Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Teacher Streamers

A question I get a lot in conversations these days is, "What impact has covid had on teaching?"

Teachers are scrambling to create a "synchronous" online experience to simulate their former classrooms and are being asked to teach both in-person and online in hybrid models. One thing is certain, teachers have been forced to stream some of their content.

This is a roundup of Teacher-Streamers I've encountered to inspire educators looking to become streamers. Please link to other model streamers in the comments. This is a new skillset that millions of teachers and professors across the globe are having to pickup on the fly. Let's share what others figure out, so we all can improve.


Grant Sanderson is a Stanford math grad who started his online teaching career at Khanacademy and has since become a famous Youtuber with a large following and incredible Linear Algebra playlist. He recently did 10 live lessons and showed the world a modern rendition of the old lecture format. Check out his setup with Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

Coding Train 

Dan Shiffman is an NYU CS professor who has been teaching online for roughly 5 years. His codingchallenges are a powerful way to learn to code and he has an impressive collection of community contributions. He made a video of how he streams

Michael Wesch 

The KSU prof who has been experimenting with and trailblazing online teaching for over a decade. He discusses OBS and his Fall teaching plans for the coming school year here. He has tips on setting up online classes more generally in a few shorter videos in this playlist

Matt Solomone 

A math professor at Bridgewater State Univ who teaches on Twitch? I am intrigued.  Here is his rig


Josh Starmer is a UNC Chapel Hill professor who has been uploading statistics concepts "Clearly Explained" to youtube for the past 5 years. BAM. 

David Robinson 

@drob is a former R instructor from Data Camp. He is a tidyverse expert who livestreams an hour a week analyzing a dataset he has never seen before. For practical coding skills like statistical programming in R, it doesn't get more instructional than a livestream practitioner IMO. 

"Dr. Chuck" Severance 

Python for Everybody (PY4E) has been a labor of love and a gift to the world in the spirit of open source under the guise of a MOOC. Chuck is a champion of learner privacy and has stayed at the forefront of online learning management tools since the dawn of the internet. 

Walter Lewin

Forever tainted by harassment allegations, Walter Lewin is one of the original teacher streamers who posted his lectures online and they were amazing. The internet has come so far since 1999, and the possibilities for interactions between learners has increased tremendously.

I think Lewin's legacy demonstrates an important point about the future of teacher-streamers. It is not enough to be incredible at explaining a concept and bringing it to life, in order to be a great teacher-streamer, you need to be an incredible human being too.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

[talk] The Art of Coaching, NCTM Boston 2019

I delivered a 30-min burst session at NCTM Boston last summer, The Art of Coaching. 

Initial script: This talk is about voices. Voices in education that have challenged my thinking and guided my beliefs. As coaches we often discuss actions. The look-fors in our instructional practice guides and teacher competency frameworks... We discuss beliefs. The mindsets and attitudes that people bring to the work. We don’t often discuss ways of being. These are voices that make my heart sing, and perhaps - some of what I share in these 30 minutes will resonate with you too.

 Here are the slides.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

[activity] Stick and String

Mysteries of Trigonometry, Jerzy Kocik

"trigonometry is the theory of a stick with a chord attached"

Wrote Jersy Kocik in his book, The Mysteries of Trigonometry (2005), along with a brilliant activity for teaching trig ratios, the stick and string.

Here is a handout and some files that support this activity.

I submitted this activity for a Rosenthal Prize, and here is my response to their implementation question,

Imagine that another teacher were trying to implement your activity in their classroom. If they had to start from scratch, what materials would they need? How much time would it take to prepare? What would be the cost (at market value) of all materials involved?*

This activity will likely take two 60-min periods or one 90-min block. It may take up to 2 hours to plan the first time around, but is relatively straightforward after that. Plan for groups of three. Each group should have a stick, string, protractor, 8.5x11 paper, scissors and markers. Ideally the sticks are as straight as possible, have no markings and are a range of sizes. If you can manage to have each individual build their own stick&string it might be worthwhile. One way to do that would be to ask each student to bring their own unmarked stick about 20 inches long and a string that is a bit longer. Whether you tell kids to bring materials or not, you’ll need your own supply. I find that shorter than 12 inches is crowded to mark (and less accurate) and longer than 40 inches is cumbersome to work with. I bought various lengths of (½”) dowels from home depot with a mean length of around 24 inches.

For a class of 30 with ten groups of three plan to buy:

- 4x72” dowel rods at $2.57 each and cut them at the store into 16”-40” lengths ($10-15 per class).
- A ball of twine or any inelastic string will do ($3-5).
- A class set of protractors ($10).
- A class set of markers ($20).
- A class set of scissors ($10).
- A ream of 8.5x11 paper ($3).

This activity would cost about $(50 + 12c) where c is the number of classes if you had none of these materials. I personally like doing it with branches because they feel like wands, and that cuts the cost to about $50 for the first time and less than $10 for each subsequent time. The class will benefit to have at least one computer to compile the data and graph the result, but it is not required.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Play Cribbage, Make 15s

I recommend this game to develop number sense using ten frames and have fun. Players find patterns and make 15 via addition. There is some beginning combinatorics when scoring 3 and 4 of a kind. (if I have three 2s, how many pairs do I have? What if I have four 2s?)

Rules for 2 players described below. (Rules for 3 players)

Cut to deal, low card is dealer. Face cards are 10, ace is 1.

The Players
    are dealt 4 cards each.

Pegging occurs.

Each player keeps 2 cards and puts 2 cards in the Crib.

Hands are scored and pegged. Scoring.

The Crib is scored and pegged.

Roles switch and repeat until someone pegs to finish.

#mathchat #elemmathchat #playmath

(image credit: