DiscoverMath is Figure-Out-Able with Pam Harris
Math is Figure-Out-Able with Pam Harris
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Math is Figure-Out-Able with Pam Harris

Author: Pam Harris

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Math teacher educator Pam Harris and her cohost Kim Montague answer the question: If not algorithms, then what?Join them for ~15 minutes every Tuesday as they cast their vision for mathematics education and give actionable items to help teachers teach math that is Figure-Out-Able. See www.MathisFigureOutAble.com for more great resources!
154 Episodes
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In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on February 1, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.Twitter: @PWHarrisInstagram: Pam Harris_mathFacebook: Pam Harris, author, mathematics education
The world is changing, and artificial intelligence is going to replace teachers! ...Or not. In this episode Pam and Kim discuss how teaching Real Math is more important now than ever, and we don't have to be afraid of those pesky robots.Talking Points:How Chat GPT is different from AI like PhotomathA teacher's paradigm will influnce how much AI will change the way we teach mathWill the future of AI change the way we think about grading and homework?Does the future if AI promote answer getting or deeper understanding?Why Real Math is so importantTeachers are going to need a support system to navigate the change.Try out Chat GPT here: https://chat.openai.com/chatRegistration for our workshops and Journey is now open! Find what help is best for you at https://www.mathisfigureoutable.com/workshopsCheck out our social mediaTwitter: @PWHarrisInstagram: Pam Harris_mathFacebook: Pam Harris, author, mathematics education
In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 25, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.Twitter: @PWHarrisInstagram: Pam Harris_mathFacebook: Pam Harris, author, mathematics education
When do you offer students help and what kinds of help do you offer? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss the balance of what kinds of help to give students and also where to find just the right help as teachers.Talking Points:Encouragement alone isn't enough helpModeling thinking doesn't mean to take over the thinkingFunneling vs focusing patterns of questioningDoes your help create mathematicians or learned helplessness?Teachers also need just the right amount and kind of helpRegistration for our workshops and Journey is now open! Find what help is best for you at https://www.mathisfigureoutable.com/workshopsSee also Episode 113 for more discussion about helping students.Check out our social mediaTwitter: @PWHarrisInstagram: Pam Harris_mathFacebook: Pam Harris, author, mathematics education
 In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 18, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.
Ep 135: The Challenge

Ep 135: The Challenge

2023-01-1724:081

What does it take to change our perspectives so we can teach more and more Real Math? In this episode Pam and Kim discuss how they can help YOU when you join the You Can Change Math Class Challenge!Talking Points:What is the Challenge anyway?Is the math you do at home different from the math you do in school? (Thank you John SanGiovanni)What are the major perspectives and how can I learn more about them?How does the perspective of how I was taught affect how I teach?Register for the challenge here! https://www.mathisfigureoutable.com/changeGet the free ebook here! https://www.mathisfigureoutable.com/bigFor more on the perspectives we talked about see episodes 24-28, and take the quiz to learn more about your perspective! https://www.mathisfigureoutable.com/xyzCheck out our social mediaTwitter: @PWHarrisInstagram: Pam Harris_mathFacebook: Pam Harris, author, mathematics education
In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 11, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.
We have heard from both teachers and leaders that it's a struggle to know what to look for in a Math is Figure-out-able classsroom and how to evaluate it, and help each other better our teaching craft. In this episode Pam and Kim go through the NCTM Effective Teaching practices and discuss and suggest conversations about how those standards look in a Math is Figure-out-able classroom.Talking Points:What does it mean to "establish mathematics goals to focus on learning"?What do tasks that "promote reasoning and problem solving" vs direct teaching look like?What all is entailed in "connecting matematical representations"? Why is "meaningful mathematical discourse" critical and what does it sound like? (listen to Episode 128 for more about Do, Say, Represent)What do "purposeful questions" sound like? The difference between funneling vs focusing questions.How we tweak "build (procedural) fluency with conceptual understanding"?What is "productive struggle"? Do you need time, or help? (listen to Episode 113 for more about productive struggle)What do tasks or problems look like that "elicit evidence of student thinking" then "use the thinking" to move the math forward?Don't forget to join the You Can Change Math Class Challenge! Register at mathisfigureoutable.com/changeCheck out our social mediaTwitter: @PWHarrisInstagram: Pam Harris_mathFacebook: Pam Harris, author, mathematics education
In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on January 4, 2023. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.
It's our wrap up episode on ratio tables. In this episode Pam and Kim answer some frequently asked questions and talk about how we can take ratio tables into higher math and beyond.Talking Points:Why teachers erase and when should students erase?Do, Say, Represent: how to help students represent what's going on in their heads Ratio tables aren't a gimmick, they make thinking visiable of how mathematicians and other mathy people think for the massesUsing ratio tables to notice patterns and reason using mathematical relationships in order to write the equation of a lineUsing ratio tables to reason about rational functions and transformationsCheck out our social mediaTwitter: @PWHarrisInstagram: Pam Harris_mathFacebook: Pam Harris, author, mathematics education
In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on December 28, 2022. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.
It's time to talk equivalent ratios and fractions! In this episode Pam and Kim demonstrate how understanding equivalent ratios leads to powerful reasoning about fraction operation, without the need to memorize steps and rules or algorithms.Talking Points:Empowerment is about having choiceRatio tables aren't a strategy, they're a model/representation of the strategy or strategies being usedIf you understand fractional equivalence, you don't need rules for fraction operationsHow to add 3/4 and 5/7 thinking and reasoning using a ratio tableDo non-equivalent ratios go on the same ratio table? How do you handle adding non-equivalent ratios?Note: for more infomation about the packs and sticks of gum scenario, listen to Episode 131Check out our social mediaTwitter: @PWHarrisInstagram: Pam Harris_mathFacebook: Pam Harris, author, mathematics education
In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on December 21, 2022. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.
Have we convinced you to love ratio tables as much as we do yet? In this episode Pam and Kim tackle another model building Problem String to show what a powerful model a ratio table can be.Talking Points:A non-unit ratio Problem StringRatios must be equivalent in a ratio tableReasoning proportionally can be much cleaner than cross-multiply-and-divideModel building strings verses strategy building stringsStart with reasoning and representing thinking then dive deeper into propertiesWhat's next? A strategy building string using a ratio table as a modelDon't forget to post how you represented your ratio table on social media!
In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on December 14, 2022. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.
We can't get enough of ratio tables! In this episode Pam and Kim go through another division Problem String, highlighting how they model-represent their thinking on ratio tables. They invite listeners to grab a pen or pencil and practice representing their own thinking on a ratio table.Talking Points:Noticings from MathStratChatDoes context matter?Does a ratio table have to be in sequential order?Does it matter when to erase during the Problem String?Does it matter when to use brackets or arrows?Can color help highlight relationships?How do you introduce a ratio table?A tool to represent thinking that can lead to new thinking
In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on December 7, 2022. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.
Why are ratio tables so amazing? In this episode Pam and Kim describe ratio tables and what makes it on the favorite mathematical models short list. Then they show it off with a Problem String.Talking Points:What is a ratio table?Can ratio tables be both vertical or horizontal?Does the context of a ratio table matter?Should you ever erase when using a ratio table?What else should students see and use besides a ratio table?A Problem String to model on a ratio tableSome powerful generalizations from the problem string using a ratio table modelAre we done talking about ratio tables?Online workshop registration opens in January!
In today’s MathStratChat, Pam and Kim discuss the MathStratChat problem shared on social media on November 30, 2022. Note: It’s more fun if you try to solve the problem, share it on social media, comment on others strategies, before you listen to Pam and Kim’s strategies.Check out #MathStratChat on your favorite social media site and join in the conversation.
Do your students ever say things like, "I just know" or "I don't know"? What can we do with that? How can we help students have meaningful discussions about their thinking and why is it so important? In this episode, Pam and Kim discuss the challenges of saying and representing our thinking, and how we can help students clarify their thinking in order to be able to discuss their strategies.Talking Points:When students say "I just know" because they just don't know what else to say or doWe can do more than we can say and say more than we can representDo, Say, RepresentThe importance of knowing your content and knowing your studentsHelping students grapple with and resolve disequilibruim helps clarify and solidify their learning Stay tuned for upcoming podcast for more about modeling to make student thinking visible
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