A Culturally Responsive Approach to Students' Math Anxiety

Published: Friday, December 18, 2020

Larisa Bukalov and I wrote an article for Education Week outlining culturally responsive techniques to deal with students' math anxiety. In this article, which incorporates many of the ideas that we discuss more deeply in our book The Math Teacher's Toolbox: Hundreds of Practical Ideas to Support Your Students, Larisa and I discuss the importance of building relationships with students, promoting mathematical communication, making mathematical connections, and connecting to students prior experiences. We believe that teachers should constantly reflect on their practices to find ways that students' culture, like other aspectsof their personality, can be used to strnegthen learning.

Our article was part of a number of articles about teaching math in a culturally responsive way. Other responses were written by people like Robert Q. Berry III, Past President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The artices are part of Larry Ferlazzo's Classroom Q&A blog. 

Our article can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/edweek-crt-math

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What Teachers Need from Districts During the Pandemic

Published: Friday, December 4, 2020

Teaching during this pandemic has been an incredible challenge. The unfamiliarity and isolation of our situation has often made me feel like a first-year teacher. Over the past few months, my colleague Larisa Bukalov and I discovered many ways to improve our remote instruction. At the same time, we've also discovered limitations to our work that can best be addressed with help from school districts and educational policymakers. In an article we wrote for Education Week, we describe four aspects of remote learning where we have made progress but need additional support to make it more successful - guidance, consistency, compassion, and cooperation.

Here is the link to the full article: https://bit.ly/what-teachers-need-from-districts

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Math Instruction in Times of Crisis

Published: Friday, May 8, 2020

Nowadays, teachers have had to make major changes in our instruction. My colleague Larisa Bukalov and I just wrote an article that summarizes several of the strategies that we've found to be successful (and some that are not!), including four core principles of math instruction (such as students need to feel safe before they can learn and all students deserve access to rigorous math), suggestions for assessment and grading, and ideas for caring for ourselves and for others.

The articles are now available on Larry Ferlazzo's Classrom Q&A blog, published on the Education Week website at https://bit.ly/math-teaching-covid19 and https://bit.ly/math-teaching-covid19-2 

We elaborate on many of these ideas in our new book The Math Teacher's Toolbox, which was just released by Jossey-Bass. You can see excerpts from the book on both the Amazon (https://bit.ly/math-teachers-toolbox) and the Wiley Publishing (https://bit.ly/wiley-math-teachers-toolbox) websites.

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Interview on "Talk Out of Schools" Radio Show

Published: Thursday, April 23, 2020

Today, I was one of three New York City public school teachers interviewed by Leonie Haimson, executive director of the organization Class Size Matters, for the WBAI-FM radio show "Talk Out of Schools." We spoke about the challenges they face with remote learning, what grading policies should be in place this year, and how schools should be reconfigured next year to improve students' academic and social-emotional outcomes.

I spoke about the need to reduce class sizes and provide more support for teachers and students so that we can build meaningful working relationships with students. In a remote learning environment, teachers can't adequately read students' work well, so modifying instruction to meet their needs is extremely difficult.

The episode is available as a podcast at https://bit.ly/talk-out-of-schools .

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The Math Teacher's Toolbox Published

Published: Saturday, April 18, 2020

After two years of seemingly endless writing, revising, and proofreading, The Math Teacher's Toolbox – the book that my colleague Larisa Bukalov and I wrote – was finally published by Jossey-Bass (a subdivision of Wiley). This book incorporates many of the ideas that Larisa and I have talked about for years. Many times, we'd jokingly say to each other, "we should put that into a book." Well, we finally did!

Writing The Math Teacher's Toolbox taught us a lot about motivating students, culturally responsive teaching, social-emotional learning, and differentiating instruction. Not that we didn't know about these ideas beforehand, but we realized while writing this book that we had so much to learn.

We also hope that we can inspire other teachers to write more frequently. Even a blog post or some tweets make a difference. At a time when many of us are scrambling to adjust our teaching, we need to have our voices heard. In fact, we wrote an article for Larry Ferlazzo's Classroom Q&A blog on the Education Week website about this: "Writing Has Improved Our Teaching."

The Math Teacher's Toolbox is available on Amazon here: https://bit.ly/math-teachers-toolbox . Excerpts and other resources from the book are available on the Wiley website: https://bit.ly/wiley-math-teachers-toolbox

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