Episode #111: How To Make Math Moments – A Discussion on the Unprofessional Development Podcast

Jan 11, 2021 | Podcast | 0 comments


Jon and Kyle were on the Unprofessional Development Podcast with Tudisco and Mealy discussing how to make math moments that matter. This episode is a rebroadcast of that show.

You’ll Learn

  • How to Make Math Moments That Matter; 
  • What teachers can do to engage their students; 
  • What techniques can teachers use to fuel sense making in their students.
Start your school year off right by downloading the guide that you can save and print to share with colleagues during your next staff meeting, professional learning community meeting or just for your own reference!


Jon: Hey there, Math Moment Makers, Jon, and Kyle here to kick things off. You're about to hear a special episode of our podcast being on another podcast. So we joined the team over at Unprofessional Development and had a great interview with Tudisco and Mealey. We chatted with them about lots of different things. And we want to replay that here for you.

Kyle: Yes, that's right. Now, we had a great conversation. Two awesome hosts. We've never met them in person but having listened to their podcast and just getting their general sense of who they are as educators, and I mean I think the name says it all, Unprofessional Development.
You can take it two ways. Let's do this off the record like maybe nondistrict professional development but then also, let's not be so buttoned up about it as well. So we had a fantastic time chatting with them. It was actually Jon, I don't know if you realize this, but it was back April 27th, 2020 when this actually dropped and we've been putting this one in our queue to release to the Math Moment Maker world.
So Episode 16 of their podcast, Making Math Moments Unprofessional is what this is from. You should also head over there. They've had some really great guests on there both math and otherwise. And something I didn't realize until recently is they actually had Tony Danza come knocking on their door.
So I thought that was pretty cool. But we're really excited to share this out with the Math Moment Maker community. Head on over check out their podcast and I'm sure you're going to want to hit that subscribe button as well.

Jon: All right, let's do this.

Kyle: Welcome to the Making Math Moments that Matter podcast, I'm Kyle Pearce from TapIntoTeenMinds.com.

Jon: And I'm Jon Orr from MrOrr-IsAGeek.com. We are two math teachers who together.

Kyle: With you, the community of Math Moment Makers worldwide who want to build and deliver math lessons that spark curiosity.

Jon: Fuel sensemaking.

Kyle: And ignite your teacher moves. Jon, are you ready to unleash this replay episode from the Unprofessional Development podcast?

Jon: Yes. All right. Now, just before we get into that replay discussion with Tudisco and Mealey, we want to let you know that if you're listening to this before January 29th, 2021, that you're cutting it pretty close to joining us for our 12-week full online workshop.

Kyle: You are right, Jon. This is one of our favorite times of year is when we are launching the workshop because we have so many people who throughout the year ask when it's coming out and it is happening now. It is designed to walk you through step by step to help you teach through real-world problems and to create those resilient problem solvers that you are after.

Jon: You're right, Kyle. And I think as of now, after our many, many cohorts through the program, we've had almost a thousand teachers through the program. So if you're interested in learning more about registering be sure to check out makemathmoments.com forward slash online workshop.

Kyle: If you're listening after the January 2021 registration close date.

Jon: Now you can still head toMakemathmoments.com forward slash online workshop to join the waiting list in order to get notified of the next opportunity to participate. And a little birdie told me we'll do it again in the summer.

Kyle: Absolutely, my friends. Absolutely. So make sure you head on over makemathmoments.com forward slash online workshop. And this particular cohort the registration is closing on January 29th in the evening, so check it out. Make sure you don't wait. We really hope to do some learning with you beginning in the first week of February.

Jon: All right, that's makemathmoments.com forward slash online workshop. Now let's get into our discussion with the team over at Unprofessional Development.

Tudisco: Welcome unprofessionals to another episode of Unprofessional Development. I'm Tudisco.

Mealey: And I'm Mealey.

Tudisco: And today for the first time, I'm outnumbered.

Mealey: We've got three math teachers in the house. So we've got myself-

Tudisco: Three math teachers. This was my nightmare in middle school.

Jon: All right.

Mealey: Well, Jon and Kyle from the podcast Making Math Moments That Matter and also their websites, which I'll link on. I think one is somebody is a geek and the other one is sparking curiosity. I'm close or on there.

Jon: TapIntoTeenMinds.

Mealey: Yeah, TapIntoTeenMinds that's what it is.

Jon: Yeah, Kyle's site is TapIntoTeenMinds.

Mealey: You guys have a lot of-

Kyle: You know what the problem is we got too many sites going on so it's hard to keep track of them all.

Mealey: You do. And you have a lot of catchphrases and stuff like that.

Kyle: We like a little literation.

Mealey: Yes.

Tudisco: How are you guys doing today?

Jon: We are great. It's a fabulous COVID-19 morning and it snowed here last night, which seems unheard of. It just piled on the last 24 hours and it melted away. But it's middle of April, usually down south here in Canada south. I've got to say. We are somewhat more tropical than say getting snow in April. So usually, we're past that point and our grasses grow.

Kyle: Jon's really stretching it today. More tropical. More tropical than the rest of Canada.

Jon: I'm definitely trying to sell Canada here.

Mealey: I'm not sure you know the definition of tropical.

Kyle: On a map, we're only a foot away from the tropics, but in real life, it's a little longer.

Tudisco: Yeah, it's a typical crosstalk and blue house and blue inaudible.

Jon: But we're fine on this morning.

Mealey: That's good. So no shoveling is necessary or getting out the snowblower or anything like that.

Jon: Yeah, no. I shoveled once all year. So that's the type of snow that we usually get around here.

Kyle: Being so close to the tropics, you expect that you'd be shoveling that much. But we are doing fine. I know that Jon is still keeping on his routine. We were talking about this yesterday on a podcast interview. And Jon's been getting up early. He's been right on track. Me, I have totally gone the other way.
I usually get up at 5:30 and it's like now that I know I don't have to drive to work, I literally just get out of bed, make my coffee and then start the day. And I think mentally it's the wrong way to handle this right now. But I'm still doing it anyway.

Jon: Productivity has actually dropped.

Kyle: Exactly.

Mealey: Yeah, it's tough. It really is. I know. There's some things I have to do. I was discussing that with my wife where I'm like I feel there's to-do list that I have. But I'm like I've got if school doesn't go back at all, which is very likely I've got five months to-do list done. So not today seems to be my motto.

Tudisco: Like I look at the dishes now. But they'll be there tomorrow and so will I.

Kyle: Well, if you want a fun experiment, start counting up all the time you're saving, not just having to drive. With my job, I have to do a lot of driving from school to school. And if I want to go downtown, it's a good 40 minutes there, 40 minutes back. So I start to count that up and I'm like, "My productivity is going to skyrocket right now." And it's actually quite the opposite.

Mealey: Cool. All right. So I want to get into a couple of little things to get to know you a little bit more on who you're about. We mentioned the podcast and the websites and links to that and the show notes will be going on and all that stuff. So walk us through the journey from being a student to a teacher to being what you guys are as advocates, and we're not going to spend a ton of time on.
But we want to get into for a lack of a better word your philosophy, what it is that you feel about learning. And I know it's math-specific but I think that it really applies to a lot of other teaching practices as well across the board. It's not like your ideas are not just something that only apply to math as some of them are a little bit.
And then I want to share my utilization of some of that as well. So walk through either individually or together how you guys came to be from little bitty lads to super education podcast or webinar guys.

Tudisco: Gurus.

Jon: Kyle, you want to start?

Kyle: I'll start us off. I suppose it's going from our own math experience all the way till now, we'll probably be at the end of the COVID quarantine here social distancing by the time we're done, so we'll do our best to keep it short.
But myself and I know, you'll hear some ideas echoed in Jon's story. I went through school, I was that I would say average kid. Well, I shouldn't say average kid. Average to me through my own eyes is where I had average grades and I just pushed enough to get that grade that my parents would be happy with.
So I can definitely relate to that student. Many of us know that student where they've got a lot there but there's a lot left in the tank. They don't want to put that extra effort in. I didn't see the value in doing that. For me, it was very, hey, my parents want an 80, I'm going to get them the 80.
And when I didn't get the 80, then I always had somebody else to blame for it instead of myself, which really is something I've learned later. And going through school, I thought I was getting a computer science degree and a math double major.
And midway through that, I'd always been thinking about teaching, and I decided midway through university that I'm definitely going to teach and I want to teach math. So I dropped the computer major and off we went. But the big problem that I had was I was like most other math teachers in my philosophy, very fixed mindset.
There's some people who are good at math and there's some people who aren't which we know from research is not true. And I got into the classroom and that's the way I taught for many years was very procedurally. I didn't necessarily I understand the math that I was doing.
In university, I actually had a professor when I was about to fail a course, he called me into his office during office hours. And he looked me in the face and right in the eyes and said, "You don't know anything about math. You don't belong here." That was his line to me. And it blew my mind. Now, you would think that would be maybe a turning point. But no, I just thought he was a jerk. And-

Mealey: Well, he was a jerk.

Kyle: And I didn't learn anything from that experience until about five, six, seven years teaching in the classroom, spinning my tires working really hard. I was really hardworking, I wanted to figure this thing out. And many people would say that I was a good math teacher because I was nice to kids. I tried hard. I stayed in at lunch to help those types of things.
And I would say all math teachers are that they want the best for their kids. But I wasn't getting to those students in the middle and the students at the bottom. And that's when I was lucky enough to go to a conference and see this thing called the 3 Act Math that Dan Meyer was pitching, and it just blew my mind.
And from that day forward, I was like, "There's something to this." And I knew I wanted to dig into it. And here we are a number of years later and we're still learning, we're still trying to figure this thing out alongside so many what we call Math Moment Makers in the community.
And luckily, along that path, Jon was in a very similar stage. So I'm going to let Jon tag in here and take us down his memory lane. And maybe we can go from where he and I started collaborating as well.

Jon: Yes, sure. Sure. Thanks, Kyle. I have a very similar story to Kyle, and I think a lot of teachers do that we're good in math in school mostly because we were memorizers and could get by. I have a unique spin on my experience is my father is a math teacher or was a math teacher. And I could see that life like the teacher life, it's not that bad and you get summers off and oh, this is great stuff that you can come home at 3:00.
So that's running through my mind, and I hummed and hawed about becoming a teacher. And there was some experiences with tutoring college kids that flipped the switch for me to go, "Okay, I think I'm going to go into this field." And once I did, I was like Kyle said, I was that traditional teacher.
And I think a lot of us in our age group definitely are because we've never really experienced anything different. You mimic the teachers that you really enjoyed and that you really liked it. And actually, there's really two sides to that.
You either mimic the teacher that you liked or you do the opposite of a teacher you hated. It's like I got to teach math differently. And for me, it was the mimicking. I, for 10 years taught very traditionally. And that's my story is the sense of, I was a traditional teacher that switched around and saw something different and needed something to change.
I was a teacher where so traditional that we have tracking here in Ontario and we call it streaming our pathways. And I was always teaching our grade nine path that we call the Applied Math path. And it's just kids that are going to maybe go to college or just directly to the workplace, college like a community college in the United States, whereas a smaller college like a two-year three-year program kind of college.

Mealey: So just to get clarity on that. Do you guys have two tiers, three tiers? How many levels are there?

Jon: It's usually about three.

Mealey: And what level was that?

Jon: Three, yes.

Mealey: And that was the middle one or the bottom?

Jon: The middle one is the one I'm referring to. And so it's kids that are they're decent. But mostly, their experience has been told that they're bad at math throughout their career. And so they're not in the track to go off to say a four-year university program. And so a lot of them hate math.
And I was teaching those for 10 years, year after year, because you're told by your department head that you have to put in your dues. You can't teach those other classes until you put in time in these other classes. And I was pulling my hair out because I was that traditional teacher. I was teaching every year, the same year.
And I've used this phrase before and I'm not sure exactly where I heard it. But I was considered now was I teaching for 10 years or was I teaching one year 10 times? And because I'd never modified. I'd write a lesson plan and I would say, there we go, we're done. And I've put that in my binder and it's good for next year.

Kyle: Nicely in the binder.

Jon: Once that whole lesson is done, that course is set and I never have to do anything else and I didn't take into account who was sitting in front of me. And because of that, I ended up hating teaching that class, and I was-

Mealey: Just out of curiosity and I'm going to pause here for a second, I've started coughing alone here. And I've gotten to this point too as well. Did you actually have the answers to some of the worksheets memorized?

Jon: Sure.

Mealey: Number 13 is it's this.

Kyle: Yeah, they think you're a magician. How do you know?

Mealey: This one is the decimal. The rest are the whole numbers.

Jon: I would be walking around checking the sheets, I would just go yep, yep, yep, yep and kids would throw their hands up and they're like how does he even know that's right so fat. It's just because I do.

Mealey: I laugh about it. And so many teachers might get this joke. How long has that kid been jumping off that cliff in Acapulco for quadratics? Do you know what I'm talking about?

Jon: Yeah, yeah.

Kyle: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. That's to make the math real. Jumping off cliffs and Acapulco. You'll never jump off a cliff close to home. You got to be closer to the tropics.

Mealey: To the topics like you guys.

Tudisco: Can I ask you guys just a quick question? Just a clarification. You guys keep saying I was a traditional teacher. Can you guys just quickly define exactly what you mean when you say that?

Jon: Yeah.

Kyle: Sure. Go ahead, Jon.

Jon: I was just going to say, for me a traditional teacher, I imagine my father and he would in a math class the desks are in rows, you would come in and you have the math script. This is in the handbook when you become a math teacher, by the way.
So it's job number one is you must take up the homework. It's like get your homework out, we're going to take it up, we're going to go through the answers. Somebody might put it on the board, you might put it on the board. But it was like checkoff done of my lesson plan. Second thing is-

Kyle: And you plan for 10 minutes and it would take you 45 every single day. It's no matter what after 10 years-

Jon: And then he threw it off.

Kyle: ... I'm going to plan 10 minutes of homework take up and then you'd always run out for your lesson and you're like how am I have not learned this by now that this never happens?

Jon: I would then budget the next 30 minutes of class, we are usually an hour, an hour 15-minute classes of here is the lesson. I'm going to write notes on the board. I'm going to do examples for you, you're going to copy them down. I'm going to walk through those examples so that those examples are going to look exactly like the homework questions.

Kyle: Maybe you'll pitch out a couple easy ones for the kids so you feel like they're doing the example with you. It's like, "And seven plus four, seven plus four. 11. Oh, excellent. Excellent. Thank you, Tommy. Thank you, Tommy." And now I feel we've done this collaboratively.

Jon: We had some engagement. We had engagement. And then there was always that time where the kids would come back in after you've done this traditional lesson that did everyone get number eight, no one's getting number eight? It's like, "Mr. Orr it's because you didn't do an example that yesterday and I don't know how to do it. You didn't teach us. It's not fair."
And so I never really made kids think. But I think that's where Kyle and I started to make shifts is in that traditional lesson, which I did for many, many years. And we're not saying that there's nothing wrong with that. But I did that every single day. And I think there's times where you might run a lesson like that.
But there's times where you want kids to think more because I was doing all the thinking in class when I was delivering lessons that way and they were doing none of the thinking. Like that example you gave that Kyle just gave it's, hey, I'm going to get them to do a little bit of thinking just to show engagement.
But really, the thinking happens for them after the 45 minutes of you talking and lecturing is done. And then they're all going I don't know how to do this anyway because you never really gave them a chance. So we've made that modification to say, who is doing the thinking?

Mealey: Can we pause right there? I want to ask you a question. And I think, I also want to use the word trap or whatever, but you might say that teachers fall into the trap of teaching that way is because 99% of high school math and lower levels as well can be if you want it to be algorithmic, as opposed to history or English, where you might have to interpret something or art, obviously, where you might have to interpret something.
Obviously, you can make art algorithmic as well. For certain things, you can teach them how to draw faces and draw the lines and all that stuff. But there is that natural, okay, this is how you complete the square. This is how you do the quadratic formula.

Kyle: That's an example we use all the time.

Mealey: This is how you differentiate and all those things are very algorithmic. And so if I can teach these kids the recipe, they'll know the recipe, they'll be able to repeat the recipe and then they'll be able to do that.
And I don't know if you guys use this now, which I use with my kids when I'm trying to teach them differently is, there's a difference between being a cook and a chef. And a cook can take the ingredients if they know how to make the exact same dish for the restaurant all the time. They can make that pasta primavera because they know the pasta cooks this long, you use this much cheese blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, this is how you do it.
But a chef can go on chopped and get four ingredients that they've never used before and go, I understand how ingredients work. I understand things about flavors and cooking time and temperature and all that stuff. And now I can modify and I can solve this problem here given unique circumstances. Does that make sense?

Jon: Nice analogy.

Kyle: And just to extend that I love the analogy. And so imagine that cook who's really good at cooking pasta primavera. Now they have unfortunately moved or maybe lost their job, they've gone to another restaurant and it happens to not be an Italian restaurant.
Now, I got to start from scratch again. That's the way I feel we teach so many of our students in math classes. We teach them so completing the square and when's the line you've completed the square outside of that one course that it comes up in?
There's so much, I'm using the word beauty and I know some people maybe roll their eyes about it, but do we really care about them knowing the recipe to these abstract math concepts, or would we much rather them be able to give them an opportunity to investigate it to understand how it works, why it works?
Just like that chef does. That chef understands how those ingredients work and which ones blend well and which ones don't. And they could that chef could then leave the Italian restaurant, go to a different restaurant and go like, I got this, I know where to go from here and I can actually use some problems some critical thinking skills.
And that's where I see a lot with what Jon and I are doing with the Make Math Moments framework, I see it as not just being specific to math. We always look at it through a specific math lens. But really it aligns really well with 21st Century competencies.
We're trying to give kids math experiences to become more fluent, more flexible with numbers. Even myself, I had no strategies, no number sense strategies beyond doing algorithms in my head. And that only takes you so far. And if you're lucky enough to have a really vast working memory. If you're a good memorizer, it's likely you could probably do some relatively tricky algorithms in your head.
But now I see the other side, where if I understand how math develops and that's the part where I think we really struggle in middle school and in high school is that I never understood why completing the square worked. And that fundamentally is an issue because I can't help my kids bump into that learning if I never received that learning.
And this is not a knock on teachers. It's that we went through that system. We were taught the recipes, and I had the recipes and that's it. I couldn't help them become chefs like you were describing. And I think for us, that's where we've really shifted is what do we want for our students?
And that's something Jon and I always ask at the beginning of a workshop. We always have people turn and talk to their friends share a math moment like Jon and I, we have them share maybe a specific one more general. And then we have them talk about, what do you want your kids to have five years from now after they've left your math class?
So even if you're a grade three teacher, a grade eight teacher, a grade 10 teacher, a grade 12 teacher, if you bump into your student five years from now. What are you hoping they say? Are you hoping that they can ramble off the quadratic formula to you with no understanding or is there something else there?
And we've never had anyone say quadratic formula. Nobody says it. But yet, Jon, and I always reference at the end, we only seem to care about those things though. So we say we want these things for our kids. But then we reflect on it and we worry so much about the memorization of concepts and procedures that something is out of the line here.
And we're just doing what we think is right and maybe it's because it's the only thing we know. And that's why Jon and I essentially do what we do. We're trying to help people cut down the time it took Jon and I because we were spinning our wheels for years for multiple decades combined between the two of us.
And we want to help people cut out some of that pulling out your hair. Because if you look at Jon's hairline, look at my mine, mine's even worse. You can tell we've been pulling out our hair for a long time.

Mealey: So we've had the rising action and we've gotten to the conflict. It's a little English in there for you, Tudisco.

Tudisco: Thanks. It makes sense now.

Mealey: You're welcome.

Tudisco: It's a hero's journey.

Mealey: Yes. So now we want to know, as I'm sure the listeners are, well, if we don't teach them like that, then what do I do? So give us the elevator pitch on what the alternative is.

Jon: So what we've been doing for the last number of years is like Kyle said, putting our hats together or our heads together and thinking about what is the lessons that we've had that were successful and what are the lessons that we had that weren't and what is it really about them?
And Kyle mentioned 3 Act Math paths. And we had a lot of success with getting kids to think first and engagement and discussion happening in our classroom. And we said, is it because we put a video up like a short clip up of some scenario and asked kids to notice and wonder? Is it the video itself?
And we realized that later, yeah, we had a lot of engagement because kids were seeing a video. And that was new in math class. That was something different. That wasn't just the traditional four-step process of a math lesson. But we realized later that it's not that. It's there are many more underlying things that are getting our kids involved. It put this idea of a three-part framework, which is not really a three-part lesson.
It's three big ideas that we think that need to be considered when designing lessons. So we've got a little bit of flair to this the three-part framework with we call it spark, fuel, and ignite.

Mealey: Nice.

Jon: And we want to first talk about sparking curiosity. And when I was in teacher's college, but this is not a new idea. We always wanted to hook kids into learning and how can we spark engagement? How can we get that curiosity going? Because if you can get kids curious about math, then the rest become very, very easy for you to do.
And most times in our traditional lesson, we were not sparking that curiosity. We were just going into a lesson going, okay, today we're going to learn about this. And basically, we're answering questions in front of kids that kids didn't even want the answers to.
We're posing questions. Kids are like I didn't even want to know that and now I have to figure that out. Is that curiosity? No, we want to drive that questioning so that they go, I want to know what's next. I want to know what the answer is here.
So we got to spark curiosity and we've got a lot of resources available, which we can share later about how to do that in your classroom. Kyle, why don't you jump in and talk about what the next step is about fueling sensemaking?

Kyle: Fueling sensemaking is one where Jon and I, I think spent the majority when we were on this, we had these epiphanies and we were like, wow, Dan Meyer really, we constantly are tipping our cap to him because he for us or I should say for me, I know Jon had Marian Small as well was another really influential person or math educator for him as well with her Open Questions.
And when we hit that point, I was hyper-focused on curiosity and I was getting I would say pretty good at the curiosity. There was still big gaps there. There was still the lesson flops, where you're in your mind, this is going to be awesome. You go and it's like crickets. And you're like, how come? I did the video. And that's what Jon referenced already.
Is it really just about a video? Well, no, because I've walked out of a movie theater before so it's not about just a video. There's other elements that have to be going on there. And our English friends would definitely know when you're talking about a story. We have to craft and script our math lessons like that story and take those students on that hero's journey like Jon has mentioned.
So we were getting better at that. It still had big gaps along the way. But then once we got past the interesting question, the provocation that curiosity, it was like we flipped a switch and then we went back to teaching kids procedurally again. So it was almost kids knew they're, well, if we just wait this out, Mr. Orr or Mr. Pearce is going to finally just tell us what to do. And then we'll be back to the way things used to be.
And a lot of kids would, to be honest, a lot of kids, especially kids who have done well in that system. So I'm picturing myself as a student, I would be that kid who would be like I would much rather just sit back and you just tell me what I need to memorize.

Mealey: Can I just take notes? Can we just take notes? I want to just take notes.

Kyle: Totally. Totally. And that's really hard on teachers. Teachers who want to change their thinking they're trying hard and kids are begging for them to stop. And that's where a lot of teachers will they'll say, oh, they don't like this.
But then we get to this place where I would then teach them procedurally again. And what we realized is that we were missing the sensemaking part of mathematics. And I'm looking at the sensemaking part as something that not only drives me. Before it was curiosity, curiosity was driving me to continue learning and continue doing more.
And it's still something that I think is really important because I need them to look my direction and give me their attention. But if I don't understand how the math develops, and if I don't understand where kids are coming from and where they're going, then I can't really help them.
It'll be Jon was mentioning, where we were planning our lessons for one student in mind. Like this note is perfect for the student that I have envisioned in my head, but only three kids in my class are that student and then everybody else I don't know what to do about.
So this sensemaking part is like, how does the math work? How are we going to help kids to develop that procedure that recipe later? Chefs eventually develop a recipe but only after they've done all of that investigation, trying, tinkering. We need to give kids that experience and that for us is that fueling sensemaking piece.

Mealey: That's awesome. Speaking of that, one thing that I do in my class, I love this fits whatever. But we actually tie in two things together. And people who learn math are like, oh, I hate those words. They're just using math words. I don't understand that. But I've done completing the square and we've taught them that.
And then I said, hey, what if it was just AX squared plus BX plus C, and we don't have that. Now we understand the recipe for completing the square. So let's do this. And the quadratic formula comes out of that. And then you can tie those two things together and make number sense and go, oh, look at this and-

Kyle: It's the same.

Mealey: Right. It's like yes. See this formula. Someone was playing around with this thing. And they said, how can I get X by itself? Because it is one of thing we love to do is get X by itself. And they try what if I use this with this? And then I'm like, and do that. And so they're making that connection.
And it's tough because sometimes because that recipe is always there. And you know it's there. And the kids inherently know that it's there and it is easy to default to that. And also the pressure of time and the test and everything else is like sometimes some teachers, I think they get, oh my God, we did all this. We didn't even get to covering the quote-unquote, standard that was for today because we got lost in the weeds over here, which is actually a good thing and good for the kids. But then we get to that.
So I want to share a little personal experience and then we want to go and see where else the conversation takes us. So one of the things like I said, I've told you before we started recording that I've listened to you guys I don't know maybe I've listened to 15 episodes. I don't even know how I discovered you guys.
I'm a podcast junkie. And so I was looking for education podcasts. And there's a lot of them out there that are just not super engaging. And then I said, "Making Math Moments That Matter. Oh, that sounds important." So I'll put that on. And I listened to you guys.
And just your guys excitement and your guys experiences and whoever the guest would be on. The guests that you would have on, which is various teachers. And sometimes it's experts you're talking about Dan Meyer, who maybe this is I hope you guys are getting this and appreciating this.
But you guys now are the Dan Meyer to other people because other people that are going, I learned this from the Making Math Moments banner guy, or they might say your names directly. But anyway, the spiraling, and I'm just going to give a two-minute elevator pitch of the spiraling. Because I used it this year. It was something that heard on you guys show and I said, "That sounds ridiculously fun. Let me do that."
So spiraling is and I'm going to try and do my best explanation of it. Whether it's history, whether it's English or whatever, which English we've talked Tudisco, you get to do things a lot differently because you can cover all your standards in one lesson because it's a lot of things tied together.

Tudisco: I agree we are the best.

Mealey: But history and science and math are very often broke up into these units where unit one, sometimes it's chronologically for history. For science and math, it's like today we're going to learn about the environment. And tomorrow, we're going to learn about space or we're going to learn about this type of thing.
But instead with spiraling, what you do is take the units and introduce each one in the first five to nine days. And if you guys can correct me if I'm doing it wrong, whatever. But the first five to eight days or however many units you have introduced each unit and to get the foundation of that, and spark that curiosity about that unit and get them feeling comfortable with it.
And then come back to the initial unit eight days later and go okay, now we're going to build on what we learn. We might tie in a little bit from this other unit here because we want to make those connections. And basically, we go through each unit. I call them rounds.
And we go around and around and around, coming back and back and forth. And then interspersing, and connecting and doing all that stuff. And it was for me as a teacher and I believe most of my kids really, really awesome this year. And one of the side benefits was that as we've left school now and gone home, my kids, unlike other teachers have seen every single unit already.
Now they haven't gotten deep into every single thing in the unit. There's kids that know stuff that they don't know, obviously. But they have seen the breadth of the course.

Jon: They got the big ideas.

Mealey: That it's really, really cool. I just want to give you guys props on that and I'll definitely put links to that. And I forget which one of you did it that has the three or five videos on people who want to spiral and learning how to spiral because that was really, really super helpful.

Jon: Kyle's got a three-part email series on how to spiral your math class on TapIntoTeenMinds. And when you sign up to that each day, you get a video about how to do that and he answers lots of big questions. You've given a quick summary here, which is awesome.
But Kyle goes into the details of how to do that in your classroom, what to watch out for, how to start up, what's the theory behind it. And the theory behind it really comes from learning theory. And the idea that most math we do is massed practice. We learn one thing really fast, and then we move on.
And it gives the illusion that the kids know the material and have learned the material. And it's really because it's still in there fresh in their minds that hasn't really sunk in yet. Maybe it has maybe it hasn't, but we don't really know. And it's not until after time goes on that you can actually test to see if it's sunk in.
And whereas spiraling flips that around and it does chunked practice or spaced practice, which says is way better for learning. And there's a couple books that we read about that one was, I think it's How We Learn. Kyle is that the correct title?

Kyle: Yeah. Benedict Carey, I think.

Jon: And the second one that we got a lot of value of is Make It Stick I think, and that goes into the learning behind that. But we are the ones that started this idea. We've actually built these ideas in our classes of a teacher from Ottawa who we highly respect Al Overwijk who jumped into this. He did that.
But he also did something that we also did in our class because there's two ways to think about spiraling in a sense. It's one you could just take all the units and space them out and so like you said, it's like you do chapter 1.1 today and 1.2 tomorrow and then leave that for a little bit and then do 2.1.
So you could do that. But what Al advocates is that you should teach through problems and that's what we're doing with our framework and spiraling put together. It's how can we put problems in front of kids so that they're problem-solving and bring out the math. And Al has a really great phrase that says that most the time we think about covering curriculum or covering standards. And what he does in his class is uncover curriculum or uncover standards.

Mealey: That's nice. I like that.

Jon: Yeah, it's great. It's a nice phrase to say, hey, am I covering it or am I starting with problems in pulling the math from it that just emerges? And when you start with problems and if you carefully choose those problems, you can uncover standard 1A and 1B and maybe 4C from that same problem.
And when you go to do a different problem, you might cover three different standards. And as you do this over and over again, you're covering the whole all the standards or all the curriculum in various times and you're also spacing it out. So it's better for the learning.
So that's what we're trying to do with the framework. But really, the credit goes to Al Overwijk and the team at his school that started doing this a number of years ago and he presented these ideas at conferences here in Ontario.

Kyle: Him and Jimmy Pai as well. I want to make sure Jimmy Pai gets in there because I know he works closely with Al as well. So two great educators to follow online for sure.

Jon: They do some great sessions at conferences.

Mealey: Tudisco, did you have any questions? Because some of this stuff I've mentioned to you before and some of this stuff is not exactly you're super familiar with. What questions did you have, Tudisco and comments?

Tudisco: So I'm just going to play devil's advocate just for a quick moment. So you guys say you want to make it more engaging, really pull the kids in, and make them really curious. But devil's advocate for a second, why? Why can't I just give them a worksheet? Why can't we just work? The textbook is there. Why can't I just say open to page 371?

Jon: Yeah, you could.

Tudisco: So devil's advocate, inaudible.

Jon: Sure, go ahead, Kyle.

Kyle: I think it's a great question. Because I think fundamentally, a lot of people too when we get a little bit of pushback when we get a little bit of that devil's advocate. We never want teachers, I shouldn't say never because I think at some point some teachers may have interpreted what we're saying is that they ditch everything they're doing and we now are very, very, very explicit about that.
We actually ran a workshop or a online webinar recently, where we were talking about transforming your textbook into curious problems kids want to solve. And what we're saying is it's the approach that we're looking at. We're not saying ditch a textbook. I know that there's a book, Ditch That Textbook and I know that there's all these things out there, even people now I feel the word worksheet or handout is not allowed if you use-

Mealey: It's an activity.

Kyle: So if you use that-

Mealey: My principal told me years ago, you're not doing a worksheet, you're doing an activity. I'm like, "Oh, okay. Well, so I'm not a garbage man. I'm a sanitation engineer. I appreciate that."

Kyle: Exactly.

Mealey: I'm not a teacher. I'm an educator. Like okay, good for you.

Kyle: Exactly. And it really, it all comes down to intentionality. And I think a lot of teachers actually put themselves in a bad spot when they take everything they've ever done, especially like picture a 15-year teacher, maybe they're sitting listening right now.
And they're like, oh, my gosh, I'm exactly the person that Kyle and Jon described of creating the binders and doing all those things. Let's be honest, if you haven't done that ever in your life, you're probably all over the place and have no idea what's going on.
It's almost you have to at least get to a point of having organization, understanding the course you're teaching and all of those things. Like a first-year teacher, I'm never advocating for them to spiral. Because I'm like you don't even understand what it's going to look yet teaching kids. How long is this going to take?
So I'm like, no, maybe hang on to that for now. Let's get started. But how can I instead of me teaching all of the stuff and then giving a handout, how can I give kids an experience first and then based on what the kids do that informs us? And that actually brings up our third part of the framework, which is igniting teacher moves.
This is the part that I think is probably the most art-like of the framework where it's a craft, you have to practice it, you'll never be perfect at it, you'll always have some lessons that don't necessarily go the way you want. But it's about anticipating what kids will do when you put them in this productive struggle.
So I want to make sure that Tudisco, I take you and I take you on a path during my lesson so that you have an experience. And then based on what you do, how you handle the problem. That's going to help influence my part where I now bring it all together and make those connections and I start consolidating the learning.
So right now during remote learning, there's a lot of inaudible are like how do I do this? And John and are trying to help teachers with trying to do what we're discussing today. It's definitely easier to do face to face but it's still very difficult if your experience in a math classes coming in getting a note and then doing a show of questions practice questions.
So we're not advocating that kids don't do purposeful practice. Notice I put a spin on there, purposeful practice. It's like teacher educator or whatever. But the idea that the questions we're going to give kids aren't necessarily the exact same questions that we gave every other group of kids.
It's based on what happened today. And you're like, oh, question one, two, you know what we're going to these ones off. I'm going to add in this other one because I think you're ready for this one. And I'm going to give you a good amount of practice because you still need practice, but we just wanted to change the experience to get you there.
So it's not about throwing out things. It's about rearranging things and maybe trying to get kids to be more like that chef, instead of more like that cook to go back to that same storyline from earlier.

Jon: I'll just add something on to that to address the why. I really the cook analogy myself. And the question about, why are we doing this is if you think about every time we talk to a noneducator about math education. We ask them we're in the car ride or Lyft ride to the airport or Uber. And they're saying like how did you enjoy your math experience in school and two thirds, people are hating this. It's like I hated math class.

Kyle: Even the ones who said they were good at it, they like were like, it wasn't my favorite class, but I'm still pretty good at it.

Jon: Math gets a bad rap. Movies put in math things when they want school to look hard. It's like we're going to throw in the word trigonometry in here because we want this to be hard.

Kyle: I can't even pronounce it.

Jon: And so like-

Mealey: With all the formulas going around the pyramid and all that kind of stuff.

Kyle: Exactly.

Jon: There so many bad math experiences that people have. And one of the things so why we've named the podcast Making Math Moments That Matter is, partly is we want to change that. I don't want a society anymore that says math is evil and that we hated math. And we wear that as a badge of pride. Like oh, I was bad at math. I'm proud of that.

Mealey: I know.

Jon: You don't say you're bad at reading.

Mealey: It's so silly.

Jon: But you would say you're bad at math. It's something that people are like, yeah, me too. Oh, yeah. We hated that. We don't want that anymore.

Mealey: And no one says, I'm bad at reading. Really am bad at the reading. It's like I was okay. Maybe you say you're bad at spelling, but no one says I'm bad at reading. I'm not really good at it. It's like well, you would never admit to that. But you will admit that you don't know your times tables or whatever it is which is not math, by the way.

Jon: And so we would run workshops and there would be very traditional math teachers. Like why change? Well, how is it working for you right now? Are kids liking math? Are they hating it? What are we really doing here? And that's one of our big goals is we want to change math instruction, so that people do not have negative math experiences.
But we also want to change them so that the kids understand and can be those chefs. So I think these are some big ideas that Kyle and I always think about as we design things and help our teachers.

Kyle: And again, I feel we could go on all day about this. But also, I think fundamentally, one of the hardest parts in having that shift is that we as the teacher, Jon, and I had to accept the fact that we weren't as good at math as we thought we were. So let that sink in for a second.

Mealey: That professor was right.

Kyle: There's math teachers listening. My professor was 100% accurate and it didn't hit me until 10 years into teaching when all this started happening and I started to realize I'm like teaching kids how to do stuff that I don't actually understand.
So imagine how would that go. And I'm going to use hockey because we're from Canada. But in the US, let's say football, you have a football coach and your football coach understands all the plays. He has all the plays memorized. But he has no idea. He doesn't understand why the plays work.
He doesn't understand when you would use the plays, how you would change the scenario. When you see oh my god, the other team just did. What do they call that an audible or something?

Mealey: Right.

Kyle: Oh, my gosh, they're moving. Now, what do I do? For me, as a teacher, I didn't have that ability. I didn't have the chef ability to be able to take those different recipes and put them together and deal with something when something goes wrong. So when I say it goes wrong. Imagine your cook in the kitchen, which is our student is putting together this recipe and they add the wrong ingredient.
How do I help that student now make that dish whole? And for me, we're just hammering this example of the chef and the cook. But in the classroom, kids are going to be solving math problems and when they go down a path that you weren't anticipating, if I as the educator don't understand like the chef understands if I don't understand the math, how do I help that student without robbing them of their thinking and saying nah don't do it that way?
I did that for years. Don't do it that way that's going to take you on a crazy path. Now I realize. I'm like kids have to go down that path. They have to go and explore and realize that, oh, yeah, that isn't going to work very well for me. Where do I want to go back to, to pivot back and try to get on course here and get closer to that answer that open middle experience?
But if I don't understand the math, then this is very difficult to do. So unless I'm willing to accept that and say maybe I don't know as much as I know. And that means my ego is going to take a huge hit, my pride is going to take a huge hit, I need to have that before I can start to move away from that traditional approach.

Mealey: So a couple things. And I hope you brought some funny stories because we love funny stories. But the other thing I want to talk about is, so what's it like to be an edgy celebrity? And do you guys feel famous? And how did you go from, this is a really good idea to I'm going to have a website and I'm going to have a podcast to hey, we need you to come here and we're going to have the entire district listen?

Jon: I feel like we should bring our wives on at this point because they'll set you straight.

Mealey: But you guys go to various districts. And I know you guys have online webinars but are you called upon to go over here into there and we're going to have you speak at?

Kyle: Well, not right now.

Mealey: But in the past, you guys have spoken the National Council of NCTM or whatever. Have you guys spoke there?

Kyle: Yeah, we've been there the last couple years and various other regional conferences in the United States plus here in Canada. We've been traveling a lot the last couple years so across Canada across States. We've got some trips booked hit Australia next year and a couple of other places.

Jon: It's like Kyle said, I don't think we view ourselves that way. Still. I think this is what most people would say when you ask a question like that.

Mealey: Was the plan to like hey, we've got this thing. Was the plan like hey, if we do this. It's okay if it wasn't.

Jon: It was very incremental. There was a time where we started to collaborate mostly because we were doing dissimilar things in our classrooms, we don't teach in the same district. But we do live close to each other so we can get together and hash things out. That's where that journey began.
It was like, hey, you're doing these things in your classroom and I'm doing these things in my classroom, why don't we collaborate and share ideas back and forth? And we started sharing. When we started spiraling. We kept a Google Sheet that we just said, hey, you're doing this and this class, and I'm doing this. And that's how things began.

Kyle: Why did you this activity here and did this one? Did you like the way that went or here's how mine went? And we just went back and forth.

Jon: And then the framework came together while we were thinking about here in Ontario, we have a big conference every year in May. And it's our big NCTM conference. It's called OAME. And we were saying, hey, why don't we do a joint session at the conference and work on some of the ideas that we've been talking about?
And so that's where Making Math Moments That Matter spawn from and the framework. And from there, it was incremental. It was, we did that session there and then we did another session somewhere else. And we hooked up with Robert Kaplinsky, from California who was doing online workshops and he helped us build an online workshop.

Mealey: Because he's going to be our guest I think either this weekend or next weekend we're having Robert on.

Kyle: He's a good guy.

Jon: Robert guided us through that process on his grassroots workshops platform. And then we were there with him for a number of sessions and moved on to do our own platform. And that created the Academy, and then podcasts came after that.
And so that's the journey of it was very incremental. It wasn't we sat down and we're like, let's create this thing where we're going to travel the world.

Mealey: Take over the math word.

Jon: We're going to travel the world and do webinars. Everything was always, let's do this now, and let's see what happens.

Kyle: I think we started our blogs, our personal blog back, I think mine was 2012-

Jon: Years ago.

Kyle: ... or something like that.

Jon: For sure.

Kyle: Or 2011 I was doing a project through the Ministry of Education here in Ontario Teachers Federation and just started blogging what was happening. And that was what grew from there. But it's been a 10-year journey from that, if you go back on either of our blogs are probably still there that first posts where it's like, "Hi, I'm Kyle. I'm a math teacher, and I'm going to start blogging back next week and you'll learn about how I completed the squares," something like that.
And it just grew from nothing. But it definitely took quite a while. And it really it's just as you see more and more people are like you were saying when they come in they say, wow, I learned this from so and so or this.
And then every now and again, someone says they learned something from my site or Jon's site or the Make Math Moments site, it fuels you to keep doing it. And it's what we do in our spare time.

Jon: It's like our hobby.

Kyle: Geek out on math.

Mealey: That's awesome. That's awesome. Tudisco, you've been really quiet, by the way, are you awake?

Kyle: inaudible.

Tudisco: Mostly. You guys keep talking about what's it called math. That was it. X equals negative B plus minus squared B, B squared minus 4AC over 2A.

Mealey: You have to sing the song, Tudisco. That's how you learn.

Tudisco: I do have a question that I've always wanted to ask math teachers.

Mealey: Okay.

Tudisco: Because you guys have way more periphery than me in this area. So I once read a blog so you know it's true, where the guy wrote about what he called the futon theory. And basically, he said that he was moving a futon once and a piece fell out. They heard a piece fall down the stairs but they couldn't find it.
And then after that, basically the futon worked for a little while, but eventually, it just broke down. And he said, this is how math works. This is his theory. He's like this is how math works because as you go along, eventually you lose a piece. And that's why at some point, you just hit a peak of how much math you can learn or understand because you lost a piece along the way.

Jon: That's very interesting analogy.

Mealey: That is. That's really strange. And by the way, I have no idea why but it just occurred to me that futon actually sounds like it could be part of an atom, but it isn't. I know there's neutrons and electrons. But there are the futons somehow in the atom because it feels like a-

Kyle: Where's the science teacher when you need him.

Mealey: You should have a futon in the atom. I think that'd be awesome. I'd love to see a kid write down futon as their answer for if you've got this many protons and you need.

Kyle: How many futons?

Mealey: How many futons do you have?

Tudisco: A cheap uncomfortable couch that just rotates around a crosstalk. So what happens there? Is there a point where we hit a peak in mathematics or we just can't learn anymore, or do you lose a piece along the way?

Mealey: I don't know if I'm going to agree with these guys. If these guys are going to agree with me or not because I know you guys are, and I think the growth mindset is there's a truth to it and then there's a pie in the sky idealism to it that I think sometimes can not be true.
And I think people hit what I call a math wall. And the analogy I use is I don't care how good a coach you are, I'm not going to get a little person to be able to dunk a basketball, no matter how much I growth mindset them and no matter how much I encourage them. And whatever else I can do, I can get them where they can jump higher, I can get them where they're closer to dunking, but they can't ever dunk.

Kyle: Interesting.

Jon: That's an interesting way to think about it. Whereas you're equating physical capability with something that's a mental capability. So I don't know about all of that. I know that there's some truth in the futon thing. And I know that there's some truth in the wall. It's like kids will hit a wall, people hit a wall, for sure.
And I think it's exactly what Tudisco has said in the sense that something fell out along the way a long time ago. And it's really hard to get that back. I would say it's not impossible to get that back. Whereas it'd be almost impossible to dunk the basketball in your situation.
And I think that's part of what we try to do early on in the sense of building sensemaking with our students is that we're trying to eliminate the futon piece from falling out. We're trying to say, let's build sensemaking early so that we have the building blocks and the ways to make connections so that it's less likely that those pieces are going to fall out along the way.
And I know that it's going to be true. There are going to be kids that have pieces fall out along the way, it's just how it's going to work. And we're just trying to reduce that. And so if you have a piece falling along the way, I'm not going to say you can't fix that or you can't put it back in. But I think it's really, really hard to put it back in later versus earlier.

Kyle: And I also think too there's a couple things there. I definitely agree, it's similar to the physical scenario if there's a mental disability, if there's all of those things definitely factor in. But I think fundamentally, one of the hardest challenges for us as math teachers in trying to help is that if we're teaching procedurally, those pieces we're talking about are very different pieces where if we're learning conceptually, pieces can fall out.
And that happens over time just with retention, for example, like I forget. But if I have conceptual understanding and if that's how I know math works, then I can go back and I can try to retrace my steps. Whereas if it's procedural and a piece is missing, I get roadblock.
I always use the example of the analogy of driving to work. If the road is closed and I only understand how to get to work procedurally that one piece out of my puzzle. That's me down for the day, I've got to turn back home and I got to go.
But if I understand the neighborhood, if I understand the area and I can problem solve, I can now find a different route to get me to work and math does work that way. But again, there are some say boundaries there as well, where maybe we get to a level where the amount of abstract thinking is so high that maybe there's a mental disability that might be hindering or a problem like that.
But otherwise, I definitely believe that teaching conceptually will help the equalizer, the great equalizer, and help bring equity to mathematics. You just got little last show from Landon. So sorry about that.

Mealey: That's awesome.

Tudisco: Landon's crosstalk background.

Mealey: I'm not throwing the growth set mindset or the growth mindset baby out with the bathwater. I'm just saying that I don't think it is the panacea that some people are like oh, we've seen I don't know.

Kyle: You've got to walk the walk. And you can't just talk the talk with growth mindset. I can have the posters on the wall that say, try really hard and you'll get there. But then if I'm teaching only procedurally and if, let's say it's a one and done test, then as the teacher, I'm not walking the growth mindset walk anyway. So it's definitely not going to help in those cases for sure.

Mealey: So this is the part where we like to hear funny stories. So I want to hear from you guys, it can be something that happened in the classroom that we tried to do some which I tried to spark curiosity and it went sideways this way or we were having a seminar and it just got really ugly and this happened or something that when you I'm sure you've been teaching a good while. You've got these go-to stories when you're at a party or whatever that you tell and just crack people up about.
Because we know just like your son there is having a good time. The kids in the classroom do stuff and say stuff that is hysterical almost every single day.

Kyle: Yeah, for sure. And I think I know Jon's. I already know I think.

Jon: Maybe. You have to remind me. I was trying to think of something funny and you probably have to remind me because I don't think this is the one that you were thinking of, even though I don't know which one you're thinking of.
I think there's lots of fail stories in the classroom, for sure, especially around trying to spark curiosity because that's how you're going to learn. It's you're going to try to do something and then it's going to fail the first time, the second time, but you will get better at it.
But something that always come to my mind. This is back when I first started teaching and I was that teacher that it was my way or the highway and I was a very traditional teacher. And I was teaching a very disruptive class. And a kid came up to me while we were doing an activity and it was near the end of class and he said somebody stole my cell phone off my desk.
And I said, "Oh." And then I just thought I'm like, "No one should be stealing anything in their classroom." And so I was like, "Ah." I closed the door and the bell was just about to ring. And I said, "No one's leaving this room until that cell phone comes back."
So the bell rings and the kids don't go anywhere and one kid stands up. He's like, "I'm not sticking around here for this. I got to go." It's lunchtime. So they want to get out of there. I said, "Nope, no one's going anywhere." And this kid, he turns to the window, he opens the window and he hops out.

Mealey: Nice.

Jon: He just goes out. And I was, "Oh my." I remember being really angry at the time. But I looked back and it was pretty funny. And I'm like he just left and then two other kids followed him jumped out the window.

Mealey: Oh my god.

Tudisco: See the problem is you've taught them creative thinking skills. crosstalk situation.

Mealey: That is problem-solving.

Jon: And another kid turns to me and says Mr. Orr, "Can we go?" And I'm like, "No." And he's like, "We're not going anywhere until that cell phone is returned." And then another kid turns to me because I didn't realize it. Another kid turns to me and he's like, "What happens if it was the guy that jumped out the window?"
But then I was like, "You're right. And it probably was him." So I let everybody go. And the admin, the vice principals, they looked into it. It was the kid who jumped out the window that did still the cell phone.

Mealey: Oh my God. That's hysterical.

Jon: I don't think Kyle that's the one you were thinking of. But what have you got?

Kyle: No, no.

Mealey: That's good stuff.

Kyle: Well, as soon as they said about when with sparking curiosity when things go wrong or whatever. And I thought you were going to share right away because you share it sometimes when we present is we always talk about those inappropriate comments when we do notice and wonder and students go-

Jon: Yeah, that's a good one too.

Kyle: What about things that are unrelated or maybe even inappropriate things. And the one time Jon's playing this video for the first time, and it's him creating it's called the R2-D2 problem and he's using sticky notes similar to Andrew Stadel file cabinet sticky note problem.
And he's making this piece of art that's going to end up being R2-D2. And he asked him what do you notice or wonder and the one students that I noticed your underwear because it's pause and your underwear is showing.

Jon: I could see the top of my underwear sticking out my pants at the pause.

Mealey: That's good stuff.

Jon: That's funny.

Kyle: When it comes to sparking curiosity, I don't remember any definitely fails, but they weren't funny fails. They were actually made you feel not so great because I was missing certain pieces or I didn't leave it open enough for students to share what they really noticed and wondered.
But Jon's story reminded me and I wasn't going to mention this. But one time a student fell asleep in my class and it was a grade 12 class. A good kid too, we had a good relationship. So it wasn't we were picking on the student or anything.
And I went to my colleague who's next door and he's a real prankster. His name's Dave. And I said, hey, so and so is sleeping over here. And he goes, get your whole class out and go into the courtyard and then page the office and have the office page into the classroom.
So that was our crosstalk. So we had the whole class standing outside in the courtyard looking in. And we called to the office and said, hey, page for so and so. I feel horrible. I can't even remember his name. I have his face right in my mind.

Mealey: That's okay. You can say George.

Kyle: They paged in and the look on the student's face when he woke up and he panicked. He's looking around, he's out. Everybody's gone. He's like, "What time is it?" Oh, it was great. The whole class is laughing. We had a good time with that one.

Mealey: I knew a fellow teacher. And we say often don't try this at home. But so a kid fell asleep in class, he took Scotch tape, and Scotch-taped the kid to his desk and he used a whole roll. I wish I had a picture of it.

Kyle: You got to be in a deep sleep to get you know crosstalk.

Mealey: Right. And he knocked on the desk. We all know the knock on the desk trick to get the kids awake. So he had tried that. And the kid was just completely out of the situation. The kid was sick, the kid was chemically enhanced.

Kyle: I was going to say the next move, I think is check the pulse.

Mealey: And just take the Scotch tape. Oh, I also have a another one. It's funny because I have all these funny stories in my head that I don't, you're sparking funny stories. So the same actual teacher when he was out told me this story, and a substitute teacher and I don't know about you guys up there.
But a lot of our substitute teachers are older. Maybe it's somebody who's retired from teaching, maybe it's someone who's retired from whatever. And they just looking for a little part-time job or something to do.
So the teacher falls asleep. The substitute teacher falls asleep. By the way, this is the same substitute fell asleep when I was homesick during giving my midterm. My kids did so good on that midterm. But the kid showed a video of the teacher the next day.
So the substitute falls asleep. He's this guy, he's I don't know 70 years old, he has no teeth. So that adds to the thing. So the kids took sharpened pencils and threw them into the ceiling. You know how you can the pencils to stick into the drop ceiling, all above his head.
So then the guy's there lying asleep and they're videoing him. And the pencils, they only stay there so long. And they work their way out and they hit the guy. So the guy is asleep snoring. And then you see him when the pencil hits him he just what, what, what? And he looks around and right back to sleep.

Tudisco: Bold. Bold.

Kyle: Children will be children and adults will be adults because we still find that funny.

Mealey: It's just good stuff. It was so much fun stuff.

Kyle: For sure.

Mealey: Well, we really appreciate having you guys on. It has been an absolute blast. And I hope that people out there listening appreciate it and we've sparked some curiosity to find out stuff about you. And they will be looking at you up and finding out more of your stuff and will continue to promote you guys.

Kyle: Awesome.

Tudisco: You guys definitely gave me a lot to think about. So if people want to find you two online, where can they find you?

Jon: Probably the best place right now is to head to makemathmoments.com which is where you can find the podcast, you can find out information about our workshops, or online workshops. And we have a virtual summit that we run every year. So an online virtual conference that's free for everybody.
So you can find the info all of our stuff at makemathmoments.com. That's our main hub. And then I think you can branch off to get our other sites which are TapIntoTeenMinds that's Kyle's blog plus lots of resources and then my site, which is MrOrr-IsAGeek.com. So those are three sites. Kyle, you want to add anything in there?

Kyle: No, I think that's probably your home base. Like Jon said, right now we also have a teacher due to the COVID situation, we've got a lot of teachers looking for extra PD. So we've got a teacher inaudible free for folks to access the academy if they want to check that out makemathmoments.com forward slash trial. And yeah, we'll be chatting with more Math Moment makers in the community area.

Mealey: Awesome.

Jon: Great.

Mealey: Awesome. And do you guys have the high five sound effect? Can you push a button and play it or do we have to we to like-

Jon: We do it every time.

Kyle: It's a real clap. It's a real clap every time.

Mealey: Oh, is it? So it's not a button you push or something that you add in?

Jon: No, we clap every time.

Mealey: So, Tudisco, like I said inaudible. We say thank you and stay unprofessional. That's our closing. But you guys do your little closing thing for us.

Jon: All right. Go ahead, Kyle.

Kyle: All right. Well, that's it for us. I'm Kyle Pearce.

Jon: And I'm John Orr.

Kyle: High fives for us.

Jon: And high fives for you.

Tudisco: Loved it. Loved it.

Mealey: We didn't put the last one there.

Tudisco: Loved it.

Kyle: Thanks, guys. Thanks for having us.

Jon: Thanks so much.

Mealey: That was awesome. I appreciate you guys. All right, thanks.

Kyle: Well, my friends, thanks for listening to this replay episode with the team over at Unprofessional Development podcast. Again, do them a solid and head on over go check out a couple of their other episodes. They're doing great things over there.
And we were honored to have the opportunity to jump on there and do some chatter about how we can make math moments for students, regardless of the grade level and regardless of student readiness.

Jon: Before you head off, we want to let that if you're listening to this before January 29th, 2021, then you're getting it close to joining us for our 12-week full online workshop.

Kyle: Yes, this online workshop is designed specifically for you so that we can walk you through step by step to help you teach through real-world problems and really contextual problems that spark curiosity, fuel sensemaking, and ignite teacher moves.
We talk about it all the time on the podcast, but sometimes it can be a little bit harder trying to piece things together when you want to put it into your own practice. So work together with Jon and I so that we can help create those resilient problem solvers that we all are seeking for our students.

Jon: If you're interested in learning more about registering, be sure to check out makemathmoments.com forward slash online workshop. If you're listening after the January 2021 registration, you can still head to makemathmoments.com forward slash online workshop to join the waiting lists in order to get notified of the next opportunity to participate.

Kyle: Yes, my friends, it is closing on January 29th. I think it is 2021 in the evening and we're going to be at it on February 1st. That's when we are going to officially start the 12-week online workshop. It is self-paced. So there's no scheduling to do on your part. You get to... Well, there is scheduling, Jon. Right?

Jon: Right.

Kyle: You have to schedule in the time for you to go through at your pace and on your schedule. However, we do our best to try to help guide you along through that process as well. So head on over to makemathmoments.com forward slash online workshop, learn more about it, and hopefully you'll consider diving in because it is always a fantastic group. Lots of great conversation and we're really excited to get going for this cohort.

Jon: In order to ensure you don't miss out on new podcast episodes as they come out each week, be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform.

Kyle: Also, if you're liking what you're hearing, do us a huge solid hit that subscribe button but also go ahead and tap on a rating. It only takes a second. And if you're ever so kind, leave a short review on Apple podcast to help us grow the podcast. You don't know how full our hearts become when we see those reviews coming in and it just fuels us to keep on going and keep these episodes running.

Jon: Show notes and links to resources from this episode and full transcripts from this episode can be found at makemathmoments.com forward slash episode 111. That's makemathmoments.com forward slash episode 111.

Kyle: Well, my Math Moment Maker friends, I'm Kyle Pearce.

Jon: And I'm Jon Orr.

Kyle: High fives for us.

Jon: And a big high five for you.

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Pedagogically aligned for teachers of K through Grade 12 with content specific examples from Grades 3 through Grade 10.

In our self-paced, 12-week Online Workshop, you'll learn how to craft new and transform your current lessons to Spark Curiosity, Fuel Sense Making, and Ignite Your Teacher Moves to promote resilient problem solvers.