Category Archives: twitter

Thinking Mathematically

I spend time on Twitter and reading blogs. I “flit” from one thing to the next not spending much time engaging with any one “thing”.  Usually this is enjoyable, and feels somewhat productive, but I also feel the need to engage more fully and deeper with a single idea to achieve a greater sense of accomplishment. I have bought various books over the last few months, mostly second hand.  I have consciously been trying to spend less time on Twitter and more time reading.

The advice from a few responses to this tweet was to start with Thinking Mathematically by Mason, Burton and Stacey, 1985

I have had the privilege of participating in a two separate sessions run by John Mason and Anne Watson recently and I have read various articles of theirs so I had a sense of what the book would be like. I am now part way through it and finding it stimulating.

This is a book that requires active engagement, not just passive reading. It’s a book that presents a need to grab some paper and a pencil on occasions; in other instances, I have challenged myself to do the exercises mentally.

It has also stimulated an intention to write this series of blog posts. As with everything on this blog, my primary objective is for my own reflection and categorisation of ideas such that I might find them again one day for use in planning lessons.  Hopefully a happy side-effect is that it stimulates others’ thinking and maybe motivates one to try something and write about it.

Here is my list of my posts so far, which I will increase at I write more.

  1. Warehouse
  2. Palindromes
  3. Chessboard Squares
  4. Tethered Goat
  5. Cubes Cubed

Blogs, Websites and Twitter

There is so much out there, it is sometimes hard to know where to start.  I have compiled a personal Top 10 Maths Teaching Resources page.  Following blogs is great as it gives you a drip feed of ideas.  It may not feed directly into the next lesson you are about to teach but plants a seed for later. Again, here is my personal Top 10 Maths Blogs.  And finally Twitter, which I am very much a novice at (I am @mhorley), so I refer you to Michael Fenton’s post on tips for how to get set up. Also, this post by ICTEvangelist.

With all of these things, there is the risk that you feel deluged with new information.   Remember, it’s not like responding to e-mail from your boss! You don’t have to look at anything if you don’t have time.  And you really don’t have to spend more than a few minutes a day looking at any of it for it to be really valuable. After a while you develop a sense of want you want to read and what you can skim over.  It does take a bit of investment up front to get things like Twitter set up (maybe 30mins – 1hour), but it is really worth it, believe me!