Ever-loving Evernote – #ExploreMTBoS 6

When I started discovering the math teacher amusement park that is the MathTwitterBlogosphere, I quickly found myself so excited about what I had discovered and so overwhelmed about what I had discovered.

My first instinct was to bookmark, bookmark, bookmark.  I made bookmark icons on my ipad, bookmarks on my web browsers and bookmarks on my desktop.  I had bookmarks inside bookmarks inside bookmarks. The problem:  I couldn’t find resources when I got ready to use them and I now had more bookmarks on my ipad than I had actual apps.

Then an angel appeared in the form of Kate Nowak at a Global Math Department session last spring.  Kate suggested Evernote as a method of organizing all of the resources I had found.  I had a few things in Evernote and had used it very infrequently as a medium for holding a few PDF files or interesting articles.  Kate Nowak uttered the words I was waiting to hear when deciding how to organize my mountain of resources:  Tagging and Searchable PDFs.

Many of you might be thinking “there are plenty of sky drives that are searchable.”  (Maybe you are now wondering what a sky drive is.)  Anyway, none of the online storage platforms have been as versatile, flexible, and easy to use.  I’ve tried Adobe Reader, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, the works.  Evernote surpasses them all.

A bonus:  Evernote and Adonit joined forces and created Jot Script, a one-of-a-kind stylus for note-taking.  Now, I can handwrite notes into Evernote and they are searchable as well! It’s like Christmas and my birthday!

Vegan Teacher Crazy about Cheeseburgers

A year and a half ago, I made the best dietary decision of my life and decided to try a vegan diet for 30 days.  Fast forward to now, I love the vegan lifestyle and I’d never go back to a diet filled with animal products.  I know too much.  But that’s a story for another post.

A couple of weeks ago, I logged into Robert Kaplinsky’s presentation on Global Math Department.  He started off with a visual, which is usually good to draw listeners into the presentation.  However, this visual was a cheeseburger.  And he went through more and more visuals, and the cheeseburgers kept getting bigger and bigger until finally I’m face to screen with 100×100 cheeseburger from In N’ Out burger.  I try very hard not to be one of those ‘enlightened and superior’ vegans who constantly judge the dietary choices of others, but these burger pictures were not how I envisioned spending my Tuesday evening.  His methodology had my attention however.

After explaining his problem solving process and distributing his problem solving template, he threw this photo into the mix and asked,

“How much would that 100×100 cost?

Now I was hooked and needed to figure out how much that 100 x 100 cost.  I didn’t care if it was a cheeseburger or a truckload of kale.  The wizardry of Robert Kaplinsky drew this vegan teacher into the problem solving process and made me care how much this monstrosity of a cheeseburger cost.  Brilliant.

Then Robert Kaplinsky threw down the dynamite:

That’s right.  The actual receipt of this 100×100 cheeseburger.  A boatload of kudos to Mr. Kaplinsky for presenting something that was simple, with some great mathematics to go with it.

I’m glad this weeks ExploreMTBos mission was LISTEN and learn.  This was a great presentation, a great lesson, and a great resource.  I’m glad I took the time to listen to Robert Kaplinsky’s presentation, even if it wasn’t so appetizing on the outside.

The Mr Barton Gem

Over the last year, I’ve looked at hundreds of awesome math resources that have truly helped transform my teaching practice into something I’m really proud of.  I’m so grateful to the truckload of great math teachers out there who willingly, freely, and eagerly share the wonderment that happens in their classroom.  One of my favorite things to do is to talk to other teachers about what they are doing in their classes.  How fortunate am I that I get to also do this collaboration with teachers across the globe.

One of the most fantastic collection of resources that I’ve have the pleasure of stumbling upon is that of Mr Barton.  The link is easy to remember, and I’ll post it again because you won’t want to miss this guy’s stuff:  www.mrbartonmaths.com.  He’s compiled websites, activities, and videos exploring all kinds of fun math stuff for all levels of the classroom.

One of my absolute favorite things that Mr Barton does every month is his TES Maths Podcast. This podcast is where I first learned of Nrich, and I’ve been in love ever since.  He’s done many excellent interviews with math professionals across the globe, and it’s my favorite day of the month when the podcast becomes available.

I hope you’ll take some time to check out his stuff.  He really does a great job of compiling some of the best resources out there.