Episode #77: Up For Debate – An Interview With Chris Luzniak
You’re listening to the ever so charming math teacher & department chair at the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, and debate guru Chris Luzniak.
We chat with Chris about why we should have students debate in math class, how you can get started with this routine in any classroom, what pitfalls to watch out for, and where you can go to get resources to make this happen in your classroom!
Let the Debate begin!!!!
Let’s do it!
- Why we should have students debate in math class;
- How you can get started with this routine in any classroom;
- What pitfalls to watch out for, and;
- Where you can go to get resources to make this happen in your classroom!
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Chris Luzniak: Yeah. Well, what I always start with is what I call a soapbox debate. My, again, students don’t know what a soapbox is anymore, but for me it just means standing up and giving your claim and warrant. So just standing up and giving an argument. And so I just have three or four students stand up and give arguments about whatever question I put out there. I like to start the year, when I first introduced this with something non mathematical, just like what’s the best movie or who’s the best musician or something. And students give their claim and their reasoning, which is their warrant. My first time I did this, it was a soapbox debate as my warmup for five minutes of class. And I had…
Kyle Pearce: You’re listening to the ever so charming math teacher and department chair at the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles and debate guru, Chris Luzniak.
Jon Orr: We talk, no, we debate with Chris about why we should have students debate in math class, how you can get started with this routine in any classroom, what pitfalls to watch out for and where you can go to get resources to make this happen in your classroom. Let the debate begin. Let’s do it.
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.
Kyle Pearce: We are two math teachers who together with you, the community of Math Moment Makers worldwide, who want to build and deliver math lessons, that spark engagement, fuel learning and ignite teacher action. Jon, are you ready to talk to our good friend, Chris?
Jon Orr: Of course, Kyle. Of course, we are super pumped to bring you this episode as always, but you know what’s fantastic?
Kyle Pearce: What Jon? What’s fantastic?
Jon Orr: Opening up Apple Podcasts and seeing a brand new five star rating and review from the Math Moment Maker Community, just like this five star rating and review from PA math teacher.
Kyle Pearce: The title says amazing podcast. I just want to say that I truly enjoy listening to every episode. I have a list of ideas to try, thanks to you guys. I started using Estimation 180 and my kids love it. I’d love to hear you talk about restorative practices in the math classroom. Keep up the wonderful work.
Jon Orr: I’m sure we will get to that too, but thank you so much PA math teacher for taking the time to reach out and share your learning with the community. So awesome stuff there.
Kyle Pearce: So go ahead. What are you waiting for? It only takes a minute to fire us an honest rating, and one more minute to leave a review.
Jon Orr: All right. Now, before we get to our discussion with Chris, we want to let you know that if you’re listening to this before May 29th, 2020, then you’re cutting it close to joining us for our 12 week full online workshop this summer cohort.
Kyle Pearce: Our workshop is designed to walk you through step by step at your own pace to help you teach through real world problems and create those resilient problem-solvers you’re after.
Jon Orr: If you’re interested in learning more about registering, be sure to check out makemathmoments.com/onlineworkshop. That’s makemathmoments.com/onlineworkshop. If you’re listening after the summer of 2020 registration closes, you can still head to makemathmoments.com/onlineworkshop to join the wait list in order to get notified for your next opportunity to participate.
Kyle Pearce: All right, so don’t wait, hit the pause button and head to makemathmoments.com/onlineworkshop.
Jon Orr: All right, now let’s not take up any more of your precious time and get to our chat with Chris.
Kyle Pearce: Hey there, Chris, welcome to the Making Math Moments That Matter podcast. We’re super excited to have you on the show today. How are things since we last saw you? I think it was back in Salt Lake City. I think we met up at the airport there for a brief while as we’re waiting for flights. How are things with you?
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. Hi guys. Thanks for having me on. Things are good here, just busy as always between school and conferences and all that stuff going on.
Jon Orr: Awesome. Awesome stuff. That is fantastic. As we just said, Chris, we’ve met you a few times now [inaudible 00:04:35] at conferences, but Chris do us a favor and our listeners a favor and fill them in a little bit about yourself, where you’re coming from. What’s your role right now in education?
Chris Luzniak: Currently, I am a math teacher and I am also department chair and math coach and things for my school, the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles. It’s a small all-girls independent school that I currently work at.
Jon Orr: Got you.
Kyle Pearce: That’s nice. Very nice. And what got you into the whole math teaching gig? Is this something that you sort of knew early on or was that something that sort of laid in your post-secondary endeavors that sort of you pivoted to? What’s the story there?
Chris Luzniak: It came in college, I really got into it. I was always good at school, but I went to college for theater and not sure what I wanted to do. And I had a really awesome math professor who got me to do math as a major. And then I went to grad school and along the way, I really enjoyed some of the teaching and the tutoring I was doing. And I eventually started teaching full time through the Math for America program and started teaching in New York City public schools for a long time. And that was my start to teaching.
Jon Orr: And then you moved out to the West Coast after that, is that right?
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. About five years ago, I followed my husband to Los Angeles and found this job at this all-girls school. That’s really awesome. And now I’m enjoying better weather in California.
Jon Orr: Yeah. That’s awesome. I’m wishing that I had the better weather too, but to have not made the move yet, I guess. Chris, something we always ask everybody on the show. We want to know about people’s memorable math moments from when they were in school. Would you be able to fill us in on something that was memorable while we say math class?
Chris Luzniak: Yeah, I think going back to when I was in college, I had my one required math class I was taking. It was calculus class and my professor was very student-centered and almost like a flipped classroom where we’d have some assignments to learn math on our own and then come to class and have to put all these problems up on the boards, vertical non-permanent services back before that…
Jon Orr: Right, before we called it that.
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. And it was just so engaging. I mean, I went to very traditional math classes my whole life. And until I got to college, I actually had this engaging class and I really enjoyed it and talk to my professor who became my advisor for college and became a math major. I just wanted to take more and more and had a really fun time. It was the first time I saw math as looking at patterns and solving puzzles and things, and it wasn’t just memorizing a bunch of formulas and getting through the tests.
Jon Orr: Cool. That’s an interesting to… It’s so powerful to have a really quality teacher that you just go, “Yes, I get this and this is now sinking in.” I’m wondering Chris, did that teacher have… Obviously it has had a memorable effect on you to remember math class in that way. Did that teacher have any influence in your early career as a teacher?
Chris Luzniak: Well, a couple of things, he was a math professor and a math ed professor at my school. So teaching was always in the background in our conversations, but he encouraged me to go to grad school for math, with what I was doing. And so I went just pure math at first for grad school. And I didn’t talk to him after that, but I came back to teaching, as I realized, I liked the teaching I was doing more than the research and I made that my career.
Kyle Pearce: Awesome. Awesome. Fantastic. I’m wondering, we like to also ask some educators when they’re coming on. If someone was wondering, what did early Chris look like in the classrooms?
Chris Luzniak: Cool.
Kyle Pearce: Jon and I have talked about it a lot on the podcast. We try to be as transparent as possible. When I see students from that first or second year of teaching, I actually ran into a student that I taught a long time ago who’s now teaching. And I ran into her in a school and I was sort of embarrassed that I came in and I was there to do some co-teaching where the teacher started saying like, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” When we think back to Chris fresh, your faculty experience and getting right in there, what did that look like and sound like?
Chris Luzniak: Whew, embarrassing to look at and to think about. As much as I’m talking now to you about the student-centered experience I had in college, I started off being very teacher-centered, just like the way I had experienced high school. And I remember in an embarrassing way thinking that I was going to be entertaining enough to make the math worth learning, just cracking jokes and being energetic or whatever, but it was still very straightforward, traditional teaching you might picture. It took me a long time to get the spotlight off of me and under the students.
Kyle Pearce: For sure. I think we felt the same exact way. We came in there and we’re like, “Oh, we’re cool. We’re hip.” Just that I’m picturing awesome hours, “I’m cool. I’m hip.” And obviously it might’ve worked for maybe building some relationships. That was a huge help obviously, but in terms of the math piece, I feel like I failed miserably, but at the same time failed forward. Right, because we learn from all we do.
Chris Luzniak: I just have a picture of myself more as Dwight Schrute saying that.
Jon Orr: Right.
Kyle Pearce: It makes me very curious. We all say that we taught very traditionally because we were taught traditionally. But I’m wondering if that’s the actual case right now is. Chris, what do you think? You being the department chair at your school, I don’t know how many new teachers you see on a regular basis. What are our new teachers look like? Are they still teaching traditionally? Or are they not? Do you think people are teaching traditionally because as a new teacher, because they were taught that way or is it because they’re just trying to survive?
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. That’s a really good question. I haven’t thought about it. Our newest teachers and we have teaching fellows on our campus that we are helping train. Their definitely traditional to them, involves group work and students at tables like the classroom, I think that they’ve experienced or they’ve seen or heard of, or whatever is a little different than the traditional I experienced. So I think that’s shifting a little, but I guess when I say traditional right now, what I’m realizing is what I really mean is, the focus is on you, the teacher and how awesome you are and all the cool things you’re going to do instead of on the students and how you’re going to help them really make sense of things and own the learning.
Kyle Pearce: I think that, that is such a struggle. And probably one of the biggest struggles that we hear from people when they come forward and they say like, “I want…” They’re over the belief piece about how math should be taught, and they want to do things a little differently. They want to put students at the center and they want students to really essentially allow them to think through problems and help sort of refine their thinking. But yet I find it’s such a challenge, especially when we haven’t really seen it in action necessarily. And something that for myself and I know Jon would agree has really helped us and sort of breaking down that wall or that barrier is the idea of math discourse and getting students in discussions in math class. And we know that research would support this as well.
And we know that you have a special place in your heart for putting students at the center and not only getting them into math discourse, but also really pushing this convincing and defending of their thinking even so much so that you’ve actually recently written a book called Up for Debate. And I’m wondering, can you sort of give us a little bit of an idea of how did math discourse sort of get on the radar for you as a teacher now, to the point where obviously you’ve refined it over time in order to actually put together a fabulous resource for teachers? What did that look like? Sound like moving from that early Chris to the Chris today, that’s really trying to put students in the driver’s seat.
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. My journey really began… What you’re saying is wanting to have student discourse. I being traditional, conversation was more led by me and carried by me and when I ask students something, it was just asking them for an answer or something quick that I would respond to or evaluate. And so I was looking for ways to really deepen or heightened or grow the discourse I was having in my math class. And just because of my own personal background in debate, or I was a speech and debate student. And when I was in New York City, I found it in coach’s speech and debate team. And I saw all this engagement the students had in debate. They’re like, they’d like to learn about the real world. And they wanted to stay after school for an extra hour to work on their cases, that I started to wonder what debate in math class could look like.
And I mean, it was around the same time the Common Core was rolling out in the US and they talk about wanting students to create viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. It’s like all this was stirring around in my mind at the same time. And I wanted to create a debate routine for my class, which was the first time I did it. It was just a five minute warmup, was the first time I think I really shifted my class from being centered around me to being sent around with the students and their discussion and their learning.
Jon Orr: Got you. I can see that progression happening. We’ve talked to Cathy Fosnot and she’s always talking about creating mathematicians in our classrooms. And I was just at a meeting with the local university, actually, not too local, but it’s in London, Ontario. Teachers went there and we talked about transition from 12th grade to university and saying like, “What do you want your students to have coming here? What would you think about?” And they all say, “It’s like, they want to be able to…” We can help kids with some of the math parts.
It’s not the math, and they’re also the high flyers, they’re university bound students, but I found it very interesting that they said that they want kids to be able to construct arguments and lay them out really elaborately and nicely. They want to write proofs eventually. So they want these arguments to be nicely laid out and they said, “Kids just aren’t really good at that.” I appreciate the work that you’re doing on that, because that also aids that. Chris, I’m wondering, could you give us a mini workshop here on what this routine looks like, sounds like in classrooms?
Chris Luzniak: Yeah, I would say so there’s two things I do with my students. First, I teach them how to debate and really just giving them sentence frames. I’m just borrowing from my elementary school teacher friends. And I’ve just played with the language over a time and heightened it a little bit. So I have students say, “My claim is, my warrant is.” Instead of just I think because, just more formalized language. And then I give them questions that are debatable. So instead of just asking how to solve this problem, what’s the best way to start this problem, or what’s the best method for the systems of equations for instance, or put up a bunch of different mistakes in which student has the best mistake. And so then we have a reason to have opinions about the math, but also talking through the math. And from there, we can go into deeper arguments at any time.
Kyle Pearce: On my radar right now is this idea of really trying to get students to build and use their adaptive reasoning skills and using some of the language like convince your neighbors, or are you convinced yourself? But I really like this idea of students making claims and really throwing out ideas and hypothesis essentially, and giving reasoning behind it. So I’m wondering, do you have sort of an easy start routine that if you were to say, “Hey, listen, within the next week, I want to try to incorporate this.” Because we know if we don’t try to put this into action sometime in the next little while it’ll probably fall off our radar. So if I’m sitting at home right now, listening to this, going like, “Wow, this sounds like something that I really would like to bring into my classroom in order to get that mathematical discourse or, and get students debating.” Do you have any suggestions, almost like starter tips to get going?
Chris Luzniak: Yeah, well, what I always start with is what I call soapbox debate. My, again, students don’t know what a soapbox is anymore, but for me it just means standing up and giving your claim and warrant. So just standing up and giving an argument. And so I just have three or four students stand up and give arguments about whatever question I put out there. I like to start the year, when I first introduced this with something non mathematical, just like what’s the best movie or who’s the best musician or something. And students give their claim and their reasoning, which is their warrant.
My first time I did this, it was a soapbox debate as my warmup for five minutes of class. And I had three, four or five students share out. And then that was it. And we went on with whatever the regular lesson was that I had planned. And so for the first year I would just do a warmup now and then, and that was my entry drug into it. I’m just playing with it as it’s just a warmup routine and then from there expanding once I got more comfortable with it all.
Kyle Pearce: Is this something that’s high school only? Or do you see this and in middle school, elementary school? Are there some tips for those teachers too?
Chris Luzniak: I work in middle and high school right now. I’m at a six through 12 school, but I’ve seen teachers who’ve been to my workshops of all grades play with it and do it in their own way. Some teachers change the language a little bit, like the formality of the words. So I just caution them to be careful which words they pick for the sentence frame. But I think at any level you can ask a student, what is the best first step, or what’s the best interpretation or what’s the coolest graph I can make for this or something along those lines where you’re inviting them into the conversation to talk about math with math vocabulary, but to have an opinion about it and start building arguments.
And again, this is just to get the ball rolling, to get them started in talking in math class and building arguments. And then we can go into other things along the way with proof and stuff, and actually make really convincing arguments grounded in math, but my warmups are just to get the routines and the habits started. So kids are comfortable creating arguments and sharing them out either in pairs or with the whole class.
Kyle Pearce: And that seems like such an easy way to get yourself going, because I think sometimes as teachers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, right? We have a lot of big ideas. We want to do things. We want change to happen as soon as possible. As soon as we believe something’s going to be helpful for our students, we want that to happen now because we want them to get the benefit of it. And I think by sort of having this as something that’s small enough, but regular enough where you can refine it and come back to it and then expand on it and almost build it where it becomes just a part of how you do business. I think that’s such a great strategy.
So I appreciate you sharing that. Now, as you get started and as people, whether it’s just with this little routine each day for warmups or every Wednesday, if that’s the day that you want to start, are there any challenges or hurdles that you may be experienced along the way as you were tinkering with this idea or that maybe some other teachers have had, and you’ve sort of heard along the way, is there anything that maybe teachers might want to watch out for any advice for them as they try to take the first step here?
Chris Luzniak: For sure. I think the biggest concern is, what about that student who is shy or struggles with math or English language learner or for whatever reason might not be comfortable joining in. And I get it. I say, first of all, of the sentence frame, it gives a level of safety to students to temporarily join in the conversation because it’s only one sentence I’m asking them to say, and I’ve already given them half the words and the formality of it helps them talk about the ideas and not the person that they’re debating. But with that, I also give some think time to students before we start sharing out. If students prefer some time to write something down, I want to read off what they wrote down, that’s fine. Pair sharing is a great way to try out your argument with a partner first, before we maybe shout out to the whole class, if that’s the goal.
And then I talk about the really shy or nervous or whatever student who is really concerned about sharing out in front of the class or just from their seat to the class. And that I may pull them aside to do a little doorway chat on my way out of class and just like, “Hey, I know you’re really nervous. I know you didn’t want to do it in today. I could see it from your face. Can I have you join in, in two days when we come back on Friday and do this?” And then maybe give them the question ahead of time so they can start thinking and really have a moment to practice.
Again, I try to really stress that it’s just a sentence I want them to say, and they’re sitting back down and there’s no wrong answers. I’d love to start debating. I guess I would like something fun, best movie, best music. And then I also like to do a bunch of ones throughout the year that are like, which one doesn’t belong or something that’s very easy, low entry points for all students to have something to grab onto and to argue about so that they have lots of options.
Jon Orr: Yeah. Those are some good strategies for us to get into and also to watch out for. I really like to think pair share. I think there’s a lot of power in that, that we just gloss over. I remember think pair share is something that in teacher’s college that I was like, “Oh, this strategy where they’re supposed to talk for, or think of themselves, talk first and then they share it in this group.” I’m like, “Come on, really.” But this strategy has been one of the easiest to implement, but also the easiest to get kids to talk quicker and have more confidence to say things because they can say it to someone else first, they’ll say out loud to the whole group immediately after it’s a good one that I’ve always used.
Chris, I’m wondering what changes or outcomes have you observed in your classrooms since including debate in your routines. I’m thinking, how has it changed your class atmosphere or grades or confidence in kids or problem solving? What after effects are we seeing? Let’s say a teacher wants to try this and they’re like, “Okay, well, it’s going to take time out of my day. I got to make sure I try this.” What after effects can those teachers expect to see?
Chris Luzniak: Yeah, well, I would first say that it’s not changing my lesson plans. I’m just doing the activities I’m already going to do with the structure of debate behind them. So it’s not even adding to my time or anything, but the benefits are very worth it. The students, if they start the class with this discussion and debate, it just spills over into everything we do. Even when we don’t have a debate activity planned, whether in writing or in speaking later on and in class, students are still constantly talking and making arguments. And if we just did, let’s say a visual patterns, they’ll talk about what they think the next one looks like.
And they’ll say it in the form of claiming warrant, even though I don’t ask them to, but they just get in this habit of, I need to keep explaining myself and convincing others of what I’m thinking because we do it as a regular warmup. So it spills into everything I do. It’s easy for me to ask for students to explain or prove their answer on a worksheet or on a quiz or on a test or something like that. And so as soon as they’re getting this habit of always explaining themselves, and it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary to be doing that in my class.
Kyle Pearce: If we always have kids thinking and having to essentially convince others and justify and defend, what we’re really teaching them to do is to make sure that they make sense of the math. I feel like naturally that is something that comes out of this because if I am going to defend something, I need to understand it well enough for me to be able to articulate why my thinking makes sense. And I think that’s one of the most challenging parts. I think in shifting math class from more of it’s, we’ll call it the hundred years ago, sort of math class, which is still happening in many classrooms today to something that’s more vibrant and full of energy and thinking and reasoning improving. And to me, that is such an important piece. And I just think it just seems like such a great way to be able to bring that understanding and that thinking to the table.
Chris Luzniak: And you asked about grades and things. I can’t say how grades improved because I do debate from the beginning of the school year, all the way through. But I do think about the end of the year surveys where students talk about in this class with me, math made sense. I had to make sense of it. I was recognizing patterns. It wasn’t about memorizing things in this classroom and so that’s what really makes me the happiest.
Kyle Pearce: If the grades stayed exactly the same, but kids had understanding versus just a bunch of memorized facts that they’ll probably forget a couple of weeks from now. I wish there was a way it’s so difficult with education, especially since we don’t want to have, let’s say period, one class, I do something that I don’t believe in. And I don’t think is helpful as maybe I do with period two, just to compare later. But at the end of the day, I’m guessing that retention is going to be higher for those kids too and I’d be curious if you ever get that opportunity to bump into some kids a year later, what they think about their preparedness for the next school year? Because I think most teachers, we’ve all had that experience where kids say like, “Oh, we never learned this last year.”
And you’re like, “I know you learned this last year.” This was something that is such a big part of that grade or that course. I know it’s there. So maybe we just didn’t hang on to it because there was no understanding. There was no deep connections made. So Chris, we’re talking about your book and we’re talking about all these great ideas. We’re talking about some of the things that interest Jon and I, and that we think are really important, but I’m wondering for those who are going to run out and grab your book and they were to open that book and if they could only read one part of that book, what do you think would be the best section for that biggest takeaway? And maybe it’s something that we’ve discussed already, but I got to assume there’re some nuggets in there that you probably think like, “Man, this one’s a really good one.” What would that be for you?
Chris Luzniak: Well, I say read the whole book. I tried to keep it short. So it’s something that a teacher could read.
Jon Orr: Right.
Chris Luzniak: I was writing it in my ‘spare time’. Let’s put that in quotes as a teacher.
Jon Orr: Yeah, spare time.
Chris Luzniak: Yeah, exactly. I would say, so some of the things we just talked about the routines and the sentence frame are in there, but I’m something that teachers always marvel at is one of the chapters is about how to make debatable questions. And I always, whenever I’m at a conference, I challenged teachers to stop me and come up with a math question that I can’t turn into a debatable moment. And so I have a chapter where I talk about the tips, tricks and ways that I can turn pretty much any math topic or any question you are thinking of asking into a debatable moment. And not that everything I do in math class is always a debate. I do ask for an answer at times for some things, but throughout there I can, whatever I’m doing each day, there can be some moment here or there where I’m like, now that you know how to do this, let’s form my opinions about X, Y, or Z.
Kyle Pearce: Jon. I feel like he’s daring us right now to give up. What do you got, Jon? You have anything on the tip of your tongue?
Jon Orr: Give me a sec, Chris, why don’t you give us a couple of examples to start? For example, I just, with my ninth graders…
Kyle Pearce: I really got Jon of the game there.
Jon Orr: Yeah. A little bit. My ninth graders, we were looking at today, writing equations of lines, given criteria. If I know the slope and a point, could I write an equation or find out two points, could I write an equation of a line? That’s what we were working on today. What do you think, Chris?
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. So depending on your objective, it could go in lots of different directions, but if you were say reviewing the different equations of lines, standard form and point slope form and stuff, you could just start class with the debate of what’s the best equation of a line, or what’s the most useful form for equation of a line, or if you’re talking about nitty gritty of slope intercept form, what do you think is the most important number or most important part of this equation.
Kyle Pearce: I like it. I like that. And you could learn a lot. I’m just picturing in my mind [crosstalk 00:28:07] just based on a student, even that funny student, who’s going to defend this equation because they make up a story about why the y-intercept is so awesome or whatever it is. Right. But you could probably learn a lot about what the kids know and maybe don’t quite understand yet about these different equations. So I really liked that. That was great.
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. And you get to see what their preferences are. And I talk a lot about systems of equations questions. I’m like, “What’s the best method.” And I get to see the students who say, they prefer the Graeffe method. Who’s the really visual person in my class who doesn’t want to get with the messy algebra and vice versa, who keeps saying, I love substitution method. And doesn’t like to graph things and who loves this messy algebra and get to see their personalities come out more than I would then just ask them to solve the problem.
Jon Orr: Right. We had an ongoing, this is before I had learned about your debate routine. And I think the first time I had seen you present on this was that NCTM in San Diego last year. And we had this ongoing debate in our 12th grade class about long division of polynomials. I had shown how it related to the area model, which none of them had remembered, or they’ve probably been shown on how to multiply numbers from grade four or five and how it can extend into algebra. And so I had to reteach all that. So we had a whole day on the area model with multiplying and dividing polynomials. And then I taught the long division format also. And it was like, you can choose. And so there was an ongoing debate every day of which kids wanted to do long division and which kids wanted to do the area model. And it was a heated battle. It was like, who’s doing what? And you’re in one camp or the other. And it was like two sides of a war that it just kept going on for a whole unit of math.
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. And so if you had the debate routine, let’s convince each other [inaudible 00:29:56].
Jon Orr: Right, convince is better.
Kyle Pearce: Fantastic. Fantastic world. So for folks out there, we know that obviously you’ve got this book, so that’s one resource where they can take a super deep dive. Are there any other resources out there off of the top of your mind that folks might want to go check out, learn a little bit more about this idea of debate in math class. Maybe learn a little bit more about Chris. What do you have for them?
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. A few things. The best place to start probably is my website. Just my last name, luzniak.com, L-U-Z-N-I-A-K.com. On there, I have resources. There’s been other teachers out there who have taken the debate math stuff I’ve been doing and created some activities and things that they share with me that are out there for others to look at. So there’re some resources on there. I also link to some videos. I’ve done some ignite talks and shorter and longer talks about it. So there’s some more information on there as well as referenced some links to the book and my blog is linked on there.
So you can see some of the things I’ve tried over the years and written about on my blog. And the other thing is I think about on Twitter, which is my favorite form of professional development, @cluzniak on there, but if you follow the #debatemath we started doing, and any teacher who’s heard of this stuff or been to what my sessions at a conference or something and has shared out what they’ve tried when they’ve gone back to their classroom has often used the #debatemath. If you search under that hashtag you can see lots of examples of things teachers of all grade levels have done, and it just keeps growing.
Jon Orr: I’m on your site right now, Chris, I’m seeing copies of files we can download from functions and slope and systems of equations and area of shapes and inequalities and right triangles. Looks like lots of good resources for teachers to get their hands on. So thanks for sharing all of that. And Chris, this has been a fantastic conversation. If you’re up for it, we’d love to have you back on the show in a little bit to fill us in on where you are in your journey. But before we go, is there anything else you’re interested in and diving in and thinking about what’s on the horizon?
Chris Luzniak: I’d say I’m playing with how to keep extending this more. I have a couple projects on my website, an end of unit summative project that involves some debate. And I’m trying to build some more of those. And I’m just thinking more as I’ve done this more and more over time, the way it shifts the students in my classroom from just answer getters to explainers. And I want to even heighten that. I’m thinking a lot about in the US the current political culture and how debate is a big part of helping students find their way to speak up in a professional way, let’s say.
Kyle Pearce: That’s fantastic there, Chris, that sounds super interesting. In this episode, as it goes live, we’ll be approaching spring soon with this episode going live. And that means it won’t be long before the next virtual summit. And I know this past, our first virtual summit, you had CMC and you were really busy and traveling and all kinds of things going on with the book launch. So hopefully next time around, we’ll be able to get your voice and your message into the virtual summit. So folks from the Math Moment Maker Community can get to know you even more so, and really take that deep dive. And maybe in some of those extensions that you just shared with us.
Chris Luzniak: Yeah. And I’m working on some more online course stuff with grassroots workshops and stuff to get just people who want a really deep dive into all the different options and ideas. And I can share a lot more that way because I can’t travel everywhere I want to go.
Jon Orr: Right. And grassroots is a great place to do that with. We’re looking forward to seeing you on there because I think I would love to dive in a little bit more deeper with your resources, so that’s awesome stuff.
Chris Luzniak: Thanks. I should have a course up in the fall. Fall 2020.
Jon Orr: Awesome. We will look forward to that. And when that goes live, we’ll probably come back to our site here and update the show notes page to include all of that. And we’re going to include all of the other resources Chris has shared here on the show notes page. So Chris, we want to thank you so much for joining us and we hope you enjoy the rest of your evening. Thanks so much for joining us. And we appreciate all of the resources you’re sharing here with us tonight.
Chris Luzniak: Awesome guys. Thanks so much for having me on. It’s been fun.
Kyle Pearce: We want to thank Chris again for spending some time with us to share his insights with us and you, the Math Moment Maker Community.
Jon Orr: As always. How will you reflect on what you’ve learned from this episode? We’ve talked about some big ideas. Have you sent out a tweet? Have you written it down? Have you called a colleague? Be sure to engage in some form of learning so that the learning here today will stick with you.
Kyle Pearce: Before you go, we want to let you know that if you’re listening to this before May 29th, 2020, then you’re cutting it close to joining us for our summer cohort of the self-paced online full workshop.
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Jon Orr: Awesome stuff there, Kyle, in order to ensure you don’t miss out on episodes of the podcast as they come out each Monday morning, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcasts platform.
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Jon Orr: Show notes and links to resources from this episode can be found at makemathmoment.com/episode77. Again, that’s makemathmoments.com/episode77.
Kyle Pearce: Well until next time, Math Moment Makers, I’m Kyle Pearce.
Jon Orr: And I’m Jon Orr. High fives for us, and high fives for you.
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