. Here, There Be Dragons (James A. Owen)

beginning my masters in teaching

  • Things I am thinking about
    • Healing math trauma
    • Habits of mind
    • Math anxiety
    • Creativity and joy in math
    • Community
    • Curiosity
    • Access
    • Honors/standard/fundamentals (the levels of math offered at my school… we are trying to reimagine this)
    • Portfolios
      • Assessment
    • Communication
    • Identity
      • Disability
      • Gender
    • Art
      • Geometry of clothing/fashion
      • crocheting/knitting
      • Clay
      • 3D printing
    • Technology 
    • Journaling/Reflections
    • Productive struggle
    • Math literacy
    • Games 
  • Questions
    • Why do we teach proof in geometry to ensure all students have access to and understanding of proof?
    • How can we foster an environment of collaboration and curiosity in mathematics?
    • How can we use proofs to teach students literacy skills in mathematics?
    • How can we use proofs to help teach students how to productively struggle?
    • What does a healthy mathematics community look like and how can we use community to heal math trauma and foster resilience in problem solving?
    • How do we decenter white male mathematicians in teaching geometry?
    • How can we use portfolios in mathematics to assess student growth and help students to see their own growth? 
    • How can we disrupt students’ internal narratives of fixed mathematics ability?
    • How can geometry be used to help students rediscover the power of play and creativity in problem solving?
    • How can teaching proofs be used to improve mathematical communication between students?
    • How can we use technology tools in teaching geometry and proof?
    • How can we incorporate art in teaching geometry? (Needs to be more focused) 
    • How can we use journals in mathematics to help students understand themselves as mathematicians, and their mathematical process?
    • How can mathematics be used to help students explore and understand identity and their place in the world?
    • How can we use games to foster creativity and collaboration in mathematics?
    • How can we reimagine the divide of students between varying levels of math courses?
  • Possible project ideas
    • Workbook of selected proofs/puzzles that build on each other
    • Outline/Example of a portfolio based assessment system
    • Website/blog: Community Mathematics —> daily/weekly puzzles
      • Series of collaborative puzzles?
    • Unit/Lesson Plans
    • Something else??????
    • Design a project for students to do

Chosen Research Question (As it stands right now): What does a healthy mathematics community look like and how can we use community to heal math trauma and foster resilience and curiosity?

converse

Alternatively titled: tattoo #7

i wore white converse to my high school graduation. this was against the dress code, which banned sneakers. But my high tops were clean and white, they matched the school mandated cap and gown, and i liked them.

normally, I would not be allowed to walk at graduation unless I changed my scandalous footwear. But I was giving a speech and it would have caused more disruption to prevent me from participating, and so I wore my converse.

a full body photograph of me, from my graduation cap to my sneakers made the front page of the local newspaper. school administrators were upset that I had tarnished their image. I was happy that this image actually showed an authentic version of me.

I kept and wore these same shoes again for my college graduation. They now sit on a shelf, near my diplomas, much less white and with many more rips than they did for their debut. But I will wear them again when I graduate with my masters, and any other degrees that may come after that.

and so as i wrap up year 1 of teaching, and it feels simultaneously like I am ending my own freshman and senior year of high school. I am in this place of transition out while still settling in. I am feeling rebellious, excited, frustrated, tired, and proud.

And when, this past weekend, I saw a local tattoo artist post a set of flash tattoos (drawings that they will tattoo all in one day, on a first come first serve basis), my rebellious impulsiveness took over. I submitted my interest in about 8 of the designs, and the next day found out that I would be getting this one.

this high top converse sneaker. the perfect way to wrap up a year of academic and personal accomplishment. A symbol of being here, despite the rules, and staying here to change the rules.

lost in the numbers

18 children 

And one teacher 

were killed today

by an 18 year old school shooter.

(And maybe more will not make it) 

The second major incident of gun violence to make it to my news radar this month. 

And there were over 200 that never made it to me. 

We have drills

We have trainings 

We have debriefs 

But we will never have peace of mind

And in hearing about this tragedy,

This unthinkable catastrophic normality,

I think first about where in my classroom would we go. 

Where are the locks and the curtains and the heavy objects to use to barricade the door.

I think about where are the books for throwing in self defense

And where are the sharp objects I could use to break the window. 

And then I think about how the news would reach my person. 

And my people

And I think about how i would recover if this happened here 

how this is community would recover

And I think about how would the situation change depending which class i was with, 

and their dynamics, and their needs,

And how I would best protect them,

And how could we get through this together,

And
I think of of each and every one of them.

The 58 on my class rosters.

And the many more who are not. 

I think of their faces 

(Or half visible faces) 

And I think of the goodness I see in them all. 

And I can’t think of the world without them. 

And
I try to think of anything else 

anything besides the idea, the possibility, of this happening.

19 children were killed.

And 2 adults. 

27th school shooting

212th mass shooting 

1984 people killed by guns 

In the United States of America

in 2022

so far.

And I have to say so far 

Because there will be more.

For these irreplaceable,
individual, incredible human beings

who have taught me how to be a teacher,

i want more for them. 

more than this never-ending barrage of preventable and catastrophic violence.

I want more accountability and action and shelter and healing and care for them. 

and
i want more for me.

Sources: https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/, https://www.npr.org/2022/05/24/1101050970/2022-school-shootings-so-far

awards season

I gave each of my students an individual award for the end of the year. Below are the awards (slightly edited for anonymity).

  1. Product of Zero Award: Most Persuasive
  2. Absolute Value Award: staying positive when things are hard, bringing joy and humor to our class
  3. Math Center Award: best use of resources and asking questions
  4. D20 award: Best world builder
  5. Denise chickulant award (named after the succulent in our class): positivity and adaptability
  6. Proof Award: Excellence in class participation and mathematical explainations
  7. Exponential award: Mathematical growth
  8. x^2+y^2 = 1 award: well rounded, and rolls with the punches
  9. Craftsperson Award: creativity and skill in many mediums
  10. Secret Mathematician: Most likely to ask if we can not do math in math class
  11. Tony Award: accomplishment in the dramatic and mathematic arts
  12. Fractal Award: A mathematician who is meticulous, organized, and precise
  13. Sunflower award: Most growth, and for being ray of sunshine
  14. Chameleon award: makes the best of any situation
  15. Technicion Award: Most likely to build a computer from scratch, and excellence in tinkering and finding the joy in a puzzle
  16. Calculator award: Most likely to have done all the math in their head before half the class heard the question
  17. Distributive property award: Best person to spill tea with
  18. Best New Artist: Painting
  19. Divide by 0 award: Best person to be stranded on a desert island/get you out of a bind
  20. Apothem Award: for keeping us grounded, clever solutions, and also making us laugh
  21. Cosine Award: For someone who is adaptable, practical, and perseveres through challenges
  22. Prime number Award: For someone who demonstrates individuality, curiosity, and strength.
  23. Probability Award: Most competitive at games of chance, as well as someone who always pushes themselves to improve
  24. X^x: For excellence in volleyball, leadership, algebra skills, and positivity
  25. Proof By Induction Award: For witty comments, persuasiveness, great communication, and clever mathematical solutions
  26. Java Award: Most likely to be a vigilante hacker
  27. Exponential Award: Most likely to make forbes 30 under 30
  28. Rising Star Award: Given to a freshman who shows wisdom, discpline, and skill beyond their years
  29. Parabola award: For excellence in 3 point shots, and for willingness to lean into difficulty and grapple with complex ideas and problems
  30. GCF Award: For excellence in collaboration and making connections between concepts
  31. Tangent Award: Most likely to steer the conversation in an extremely interesting (if unrelated) direction
  32. 2022 Award: For someone who embodies the best part of this year together: fruits nacks, flexibility, fun, friendship, and a finding where you fit in this community.
  33. Unmasked award: For authenticity, compassion, risk taking, and kindness.
  34. Wordsmith: For excellence in fast typing and word puzzle solving, and general cleverness and collaborative skill
  35. Canada Award: For excellence in leadership, athleticism, fidgeting, style, and perseverance
  36. For excellence in collaborative problem solving, creative thinking, reading prowess, and openmindedness.
  37. CPS (clicks per second) Award: For fastest gaming, googling, and wordle completing.
  38. Blooket Award: For speed, accuracy, and good sportsmanship.
  39. Desmos Award: Excellence in graphing, visualization, and precision
  40. Linear Function Award: Someone who keeps us on track, and is consistent in their effort and enthusiasm
  41. Rational Function Award: For someone who excels in logic, organization, and finding unusual methods of solving problems.
  42. The Phantom Tollbooth Award: For embodying the spirit of Milo (the main character in The Phantom Tollbooth). This award is given to someone with extraordinary creativity, cleverness, and growth throughout the year.
  43. (Breaking the) Glass Ceiling Award: for someone who defies expectations, holds themselves to high expectations, and advocates for their needs
  44. Quadratic Award: For excellence in box factoring and mathematical explanations.
  45. 18th Hole Award: For golf skill, kindness, compassion, and perseverance.
  46. Piecewise function: For someone with many changes and bumps along the way through this year, but who managed to find a path through with positivity and humor.
  47. The Lightbulb Award: For someone who asks great questions, and uses their understanding to help others understand. This award goes to someone who helps others see the joy in mathematics and problem solving.
  48. High School Musical Award: For positivity, openness to trying new things, kindness, and commitment to the bit
  49. Glee Award: for excellence in collaboration, community building, and communication

Awards named for colleagues

  1. For someone who has worked hard to make connections in the community, and goes out of their way to make sure everyone feels welcome. You are someone listens without judgment, and who is always trying to understand the perspectives of others.
  2. For a leader and in the community with big visions, high expectations, and good humor.
  3. For being unafraid to stand up for the right thing
  4. For Kindness and compassionate leadership
  5. For a lover of calculus
  6. For perseverance, good humor, curiosity, and tenacity
  7. For someone who is kind, consistent and clever
  8. For creativity and Enthusiasm
  9. For someone who is prepared, organized, thoughtful
  10. for curiosity, collaboration, singing, and style

radical honesty

it is something new to show All of myself

past and present.

to be this

(all of this),

and somehow,

to not apologize.

i am terrified

to be loud

to be seen

to be thought about

to be memorable

to be recognizable

(no wonder i often feel invisible)

how fortunate then (i suppose)

that putting up walls and guards and protections and masks

is so exhausting.

When im running on empty,

the walls collapse

and i am able to to experience the open expanse

of just being.

wrapping up year 1 of teaching

  • things that have been on my mind lately
    • i want to crochet something for students in some way but it either needs to be a very small (like 5 minutes each) type thing, or i don’t give one to everyone. perhaps only my advisees.
    • how to send off the seniors? I don’t teach any, but i know a handful from clubs and the play and such, and i would like to celebrate them
    • this department is really shifting. there is so much possibility here.
    • how are there so few weeks left. one month from now i will be done with my first full year. beginning to end with the same students.
    • grades are meant to be simple, transparent communications but also convey so much information and i dont know how to do that accurately/meaningfully (yet?)
    • there are so many things i wish i could do to wrap things up and reflect and preplan for next year because im already excited to try this dice project again. its going pretty well but there are a lot of things i would do differently the second time around and i am excited to try again!
    • a middle school art teacher in florida was fired for allowing discussion of sexuality and identity in class. i am tired. i am sad. i am anxious.
      • every week it feels like my humanity is questioned anew.

assorted thoughts from my notes app (pt. 5)

  1. predictions watching Netflix show, The Ultimatum
  2. how do you not feel guilty for being happy?
  3. Notes from physical therapy appointment: 3 exercises, 30 reps
    1. Updated note: 5 exercises, 30 reps, add weight? PT said I did good!!!
  4. “i love hearing his laugh downstairs”
  5. headache/migraine log
  6. “i can let these circles overlap”
  7. Brainstorm for my end of year letter to my students. I had a teacher who wrote a 12 page “journal entry” from 30 years in the future where she goes to see all of us spread around the world and what we’re up to. I want to give that to my students too.
  8. “there’s comfort in not being special sometimes”
  9. “fish oil 2/18”
  10. Generative art
  11. in class i give away the answer too quick…im too excited. i gotta let them have that excitement and glorious moment of discovery and clarity
  12. Speed run times for rows of my old crochet project: 5:07, 4:23, 4:53, 4:28
  13. a menu of potential birthday celebration ideas for my ❤
  14. “i don’t often keep promises to myself. i need to rebuild that trust”
  15. “I am not parallel lines”
  16. to think about (make peace with) when there is time (even though there never is):
    1. how to exist in capitalism
    2. creating waste, minimizing waste
  17. Quote from C: “Friends? I like them as a concept. Execution varies.”

Geometry Solids Project: Creating a Die

I am looking to attempt this project with my students starting in a few weeks. I am still working out details and testing it, but I would love feedback.

Objective: 

Students design and create a non-cube die of their choosing using either 3D printing, crocheting, (or something else?)

Definitions: 

Polyhedron: a solid formed by plane faces

Dice: A solid object that can be rolled and land on one of n-sides. Each side is labeled a number or other symbol(s). 

Deliverables

ItemFormatDetailsDueDone?
ProposalGoogle FormWhat polyhedron?What material?Who you are working with (if anyone)? 
*Everyone must submit a form, even if you are working in pairs*
Digital 3D Model.spl fileUse tinkercad.com to design your dice. It must include the polyhedron listed in your proposal, but you may combine it with other polyhedrons.
Play with the number of sides, steps and other settings to create your die.
Paper/cardboard NetFlat net and folded netDrawing of net(s?) and calculations (perhaps showing multiple approaches for calculating?)Find Area (in general terms, and then with a specific size that you plan to make)
SummaryPaper
 AND 
Google Classroom
Stats/Calculations: 
-Surface Area of Net (General and specific)
-Volume of paper (General and specific)
-Print/Crochet speed (in. of material/minute?)
-Length yarn/filament used 
-Something with the probabilities/fair and unfair dice???

Reflection: 
-It is impossible to create a perfect physical polyhedron. In what ways is yours an approximation? In what ways is yours an accurate representation?
-What did you learn during this project about your medium? About polyhedrons?
-Discuss the math behind constructing your die
-What surprised you during this project?
-What are you most proud of from this project?
DiePhysical ObjectPossibilities:
1. 3D printed
Crafting Days: Research/learning about how 3D printers work, beginning prints

2. Crochet/Knit
Crafting Days: Time to work on your project and troubleshoot together

3.Something else that you think would be cool? Talk to your teacher!
After Project SurveyGoogle formGetting your feedback!
  • Questions for those reading this:
    • How does this read? Is it logical? What questions are you left with?
    • How would you assess this? What would you include in a rubric?
    • What should the presentations/celebration at the end of the project look like?
      • Possibilities: gallery walk, verbal presentation, giving feedback to each other, playing dice games…?
    • Any ideas for extensions to this/other mathematics to explore
Photo by Matthias Groeneveld on Pexels.com

i feel quite small today

Today, the Alabama House of Representatives voted to make it illegal for doctors to proscribe gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth (18 and under).

I am grateful for what a few representatives said in the battle that ended in a vote of 66-28 in favor of this bill.

Rep. England: “You’re saying this is about children. It’s not. What it is about is scoring political points and using those children as collateral damage”

Rep. Rafferty: “Its totally undermining family rights, health rights and access to health care.”

I was pretty numb while I read this headline at first. A protective numbness.

I was numb until I reached this quote in the article from Rep. Wes Allen: “Their brains are not developed to make the decisions long term about what these medications and surgeries do to their body,”

When I read that, I was angry. I was frustrated by the utter stupidity of it all. I wanted to storm down to that house and explain to this man that going through puberty ~naturally~ or whatever Is A Choice, and a choice with lasting, lifelong repercussions. I want to ask why he thinks the state should be able to make this choice for children: A choice that he states will have lasting effects on their bodies.

I have been fighting my body for years, and if I had been given the option at the beginning to not have to go through that, hell yes I would have picked that.

I’m not a better person for having had two puberties. I’m just sadder.

All I want is to be able to protect those kids in Alabama. I want to protect my trans students from the ricocheting pain I am feeling after this bill. And after all the rest.

I feel quite small today.

https://www.npr.org/2022/04/07/1091510026/alabama-gender-affirming-care-trans-transgender