Math and Other Things Podcast
Season 1: Episode 4: On the Sheer Joy of Teaching Mathematics with Ella Hereth
In this episode, I talk to Ella Hereth, a middle school math teacher in Indianapolis, Indiana. Ella’s my first guest that I randomly emailed because I’ve only really gotten to know her on Twitter! Even though we both live in Indianapolis, our paths don’t cross regularly, but I’m looking to change that in the future! Ella has been teaching for 13 years everything from 7th grade to Pre-Calculus and she continues to grow as a professional trying something new in her classrooms as she learns more about the very best ways to meet the needs of every child. Listening to her talk about successes and struggles in teaching math, the beauty she sees in math, and how she makes connections between art and mathematics is so cool.
The math in this episode is how elementary mathematics connects to secondary math concepts, the beauty of math in graphs and relationships, math in art, using Desmos as an ongoing tool for learning, and some great examples of the inspiration she’s taken from various mathematics resources for teachers!
The other things in this episode is Twitter as a learning tool, doing math with other teachers to think hard about how children are thinking about the math and how they might respond to tasks given to them, giving yourself permission to think about teaching math in many different ways, realizing you don’t always have to plan the perfect lesson, the benefits giving up the control in your classroom by opening space for students to do the thinking, and so. much. More.
Resources Referenced in this episode:
Twitter Hashtags worth following!
First, don’t forget to follow Ella - @mshereth and, of course, don’t forget to follow @mathandothers!
Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, Grades K-12: 14 Teaching Practices for Enhancing Learning
The Five Practices in Practice [Elementary]: Successfully Orchestrating Mathematics Discussions in Your Elementary Classroom
The Five Practices in Practice [Middle School]: Successfully Orchestrating Mathematics Discussions in Your Middle School Classroom
Season 1: Episode 3: On Falling in Love with Math – with Rebecca Borowski
In this episode, I talk to Rebecca Borowski, an Assistant Professor of math education at Western Washington University who I met when we were both PhD students at Indiana University. The episode is loaded with lots of great advice on being the best teacher you can be, how Rebecca found joy in the learning of mathematics, and so much more!
The math in this episode is understanding that it's about so much more than calculations, the benefits of adults learning in base 5 or 12, and the complications behind missing the week factoring was taught in school! The other things are the power of wanting to know more, surrounding yourself with those who support students and you, and the benefits of believing in your students.
Season 1: Episode 2: Creating a Culture of Mathematics in Our Classrooms with Courtney Coppinger and Kalisha Hoffman
In this episode, Courtney Coppinger and Kalisha Hoffman, who both teach first grade in Indianapolis, Indiana join me as they share highlights of creating a culture of mathematics in their classrooms. We talk about how they start their school years off believing every child in the classroom is a mathematician and the importance of allowing for flexibility in the teaching and learning in their classrooms.
The math in this episode is ways to set up your classroom to make math tools available at all times, documenting student work and thinking in math notebooks, the power of talking about the math in your classroom, creating tasks with multiple entry points, and much more. The other things are the intentionality of the language we use, the power of positioning yourself as a learner, making the child’s voice the most important voice in the classroom, and the fact that if you’re never totally sure of the perfect way to do something, that is just fine.
Ok Go! I Won’t Let You Down video referenced
Season 1: Episode 1: On Becoming a “Math Person” with Ryan Flessner
In this episode, Ryan Flessner, my husband and fellow math educator and colleague, joins me as we share our journeys to becoming math people and having entire careers around math. We talk about how Ryan wooed me by making number sentences out of the time on the clock in the car, how he supported me in truly figuring out how in the world to teach math to my students, and how even when your experience with math as a young person was pretty horrible, you can still learn to love math!
The math in this episode includes stories from our classrooms and lives where we played with numbers, how we talked to our students about math, and how math became a part of our lives (and if I’m to be totally honest, our children’s lives too!) The other things in this episode are anecdotes about being willing to try new things, opening our minds to understanding not everyone thinks as we do, taking risks, the importance of having a critical friend, and a lot of vulnerability. Without these other things in place, neither one of us would be the math educators we are today. Here we go! Our first episode!
Keep Indiana Learning Blog Post referenced linked here.
Season 1: Episode 0: Math and Other Things Trailer
Join us for our new podcast called Math and Other Things! I’m Courtney Flessner, and I’ve spent the past 25 years of my educational career deepening my understanding of the very best ways to meet the needs of students because I believe every child should have the opportunity to learn. Over the years, I’ve discovered a lot about teaching. But you know what I found deep in my soul? Math. I’ve settled on a mission to help students - and teachers - realize we are all math people. We can teach math in ways that are so compelling, not only can we change the narrative of “math isn’t really my thing,” we might even have a little fun while doing so.
In our new podcast, we will create a space where we examine the small steps you can take to make big change in your classrooms and schools. As educators, we are charged with creating cultures where children are inspired to inquire, explore, and take risks. We want them to ask questions, debate, and eventually agree on the solutions they find to the problems they face. As the instructional leaders in our classrooms and schools, we must be willing to take risks as we create these collaborative environments. When we do so, our students and their unique thinking thrives, and every member of the classroom is empowered to be the architect of their learning.
Each episode of Math and Other Things podcast will highlight a topic in schools and/or the world of mathematics, include thoughts, suggestions, stories, and anecdotes from educators in the field, higher education, or perhaps other educational thought leaders, and hopefully leave you inspired to make a baby step in your own classroom or school. We’ll talk about math - but we’ll also talk about other things because the teaching and learning of mathematics does not live in a world by itself. It’s using what we know about how children learn, how schools are organized so every child can be successful, and who we are as educators and individuals that makes us the very best educators we can be - even in mathematics!