Sunday, 14 October 2018

Now Parenting: Week 17

Awake at 4am for bottle; can't sleep further in playpen, they went next door at 4:45am. Dad woke me up at 8am. (Incidentally, he thinks Alexandra's left handed based on the hand she uses most.) Breakfast out, from 9am to 10am; I almost got her to sleep as she was handed around towards the end of the meal. To Toronto at 11:30, arrived in a bit under an hour, toured some of Union Station, boarded right after business class. Some trouble settling her for a snooze at 2:30pm, but then she was out almost three hours (with brief interruptions).
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Home by 6:30pm, unpacking for laundry, bottle/pump, dinner, and running around with wee one after 7:30pm got her to nap and me a star. Doctor Who at 8pm. Nothing else to report, though didn't get continuous sleep overnight. Up about 8:45am, with the little one from 9:30am to 10:45am, when Mom was needed to help her sleep. Gave some bottles through the day, relatives visited afternoon. Bath at 6:30pm, she didn't complain constantly. Then a bottle and story time - "Darkest Dark". I got choked up after. Some complaints as Alexandra was given to Mom for sleep, needed K'tan, as normal from 10pm on. Did progress reports until midnight. x.x

Tuesday was was bit crazy. Kid was up by 7:45am, I did teaching and other things (someone solved math puzzle, yay), then ignored more grading in favour of shopping (including poker chips) and getting home after 1:30pm. Alexandra had been fussy all day and only napped in stroller. Mom went to rest, was with wee one from 2pm to 4:15pm, which included a half hour snooze and a half hour of massive crying for the latter part. (Temperature normal.) Once she was more settled, bottle, then Dad got an hour or so of snooze. Then got dinner set, and was with wee one by 6:30pm while Mom did laundry. Read "Babies in the Snow" after 7pm, she tried to help with flaps. Alexandra's turn, she managed to be asleep by 8pm. (10pm as normal.)

Wednesday was regular morning, Doctor's appointment at 1:30pm and with Alexandra from 2:30 to 4pm. Then again 5:15pm to 6pm including a half hour snooze, then trading off to try and encourage more sleep because she slept less than two hours all day. Slept 7pm to 10pm, bottle... then would not fall asleep. Another bottle (to 6 oz), it's 11:30pm, and everyone's breaking down. Another bottle (to 8 oz), 12:20am, still awake. In bed with Mom, Dad went downstairs. Some sleep, some marking, back to school.

Home for 1pm, in order to go to a community group of 0-1 year olds by 1:30pm. Turned out to be mostly older kids (one was 6 months, most were 9 months) but some fascination - then worn out, slept for 30+ min in Dad's arms, then freaked out upon awakening. Back home (with stop at DQ since missed the closure). Dad and Alexandra got an hour of snooze in after 4pm. Brief swap, tears, then with Mom for rest of evening as dishes, dinner and grading was done. Got musical octopus out too. Extra bottle just after midnight as wee one woke up and I was still grading; I got to bed about 1am.

Friday - teaching new activity, teaching/lab, pep rally but students need to do old evaluation, anime club, osstf newsletter and other miscellaneous... not home until 3pm. Alexandra apparently doesn't like being on her back any more (from rolling to her front Thurs morn? from seeing the other babies not on their back Thurs afternoon?) so holding was an issue. Dad napped as Mom took little one for a walk, and then there was some Dad time from 5:20 or so until 6:40, including story of itsy bitsy spider. Then to CanCon, specifically for the Filk panel, also caught some of Kari's reading from 7:30pm. Home (via store) in time for bed at 10:10pm. Then some self time until after midnight.

Up 6:30am, had little one from 7:20am until 9:05am including a half hour snooze at the end. Then checkin with OAME AGM online, and 45 more minutes including a bottle for Anne-Lise to get things done. Back to Con for 11am panel, and browsing. Back home for 1:30pm, drove Anne-Lise to gathering, time with Alexandra from 3pm to 7pm, documented on camera. (From park to tears to story.) Then dinner, with a bit more running out tears, some Nash, and final collapse about 11pm. Fortunately, somehow caught up in grading.

Item counts run Sunday (Oct 7) to Saturday (Oct 13).

Step Count 2016: About 59,600
Step Count 2017: Over 63,300 (14 stars).
STEP COUNT 2018: Over 67,100. 10 stars.

FROM 2016:
-Bought cheap calculators, in-laws in town, lacked clear direction.
FROM 2017:
-Pregnancy news, but school had made me dead inside plus no blog buffer.

SchoolMail 2016: 38 (1 sent)
SchoolMail 2017: 123 (5 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2018: 99 New (17 sent)
We have completed DAY 28-1. (Includes PD Day.)

 -Grading of 3M Tasks
 -Progress Reports (both classes)
 -Grading of 4U Tasks
 -Working out latter 3M unit
Test deferred to Monday, so caught up in grading

 -Bit of reading catchup/comments if that counts
 -Thursday Comic Tea Party Chat

 -Breakfast out with parents
 -4.5 hour train trip with Alexandra
 -Tea time with relatives Monday
 -Doctor's Appointment Wed
 -Baby play time group Thurs
 -CanCon Friday eve/Saturday morn
 -Linkara's LP of Star Trek: Judgment Rites.

 -AL birthday, P/T interviews

 -Recap for CanCon 2018
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Catching up with web serials/comics (from ~May 2018)
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

RH Stress Level: 6 (Break Shoot)

Monday, 8 October 2018

Math Social: Marian Small

The Carleton-Ottawa Mathematics Association puts on a Social event the last Thursday of September. Sometimes there's a guest speaker (see this recap of 2016), sometimes not (though in 2017 I went to some PD from Peter Taylor). This year, in advance of OAME 2019, we had Marian Small (who is also the chair of that conference - keep an eye open for preregistration).

Her topic for was "Building Thinkers", with examples drawn from both elementary and secondary (and/or a demonstration of how questions could be repurposed). The slides are up on her website ( but here's one of my usual recaps. I've flagged the paragraphs with new questions to consider using bolded stars (*).


In this age of social media, "Followers are nice. Thinkers are even better." Marian hopes that we'll change things into "your version of the idea", don't parrot her. Thinking only happens if you ask the right questions and follow up in the right way. "My goal as an educator is to support teachers, to help kids." Which means help them to think mathematically, not just do math. We want to ask questions to make kids excited, and not all questions do.

What does it take, to influence a student? Being nice, and caring, but it also takes building thinkers, and this talk is about that latter part.

(*)Here's a question for maybe Grade 1: There's three patterns. (Pattern 1: Two squares, circle, two squares, circle... Pattern 2: Square, two circles, square, two circles... Pattern 3: Two triangles, hexagon, two triangles, hexagon...) Which of those do you think are the MOST ALIKE? Why?

Some might pick 1 and 3, for "same same different". Some might pick 1 and 2, for "same shapes used". Will every kid say the same thing? No. That's why Marian likes that question. We develop thinkers by seeing other people having reasons for stuff (which might not be our reason). You might also have you own reason as a teacher. Did anyone pick patterns 2 and 3? One person said Similar Colour. (Patterns were green, orange, red.) Audience member added, or read the last one backwards, it looks like the second.

We want to embrace diversity rather than telling kids, "This is the answer". (That shuts down thinking.)

(*)New Question: Do you think the number 15 is more like 10 or more like 20? Make your case. Our table jumped to the idea of "the 1 in the tens column" so more like 10. Someone else in the audience picked 10 because "same number of prime factors" (3&5 with 2&5, not 2&2&5). Marian added that there are two versions of a hundreds chart that can be posted in a room: one starts at 1 and goes to 100, another starts at 0 and goes to 99. If your version is 0-9, 10-19, you might get "more like 10" because they're in the same line. If you have the other version (11-20) you may get "more like 20". Cool stuff could happen.

An audience member brings up what Marian called "that stupid little rounding thing" as a case for 20. Related, if someone was filling 10 frames, it would be easier to just fill the second one (to 20) versus removing an entire frame. Marian also once had a student say 15 & 20 are more alike because "neither one of them is in any normal counting book" (unlike 10). EXTENSION: Do you think the fraction 4/3 is more like 13/12 or more like 7/3?

(*)New question: Why did Marian pick THOSE NUMBERS for the fractions? Most would go with the thirds being similar, instead of similarity of things being a little more than one. (At our table: When kids think equivalent fractions, they may think 4/3=13/12?) Creating improper fractions also talks to "and a third" in the English language (4/3 is "one and a third"). Someone raised that 4+3=7 so 7 feels like a good choice for the numerator? It's all about perspective, you could argue either way.

We can do this question in place of the question "please turn 13/12 into a mixed number". Marian: "I'm not doing weirdo math here, some might call it basic math." But one of the things to notice is that there is not a divorce between 'thinking' and 'basic stuff'.

For those in even higher grades, is root(20) more like 1.424pi or more like root(25) or more like 4.5? "Why would I say those?" We should see these are not random choices. Figure out why I'm asking this thing, and what would I do. Root 20 makes no sense to a kid, but how is it like 4.5? Between root 16 (4) and root 25 (5). An audience member brings up that 1.424 is like root(2). Marian admits she didn't pick it for that, and (since someone at our table had said the same thing) I HAD to chime in that root(2) is 1.414..., accuracy please.

That said, 1.424 times pi is closer to the true value (4.472...) than 1.414 times pi, and pi is an irrational number, meaning we still have a decimal going on forever. "Everyone in the room could make one up with different numbers if they wanted to."


(*)Maybe in Primary: What sums can you get if you add two next-to-each other numbers? (A soft way of saying consecutive.) What sums can you NOT get? "You can't get a smaller number" than a particular value?

The natural thinking is can't get EVENS when you add that way. Marian turns that around, if you believe you can't get a hundred (which is even), did you TRY? Convince me. That's purposeful. Marian believes said "this is what I think teachers don't do right a lot of the time". They'd agree with the assertion about evens, and then move to the next kid, instead of asking for a test of the theory. THAT'S where we develop thoughtful kids (with the proof).

"Notice I'm not just asking for the yeses, I'm also asking for the nos." (What numbers can you NOT get.) The pragmatic reason for that, is when kids try stuff and get a wrong answer, they feel like they have an answer they can't use after putting in all that effort. Here you still get your money's worth.

It's not for all kids, but she's met enough where understanding what does and what doesn't work means you have a better conceptual understanding. 'What if I pick next to each other decimal numbers' was raised (by Jimmy?). For instance, 1.5 and 1.6. "That was my reason for not telling you what consecutive means." Mom or Dad may have taught some other stuff at home, we're not saying there's a way this has to sound.

(*)EXTEND: Can you add five consecutive whole numbers, and get a number whose digits add to 5? (There was some discussion at our table. I was thinking, should be possible, either side of "5" and the tens place will fold together? Oh wait, add to 5, we don't want a 5 in the tens place. Also want a small number in ones - zero? 8+9+10+11+12? Oh.) We want kids to figure stuff out, what kinds of numbers can you get. Then don't ask for a right answer.

"Who had a number that was five consecutive but it didn't work"? "Did anyone get 14 as their answer? Or 32?" We play that game. My list: 50, 140, 230, etc, they all end in zero. Would they have to end in zero? It doesn't promote the same level of thinking if I give those to start. I'm not telling you any answers.

(*)Next was an image, bar diagrams (maybe for primary?). The total in the blue (a full length) is the sum of the two blocks above (yellow and grey, latter a small length). "The number 50 is in one section, what numbers make sense for the other sections?" (At our table, 'damn we just did ratios - in primary?'. 'Can we cut it up and fold it?')

"I got you to do more of the work, deciding where is the 50." Some kids will be better at seeing proportions than others. Then, having let you play around with it, here's what we do now. "I could say 'what are your numbers' but I'm going to say 'I saw someone's paper (I'm lying) and they put 70 as one of the other numbers, so where do you think they put the 50?'" We could also say, did anybody have 30 and 20 as the other two numbers? (Maybe someone did, if they're uncomfortable, you can bring it up and still have those discussions.)

Key action: Don't talk about what the answer is, ask another question.

Again we extend: The number 8pi is in one section. What irrational numbers make sense for the others? "I did, like, nothing." There are children in the room who don't know that pi is an irrational number. They'll go to square root guys, "but notice all I'm asking is 8, and you stick pi on the end". But not all kids KNOW that can just have pi everywhere (and use integers). Looking only at stuff for our grade level is not a good plan, stuff from other grade levels is super easy to adapt - if it's more about THINKING and not about the mechanics of how to do stuff. The mechanics IS more tied to grade level.


(*)Back to primary. Subtract two numbers, also add them. Those answers are 50 apart. What could the numbers be? Marian actually came around to our table this time during the discussion. My knee jerk reaction had been 25 and 25, to use zero as the subtraction. Someone else at our table said 25 and 75. Marian asked about more answers? Did we notice anything?

Within the audience, someone had 25 and 26. Marian generalized this one, you had 25 and anything. There's a number line (she draws in the air), do you see it. I'm going to put my finger there, and show +25 and -25. My finger was on the anything. Lots of good stuff happening in the question.

(*)Adaptation: One answer is 2/3rds of the other. (Note: Not 2/3rds more than, if it was, you could do exactly the same thing.) Some algebra kids could do it, but also can be done numerically, or there's other things you can do. Adapting from primary to a bigger grade. (Notice x and 5x will work. 4x and 6x.) "I didn't tell the kids to write equations, just gave them a question." Good things emerged.

(*)Maybe a Grade 3-6 question: If two sides of a triangle are 4 units and 6 units, what perimeters are possible? What are impossible? (This can lead to the Triangle Inequality. Sides 10-1-2, no triangle, can't just put 4 and 6 with 100.) As well, 4 and 6 are non-threatening numbers. "I don't need to use decimals or weirdo stuff, and it makes them think about what's possible and impossible." (Me, I'm thinking cosine law given three sides. Not always possible.)

(*)Maybe in Junior or Intermediate: About how many times do you turn on a light in one month? Immediately we think it's probably different on a school day versus a weekend, and then seasons - dark days in winter not summer. Tons of thinking to give any reasonable value. And no one in the universe knows the answer to this question, but we do have the ability to hear a kid make sense or not make sense. "I think being a thinker means you make sense." The idea is to ask those kinds of questions, Fermi questions. (see link)

(*)Related questions: If all the fruit on this cake were blueberries (currently blueberries, strawberries and peaches), how many of them would there be? Some kids would be freaked out by the white spaces (even on the original image), others wouldn't be. (Is it one-to-one replacement or space covering?) Or how long for a million new apps, if about 40 new ones are available every hour? Student reaction, "I don't have a million on my phone..." Even on EQAO we can have thinking.

(*)Can 25% of one number be 75% of a different number? (At our table again: "3 is 75% of 4, but 1/4 of 12." I immediately wondered about generalizing.) Marian notes the interesting thing is the relationship between numbers, and "I did start with nice percentages". Again, maybe don't ask what numbers are, but rather, which was the bigger number, the 25% or the 75%. Because most will say their bigger number is the 75% number, as it's a larger percent.

How about 60% of another number? "We're not going to do it." Marian says she could have put any number in the universe in that second position. "I'm not trying to teach them to push a button on the calculator, but rather to teach them that every number is a percent of a lot of different numbers."


(*)Create a set of data. Remove one value so that the median goes up more than the mean does. That's a much better question than "here is data, what is the median and the mean". (I like this for Data management. At our table, the educator next to me said we should start with a 1 and a 2, as removing the 1 later will change the mean very little.)

(*)Without calculating, list 10 fractions for a/b so that 2/3 divided by a/b HAS to be more than 1. We want kids to understand the answer is how many of the a/b fit into thirds. Unless you have a guy that's littler than a/b, you're good, and "I ask this question to force that".

(*)In a higher grade, adapt to "create an algebraic expression that is sometimes more than -2m, but not always". Start with something always greater than that, they'll say +m, and they're wrong, because m could be negative. (Not always greater. Answers the original question.) If you're an intermediate teacher, we need kids to learn that -2m+10 is always more. The boundaries of "m" make this trickier.

(*)For Grade 9 or 10? Why might a line with slope 2/3 look steep? Why might it not? Marian assures, "I swear to you I can make it look steep." If you mess with the scale. This is huge for kids to understand, many grade nine kids look at a picture and don't read the scale. "I can mess with them. And I think our job IS to mess with them." Not to be mean, but that's why to ask a question like that. Stretch the thinking. "Okay, you're looking very tired."

(*)For Grade 11: Can every function be written as a composite function? (That means 'is a function of the function'.) Or an exponential function is a LOT like y=2^x, so what might it be and how are the functions similar/different? Or you evaluate an algebraic expression when x=2/3 and get 1 and a quarter, what could the expression have been. (Rapid fire slides.) "Some of the high school teachers I meet are very enamoured with algebra."

(*)We pause here: One thing they do in higher grades is solve a linear system, or set of equations. There's something called elimination. Question: After elimination, we were left with 13y = 22, so what could the original two equations have been? She doesn't offer suggestions - "I'll just leave it with you, but it's a neat question, particularly for academic students." Makes them think about what happens with this elimination 'thing'. We're not even talking about the other variable, could be x or z or q.

In conclusion: "I believe: The game is not about what the curriculum requires or does not require. It is about what we want our kids to be. Doing math is part of it but clearly, to me, not enough." It's on us. Some children in our system get other things in their homes, and some don't, we're it.

It's a moral obligation to create thinkers, while still doing what we have to do.

Marian then put on her different hat, saying please help make OAME 2019 a big success! Lots of interesting featured speakers, sessions in English and French, Desmos is helping us (sending Eli as a featured speaker and helping with other speakers on Saturday). It's a long weekend in May, come with families, there's Ottawa's tulip festival, we hope it works like it did 10 years ago.

Check out, there will be an ad in the Gazette December issue. We would LOVE for you to offer to speak, proposals are being accepted now. We would LOVE for you to offer volunteer to help. We would LOVE for you to register to come. (Marian also has a third hat, someone asked her to run for Canadian Director for NCTM, to represent Canada. Voting starts tomorrow, if you're an NCTM member.)

There were then some drawings for registrations and Wipebook flipcharts, and I was able to talk to some fellow teachers about what they were teaching and my recap writings. ^.^

Hope you found something of use here, or at least of interest! Thanks for reading, and consider coming to OAME, registration opens on February 15th, 2019. I also personify mathematics over at, if you're wondering about the graphics. Keep on thinking!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Now Parenting: Week 16

After bottle ended about 10am, tried to find a snooze; succeeded for about five minutes but once she was in the playpen, no dice. Took Alexandra for a walk at 2:15pm, not a long one; back to Mom before 3:45pm and then shopping. After 7pm bath, she stayed with Mom. Bath (in our bathtub) had casualties: My pants split, and Anne-Lise jammed her toe into the door. Also the jets wouldn't not activate. Bedtime was more sedate. Turned on the heat.
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Monday, up 6:50am. Teaching, where I felt like I was answering questions I'd already answered before, Cappies issues, and not home until after 1:30pm. Birth certificate had arrived, so out for passport photo. Had munchkin for about 90 minutes after 6:30pm, back to grading and miscellaneous. Alexandra started fussing before 10pm, so bottle, two diaper changes, a spitup, and change of all bed apparel later it's after 10:30pm. With passport stuff still to do, so not in bed until 1am.

Tuesday was a whirlwind of teaching, prep, grading, on call, ALP, staff meeting and then getting home after 5pm. (Meanwhile, the duo went to Anne-Lise's work and to the passport office.) Time with wee one from 5:20pm to 7:05pm, the last hour plus just trying to get her to fall asleep (it wasn't happening despite her wanting it). Then dinner and finally some time to myself. Into bed at 11pm. Alexandra joined us in bed a little before 6am, I was basically up then.

Teaching evaluation, teaching that got borked, running around before leaving for Cappies training, training (hey, Matt Minter had a kid a day after us) which wrapped up after 2:30pm, then some stops on the way home through traffic, arriving after 4:30pm. (Anne-Lise had movie out.) Then lunch? Or dinner, I guess? Then break, and grading, though had munchkin for large chunk of 8-9pm. In bed before midnight. Up before 4am, as Alexandra had a big spitup (actually second outfit of the night). Couldn't get back to sleep, a bit before 5am went to do things. More crying at 5:30am.

Left for school just after 7am. Printed assignments, teaching, Cappies meeting, anime club, dry cleaning and back home for 1pm. With little one from 1-2pm and 2:30-3:45pm, got maybe 10 minutes of sleep. (20 minute snooze by her after I got an extra star running her engine down.) Dealt with burned out lights. Thought of lying down at 5:30pm shattered by tired Alexandra wails. Went for a drive from 6pm to 7:15pm; no snooze but no wails. Dinner, comic chat, final bottle and I was OUT from 10:20 to 4:20am when she was vocal about bottle again. Then a bit more sleep.

Friday, PD Day, like normal but to library for 8:30am. Es gave a great math presentation, I attempted an email followup about my puzzles, handled quizzes during lunch, back home with stops for food and lightbulbs. Alexandra's been turning over more lately! Heading to train station before 2:30pm; Alexandra falls asleep en route, we wait in the parking lot until she wakes up before 3:15pm. On to THANKSGIVING.

Train ride is pretty smooth! Interested at start, bit cranky, settles down after a change and a bottle, asleep after some music. Then repeat the cycle (minus change), asleep in car seat outside Oshawa. Wakes up en route to Nick's car. Nice dinner with him and Cynthia, except Alexandra doesn't fall back asleep until after 9:30pm in the k'tan. Bottle after 10:15pm, not out of Toronto until closer to 11pm. Into playpen/crib at grandparents' just before midnight. She's not thrilled, but is tired enough when it's dark, with the white noise machine. These may not be blackout curtains. Huh.

Asleepish, then restless just after 1am, but from then on, slept until 4:45am. (Meanwhile, cat paid a visit, jumping on the bed at 2am-something.) Anne-Lise just took Alexandra next door afterwards, slept from there. I woke up briefly around 5:30am, then for good just after 7:30am. Talked to grandma, back upstairs, all having breakfast for 9am, and birthday muffins for Anne-Lise. Out to Davina's before 10:15am. Half hour snooze, some breast upon arrival, managed a couple snoozes later and grandma read in there. Wee one can't snooze around other people, she needs quiet. (Apparently her Dad needed a 20 minute snooze too.)

Dinner went well after 5pm, had soup, gave Alexandra a bottle as mom had soup, did a change, then K'tan for the remaining time. Asleep for pie. Awake when departing, asleep for drive, awake for 8pm arrival, asleep during hockey. Went for a run, saw a wild bunny down on Lane Crt. Bottle before 10pm when she woke up, sleep fail (though Flames scored), another attempt at 10:30pm. Always something.

Item counts run Sunday (Sept 30) to Saturday (Oct 6).

Step Count 2016: About 55,800
Step Count 2017: Over 60,000 (16 stars).
STEP COUNT 2018: Over 65,250. 11 stars.

FROM 2016:
-Writing motivation stalled, car broke down, went to AFEMO french math conference.
FROM 2017:
-School ratcheted my stress to 8, in Ink & Insights Top 10, took a plane home.

SchoolMail 2016: 61 (2 sent)
SchoolMail 2017: 216 (24 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2018: 152 New (29 sent)
We have completed DAY 24-1. (Includes PD Day.)

 -Finished grading 3M Tests
 -Staff Meeting Tues
 -COMA Debrief Minutes
 -Cappies Training Session
 -Other Cappies Headaches (forms, cheque)
 -Annual Learning Plan and A&E Submissions
 -Readjusted 3M to match planned unit

 -Finished other half of "Chanced Erasures 7"
 -Weeklong Bookclub (time travel comic)
 -Thursday Comic Tea Party Chat
 -Recap for Math Social 2019

 -4.5 hour train trip with Alexandra
 -Dinner with relatives Friday
 -Saturday Thanksgivings
 -Linkara's LP of Star Trek: 25th Anniversary.

 -Trip home, Progress Reports, CanCon

 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Catching up with web serials
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

RH Stress Level: 7 (Starlight Breaker)

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

OAME 2018: Day 2+

If you missed the OAME Conference Day 1, you can find it at this post - it included a look at mindset, data activities and more. Here's the second day, along with a BONUS at the bottom.


1) "Teaching Mathematics With Open Tasks", presented by Nat Banting (from Saskatchewan).

Good open tasks are a balance between freedom and constraints. Certain freedoms can be constrained, like using vertical surfaces - it's about "tinkering with this balance". Nat considered a few counterpoints like "Objects and Objectives", "Prescriptive versus Proscriptive" ("You HAVE to do this" versus "You CAN'T do that") and "Deficiency versus Sufficiency". 

We began with a simple question: Which is larger 5/7 or 4/5? Now remove an object (not the objective): Create three fractions larger than 5/7. Using the digits 0 to 9 at most once each. This creates freedom. Of course, 6/7 is an obvious choice, so we can then constrain: "You cannot use 7". Then there's freedom, how many numbers larger can you make? (Only four?) What about zero? (Handle zero in a different way?) So that's a good problem... perhaps? "It's a hindsight thing."

How about: Given these specific 20 numbers (some digits were repeated more than others: 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3 ,3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10), create the ten largest fractions you can. Note NOT "how many fractions" (in on one pole, out on another). Maybe this problem is too open? "Open is not [necessarily] better." The problem you give is not always the problem kids are working on (taken a different direction). Though constraining does mean less freedom, that's NOT less activity.

To illustrate that, after a bit of time to work, Nat came out with "I'm from Manitoba, I'm so sorry, first time here - no improper fractions allowed". Which led our group to the question, is 3/3 improper? Another constraint: "No duplicates". (So is 1/2 = 2/4 a duplicate? "No equivalent fractions.") We're narrowing in on terminology. (Language should come from necessity.) Also, "7" becomes a much nicer number, it won't reduce.

However, for one group "that constraint killed their thinking" - why would you die on that hill? Be flexible. Instead of "Calculate", "Create". And the phrase "That's the best you can do?" can guide even in unexpected cases. (Our group started looking at recursive fractions, where the numerator is itself a fraction, heh. I sometimes see things differently.)

That said, curriculum and time are probably the biggest constraints on teaching. Don't pretend they're not there. "Teaching is a present tense enterprise. If you think otherwise, you'll be very surprised or disappointed. (And probably underprepared)."

Does ten large fractions always create the largest sum? There were some other questions in Nat's slides, like building a set of data with requirements on the mean, median and mode. In the end, it's hard to know what you push. Regarding deficiency versus sufficiency, it's not about how did they solve the problem, more what problem are they solving.

2) Keynote: "Exploding Dots, The Global Phenomenon", presented by James Tanton

Here was the first keynote I hadn't seen before - though I WAS aware of the "Global Math Project" and the concept of exploding dots, if not the specifics. ("Global Math Week" started on October 10th, 2017.) James Tanton offered up an "International Math Salute", ending up turning his thumbs parallel on his left without rotating them; it was a matter of knowing where you wanted to end up as you began.

Life lesson: "If there's something in life you want, make it happen. And deal with the consequences." Illustrating this, James began with "a story that's not true". (Math is a story.) He spoke of playing as a young child with a "two to one" machine, visualizing a row of boxes. When you have two items you can explode and go left. In math we speak, of course, using the ten-one machine (-ty means ten, as in six-ty).

In English, we read from left to right - but addition takes place from right to left. Consider 528+693. That's "eleven hundred, eleventy eleven". There's nothing mathematically wrong with that answer, it's just society thinks it's weird. Society is fickle! Why can we say "12 hundred" for 1200? There's a reason ESL might have trouble with "twenty" (two-ty?).

Back to the machine, we have exploding dots, what about annihilation, "not" explosions. We have open circles, tods. Style does unexplosions to start. Consider 523-145. "Math doesn't care what base we're in." (Our obsession is with ten-ness.) Funny enough, when we get to long division, NOW we do math left to right. James continued to illustrate the functionality of his "row of boxes" machine.

Then we came to polynomials, x^3-3x+2 divided by x+2. James said this method FAILS, as we want to unexplode (use tods) but we don't know the number of dots to create when that happens. Except he was lying, and demonstrates that it is possible. The simple place value technique can be used as high as senior math courses.

From the keynote, I went to *LUNCH*, and my brain break.

3) "Shift Your Approach: Using Open-ended Questions to Improve Problem-Solving and Thinking Skills", presented by Laura Gatey (Dept Head, Halton DSB).

This session is from someone teaching at the high school I went to back in the 90s! One look at open ended questions is working backwards: "Create a discount problem where the final cost, after taxes, is between $150 and $160." (We tried this one ourselves.) Everyone could have a different question. Some student solutions were shown when this inquiry question was posed in a class, and we discussed.

The plan was a day with three questions. (After Grade 9 EQAO, balancing out what was/wasn't asked.) What is a Level 4? How do they know? Not done on the first day, do with problem solving at the END. Takes away the problem of a student leaving a question totally blank. Start with what they're used to, then challenge up. From the highest point, remove based on "what's important to us". (Note when they create their question, they also show their answer.)

When you reach the 3-question day, can redo at a new level. (Try level 2, if it works go level 3.) Have three questions, definitely NOT four (from experience). Question isn't "did you get this answer" but "how did you do this". Another example from measurement, a rectangle has side lengths in the ratio 4:7, how is there a perimeter of 120 to 130 units. (Higher level, perhaps not a rectangle?)

They've been trying this out, and debriefing. Next steps, from an open question, let students create the rubric? Level 4 is so broad... don't create a big range, don't spend tons of time creating a detailed rubric. There will be surprises anyway, don't put output in a box. Depending on audience, come up with a wrong solution; have an intersection (a,2a). Also oral evaluation, pick a question, 5% off exam.

The final performance task (sample rubric provided) was for 2 days, with the 3 questions per day. It's a mix of expectations (system of equations, a 2D area expression having a y^2 term, a line equation that's answered y = 2/3x - 8). Other sample work was shown, and there was a chance for questions.

I've noted here "Give Gr 11s a Gr10 exam to start, get to know each other, THEN review", I think in response to something. When working in groups, writer doesn't speak, also have a checker. (I recall asking something, but no longer recall what; something about the nature of level 4s? Was stated that it's an evolving process.)

4) "Being with/in a professional learning network. How do you MTBoS?", presented by Judy Larsen (associate prof, University of the Fraser Valley).

You can find Judy Larsen @JudyLarsen3; I was curious about how the "Math-Twitter-Blog-O-Sphere" would be presented, and was surprised to find that I was a later example. First though, the idea of Twitter, with many useful hashtags, and realizing a dream of visiting teachers online when you can't do it in the actual world.

A @gfletchy tweet was analyzed, involving putting in digits to make _ _ + _ _ = _ _ + _ _. We worked in groups, place value became an interesting thing, because it meant some possibilities could simply reverse the existing digits, but not always. (Our group came up with a place value one at the start, actually.) We also looked at a @mfenton tweet, how to address (x-2)(x-3) = 2. Amusingly enough, my answer in the present roughly matched my tweeted answer from a couple years ago - so I'm consistent?

There was also the question of "How is interacting online different than face to face?". Some responses included having to wait for a response (if/when it comes), and that it's more diverse (though you can also get the same responses from different people). It's also a record in progress, not audible, evolving. Then there's brevity and focus in the Twitter medium.

What does it take to belong to this sort of community? "It's a sea." Judy also had graphed together two weeks of MTBoS tweets, in a network. Removing the ReTweets generated a new visualization. There were pockets. There's also the "iteachmath" hashtag. But it's a place for Questions, and one shouldn't be afraid to speak up.

When that session ended - that was OAME 2018. The drive home was a lot smoother than the trip there. (In part as I did not spend it trying to write a serial entry, like in 2017, as Virga's cases were running.) As a bonus, I present below our District PD, which occurred one week previous, on April 27th in 2018. For reasons (normally it's in February).


The PD began with theme based open sessions on such topics as "Incorporating Technology", "Assessment", "Manipulatives", "Thinking Classroom", and then subject specific areas. As usual, I hung out in the Data Management area. Also there, Iryna Tsvirinkal, Jovan Stankovic and Bradley Pinhey. The two 75 minute sessions I signed up for that followed were "No Small Dream" (11am) and "Help! My Math Students are Marks Obsessed" (1pm).

"No Small Dream" was a presentation by Robert Tang (Lisgar). His description quoted "Dream no small dream. It lacks magic. Dream large. Then make the dream real." by Donald Douglas. Something he's been able to do is create activities for various grade levels to work on, most recently a scenario based on "The Martian", with people trapped on Mars. One class was like the people on Mars, having to deal with that situation, another class was NASA working things out - oh, and all this took place during a day at the Aviation Museum.

He's been working on these sorts of things for a while (they did rockets one year), and now can even get sponsorships to help have things like space suits (for going outside and setting up 'solar panels'... meanwhile inside they had to detect a leak). While some curriculum concepts tie in more neatly, there's also the "solve certain problems to get a password" sort of question too.

"Help! Marks Obsession" was a presentation by Robin McAteer (Bell) and Andrea Bortnowski (Earl). Their description included the remarks: "We want to empower our students in learning behaviours such as reflection, self-assessment and self regulation. We designed a portfolio assessment where students select and document artifacts of their learning, and identify their own strengths and next steps."

Samples of these were shown around the room, along with student work. Success criteria were listed (such as "I understand the concept of conditional probability" for data), with an area for self-assessment (red/yellow/green) and for which "Item" in the portfolio demonstrates an ability to work with that criteria. We discussed in groups and then as a whole, to see how it can be implemented.

And that's the whole post. Hope you got something out of it! If so, perhaps leave a comment, or if you have a question I can clarify or an extension you might implement. Either way, thanks for reading this far down. Hope to see you at OAME 2019? It's in Ottawa, where I am!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

OAME 2018: Day 1

Is it just me, or are conferences getting a lot more technological and cloud based? I have a whole directory full of OAME 2018 related items. That's the "Ontario Association for Mathematics Education" annual conference, by the way. None of the files is a transcript/recap - this year I jotted notes in a small notebook. Trying to cut back a little on my frenzied note-taking, which I rarely have time to turn into actual posts. Does anyone have a preference? Ah well, let's see what mathematical sessions I went to. For the very curious, there's also OAME 2013, OAME 2014, OAME 2015, and OAME 2016. (By the time I knew OAME2017 was open for registration, it was temporarily then permanently closed.)

I drove down on Wednesday, like usual, and left later than I'd intended (which also tends to happen). Trapped for an hour on a 5 km stretch outside Brockville, had to find a dinner to go. I was staying in a nearby hotel this time, rather than on the campus; it was for only two nights. I made it through registration in good time Thursday morning (after the fun of parking), including dropping off some materials at the OAME 2019 booth that I'd volunteered to bring down.


1) 8:30am: "Bridging the Numeracy Gap and Preparing Students for Success in Mathematics", presented by Anand Karat (President) and Paula Gouveia (Dean), from Humber College.

This was about the Ontario Colleges Math Test - High-School Edition. Their Assessment Development Project's Final Report identified nine topics of need: "Whole Numbers", "Number Sense", "Integers", "Decimals", "Fractions", "Ratios & Proportions", "Percents", "Algebra" and "Conversions". There were also subtopics within each (for instance, "Decimals" included place value, reading/writing numbers, arithmetic, and rounding).

The project started with 10 years of research, initiated in 2004. Assessing questions on all topics was phase one, in partnership with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Trying them out did have to be voluntary and with parental consent. There were 202 student accounts, of which 101 completed the material with a mean of 46.3% and a standard deviation of 24.2%. Which, it was pointed out, means that you can get to 96% by being two standard deviations away in a normal distribution. This was more about the feedback than the ability measure. The most successful topic was Decimals (the least successful was Algebra).

The idea is a test that takes no longer than an hour, with questions from all nine foundational topics, giving an idea of what first semester math course to take (applied/academic in the case of Grade 8). Moving the project into phase two (2017), they had 427 accounts and 335 who completed the material, this time a mean of 50.9%. Of supplemental questions, they also noticed a correlation between those who said they liked math, and success in the system. They're currently in phase three, AEAC aligned (implementing in 32 schools).

We had a chance to try out the system (student format). Every topic had three areas: Diagnostic assessment, Remediation modules and Summative. You needed to complete the previous area in order to 'unlock' the later ones, with a threshold to achieve in Remediation before you could unlock the Summative. The teacher login account was seen to provide more information, for instance how much time was spent on the app in the last 24 hours.

It was also mentioned how "it's the course, not the grade that makes the difference" in terms of MCT 4C (55% needing remediation) versus MAP 4C (80% remedial), but post-secondary is in a bit of a bind in that if they say a student must take MCT (which isn't available at all schools) students would simply go to a different college that doesn't need it. I have the copy of the presentation slides that they made available, which includes some summary statistics and graphs, for the curious. Their website is

2) Keynote: "Building a Thinking Mathematics Classroom", presented by Dr. Peter Liljedahl (Professor SFU).

I'd seen Peter Liljedahl's work before, when he came to Ottawa for the Canadian Mathematics Education Forum in 2014 (see my recap post here). Followed by his presentation to math teachers of the OCDSB during February 2017's PD Day (see my recap post here). So I didn't take tons of notes during this keynote, to avoid repeating myself. Peter himself noted how he would both be going through things from scratch (for those who don't know about the "Thinking Classroom") with nuances (for those who do).

We had the preamble of Jane's Class, 15 years ago, with the rich tasks that didn't go well, leading to the research. Around the world there are certain institutional norms, some of them non-negotiated. Thinking and Engagement often travel together. When a lesson as a whole is "too big", too much info, better to find discrete moments. A "good problem" to work on is when there's something left to think about.

One of the key nuances Peter mentioned was how questions flow along the same lines as knowledge, but in the opposite direction. So, it's better to ask peers (for the knowledge) than the teachers (when answers stop the thinking process). Also, don't answer proximity questions (because you're there). To have meaningful notes, it was also mentioned to frame them as "notes for my future, dumber self". We want to move to the model of breaking down the unit, not a blob of stuff.

The optimal practices for thinking: Begin lessons with good problems. Use verbal instructions. Answer only "keep thinking" questions. Defront the classroom. Form visibly random groups. Use vertical non-permanent surfaces. Foster autonomous actions. Have students do meaningful notes. Use "check your understanding" questions. Manage flow. Consolidate from the bottom. Show where they are and where they are going. Evaluate what you value! Report out based on data (not points).

Towards the conclusion, Peter said that the Most Powerful Tool was the idea of FLOW (avoiding the zones of frustration or boredom) and that the Most Important Tool was using Randomized Groups.

3) "Using quick activities to collect authentic data", presented by Jennifer Gravel (Holy Trinity School).

There were six activities which Jennifer walked us through. The first was "Are your Smarties normal?" Nestle claims there's the same number of each when they make the boxes. Try to get a mathematical debate going with one variable statistics (half of table support claim, half disprove claim). Can do box plots by colour, confidence intervals, and there's the Skittles alternative. (Colours are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink and Brown... I had lots of orange, few pink.) This website actually still has results, which is kind of cool:

The second activity was "How old am I?", a guessing game where you have to estimate the ages of 12 famous people. (Names ranged from Justin Trudeau to Millie Bobby Brown, whom almost no one knew but she was in Stranger Things.) Then Jen gave actual ages, and on a scatterplot, you would plot actual (horizontal) against your estimate. Another debate here: Who is the "Best Guesser"? (The most exactly right? The closest overall?) Then draw the line y=x, and you can use "Guess minus Actual" for residuals, plus you can talk outliers. (Also something that can be done in Desmos.)

The third activity was "Arms and Feet"; record length of forearm from wrist to elbow, and length of foot, in centimetres. It was also a scatterplot exercise though, so we moved on. Activity Four was "How many are there?", based on the German Tank Problem of World War II. The germans would label tanks sequentially, and there was a desire to know how many they had and the rate at which they were being produced. So Jen had tables take 15 Chips from a bag, record the values (from #1 to #n), and then estimate how many (n) chips there were in total.

Our group had more 200s and 300s, so we considered both taking the middle and doubling it (to 458) or looking at sets of 100 (our max number drawn was 310 so we got to 350 somehow). Meanwhile, another group had no 300s and wondered what we were going on about. (The final total was 312, Jen used plastic counter chips from Spectrum. She says Bingo Chips are impossible to handle.) This is a good exercise for Sample Size and Accuracy (how many are needed).

The fifth activity was "Which one is faster?", which involved different methods of shoe tying. Jen had noticed that many students used the bunny ears method for sports shoes, rather than looping one lace around. The idea was to time how long it took to tie with each method. Of course, some students might not having lacing shoes; fake shoes were made as simulations. Leading to the question of whether a paper shoe or a real shoe were influences. (Or the type of shoe?) Discussion points could be bias and sample design.

The final activity was "Random Rectangles". Jen had an Excel file where a number of squares were shaded in, creating 100 different sized tile sets, from a single tile (multiple times) to #64 which was 6 by 4. Question: What's the average unit area for ALL these images? With that done, pick ten random numbers. Find the areas for them, and average them for a total. Finally, have a computer generate a random list of 10 numbers, and repeat the process.

What tends to happen is that the Gut Reaction tends to be HIGH, the eye being drawn to the larger tile sets. (True in my case, I started by saying "8".) The second random method is better, but humans are bad at being random, so the third computer generated one tends to be the most accurate (actual average was 6.3). Jen had an electronic version of her files (and she is also on twitter @JenGravel).

The fourth slot of the day was my *LUNCH*, which I always pick to give myself processing time. People who just grab and go to an extra session amaze me. I also visited the exhibitors, getting an "iTweet" ribbon for my lanyard, a Wipebook scroll, and a bunch of bookmarks (I think - not sure where else they would have come from).

4) "So your classroom is thinking... what about students with exceptionalities?", presented by Janice Bernstein (OCDSB) and Thach-Thao Phan (OCDSB).

My last regular time slot involved this presentation, by the same duo who last year presented "Really everyone has an IEP". The top challenges for exceptionalities (as suggested by the audience, interactively) are processing, attention, behaviour and memory. Exceptionalities include autism (role modelling is essential), ADHD/ADD (attention spans), NVLD (non-verbal, like Aspergers but without the social skill deficits), and receptive/expressive language disorders (when they say "add" but are thinking "multiply").

Visually Random Groups was remarked on (use of Give specific roles for those who need structure (the "Desmos checker", for instance). Gradually build the number of people, and make those in the group aware of the need. We know verbal instructions are best (from Peter's research) but ensure instructions are accessible to every type. I've also written "person in necessary space, move around"(?).

Emphasize how there are many solutions - some more efficient than others. Give small goals so anxiety isn't overpowering. Include a reflection question as homework. Mobility issues was raised, with mention of de-fronting the room. There's also autonomy, when students can use Desmos or other items as experts.

There was then a wine & cheese (@3:45pm), where I spoke briefly with some others from Ottawa, before retreating to consider more substantial food in advance of the later Keynote.

5) 7:15pm Keynote: "Teaching Mindset Mathematics Through Open, Creative Mathematics and Brain Science Messages", presented by Jo Boaler.

As was the case with Peter Liljedahl, I have also heard Jo Boaler speak, back at OAME 2014 (recap post here). Which was four years ago, so I thought I'd see where we were at, it's only that (once again) you shouldn't expect lots of detail. Of note, she also mixed in "seven reasons Jo loves Canada" (she's British). The key idea is a "growth mindset" (eg. I can't do this yet) versus a "fixed mindset" (eg. I can't do this, only some people can). Considering your mindset is good for girls, ELLs (English Language Learners), and those sociologically disadvantaged.

There was an online class, "How to Learn Math", with a randomized controlled trial. The YouCubed Mindset Teaching Guide looked at five areas. "Neuroplasticity" is the idea of the brain forming new connections. "Smart" and "Gifted" labels lead to FIXED mindsets, where having to struggle crushes spirit, and grades define a person. (There was a study in Toronto; I have the names Norman Doidge and Carol Dweck written down.)

Things are gendered and racial-ized. Students were three times more likely to rank a professor as a "genius" if they were male versus female. Give yourself "desirable difficulties" to study, not reading. Iterations with students when struggling. (I have #TheLearningPit and James Nottingham written down.) Also referenced was the PISA test. (

Five areas of the brain light up when given a math problem, two of them visual. The Lines and Squares handout was referenced. (10 straight lines can make 17 squares, while 9 straight lines in more of a grid can make 20 squares... what's the smallest number of lines needed to make exactly 100 squares? Don't overshoot.) Not timed! Anxiety impedes the "working memory" (search engine), time is necessary to think.

Mindset Mathematics: It infuses brain science & mindset messages, it values struggle & mistakes, it is creative & visual, it is open & investigative, and it is about about depth, not speed. Also, collaboration.

With that, I'll conclude this post and continue in the next one with Day 2: Open Tasks and Questions, plus extras.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Now Parenting: Week 15

Turned off the AC yesterday. Woke up just before 7am, was with the wee one from 7:45am through to 10:30am - no snooze. A couple attempts, and four ounces of food. Mom brought Alexandra to lay on our bed briefly before going to be weighed. She turned on her side towards me - then the mattress caused her to end up on her front! Only reaction was an expression that said to me 'that had not been my plan'. Brought her off for her weighing; arrived just after 11am, half an hour later they wiped down one of the two stations (it was very busy). Gained 150 grams/6 ounces. (Yeah, that doesn't convert. Weird.)
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Home before noon, made soup, did dishes, took little one back for a bit as we itemized a list for the train, then at 2:20pm had a nap while Mom and Alexandra went for a stroll. Woke 3:10, went to clean up the yard/porch, called my parents, then Mom went to pick up her prescription. Wee one chose that hour to have a messy diaper change, very amusing. It was around 6:30pm I got the phone tree call - no school anywhere Monday due to tornado. From there, went to have bath in actual water, another milestone.

Kiddo was TIRED. We transplanted her from Mom to me at 8:40pm, and back just before 9pm, and (with soother) she stayed asleep. Usual dinner a bit after 10pm, everyone in bed except me by 11pm; I did more quiz marking, networking and junk to past midnight. Woke up 7am naturally (no alarm), had the wee one for six hours from 7:45am. Included two naps (9:15-9:45 and 12:10-12:40), a respite to shower (11:05-11:25 before Anne-Lise's bus to dentist) and the realization that Alexandra turns 90 degrees in her crib because she likes to smack the bottoms of her feet against things (to push off).

Tried to assemble playpen at 2pm, the "change table" part was messed up because if you put one thing in wrong, you can't undo it, and there's no warning. Frustrating. Went to calm down. Around 4pm as I was taking Alexandra back, she went from her side onto her front (with an arm trapped)... I untrapped the arm, and she held her head up like a boss. Mom had her most of the time in the afternoon though; quizzes were finished, a new math puzzle of the week was found, and some OAME was written up. Bed at the usual time.

Tuesday was... not great. Teaching was fine, then had to prep stuff, make a phone call, handle Cappies, stop at the store, and didn't get home until close to 4pm. Had wee one from 5pm to just after 6:30pm, when she was crying for sleep but couldn't manage it in my arms. (Though I got an extra star jumping around, which had temporarily helped.) Discovered I'd have an on-call, solidified being in a mood. Bed at regular time, she was in her crib until 6:20am.

Wednesday was long but much better. Teaching, test, Cappies, 10 minutes for lunch, on call, prepping 3M task, handling other items, stopping at store, home a bit after 4:30pm. With Alexandra from a bit before 5pm to a bit before 7pm, including a half hour snooze that took some effort to attain. Then making supper and marking. Break to put the wee one to bed after 10pm (drank almost 6 ounces, whoa), then finished 11:30pm. Wheee. Stayed off social media the whole day too.

Thursday woke up at 6:20am, used bathroom, changed munchkin and brought her to bed. Didn't end up falling back asleep, to school a bit early, handled things there including duty. Home by 12:45pm, learned that an hour ago Alexandra had been rolling over from her front to her back via her side. (Wee one was more concerned over a mirror than that, more a nonplussed 'so that's how that works'.) Anne-Lise caught video the third time. Was with munchkin for a bit over two hours total, split by about ten minutes in the middle. Included a 30 min snooze right near the start. They went for a walk at 3:30pm, I headed back out soon after.

Math social from 4:30pm to 7pm went well enough, got to talk to some people I hadn't in a while and got some affirmation that I have good writing and my FB posts about wee one are nice to read. Also, Marian Small. Would have been home for 8pm except for lineups for gas and Harvey's. Comic chat, then bedtime routine. Friday there was a fire drill, and I'd been made a warden a couple hours previous without being officially notified, so that happened. Anime club was fine, home before 2pm to get to Doctor's appointment. And kiddo's SIN card arrived!

Alexandra is almost at 5 kg. With the 15 minutes before leaving, and 45 minutes after getting home at 3:30pm, I face-planted after an hour with her. We need to implement a good snooze policy, maybe the bassinet in her room? (Saturday edit: No, she's not a fan.) Didn't really sleep. Did some grading, took her back just before 8pm for around 100 minutes including a sleep at the end, so saw my show. Bottle and bed after I managed some supper, then stayed up later for reasons. Woke up a bit after 7:30am.

Had wee one from 9am to 2:15pm, minus 40 minutes or so around 11am before Mom left for her class. We went out for a walk for part of that, also fit in a half hour snooze. Then some grading and writing, then munchkin from 5pm to 6pm, then out for RP. Got home 10:15pm in time for last bottle, which required two diaper changes - then she seemed very proud of herself and a bit wired, awkwardly. Too tired to properly finish my next part, but September hasn't had any day over 10 views, so fine.

Item counts run Sunday (Sept 23) to Saturday (Sept 29).

Step Count 2016: About 62,500
Step Count 2017: Over 65,500 (14 stars).
STEP COUNT 2018: Over 63,500. 10 stars.
Monday at home was under 7k.

FROM 2016:
-Had an eye appointment, queued T&T for all Oct, started playing Sakura Dungeon.
FROM 2017:
-School reprieve, sort of mending; became Time Travel Nexus writer, bought pants.

SchoolMail 2016: 74 (2 sent)
SchoolMail 2017: 131 (19 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2018: 128 New (20 sent)
We have completed DAY 19-1. (That's 18, due to tornado.)

 -Grading rest of 4U Tests
 -Dealing with Cappies registration, issues
 -Designed new task for 3M
 -Worked out pre-task for 3M + Desmos
 -Loaded in students/assigns for marks program
 -COMA Social (Marian) and meeting
 -Started grading 3M Tests

 -OAME Recap Day 1
 -OAME Recap Day 2 + Board PD
 -Thursday stArt Faire Comic Chat
 -Wrote half of "Chanced Erasures 7"

 -Post-tornado tidy of yard, swept porch/garage
 -Doctor's Appointment
 -RP "Tales from the Loop"
 -1+ Chapters of “Raising Your Spirited Child” (pg 458-end)
 -Paw, "King's Quest V" (original & NES) and "Retrospective".

 -Staff Mtg, Cappies Mtg, Train Trip, Thanksgiving

 -Recap for Math Social 2019
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Catching up with web serials
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

RH Stress Level: 4 (Accel Shooter)

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Now Parenting: Week 14

Step counter bracket is breaking, darn it. Breast pumping has resumed for more enzymes. Crib sleep seemed to go okay! Anyway, had wee one from 8:30-10:30am Sunday (including half hour snooze). Started quizzes after lunch. With Mom on the mat, she flipped from her front to her side (not right over). Finished quizzes before dinner. Late bath at 8:30pm, and (after all the shrieks) she was a lot more verbal for the evening it seemed. Also didn't want to go to bed at 10:30pm without a bottle (routine) despite four ounces at 9pm. Then had five ounces at 3am, and spit up a bunch just before 7am.
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Monday was teaching, talking to a student, being a client for students, and library duty involving a print and a checkout, all before noon. Then some prep, shopping, and home later than intended, close to 2:30pm. Two hours with Alexandra, including the usual snooze. She wouldn't go to sleep easily after 10:30pm, we traded off. Similar issues after her feed at 3am. Tuesday was less busy but still delayed in getting home until after 1:30pm; did three month photographs. Two hours was from 4:15pm to 6:30pm. She fell asleep about an hour after that... it does take over 30 minutes to put her to bed, what with the waking and feeding and calming back down.

Wednesday morning there was Flames hockey in China. Though I was teaching (former student came to ask me a logs question at lunch), then duty, then prepping, then the pickup was scheduled for the movie theatre at 3pm. Had wee one from about 4pm to 5:15pm, then marking quizzes, etc. Alexandra slept with Mom right through to 9:45pm though. A little hard to settle her down after, and brought to bed with us around 4am. Thursday morning she had a long stretch of sleep in morning.

Got home Thursday after 3pm, a bit later than hoped. Spent about 3:30pm to 6:15pm with Alexandra, though 45 minutes of that was a walk with Mom as well, up to the nearby viewpoint offroad. (Step counter officially broke then, looped belt around it.) Only the last 20 minutes was a snooze. Then tried to cut nails a little after 8pm, and cut her finger. I'm terrible! Bleeding stopped after over 20 minutes. ^_^; Was consoled by Mom. Bottle and bed was after 10:30pm. Still into bed with us at 4am.

Friday was looong. Teaching, anime club, little things like a call, COMA twitter, talk of student walkout, prep work, uploading files, getting shirts and lights (and duct tape to fix my pedometer). Yet home for 2pm, with Alexandra from 2:15pm to 4:15pm including a half hour snooze by her (and a longer one by Mom). Handling emails, then made dinner, as the lights flickered over weather. Back with wee one 6:45pm to 8pm. Finally ate dinner and Wynonna, and COLLAPSED, vaguely aware there had been a tornado.

Woke up at 2am during the feed and put on my pyjamas. Gave wee one a bottle at 7am, but officially started play time at 8:20am. (She does like her Mortimer moose.) Went through to 10:35, including a half hour snooze, and surprise diaper download (so soon after yesterday afternoon). Brief handoff, then Mom was off to her Zumba class. Time from 11:20 to 2:25pm included two snoozes (of 20 min and 35 min) and her smiling at me as she fell asleep which was so beautiful. Using a blanket buffer was such a good idea.

Rest of the afternoon/evening was marking tests/quizzes while observing things online, giving a bottle a bit before 8pm. Can you tell I put these things together in the evenings? There's no way I'd remember otherwise.

Item counts run Sunday (Sept 16) to Saturday (Sept 22).

Step Count 2016: About 67,900
Step Count 2017: Over 61,500 (14 stars).
STEP COUNT 2018: Over 57,200. 10 stars.
Weekends were under 6500; counter will no longer clip to PJs.

FROM 2016:
-Felt like I’d be busy until end of year. But with writing, etc. not teaching.
FROM 2017:
-Daily injections, cutting back on everything to deal with tech, stress level 8+.

SchoolMail 2016: 76 (1 sent)
SchoolMail 2017: 138 (22 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2018: 103 New (17 sent)
We have completed DAY 14. Twitter spammed me a bit (COMA account).

 -Went over quizzes for 3M
 -Figured out new sequencing and quiz for 3M
 -Went over quizzes for 4U
 -Figured out new test and level 4 for 4U
 -Drysdale awards (posters, announcement, emails)
 -Grading most of 4U Tests (no totals)
Library duty twice, actually kind of busy to start the year with printing there, etc.

 -Finished recap for “Bill & Ted Save the Universe”
 -Thursday stArt Faire Comic Chat

 -3 Chapters of “Raising Your Spirited Child” (pg 385-458)
 -2 Mharz "Mark of the Ninja"
 -Lotus Prince’s "Resident Evil Gaiden" (end) & "King's Quest VI"

 -COMA Social, Doctor Apt

 -Recap for OAME 2018
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Catching up with web serials
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

RH Stress Level: 5 (ACS Stand by)