Category Archives: #mtbos

Math Promotes Calm and Flow

Our hats are off to the health care and essential workers.

Math can be therapeutic! I know there are dozens of studies re: Math anxiety but I propose that Math can bring on flow and thereby calmness.

I have the great fortune of working with students and teachers on this great thing we call Math.  In Math, we have the opportunity to find some comfort in the known and knowable with consistency and dependability.  This week, I observed a lesson on the Exterior Angle Theorem and the teacher did an excellent job of drawing 8th graders into the intrigue and puzzlement of Math and the ‘aha’/’Eureka’ of understanding.  This promotes a flow state and a sense of accomplishment and calm.

The teacher used this excellent Geogebra:
Geogebra Exterior Angle Applet
Geogebra Ext Angle ThmTriangle



Midterm “Exam” Suggestions from Students

Hope you all are well.  This week was back to school for my college students.   The form below is from the end of class Monday (our very first virtual class!)

Our college, The College of Mount Saint Vincent, has professors post midterm grades.  These grades do not go on transcripts but allow for transparency between teachers and students.  I spent much of the planning time for Monday’s lesson and Wednesday’s exam focused on the student experience and creating modules within the 85 minutes.

On Wednesday the midterm for my College Algebra students was a blend of Delta Math and a Google Form.  I chatted with students in real time and held virtual office hours.

I extended the Delta Math due date til Friday morning and also created a non Delta Math assignment on a Word document to provide students with a choice.   At this point in time, helping students complete assignments is not as important as building community and agency for our students.

Midterm Sugeestions

Math Creates Flow!

Of the many ways to measure a Math lesson,  one is flow.  The 75 minute blocks at my college can feel like a long time to be doing Math.    Therefore, I try to have a variety of modalities within a lesson to capture students’ attention and to provide opportunities to learn and do Math.

The best flow experience I witnessed in my classroom was an activity (on Graphing Functions) starting at 1:58 which was 17 minutes before class ended.  I had thought they would first work independently and then work in pairs.

1:58 handout given students have alone time to think and work while I visit deskside
2:05 students are working independently while I circulate around
2:10 students are still actively learning solo
2:15 class has officially ended — do I tell them?
2:20 they are STILL working — so engrossed
These students may have another class at 2:30 — our room is about to be taken over by the teacher and students waiting patiently outside the door.
2:23 Drat! I have to break the magic and tell them that class is over

At the end, I was delighted that students were totally in a flow state.  They lost all sense of time while they were learning and doing Math.  My only regret?