Thursday, August 13, 2015

Where Do I Start?

Oh, that's longer than a tweet my friend.

Jim Doherty, @mrdardy to you, recently got a lot of great responses to this (basically) question on Twitter (link to conversation). So I want to archive them someplace. My preservice HS teachers have a pretty good collection, but maybe I should think how I use them. The lists below are in order of how frequently I use them. I'm a weird one, though, so it's not meant to be a ranking on quality.

So I want to teach a new lesson about something. I go to...


The Big Ones

  • NRICH - Cambridge's problem site that continues to grow and expand. Searchable by topic, age level, and challenge level.
  • Illustrative Mathematics, free ever-more-complete curriculum 
  • Shells Center/Mathematics Assessment Project, good as lessons, problems or assessments. Often with sample student work.
  • Georgia Standards, even if they're sadly going away from them. A complete, free Common Core curriculum, generally of more consistent quality than Engage NY.
  • Mathalicious, paysite but worth it.
  • Math Forum, in process of changing to being an NCTM program/ally/thing. I have high expectations.
Community Collections
  • Fawn Nguyen's Visual Patterns and Math Talks. I use Visual patterns a lot. Problems, investigations, resource for students... Math Talks I should use more. Great bits of dialogue and student thinking, on simple but rich questions.
  • Michael Pershan's Math Mistakes. Valuable as a teacher for thinking about misconceptions, good reasource for mistakes for students to look at to try to fix or look for reasoning.
  • Dan Meyer's Google spreadsheet of 3 Acts lessons 
  • Mary Bourassa's Which One Doesn't Belong. Built on the idea in Christopher Danielson's great shapes book, but expanded to many content areas. These are hard to make and great to have collected. 
  • Open Middle problems by Nanette, Robert and Bryan.
  • Desmos Activity Bank (new but I'm confident in greatness-to-come)
  • MTBoS Activity Bank (spreadsheet; we need something like this. Maybe this is it?)
  • #MTBoS collection of community efforts (some of the above and more...). Estimation 180 and Would You Rather? are both good sources of warm up/cool down questions.

Amazing Personal Work
  • Don Steward's Median. Lots of lessons, often with an interesting visual component, and very clever. Awesome variations on a them within each set of problems or activities.
  • James Tanton's Curriculum Resources. YouTube videos that are problem & thinking centered. I like that he separates the problem, and gives learners a chance to do it.
  • Brian Mark's Yummy Math, real real-life problems.

Outstanding Curation
  • Geof Krall's Problem Based Curriculum Maps, MS and HS, traditional and integrated. I use these regularly and recommend them frequently. So important, and done so well.
  • Sam Shah's Virtual Filing Cabinet, so many great lessons from the #MTBOS. Sam's taste is impeccable.
  • Tina Cardone's #matheme page (bunches of math teachers writing on selected, typically practical, themes.)
  • Jo Morgan @mathsjem's Resourceaholic. Weekly blogposts highlighting up to 5 new resources for teachers.

More Teachers' Virtual Filing Cabinet (Link Collections)
  • Inside Mathematics' Problems of the Month. Generally interesting, sorted by grade level. More at the Inside Mathematics site than these, too.
  • User submitted problems in multiple choice format. Inconsistent, but some are... well, you know.
New to Me (both from Jim's tweet, but solid recommenders.)
  • Math Bits via Wendy Menard
  • APlusClick via Megan Schmidt, problems sorted by grade and content
  • I'll plug my math games page here, especially the links to others' games and review games.
  • James Cleveland's spreadsheet, trying to find math games for major content topics throughout high school. 
And that's not all, folks.  But at least it's a start, right? Please feel free to mention your starting points in the comments.

P.S. Glen Waddell wrote a nice Teachers Share with Teachers response to a poor NYT article. It has a lot of great resources with descriptions.


  1. Nice list! One note: at Mathalicious, you can filter for free lessons -- there are 7 right now, and last year there was at least one that was free for a limited time. I used those for a few lessons to see how I liked them before taking them up on the pay-what-you-can option. Domino Effect is a great one for eighth grade.

  2. Wow John! This is incredible. Thanks for taking the time to create this. BTW, have you met Audrey? :D