Episode #147:What To Do When You’re Doubting Your Teaching Approach – A Math Mentoring Moment

Sep 20, 2021 | Podcast | 0 comments



We chat with Christa about a recent interaction she had with a colleague that left her feeling a bit inadequate and we help her focus her efforts so she can build her confidence so she can continue to Make Math Moments

This is another Math Mentoring Moment episode where we talk with a member of the Math Moment Maker Community who is working through a common math class struggle. Together, we’ll brainstorm some possible next steps and strategies to overcome them.

You’ll Learn

  • How to Convince Colleagues Making Math Moments is Worth it? 
  • Why having a partner to share your thinking is absolutely necessary. 
  • What data should we look at to feel confident with our teaching methods.
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!


Christina Eccius: I proved now with my experience, with my 13 year experience that if I do hard test or easy tests or I do... not hard or easy but... The depth of knowledge, right? Lowering or highering the depth of knowledge. Or Making tasks or making procedures, at the end we don't get the results we expect in standardized tests so we all see the wall the same way. Right now, I want to keep on this track and trying these tasks...

Kyle Pearce: That there is Christa Amezcua from Mexico. Christa is a middle school math teacher and comes on the show today to talk about what we should do when you're doubting your teaching approach and strategies.

Jon Orr: We chat with Christa about a recent interaction she had with a colleague that left her feeling a bit inadequate, and we help her focus her efforts so she can build her confidence so she can continue to Make Math Moments.

Kyle Pearce: This is another Math Mentoring Moment episode, where we talk with a member of the Math Moment Maker community, just like you, who's working through a common math class struggle. Today we're going to brainstorm some possible next steps on some strategies to help overcome them. Jon...

Jon Orr: Let's hit it, let's go!

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, let's do it! Here we go!
Welcome to the Making Math Moments That Matter podcast. I'm Kyle Pearce.

Jon Orr: And I'm Jon Orr. We are from makemathmoments.com and together...

Kyle Pearce: With you, the community of Math Moment Makers worldwide, we want to build and deliver problem-based math lessons that spark curiosity...

Jon Orr: Fuel sense-making...

Kyle Pearce: And ignite your teacher moves. My friends, we are doing another Math Mentoring Moment episode. These are some of our favorite because not only do we get to connect with you, the Math Moment Maker community, but we also get to chat about very common math class struggles. So today we're going to be bringing on Christa, and Jon, what a great conversation it was?

Jon Orr: I have to actually... Your sentiments are, Kyle, is that these sessions not only kind of rejuvenate us to get back into our roles in our classrooms, but I know that we're helping folks that we talked to. You'll see that in this interview and then also, I know, I know that we're helping you, listener at home when you listen to these episodes. So let's get right into it. Let's chat with Christa.

Kyle Pearce: Hey, hey there, Christa, thanks for joining us here on the Making Math Moments That Matter podcast. How are things going in your world these days?

Christina Eccius: Fine, fine. Thank you. We are going higher grade which is a hard thing to do right now.

Kyle Pearce: I bet, I bet. Yes, it seems like everyone's still, at least around here, Jon and I we've been in this, you know, going remote for a few weeks and then they try to bring everyone back face to face. And now there's... Seems like this third wave seems to be taking place around here. Christa, do us a favor; let us know, let the Math Moment Maker community know where are you coming to us from? And tell us a little bit about your teaching backstory.

Christina Eccius: Well I am Christa Amezcua from Mexico, from a city called Guadalajara. You're welcome to come whenever you want.

Kyle Pearce: I'm ready now. I wish we could come now.

Jon Orr: I'll be there any minute.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah.

Christina Eccius: If you complain about the weather you should come.
I've been on middle school, math teacher for 13 years, mostly to groups of girls. And well, I've heard many teachers have worked the same teaching path as you, starting very teacher centered and becoming more student centered with time. And well, for 10 years or so, I walked that path too but in the opposite direction. I started teaching the way I learned in the math inaudible; based on problem solving, communicating thoughts, finding value on every procedure that may lead to an answer. But through time, I started doing things that I promised myself I would never do, like making a review that day before the test with the exact same questions that are coming on the test and things like that.

Jon Orr: Gotcha, gotcha. You know, like I think we all started that way and it's like... We have days where we're like, ah, I'm doing something that I said that I would never do. It just comes along and I think we can't, sometimes, get away from that but I definitely hear where you are coming from. Christa, we have to ask this question to all of our guests, being the Making Math Moments That Matter podcast; we would love to know what your Math Moment is when you think back to math class when you were a student? What is something that comes to mind when we say, "math class" that just kind of jogs in your memory that kind of sticks with you that say maybe influenced your thinking around mathematics? What would be your math moment?

Christina Eccius: Well, in middle school, math, wasn't my favorite subject. I did love math but the subject at school was not my favorite because it was too procedural and I always use my own procedures and I have permission that I didn't like that. But one day the homework was to make a metric tape, to make make a metric tape one meter long with marks in each millimeter. And the next day the teacher said we are going outside so you use your metric tape to measure the basketball court. And well, I always behaved as expected and I wasn't expected to react out loud like, "Ah.", I'm not believing we are actually doing something. And we moved away from our places, and the club was a mess, and we all got very different measures, and that was my favorite lesson.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, we were just about to ask you that and say, it's awesome that it sounds like you were coming from an experience where it was probably very teacher centered, as you were saying, and probably I'm picturing... I remember my experience, I felt like there was probably as I got into third grade or so it just seemed like math was always everyone in a straight row. You look at the front and you listen to what your teacher has to say and once in a while, there might be a little activity that goes along with it but it never really felt like truly collaborative, and it seems like that activity was really about investigating. And I'm envisioning first off, I kind of see it from two lenses; that activity, I could see how it could maybe take a really long time for students to create their own metric measuring tape, right? So if it was a meter in length.
But then I think about the value of students truly constructing that measuring tool to really get a sense of what a meter really is. Because I know as a student, we were using the metric system; Jon and I being from Canada, we were using the metric system but I remember putting meters and centimeters and even kilometers on numbers, but never really having a sense as to what that meant, right? I didn't understand the magnitude of that number. But I'm picturing if you had one meter and then students had to actually partition that into 10, now you've got these chunks of 10 centimeters that we could now name and then you go and you chunk those into 10 partitions each and then now finally you've exposed the centimeter, right? How real is that? And it's such a cool experience that you actually remember that. Now I want to know how do you think that moment influenced how you are as a teacher today or maybe earlier in your career? How did that influence how you approach teaching mathematics?

Christina Eccius: Yes, that was only once in middle school. But now as a teacher, I tried to make my students do this, purposeful mess from time to time, right? I think it's completely worth the time.

Jon Orr: Awesome, awesome. I'm wondering if you could share us like a quick win from your classroom, where you talk a little bit about that. Then what we'll do is we'll get your quick win and then we'll kind of dive into some struggles that we want to hash out here this evening. But what would be a, say, a quick win that you can say describe to our listeners and describe to us of that kind of example that way that has been influenced to you in mathematics?

Christina Eccius: Well, I recently entered a teacher contest, not for winning but because by entering the contest I would get free webinars and we all love free webinars, right? I had to gather some testimonies of my students. I wasn't certain about asking such a thing to former students, but at the end I just threw the question up to Facebook to see if anyone was willing to share a math memory from my lessons. And I got many and very interesting answers. So I think that was a huge success.

Kyle Pearce: If I could, I don't mean to put you on the spot, but was there one that pops out in your mind that... I know for me, when I've run into former students, sometimes I run into a student and oftentimes it's a student I would least expect to have a moment that sort of resonated with them and sometimes they surprise you. Were there any of those that, if you were to pick one that sort of like maybe caught you off guard? Maybe it was a student that you didn't perceive to really be engaged in the class but it turns out maybe they were or something that just sort of resonated with you?

Christina Eccius: Yes, as I told you, there were many, many answers from all kind of students. For example, I have one that now she is studying advertising in university, I don't know how to say that, and she remembers when we did that congruent triangles song. So it kind of relates to that. There's one that is studying now a design career which is inaudible...

Kyle Pearce: Are you going to sing it for us here tonight?

Christina Eccius: It's on YouTube, you can search for it. It's a congruent triangles song. I think it has crosstalk.

Kyle Pearce: I was going to try to twist your arm there, but that's okay.

Christina Eccius: I didn't bring my guitar.

Jon Orr: Christa, we're wondering, what can we chew on with you this evening here? What is a pebble in your shoe, as we like to say these days, that we can kind of help you with so that you can go back to the class and make some Math Moments with your students? What would you say we could talk about here at this evening?

Christina Eccius: Well, when I noticed that I was going backwards on my journey, on my math teaching journey, I had the offer to work at a new school. So I took the offer as an opportunity to start over, and at this new school I found, well before the lockdown, there was an observe me program. And last year I was observed by a high school teacher from the same school. She liked the lesson, we did something very nice, I invited her on purpose of that lesson, but she really thinks I should do more worksheets. She had seen my books and there were not enough exercises, and I wasn't spending time on these task, like four days on a task. I didn't know what to answer.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, so the observe me program, it sort of reminds me of this idea; I've heard of this strategy is being called like a pineapple churn. I don't know if that's how it happens, where you are in Mexico, but I know that floating around here in Ontario, we heard this idea. I think it was probably a school that wanted to start this observe me program and they wanted to make it just known that you could come and go in classes whenever you please. So what teachers would do is everybody has a picture of a pineapple and anytime it was free for someone to come into observe you, they would put this pineapple on their door. So it sounds like yours, might've been maybe a little more formal, you had to reach out to the person and sort of agree on a date and the time. Is that how that program sort of worked?
And then I want to dig into a little bit about, you would reference how you felt like you kind of went backwards a little bit. You said you sort of almost progressed backwards where... I'm hoping we can dive into that a little bit more and see how that ties in, because sounds like that teacher went and observed you and then said that they felt almost as if maybe you were doing too much active learning and then they suggested that you do more worksheets. Can you take us a little bit deeper on that journey? Just so that we have a clearer vision of what that looked like or sounded like?

Christina Eccius: Well, first of all, the program is more formal as you say. We have, during January, we have to observe someone at least one teacher and we have to be observed once. We have to agree on the time because of the time we have free, right? inaudible Well, I told her that I was teaching this time and she came, right? Then the feedback that you get from the teacher is in front of your boss so it's also more formal, right? And you can ask to, for example, I asked maybe on how to use technology because I was new at the school and they used those Apple things, and I'm not expert. So I wanted to know a little bit more about that. I think she had good intentions but the problem is that I couldn't answer to the comment of, "You are lacking more exercises, you have to do more exercises". And I cannot answer like, "No it's because I'm Making Math Moments" because nobody would understand what I'm saying, right?

Jon Orr: Right, right, right, right, right. How'd that feedback, say, make you feel? Did it set you back or how did you take it? Or was it maybe like, "You know what? I know what I'm doing, I'm not going to say that I'm Making Math Moments, but I feel like you're on the..."

Kyle Pearce: crosstalk.

Jon Orr: Yeah, "I'm not going to sweat it.". Or did it set you back? The next day did you start giving out worksheets? How did it make you feel? And then maybe after that, we'll dig a little bit deeper before we try to figure out the real issue here.

Christina Eccius: Well, as I told you, this new school was to start over. I'm convinced that I have to do my Math Moments and they are worth it, but I cannot prove it, right? I cannot answer, I just said, "Oh, thank you for the feedback" and continued the same way. And then we went to our houses during the pandemic so that was kind of a mess anyway. That afternoon, I had to listen to your podcast to feel better again and to keep going.

Kyle Pearce: That sounds like, you know what? I bet you, there's some people out there nodding their head around maybe feeling that way and first off, something we're thinking of, I'm guessing Jon's probably thinking this as well, is that here in Ontario it's almost like the evaluative approach in education is very downplayed. And what I mean by that is, often times and in many cases our union even might protect educators from an experience where it felt like there might be evaluative practices going on and it sort of makes me wonder when... you know, I love the idea of like an observed me program but then I wonder about how you build up to building the trust for someone else to come into your class and then also to be able to provide feedback after let's say one lesson, especially if maybe there's a philosophical difference there as well.
I'm wondering, just to kind of dig a little deeper as well, like this particular educator who did come and view your class, would you say that this educator has maybe more of a... We'll call it more of a procedural approach, like procedures first approach to teaching? Or are they kind of developing concepts first? Is it a bit of both? Or what kind of frame where that educator... where you feel like that educator maybe is in their journey? And then I'm wondering, did you think about that after receiving the feedback? I know when I get feedback, oftentimes you just think about what's being said and sometimes we don't look at the bigger picture. But I'm wondering about this particular educator, is this educator promoting more steps and procedures and memorization of mathematics, or what sort of maybe approach pedagogical approach might this teacher be kind of nudging towards as they're teaching?

Christina Eccius: Well, I observed her too. I don't know her a lot because I'm new at the school, but I noticed on her lesson and on something she said later, that... Well, they were doing exercises, they were doing analytic geometry and that was all converting from a standard form to the other form and so on before the test, and she said something very interesting. They measure their success... Because they have contact with the students after high school. A lot of students from our school go to the same university.
A very large amount go to MBA programs... No, not MBA, business administration or something. They make sure that they are doing right in inaudible over there. But I think, yes, they do a lot of exercises. I also know that, for example, in the university the teacher says, "your students are having troubles with this kind of derivatives." So they do more derivatives high school. And I think there's a lack of basics, you have to go down to the basics. Not do the same exercise they are going to solve later, but go to the basics and try to solve them at their problems down there. That's what I feel.

Jon Orr: Right. Now, when you observed this other teacher's lesson and they were doing very proceduralized exercises, as you use as the term, I'm wondering in your opinion, who was doing the most thinking in those lessons? Would it be like the kids were doing a lot of thinking or was the teacher doing a lot of thinking?

Christina Eccius: Well, in that particular lesson, it was like a review so they already knew how to do stuff and they were only practicing. The students were engaged in doing the things and participating because they had to do it on the tablet, but I don't think it was out of discovery over there.

Kyle Pearce: It sounds like maybe not the best lesson to coming for an observation, right?

Jon Orr: Yeah.

Kyle Pearce: If it's more or less students... Because of course, one thing that I think is really important for us to consider as well, is that even from a Make Math Moments, like a three-part framework lesson; as people work through a unit, they'll see that we do have intentional purposeful practice built in there as well. So oftentimes I find that it can be really easy for an educator, especially if they were to go into a classroom once, and they see let's say an investigation going on and especially if that investigation, if we haven't tied up the loose ends by the end of that lesson and it's kind of carrying over to the next day, sometimes that happens. I used to do this, I used to rush to try to tie the loose end before the bell went.
But what I realized afterwards was it negated all of the effort that we did before, where students were doing all the thinking. So now I actually would rather them think on it that night and come back with any new ideas, any new wonders. Of course, at some point we do need to tie it all together and then give them opportunities to engage in some, we'll call it purposeful practice, but not just mimicking what we did. But more or less extending their thinking and sharing what they've learned, reflecting on what they've learned. So, I guess my wonder for you is, your concern whether it's an either or? Are you feeling like you're having a hard time moving from an investigative intro to a concept and then kind of building it towards some purposeful practice? Or how are you feeling now? Because I know when we actually dive deep, oftentimes it's really hard when let's say colleagues aren't doing things or trying things like we're trying, right?
And that can oftentimes cloud our judgment and sometimes make us abandon our plan because it's easier to follow the herd than to potentially go off the beaten path a little bit. Because if you go off the beaten path and you find out that you hit a wall, you sort of feel like you were the only one and everybody else has told you so. But if you go with them and you hit a wall together, everybody feels just fine, right? So I'm wondering for you specifically, how are you feeling? If let's say we were to block that teacher and that feedback back, how are you feeling you're making out on this journey? And I wonder where you are in your journey today? Is it because of this outside influence? Are you following a path that maybe you didn't want to get on or do you feel like you're in between somewhere? How are you feeling now and maybe we can dive into that a little bit deeper?

Christina Eccius: Well, after 10 years of starting teaching, I felt that I was falling into this easy thing, do whatever you are expected to do and not try anything new. Then I found your podcast and I said, "No, I want to go back on track and do these tasks that I think they are more interesting" and hitting the wall, as you said, I think we all do that. I mean, for example, the most common way to see your methods are working or not is a test; a standardized test at the end of the year and we all fail, not fail but we don't get the results that we expected after all the support.
I proved now with my experience, with my 13 year experience that if I do hard test or easy tests or I do... not hard or easy but... The depth of knowledge, right? Lowering or highering the depth of knowledge. Or Making tasks or making procedures, at the end we don't get the results we expect in standardized tests so we all see the wall the same way. Right now, I want to keep on this track and trying these tasks, but when I was hired in these new school, I was told, I think it was some nice words from the principal, "We hired you because we want to raise our math level." And I said, "Well, thank you very much.". But how do I measure if I raised the math level? So you mentioned with the standardized test it's the same, so I'm trying to know how do I prove that I'm doing it right?

Jon Orr: Right, so I'm wondering did I just hear you say that you weren't seeing... You've made some changes in your teaching because you wanted to see changes in the standardized tests, but I'm wondering when you made those changes, did you see changes? Are they the same as what they were before? I'm thinking back to that teacher who came in to observe you, who said, you know what? You need to do more worksheets and more exercises than say this exploration or this fueling sense-making area that we've always been talking about. I'm wondering if you're thinking about standardized test scores, you start comparing your group to their group. Is it the same? Or is it worse or is it better because if it's the same, what's happening? Can you argue with that other teacher and be like, "Look here, we have the same test scores. Why do you say that I need to do more worksheets? Actually, I've got some more benefits over here. I'm matching your test scores, but I'm fueling sense-making and I'm having kids engaging but also understanding the math at a deeper level." Is that what's happening on my way off base here?

Christina Eccius: Well, I'm comparing my groups to myself before inaudible through all these years. I cannot compare with hers because she's high school and we are a middle school. She has smaller groups, but maybe next year she's going to get my first generation. I told you it was a mess because of the pandemics, but I think they have at least better disposition towards math because of my lessons, I hope so. So next year, I'm going to tell you if it worked or not.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, and that was something I was curious about as well, because... So standardized test scores, that's one thing and depending on what's being asked on standardized tests, sometimes certain standardized tests can really push very procedural problems. So again, there's a little bit of that as well. So I mean, some could argue that, "Yeah, if you know what the standardized test, the roadmap, right? Where usually a standardized test gives a roadmap of like this many questions are related to this and this many questions related to that, and if you were to just practice repeatedly, you might do okay with that". But that was my next question for you was, do you notice any differences in the students?
Now, mind you, I know it's different groups of students. It's very hard, this makes comparing students hard. Because they have a control and a sample group, it's tough to... Or experimental group, it's tough to really narrow that down, especially in your own classroom. But when you compare kind of like the way you were teaching, in a procedural fashion, to more investigative more concept driven... What are you noticing in students if you were to just kind of anecdotally share what you've noticed? Have you seen any differences, do you see students engaging in deeper thinking during the lessons or is it the same? What results are you seeing there or what changes?

Christina Eccius: Well, yes. I usually get good comments from the students. Maybe sometimes at the beginning of the year, they feel lost and they tell their principal that they don't feel like math class, right? Where are my notes? Where are my procedures? So at the beginning I get some complaints but toward the end of the years I get comments about engaging math and they like math, but they still cannot do the procedures the same as if I told them the steps. I don't have statistics on this, but I did notice that when I gave them their review before the test and only the steps they did the same or less. I have an average of answering 50% of the test.

Jon Orr: Yeah. You know what, Kyle, it sounds like Christa here is in a situation we found ourselves in when we first started moving to a problem-based approach or an activity-based approach. Because, Christa, I felt like my students also... and this happens to a lot of Math Moment Makers who make a change from a very proceduralized class to a class where they're trying to get kids involved because kids are used to math class being very note driven and very example driven. So they're saying, "I'm not successful because I don't know where my notes are.". And I found myself in a tough situation when I first made the switch that I only did tasks all the time. It was just like task, task, task, activity, activity, activity. And kids at that time, because it was new, felt a little bit like, "Are we doing any math?".
"I'm not writing anything down, I'm drawing on the whiteboards, but I don't have any notes.". I remember we were like, "We're going to take a note guys." and they're like, "What? We haven't taken notes all year.". And I felt like we had to learn little bits about where was the right time, and this just take some practice, is where is the right time to make the consolidation? Make the connection and how are we going to, say, record that? Because I think for a lot of kids, some kids can get away with just making the connections as a verbal discussion but I think a lot of kids also will need to, say, consolidate that somewhere on maybe a note or a piece of paper. It's just for me, it just didn't happen at the beginning. It happened near the end of class.
And I had to get better at that, I had to get better at like, okay, where are we? Alright, we better consolidate right now in written note form. But that stage comes from the kids discussion and their work that's around the room or at their desk. You build the note from their strategy and then you connect it to the strategy you want to, say, make very clear as that learning goal for the day. But I definitely found myself early in this process, that in that area of like, "Where does that no go? Okay, I didn't do a note today. Oh my goodness.", "Do I need to do notes? Where does it all fit in?", so I think you're there, you're kind of in that zone we were in and I think with more, a little bit more practice, a little bit more confidence; you will start to see where you're going to insert that connection piece and then kids are going to start to feel more confident as well.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, and Jon, just to add to that as well, I know speaking on my behalf, in my experience; when I was doing tasks every day, it took me a really long time to really have the epiphany of what was going on. I remember thinking to myself and I remember as well, Jon, you were again at a very similar spot in your journey, so luckily we would talk about a lot of this online. So finding yourself a colleague, I think, Christa would be so helpful. Whether it's someone in your school or in your district, or maybe it's someone online because Jon and I don't teach in the same district so we were just connecting over Twitter. And on those days where we were kind of shaking our head going, "What went wrong that day?", It would have been really easy for us to just abandon what we had done because again, people around me in my school, for example, weren't really doing that sort of thing.
So it would have been way easier to just, again, get back in line and sort of follow that lead. But what we realized over time and what I specifically realized, was that I was hoping that the students in my class would just make connections as we went. I just sort of assumed that when we shared at the end, that everything was going to work itself out. And Jon sort of alluded to this already; that it's like, again, taking what they've done and actually being very intentional about that consolidation and drawing that out. I was not doing that and I know from my own experience that had I been doing that early on, that I know that I would have had better results, we'll call it, like better student achievement. Because there was too many students that were there, they were engaging in the activity, they might've even come up with the right answer, but they didn't make the connection that I thought everyone was going to walk away with.
So I'm wondering about that as maybe something to think on is as you set up these activities that are probably really clear in your mind, right? So you're like, "We're going to do this activity and we're going to do this then that, then that. I'm even going to anticipate that some students are going to do this solution and some are going to do that solution.", but the part that I think is so important is when we bring those students together, however you choose to do it. Whether it's everyone gathering around, I know in a pandemic that's hard to do, or whether it's at different parts of the classroom and sharing students that are working on different whiteboards, but that part at the end is so important to ensure. And then to give students something, whether they do it at the end of class or whether they do it and take it away with them home, that they submit to you so that you get a true sense of what they've done.
And this is something that you'll see in our problem-based units. So for example, we just did a dividing fractions unit and at the end of day one, we ask students about another problem that's similar to the context, and then we ask them to explain how they know and how they would convince someone. And when I did this with a couple of classes, I was feeling really good, kids all came up with the right answer, there was different solutions but then when we saw what the students submitted and I saw that only about half of them had a solution in this exit ticket, we'll call it, or this consolidation prompt; when only half of them had something that sort of made sense I was like, "Whoa." I learned right away that, "Tomorrow, I'm going to build on this activity, but it's going to be more around the purposeful practice to give them this extra opportunity to go deeper with this thinking.".
What I realized is that we would just barrel roll through all these ideas and they were great, kids felt good about it but at the end of the day there was just connections weren't being made in the way that I was hoping that they would be. So, I guess what we want to say is, we're so proud of you that you've been on this journey; that you're trying to make your classroom an active learning environment but at the same time too, oftentimes it's like those details that just kind of, zooming in on a few of the details, could be maybe a next step for you. So I want to flip it back to you and sort of get your thoughts. Jon shared a bit, I shared a bit, how are you feeling right now and are there any light bulbs going off in terms of some next steps for you to think about?

Christina Eccius: Well, I guess I'm going to focus more on the consolidation process. We have very, very short periods of time. We have 45 minutes so sometimes it goes on another day, the consolidation inaudible.

Jon Orr: Yeah.

Kyle Pearce: That is tough.

Jon Orr: Right, for sure.

Kyle Pearce: Sure.

Christina Eccius: And when you get upset also you crosstalk a piece of the task, whether the consolidation or the activity, or... so it's a little bit harder.

Jon Orr: I think that would be a little bit harder, especially 45... If you leave it hanging. Sometimes Kyle said, you can leave it hanging, but leave it hanging with a ponder or a question or something to be like, "We're going to keep going on this idea tomorrow. We're going to finish the activity but this is where I want you to bring with you tomorrow. What is that one thing?". Keep them on the hook to kind of keep that thinking going and then you start with that the next day. And that can be tough to kind of like work into a task that was really meant for a 75 minute period, that can be tough. Christa, I'm wondering at this time, what would be your biggest takeaway from the conversation here tonight as we kind of wrap things up?

Christina Eccius: Well, maybe it was too short but I heard Kyle saying I have to look for someone; with maybe my same grade level and from some other schools maybe, and to share with them also to get some good ideas. I'll definitely do that.

Kyle Pearce: I love it, I love it. That is one thing that I think is always so helpful. We love bringing guests on to chat and have these conversations with each other but imagine if like every day you could have that conversation, right? With someone else who's, we'll say doesn't have to be at the same place in the journey as you. I mean, that's obviously helpful but just to have someone who's maybe thinking similarly to you, right? Who wants to kind of go down that path and just to have that person to be able to say, "You know what? Hey, what about this idea?". And they can kind of say, "That's an awesome idea, why don't you think about this?" or maybe they say, "You know what? I've tried that before, maybe consider tweaking that.", that I think would be such a benefit for you to be able to lean on any time that your irrational mind takes over and starts to, I always say it always starts giving you bad ideas, right?
It always is telling you that you're going down the wrong path. Having that colleague there to really support you, I think would be huge. You know what, Christa, we are so happy to have had you on the show and we're wondering, anyway, if maybe we can check in with you down the road? We like to do some, where are they now episodes? So maybe a nine to 12 months down the road, we can reach out to you and if that's okay with you, we'd love to check in and let everybody else hear how you're progressing on the journey.

Christina Eccius: Thanks, that would be great.

Kyle Pearce: Thanks so much, Christa, for joining us here on the podcast and we wish you best of luck tomorrow in the classroom and the rest of the school year.

Christina Eccius: Thank you. Well, right now I'm on the spring break but in one week I'll be back.

Kyle Pearce: Oh, awesome. Good for you. Ours is coming up soon, enjoy the rest of it and we will see you inside the academy. Talk to you soon.

Christina Eccius: Bye, see you.

Kyle Pearce: As always, friends, Jon and I learned so much from every single episode we do. Whether it's an influencer coming on for an interview, someone from the Math Moment Maker community doing a Mentoring Moment episode or even if it's just Jon and I getting to riff on an idea, we are always learning and you're learning too, whether you realize it or not. But if you want to make sure that learning is deep and it lasts, then you got to do something with that learning, right Jon?

Jon Orr: Yeah, for sure and one way that we've always recommended is you could be taking a sketch note or you could be jotting these things down in your journal. You could be chatting with your partner or a colleague or hey, we've got a full community ready to support you over on private Facebook group, Math Moment Makers. inaudible check us out on Facebook or, aye, on any social media. You can DM us, you can message us @makemathmoments on Instagram and Twitter.

Kyle Pearce: Awesome stuff and remember this episode and many of our more recent episodes have video so if you're not already over on YouTube, make sure you head on over there, hit that subscribe button, ring that notification bell, and do us a favor and leave a takeaway in the comments. That really helps us reach an even wider Math Moment Maker audience.

Jon Orr: Yeah, and if you're interested in joining us for an upcoming Math Mentoring Moment episode, just like Christa did here, where you can share a struggle and together we can overcome that and provide some suggestions you can apply to be on this show over at makemathmoments.com/mentor, that's makemathmoments.com/mentor.

Kyle Pearce: A place that Jon and I always head to when we're trying to find some of the resources we've discussed with some of the guests is over on the show notes page so head on over there, you'll get full transcripts but also all the links to any of the resources that have been mentioned throughout this episode or on any of the other episode pages. So for this episode, head on over to makemathmoments.com/episode147. Again, that's makemathmoments.com/episode147. Well, until next time my Math Moment Maker friends, I'm Kyle Pearce.

Jon Orr: And I'm Jon Orr.

Kyle Pearce: High fives for us and a high five for you. Alright, alright, alright.

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