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February 19, 2019

MatheMAGIC – Guest Post by Jen Saarinen

Guest Post via Jen Saarinen

Jen Saarinen is a middle school educator from Rhode Island who believes in the power of student voice. Jen was recognized as the Teacher of the Year for the Bristol Warren Regional School District in June of 2018. Find her on twitter: @snej80 and is a new blogger at Speculating Snej80

As a teacher who was an eager to adopt technology tools into my classroom, I often found it difficult or nearly impossible for them to work well with math. I wasn’t interested in another program that simply told students if their answer was right or wrong. I wasn’t interested in a program that was a game with some math sprinkled in there. But I didn’t know what I was looking for! It turns out that what I was looking for found me in the summer of 2015 and yet when this tool found me, it hadn’t even discovered the potential it had for math!

Learning about Flipgrid that summer had me thinking about the potential this tool could have with my middle school math students. Adding opportunities for every student to explain their thinking, math processes, provide feedback to peers, and even learn from peers who were in different sections exponentially changed my classroom for the better!

Fast forward to this spring, when another Flipgrid Explorer Series was about about to get underway. Another fellow Student Voice Ambassador sent a quick message via slack asking when Flipgrid was going to have an Explorer Series focused on math. I jumped in and confirmed that a math series would be amazing! It wasn’t long after that Sean Fahey (@seanjfahey) and I (@snej80)were asked if we would be interested in co-authoring MatheMAGIC.

Our vision for MatheMAGIC was to provide teachers and students with ready to go learning opportunities that truly show all students that we are all mathematicians as well as the power of showing your thinking and sharing your voice. As educators we know that learner variability is profound, especially in the math classroom, so we were diligent to create this Explorer Series so students in grades 4 – 9 would be able to access these activities. View this “Topic Stimulus” that is focused on the power of mistakes.

We built these topics from our own classroom experiences with Jo Boaler’s You Cubed Week of Inspirational Math activities, Robert Kaplinsky and Open Middle’s Challenging Math Problems, while ensuring opportunities for students to apply their mathematical thinking in a creative way by creating their own math puzzles similar to those often shared by Mashup Math.

New to Flipgrid? The MatheMAGIC Explorer Series is a perfect way to get started, because you can copy all six topics directly to your grid and use them with your students as the year gets underway.

If you’ve been using Flipgrid, MatheMAGIC has a new set up than before but you can still connect with other students near and far by adding a co-pilot to your grid, or finding a fellow GridPal who is interested in connecting!

Grab a preview and helpful hints about MatheMAGIC here with our Teacher Guide!

Ready to jump in and see the power of MatheMAGIC and student voice in your classroom? Head over to Flipgrid, sign in to the Educator Dashboard and dive into the Disco Library where you’ll find MatheMAGIC.