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Episode #57 – A Year Under Our Belts

Dec 30, 2019 | Podcast | 1 comment

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In this last episode of 2019 Kyle and Jon share their big success for the year, dive behind the scenes on the podcast, and discuss their plans and goals for 2020. 
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Kyle Pearce: Hey, hey Math Moment Makers, can you believe that we are already at the end of 2019? 

Jon Orr: Yeah. That means that we’ve been running this podcast for just over one year, almost to this week. This is episode 57. Wow, can you believe this, Kyle? That we’ve ran 57 episodes? I remember last year thinking it would be crazy just to create three, and we released those three around this time last year, December. 

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. Although it was an idea we had for a couple years now, it was just over a year ago when we actually got serious about it. And I actually can remember the conversations we were having, and we both just sort of decided that hey, let’s just do it. And there you have it, and boy oh boy, we are so happy we did. I know you feel the same there, Jon. 

Jon Orr: Yeah, its been a ride. And we’ve learned so much. And that’s actually what we’re going to talk about here on this episode, so stick with us as we recap 2019’s successes, and what the future holds for 2020. Let’s go. 

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

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

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

Jon Orr: Fuel learning-

Kyle Pearce: And ignite teacher action. Welcome to episode number 57. A year of Math Moments in review. Are you ready to do this thing, Jon? 

Jon Orr: Oh yeah, oh yeah, this is going to be a doozy. 

Kyle Pearce: Well, before we do, we are super excited to share another professional learning opportunity for the Math Moment Maker community. 

Jon Orr: That’s right, Kyle. It feels like the Make Math Moments virtual summit just happened. But you know, it was over six weeks ago, so we’re ready to dive in to some more learning with our community of Math Moment Makers. 

Kyle Pearce: Yes, coming up over the next handful of weeks in January 2020, still feels weird to say it, we will be running a free webinar open to all Math Moment Makers out there, around the world, on four separate dates for you to pick from. 

Jon Orr: In this webinar, we will be unpacking how to turn your textbook into a curiosity machine. By applying the Make Math Moments three-part framework including sparking curiosity with the curiosity pass. 

Kyle Pearce: So, be sure to get yourself registered for one or more of the webinar dates available by visiting MakeMathMoments.com/webinar. 

Jon Orr: So, while we encourage you to have a look at the webinar signup page, at MakeMathMoments.com/webinar, toss the dates in your calendar. Never fear if your schedule changes as we will email you the replay link after the last webinar is delivered and recorded during the last week of January. 

Kyle Pearce: So, don’t wait, visit MakeMathMoments.com/webinar, that’s MakeMathMoments.com/webinar. 

Jon Orr: And if that’s not enough, did you know it’s time for another Make Math Moments giveaway? 

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, buddy. With another round of the Make Math Moments online workshop starting at the beginning of February 2020, we are giving you the chance to win one of three seats in that online workshop cohort. 

Jon Orr: That’s right. By visiting MakeMathMoments.com/giveaway, simply enter your email address and you’ll be entered into the draw. Plus, after registering, you’ll get an opportunity for additional entries by sharing on social media, rating and reviewing this podcast, and following our social media accounts. 

Kyle Pearce: What are you waiting for? The giveaway is going on now until January 16th, 2020. Dive in by visiting MakeMathMoments.com/giveaway. 

Jon Orr: That’s MakeMathMoments.com/giveaway. 

Kyle Pearce: All right. Diving in here, Jon. Wow, 57 episodes. I cannot believe it. I think it’s worth us kind of diving into some Make Math Moments by the numbers? What do you think? 

Jon Orr: Yeah. Yeah. So, what we want to share with you first is some of our successes, and also we want to really thank you, our listeners. If this is the first episode that you’ve listened to from us, then thank you for joining us. If this is your 57th episode, then boo-yah. 

Kyle Pearce: Yes. 

Jon Orr: Thank you for your dedication to our profession. This is so great to talk about this on this particular episode to end this first full year. Because it just amazes us every day, now that we’ve started this podcast, and gone on this professional learning journey that we’re on, that there’s so many dedicated educators spending their own time … If you’re an educator, you know that there’s not too many other professions that do that. That spend their own time honing their craft. And so, we want to share some of these numbers. These are all people across the world that are dedicated to listening to us, which is also crazy, two Canadian boys just talking about math. 

Let’s start Kyle, with our overall, at the time of this recording, how many downloads, which means people listening to these episodes in total for this whole 57 episodes? This is also not including this episode, Kyle. Tell us, how many unique downloads have we had in one full year? 

Kyle Pearce: Yeah Jon, as of this episode, we have over 182,000 downloads of the podcast. Yes. And that, to me, is shocking [crosstalk 00:05:58]

Jon Orr: Yeah. 

Kyle Pearce: Imagine back when we were sharing, at the beginning of the episode we talked about how both you and I sort of said, “Hey, let’s just dive in, let’s just see what happens. What’s the worst that can happen? No one listens and then you know, hey, we tried it and it didn’t work.” But so far, seeing how many downloads we receive each week, anywhere from like 4,000 to 6,000 downloads, it’s not going to be long. Just a couple more weeks until we’re at that 200,000 mark. One fifth of a million. That is a lot of downloads, that is definitely blowing our mind. What’s some other interesting stats that you’ve seen when we go into our online account here? 

Jon Orr: Yeah. So, we’re at our numbers account, and just going to pull up some numbers here. For our biggest country that we get the most listens to is the United States. Like over 120,000 listens are coming straight from the United States, but it’s super … And then in Canada is second place, obviously. Our home country. We have second place in Canada. But you know what’s super interesting Kyle, is when we scan the world, a third place has got to be Australia, over 7,000 listens coming from there. It’s amazing to see, there’s like 50, or 577 listens and downloads in India. That’s something that we never even think about. And there’s like 208 listens in Brazil. 

In Spain, there’s like 300 people, or 300 listens going on in Spain. Look at, in Zambia, in Africa there are 17 listens in Zambia. These are shocking to us that it’s all over the world. 

Kyle Pearce: At the end of the day, I’m looking at this, and to me this is one big math problem. Because right away I look at in Canada, 42,000, in the United States, 121,000. I think Canada’s about one tenth of the population of the United States. That would be a really cool problem, like what’s the higher proportion of listeners, and really looking at this, it’s just shocking. And obviously so exciting to us that we’re having an opportunity to share this message and be able to bring all kinds of amazing math influencers to the podcast and being able to share their message with a wide audience around the world. So, for those of you listening right now, we want to thank you so much. 

Jon, let’s talk a little bit here about some episodes. What were some big episodes for at least the listeners? The listeners have perceived certain episodes to be, I guess, more influential for them than others just based on the number of downloads. 

Jon Orr: Yeah, so if you’re just listening for the firs time here, on this episode, than our whole catalog is available on the app that you’re listening to this on right now, or the web page if that’s where you’re listening. And we recommend that people search for episodes. We’re not saying, “Go listen to every single episode.” It’s actually probably more worth your time for professional development-wise is to look at the titles and find titles that hit home to you, that you want to listen to. Also, if you’re listening to this for the first time, we have three types of episodes that we typically have here on this show. One of them is like you’re listening to now, where Kyle and talk about something that interests us, that will interest you. 

And the second type of episode is we have a guest who’s an expert in a field, we talk about what they’re working on. So, some past guests have been Jo [Boler 00:09:10], Jennifer [Chang-Waddle 00:09:11], Jose [Vilson 00:09:12], [Rufarons Davis 00:09:13], James [Tanton 00:09:14] we’ve had on twice now. Peter [Lildahol 00:09:17] and Lauren [Bucham 00:09:18] was just on, so some past guests. And then our third type is mentoring moment guests where they’re just teachers, just like you and me, and we talk about a big struggle, and together we try to overcome that struggle or provide suggestions, or just talk our way through that struggle.

So, out of those types of episodes, there’s some episodes that get listened to a lot more than others. Kyle, what would you say you think our top episodes would be out of those three types? You think more of the big name episodes? Or do you think more of us? Or do you think the mentoring moment episodes are the big winners here? 

Kyle Pearce: You know, when we look at, let’s say the top 10 downloaded episodes, we see a lot of interviews in there. Some of the big names, like when we had John [Haddy 00:10:04] on, that actually is our second most downloaded episode. When we had Jo Boler very early on in episode number 10, she was the third most downloaded. Peg Smith’s episode, which Jon and I both are big, big advocates of The Five Practices. Peg Smith is the author of The Five Practices. So, we have a lot of great names that come up in these top 10 daily routines to start math class with. John [San Giovani 00:10:30], Peter Lildahol’s podcast, Skip Fennel. But the one that came in number one so far, is our episode number 36 on how to start the school year off right. 

And we got a ton of feedback on that, and I’m so happy Jon, that over the summer we decided to put together a guide that summarized that episode, because so many people downloaded that guide, and we’ve received so much feedback about it. So, if you haven’t checked it out, even though we are in the middle of a school year right now, really it’s about how to start the school year off right, but what better time to start it off right than right now, right? So, if you want to shift that culture in your classroom, start really trying to bring the student voice out in your classroom and start building that positive math culture, definitely check out episode number 36, as well as the show notes for episode 36 which is MakeMathMoments.com/episode36. That will get you that guide and that is the one that came in number one. 

And it was kind of cool to see that an episode there, clearly people are seeking out how they can do the best for their students and their classroom. And obviously, folks listening to this podcast, obviously are in it for the right reasons, which is their students. And yeah, it’s great to see. 

Jon Orr: Yeah, and if you’re listening to this in semestered system, you are looking at either starting your semester very, very soon, or in a couple weeks, or a month or so, and so that might be a great one to start off this semester right. And what I also found Kyle, about our top 10 list, you named some names in there, was that there was two of our episodes in the top 10 were mentoring moment episodes. And I think these are my favorite type of episodes that we chat with teachers, and we listen to struggles. And we all can identify with some of these struggles. And it’s great to see that out of our 57 episodes, the top 10 has two of those mentoring episodes, and one of them being how to move beyond answer getting, with [Sierra Klassen 00:12:35]. And we talked to her about, obviously her students were focused on just getting answers, and how can we move beyond that, and what strategies can we put into place to talk about growth and talk about strategies instead of just kind of let’s just get a right answer. 

So, that was a great episode. And Kyle, what was the other episode that was a mentoring moment? Tell us about that one. 

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, this one was with Michael [Rueben 00:12:57], and he had reached out to us to chat a little bit about how he wanted to shake up how he organized his math content. In particular, he actually came on for two episodes, so this is one of them. This one was called, “How Do I Know When To Proceed Or Pivot My Plan?” And it was really talking about how he was structuring his content and trying to break free from that siloed unit-based approach where we kind of hyper focus on one idea for a really long time. We try to drill it until students are doing well with it, or at least we perceive that they’re doing well with it. And then we move on, and it’s sort of like it’s done. It’s done and it’s old news. And basically what he was doing was just trying to figure out how do I know when I want to pivot that plan from what I had planned in my long range plan? 

I think we go into teacher’s college, or pre-service, and we get this idea painted that you’re supposed to have every day of the year here in Canada, or Ontario anyway, like 194 days are planned out, and everything’s going to go perfectly. But yet, we don’t even know who the kids are going to be in our classroom, we don’t know where they are, where they’re coming from. And obviously that’s a pipe dream, and if you want to do it that way … And I’ll be honest, I’ve said it before on the podcast, I used to teach that way and I would have my plan, and this is just how it’s going to go. The test is going to be on this day, and we’re going to be done with these concepts by this time, and if you’re not with me, then unfortunately I’ve got to move on. 

And really, trying to get outside of that thinking, and thinking about how do I modify without feeling completely lost, or feeling behind, or not covering “the content”. So, that was a great episode, and he actually came on for another episode because the discussion was so rich. I believe that one was in the teens of the downloads, so it didn’t make the top 10, the second episode didn’t make the top 10, but it was and the teens. He is such a reflective educator, we got so much feedback from people just saying how vulnerable he was, and how willing he was to put out his problem of practice, and we worked together as a team to try to figure out some next steps. And he’s been an awesome Math Moment Maker in the community. 

Jon Orr: Yeah, and so all of those episodes, those are just some of the top 10 episodes that we’ve outlined there. And what I’m really excited for is what the episodes are going to look like in 2020. We’re going to have the same three types of episodes, but some of the names … Kyle, tell us some of the names that are still to come up. We’ve done some of these interviews already, as we tend to interview far in advance and then release them on schedule. And we also try to break them up a little bit so that we’re not listening to an expert in the field, over, and over, and over in a week. We want to kind of have a little bit of that, and switch it to a mentoring moment. And then Kyle and I will chat about something. So, we try to keep a variety for you, the listeners. Kyle, who’s coming up though, in 2020? 

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, already recorded we have Nicki [Newton 00:15:53] coming up, we have Graham [Fletcher 00:15:55] coming up, we have Chris [Childes 00:15:57], Pam [Harris 00:15:58], Chris [Losniak 00:15:59], who just released a book. Kathy [Yanka 00:16:01], who you and I both know from our ADE days, back when we joined that ADE program. Mike [Flynn 00:16:08], and John [Stevens 00:16:09], those are just a handful of some of the interviews coming our way. We also have some great math mentoring moment episodes that are coming up. And Jon, like you had mentioned, we’re going to try to get a little more regular on the rotation. Sometimes we had some great interviews, and it was like we didn’t want to hold them back.

So, we piled up two or three in a row. We’re going to really try to get kind of like a cycle going in 2020, to kind of do an interview, and do a topic. So, we saw how much the people loved the how to start the year off right episode, so we want to do more of those types of episodes where we dive into content, we give you some big wins to take away. Maybe a guide to take away as well, and also give us an opportunity to chat with Math Mentoring Moment episodes, and we also have plans. We don’t have them recorded yet, but we do have plans to bring on some past Math Mentoring Moment interviewees who are going to come onto the show to kind of give us an update as to how things are going. Where they’re at in their current teaching journey. 

And just to kind of see where the adjustments that they’ve made the reflections they’ve made, see the growth that’s happened over time. Because sometimes I feel like when we get stuck in teaching, we beat ourselves up so much. It’s so much easier for us to think about the things that aren’t working well, but we don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things that we are changing, and that are working over time. And the same thing happens in our classroom with students, right? Students are learning, even though some students might have gaps in certain areas, they are learning. So, let’s look at that from that asset base. So, we’re really excited about that. 

So, what do you think Jon, about the podcast? A few people asked us some questions on how we do this. Some people were saying, “How do you guys … do you guys ever sleep?” And I’m looking at the time, we’re recording this at 10:30 PM, and the answer is sometimes we don’t sleep as much as we should. But you and I have pretty good routines, anyway. We’re usually trying to get to bed by now. And I know you’re bright and early in the morning, I’m bright and early in the morning, and how does this whole process work? How do we get this podcast going on a consistent basis? 

Jon Orr: I think what we’ve learned over this last year is a couple things, and we want to share some of these behind-the-scenes with you, about the podcast. Like how does this work? Because I think, like you said Kyle, a lot of people want to, or have asked to, like how does that work? What do you guys do? And how do you stay focused? And I think one thing that we’ve learned this year is how to organize our time really well. And I think I have. I know Kyle, you are always on the go, and you’re probably already a master at organizing your time. But for me, it was get myself a planner, and scheduling what my day looks like from start to end. As you listeners know, if you’re regular listeners, both Kyle and I … well, I’m still in the classroom, Kyle’s a consultant for his district, so we’re working regular teaching hours, and then we turn some of these hours outside of teaching time to work on this podcast, and some of the other professional development opportunities that we provide for the Make Math Moments community. 

What I’ve learned so far is to schedule everything, and I think that’s helped me a lot, and it’s helped me stay productive enough that I’ll schedule an hour here in the morning, an hour after school. And then I’ll block off a good chunk of time during kids home from school time, dinner time, all the way up till about what Kyle and I usually get on here about 8:30. If we’re going to do something. We don’t do something every single day, but we try to do a podcast episode once a week, just like you listen to once a week. So, we schedule that around 8:30 in the evening, and we chat with people until about 9:30, and then Kyle and I do a little bit of editing on that. But so, we schedule our time pretty well, and that’s kept us sane enough to keep doing this and not overwhelm ourselves. 

So Kyle, what’s it look like from start to end? People might want to know how do we get a guest on the show? And how does that look like? What are some of the tools we’re using? 

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, for sure, for sure. And just kind of dovetailing from what you’ve said there, Jon. I think one of the big pieces a lot of people are always wondering, like, “Oh my gosh. It must feel like so much work.” And the one shocker that a lot of people are always a little confused about is that it doesn’t feel like work because we really like doing it. 

Jon Orr: Right. It’s our hobby. 

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. This is what we do with our spare time, and we’re eager. And I’ll be honest, sometimes I get anxious when I don’t get to, you know? A lot of people would think take some time, this weekend I’m just going to relax this weekend. I get antsy when I’m just sitting around and feeling like oh, I could be doing so much. I could be getting so much … I call it work, but I mean, getting so much productivity done around the podcast, as well as all the other things that we’re doing as well. And it’s something that we really love. And Jon, I must say, you’ve really upped your game from the organizational standpoint. You had said that I was pretty organized, but really I’m pretty good at kind of managing chaos, but you my friend, I have a lot to learn from you and your organizational style. 

So, that’s one thing. Another thing too, for people, they might not realize this but the first eight to 10 episodes, I was doing all the editing for the actual, the sound. And Jon, you were maintaining the website. And we enjoy doing that stuff, so don’t get me wrong. I used to play in a band, and I really like that aspect of it. But the problem is, is that I’m definitely not an expert at it. And it takes a long time. So, we eventually outsourced our editing to a colleague, and we’ll give him a shout-out here. His name’s [Ali 00:21:50]. And he is from Turkey. And he is a fantastic member of our team. We have never met face to face, but yet I feel like I know this person so well, just through our interactions online, always so kind and hardworking, but also just a good all around person. And I’ve really enjoyed the process. 

And he is definitely much more expert than I am at editing the podcast. And I think he can do it in much less time than I can. And he makes it sound fantastic every single time. So, shout out to him. Jon, how about how do we reach out to people? How do we get them on here, and how do we actually do the recording? Jon, are you sitting next to me right now as we record this? Or what’s going on? 

Jon Orr: No. 

Kyle Pearce: Does it sound like it? I don’t know, maybe? Maybe. A lot of people always say, “How do you get together so often? I know you live relatively close to each other.” But that’s all a myth. 

Jon Orr: Yeah, for sure. For sure. Yeah, huge shout out to Ali, and Ali actually maintains the website too, so he does a lot of behind scenes. Actually, just so you know, when Kyle and I stop talking on an episode, we’re done. Ali takes everything else, which has been amazing. And it’s allowed us to keep this going for 57 episodes. I don’t think Kyle, if we had thought back when we did those first eight, you said, episodes, if we could keep up the pace of one a week for 57 [crosstalk 00:23:20]

Kyle Pearce: Definitely not. 

Jon Orr: So, Ali has allowed us to do that. So, huge shout out to him. 

Kyle Pearce: And back then too, we weren’t very smart on our scheduling, right? Sometimes some weeks we’d have three episodes in a week. We’d send our scheduling calendar out, and by chance on the same day three people would schedule, like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. And we’d be like, “Oh my gosh. How the heck are we going to keep up with this pace?” We managed to dig deep and do it, but again, things have become so much more smooth since Ali joined the team. So, shout out again, to a huge member of the team, and someone that we’re grateful to have as a member and a colleague. 

Jon Orr: Yeah. So, well how does it look from start to end is Kyle usually handles sending out emails to people, or sometimes we also get recommendations for guests from past guests. We try to reach out to … we reached out to Jo Boler, and sent her an email and said, “Jo, would you like to be on the podcast?” And after some time, she said, “Sure.” And same with Graham Fletcher, and Chris Childes, who are coming up. And Pam Harris. We kind of just reached out to them by email. And sometimes we meet them at conferences and say, “Hey, would you like to meet us for an episode?” So, that’s kind of like, we just email people to see if they would like to be on the episode. Sometimes we get emails, so some could be on our podcast. As you know, at the end of our mentoring moment episodes, we have a link that anyone can join us for a mentoring moment episode. 

So, if you went to MakeMathMoments.com/mentor, you could fill out the form, you’re going to put in some info in there about what your biggest struggle is. And we choose everyone from that list, and sometimes we’ll choose you if your struggle will relate to everybody. And also if it’s not say, something that we’ve talked about before. So, you can be an episode on the guest, and we can chat with you about your struggle, you just have to fill out the form. So, that’s how we get mentoring moment episode guest. And that’s all the people from who listen to this podcast, and also from the Math Moment Maker community, on Facebook, or Twitter. Sometimes we put them out there, too. 

So, that’s the process of getting guests. Now, once we get a guest, we usually send them an email and then we send them a link. And that’s what we’re talking through right now is the link to this software that we use called Zencastr, which has been great. Zencastr allows us to … it’s kind of like Google Hangouts, but audio only. We all kind of just hangout on this page, and you can see our waves jumping back and forth as I talk right now. We all just push record, and we have a conversation like on the phone, and we can all be across the country. Kyle and I live about 20 minutes from each other. But we definitely don’t get together to do this. That would take an extra hour to commute back and forth. So, we meet online and we meet online with the people across the world. 

We’ve had guests from the West Coast of Canada, the West Coast of the United States, South, North-

Kyle Pearce: The West Coast of Australia. 

Jon Orr: Been to Australia. We felt like we’ve been to Australia talking to Sierra, and John [Roe 00:26:10] from Australia. So, yeah. That’s kind of how we meet, and we push record and that’s it. And then we hand her off to Ali who does the rest. So, that’s been pretty awesome. 

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, no, it’s been a fantastic year, and like you said, Zencastr’s been a big game changer for us, for sure. But also, again, Ali has been … is huge. Some other big wins for us that I think we should definitely mention, is we just came off of our virtual summit, and some of you who are listening, I know you were participants, because we see people sharing on social media, we had over 18,500 virtual summit participants. And some people were like, “Oh, I want to see this one presenter.” So, their intent might’ve been like I’m going to join the virtual summit and I’m going to watch this one session. 

Well, when you actually looked at how many hours were watched, we went to the videos and we looked at the stats, and we tallied them all up, it was over 22,000 hours of math PD watched prior to the replays being added to your academy. So, right now there’s still academy members, we’ve reached over 450 academy members, and they are still talking about the virtual summit sessions and sharing in the discussion forums about them. And just diving in to all of that content. So, that was such a fantastic event. And really just like this podcast Jon, our goal, our mission was to bring high quality PD to everyone around the world. 

We know that it’s not as accessible to some people in different parts of the world, but also even different parts of each district, right? Jon and I, you and I have had the chance to participate in different conferences-

Jon Orr: We’ve been lucky. 

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, we were lucky. I had a grant early on, about 10 years ago I had a grant and the grant provided some money for me to go to a conference. And that’s when I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is so fantastic.” There are lots of educators, like high, high percentage of educators that may never get the chance to go to an actual conference. They might not even get a chance to go to district-led PD, just the way the funding works, and different districts have different priorities at different times. And we wanted to be able to bring essentially a high quality conference to anyone from around the world. And it was so fantastic when we were getting emails from people around the world, some who English was definitely not their first language, and were so excited to have the opportunity to engage and some professional learning that they had never had an opportunity to experience before. 

So, for us, that virtual summit was definitely a huge win. Obviously the podcast is a huge win. The virtual summit would have never happened had we not started the podcast. So, both of those two things are ways for us to help our mission of reaching as many educators as possible. And now we have, even an ever-growing list of academy members, as well as participants who are diving even deeper into our online workshop where we’ve had over 350 participants become Make Math Moments certified teachers. So, for us, this year has been a mind-blowing year, and we’re just super geeked to keep going, and just keep sharing so that we can all do this thing called math education as best as we possibly can. 

Jon Orr: Of course, of course. And yeah, we were also pretty proud to have put out just recently the three-part framework guidebook, which you can grab and also read about. MakeMathMoments.com/framework. The guidebook has been something we’ve been working on for a bit of time now, on helping us to better articulate how we want to see math lessons delivered. In that three-part framework that we follow, which is sparking curiosity, which can mean lots of different things. Mostly centered around how to engage kids through curiosity. But then, we need to make sure we fuel sense making, which is the second piece of our three-part framework. And we’ve talked about that part here on the podcast many times. 

And the synapsis there is that Kyle and I spent many years trying to spark curiosity and get kids engaged, but then fall short on actually diving deep into the math so that kids can make sense of the math. So, we want to fuel kids sense making, and we also want to talk about the moves that are made in that. That’s the third part, and we call that Igniting Our Next Move. What are the moves that we make before lessons? What are the moves that we make during lessons? And what are the moves that we make after lessons? Those moves are based on some of the guests that we’ve had here on the podcast. When we talk about Peg Smith talking about The Five Practices, that’s some of the moves that are happening in the moment. 

And we’ve talked about assessment moves after with some of our guests in the past, too. So, this guidebook that we’ve put together is a really nice summary of how we want these lessons to look, and what you can do to make that happen in your class. So, we’re really proud to put this out for everyone to read, as you’re listening to this, then the guidebook’s going to be complete because we put it out in stages. But it’s like an E-book. The downloadable is something that you can read, it’s something that you can share. So, we’re pretty proud to put that together. That three-part framework. So again, you can get that at MakeMathMoments.com/framework. So yeah, this has been some big wins for the Make Math Moment community in 2019 with the workshop, the summit, our academy, and also our guidebook. 

Kyle Pearce: You know, coming in big goals for 2020, not only are we hoping to continue doing those things, first off, with the podcast continuing and carrying on with a weekly episode dropping every Monday morning at 5:30 AM Eastern Standard Time. But also, as well doing our virtual summit next November as well. I’m going to try to be even earlier this year, trying to get presenters interested and sort of get their ear to the ground so that they can start working on things. But really, when we’re looking at some of the big goals for Summer 2020, we are hoping that first off, we’re going to be running our workshop in February, which is pretty typical for us. We’ve run the workshop three different times, but we’re also looking at potentially playing with the idea of a Summer release of the workshop.

We’ve received so many different requests from teachers who are saying like, “I’m off in the Summer. It would be a perfect time. Once I get back to school, things are just too crazy with the family, with my schedule at school, with all these things going on.” So, I think we’re going to tinker with that idea. So, definitely keep your ear to the ground if you’re one of those people who have sent that request, or you’re thinking that February and in the Spring months aren’t going to work for me, I’d rather be off and have that freedom to do the different course at whatever time that I need to. That’s going to be coming. We’re also really hoping to build on the guidebook, and start crafting out what might be a rough book that unpacks the framework at a high level, and then dives deeper. 

Its been something that’s been on our mind for quite some time, and we really want to just share this philosophy. We want to get as crystal clear as we possibly can. And keeping in mind, that the three-part framework, the guidebook is a great place to start, but we’re hoping to dive even deeper with that. And this guidebook has really been built on the shoulders of math influencers like Dan [Meyer 00:33:39] and Peg Smith, and Kathy [Fozno 00:33:42], and so many others that have influenced how we perceive mathematics education should be. And have really shifted our beliefs and our thinking around it. And also, like a big goal is trying to make sure that we reach, as we mentioned earlier, as many Math Moment Makers around the world as possible. 

We had already mentioned this idea that some teachers don’t get the chance to go to conferences, or they don’t get the chance to do this great math PD as often as some other people do. Something that really shocked us was how many teachers reached out to us from other countries around the world, and they were sharing how much they make a week, or how much they make a month, and were realizing like wow, we have to find a way to try to help teachers in these countries, so that they can access … they have access to the internet, so how do we make sure that they can dive even deeper than, say the podcast or the virtual summit? How do we help support that through the Math Moment Maker community? 

So, that’s going to be something that Jon and I are going to continue putting our head together to try to solve that problem, because that’s definitely on our radar now, and it wasn’t on our radar until we ran that virtual summit and had so much feedback from teachers around the world. 

Jon Orr: Yep. We have some big goals coming up for us in 2020. So, we’re pretty pumped for those. Kyle, let’s move into, as we end here, the episode, and we end the year, let’s move into some of our reflections on this year, and some of our next steps for us individually as professionals. So, I’ll start with mine Kyle, and this year I’ve been focusing in my own lessons, in my own classroom, on what the end of my lesson looks like. And I’ve talked about it here at the podcast a few times, and the end being like what’s the connection stage look like? What’s happening at the end of a lesson? We focus so much about engagement and maybe the middles of the lesson, but sometimes we fall short on what the end looks like, and how do we wrap it up for students? And how do we connect ideas together? 

And so, I’ve been focusing on that this year. How does consolidation play out? What do the notes look like? These are questions I’ve had for myself. And I’m still learning through this. What does notes look like on a regular basis? Is it the same? Is it not? These are questions I’m still asking myself. So, in the next year, in 2020, I want to keep focusing on those, but I also want to focus on the flow of the lesson. I’ve learned that a lot from Peter Lildahol, and he talks about flow and how to maintain activities. So, there are kind of like the Goldilocks method here. Like he says you don’t want your activities to be too tough that kids get frustrated. Or too easy so kids are bored. You need the right flow. What’s the right level of flow? And that’s probably the hardest parts of running a problem-based activity in your classroom. How do you keep those kids kind of moving at a pace that challenges them but not too much? 

And you know, when I think of what I’ve learned so far about that, is that every class is different. And I think we have to prepare better. And so, these are the things I’m going to be working on. In the words of Tom [Shimmer 00:36:39], I’ve said here before is that we need to plan with precision so that in the moment we can proceed with great flexibility. Those are words that I try to live by, and they’re going to keep me going in 2020. Kyle, what’s your 2020 look like, and what’s your 2019 look like? 

Kyle Pearce: I love it, Jon. I love it. Yeah, I’ve learned a ton this past school year, or I say school year, this past year, calendar year. And really, something that has been on my radar, it’s been for quite a while and I’m not done with it, but this idea of getting more intentional with my lessons during, not only when I’m in a class doing lessons with classroom with students, but also even when I’m doing professional development. I think especially because of my role right now, I’m in a situation where I come in to a classroom, and sometimes I’m in there, I have the chance to go into certain classrooms, maybe … I’ll call it a regular basis, but even if it’s once a week, or once every week and a half, it’s still not enough where I don’t get that luxury of being able to be like, “Okay, I’m going to do this today and then tomorrow I’ll pick up where I left off and I’ll make some connections there.” 

I always feel the struggle to try to do too much, too fast. So, for me, I want to continue building on this idea. I’m definitely aware of it. And I do try to work hard to avoid overwhelming both teachers when I’m leading PD, or students when I’m actually leading a lesson, to try to get laser focused on what’s that specific learning goal that I want to address? And then, the second piece that I want to really, really continue focusing on is this posing purposeful questions. It’s one of the eight effective teaching practices outlined in Principles To Actions, by NCTM. Definitely something that’s really made me think twice about my practice, and think twice about all the things that both you and I believe and lead through our three-part framework. But it helps to crystallize some of them. 

And posing purposeful questions during problem-based lessons, is so critical. What am I asking students when they’re struggling through a problem so as to not rob them of their thinking? And that is something that takes a lot of practice. I don’t think anybody out there would say that they’ve figured it out. I don’t think there’s such a thing as figuring it out. It’s planning, it’s thinking about it, and then in the moment doing your best to try to do as best as you possibly can in that moment given the fact that so many variables are changing on the go. And that’s just something that I continue to really focus my attention on. So, that’s going to be, again, one of my 2020 goals. So, as we wrap things up for us, and the podcast, after a whole year of learning together with you, the Math Moment Maker community, we want to thank you for your dedication to your students and continuing to refine your Math Moment Making abilities. 

Jon Orr: This is an endless journey, so we’re so happy that you’re enjoying the ride with us. So now, we turn to you as we bring the year 2019 to an end on the Making Math Moments That Matter podcast, how have you taken the time to reflect both on your personal and professional growth this year? What are your big goals for 2020? 

Kyle Pearce: The beautiful thing about a new year is that it is a great opportunity. It’s a moment that we can all remember and thus why resolutions are so popular. Rather than making resolutions that will quickly be forgotten, think about some smart goals that you can make for yourself, both personally and professionally. 

Jon Orr: Once you have them, share them with us. On social media, by tagging @MakeMathMoments on Twitter. Or in our private Facebook group, Math Moment Makers K through 12. Share them on our show notes page at MakeMathMoments.com/episode57. That’s MakeMathMoments.com/episode57. 

Kyle Pearce: Don’t forget about our webinars, How To Turn Your Textbook Into A Curiosity Machine over the next few weeks in January 2020, by visiting MakeMathMoments.com/webinar. That’s MakeMathMoments.com/webinar. 

Jon Orr: And the current online workshop giveaway is running over at MakeMathMoments.com/giveaway. That’s MakeMathMoments.com/giveaway. 

Kyle Pearce: Well, until next year, when we start year number two of the podcast in 2020. I’m Kyle Pearce.

Jon Orr: And I’m Jon Orr. 

Kyle Pearce: High fives for us. 

Jon Orr: And high fives for you. 

Kyle Pearce: We hope that your 2019 was filled with amazing math and non-math moments. 

Jon Orr: With many more to come in 2020. (Singing)

In our six module (16 week) online workshop you’ll learn how to build and adjust your own lessons that engage students, build deeper understanding of math, and promote resilience in problem solving.
PERFECT IF YOU TEACH GRADES  3 through 10
We’ll release one module each week for the first 6 weeks. Then you’ll have another 10 weeks to work through the content ON YOUR SCHEDULE!
LEARN MORE about our Online Workshop: Making Math Moments That Matter: Helping Teachers Build Resilient Problem Solvers. http://makemathmoments.com/onlineworkshop

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1 Comment

  1. Alex Van Steen

    Quick story and kudos to you … In May 2019 I presented to our school board, with the help and testimonies of four struggling fourth-graders, about our ideas on a new approach to math, one that minimized anxiety and focused on the joyful learning that math can be. Wish you could have seen the glean in the eyes of the children and the tears in the eyes of the parents and the lumps in the throats of the members of the board! This is a five-star review for your podcast, but it’s also a five-star high five back atcha for the wonderful work you are doing. You have reached a remote P-8 school in the deep woods of Washington State! I am deeply thankful for each of you and what you bring to the game.

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