Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quick note: re-focus and fun

I've think I have finally come down from the natural high of finding and incorporating Dan Meyer's 3 Act lesson format. I'm addicted and plan on using parts of my summer to compose more valuable lessons for my students. I love it! However, I love many other things in life and I feel like I might have lost focus on a few of those elements that make my life so grand. It's time to re-focus. Allocate my time better. Watch this video:

Benga-I Will Never Change, although it might appear random, sums up where I currently am. Yes, it could be edited to use as a 3Act lesson. Yes, it could be used as an estimation question for my students... yes it could be used for something mathematical. Lately, my brain has been so heavily trained and geared toward finding that math moment, math media, and math invitation that I've lost focus of some other things.
This video is just fun!

It emulates a Soundcloud wave form. It's great to see the peaks and valleys. It's great to just sit back and enjoy. I appreciate it from an artist's standpoint: the staging, the filming, the editing, the overall production time. It's just fun to watch.

As the end of the school year approaches, this is a great opportunity to allocate my time more efficiently so that I can better contribute to my family, friends, students, community, online colleagues, and world. I have met many resourceful people such as @fawnpnguyen, @nathankraft1, @wahedahbug, and many others on Twitter and have the pleasure to call you online colleagues and friends. I even look forward to meeting many of you one day. I was fortunate enough to meet Karim from Mathalicious.com while I was in DC last week with my 8th graders. He talked about his week off and shared some amazing experiences. He hadn't had a break in close to two years since starting up Mathalicious. That's incredible! He needed an opportunity to recharge his battery. I hear ya brotha!

This online community of math brains has been a blessing. I plan to contribute, share, take, and participate in a meaningful way that is both beneficial and fun. Does this sound reasonable? Am I on to something here? Am I on point?

Want another fun video... check this guy out! Diego Stocco is the man with sounds. Is there math involved? Absolutely. Is it fun? I think so.

I'm out,


  1. I love the Benga clip, so cool! I know you'll do something great with that, and let me know first because Sadie and Nathan live far away and you know the mail is slow to get to them anyway!:) Andrew, I'm honored to be among your friends. Your passion for math is contagious, and I so respect your desire to want to find that magical balance among family, friends, and work. High five!

    1. Yes, Benga is some sweet stuff. I'm thinking about editing it to make the question, "How many records will fit on the steel pipe?" It's on the summer list of things to do. I'll fling you a line when I do.

  2. This is great. And wise. I suppose we all got into education to make the world better -- not everyone, of course, but surely anyone reading this blog -- and that's a pretty wonderful opportunity. At the same time, there's a point at which it can start to feel like martyrdom. Anyone who's arrive to school at 6am to photocopy quizzes, and stayed until 9pm to grade them, knows exactly what I'm talking about. Anyone who's looked at their students and wondered, "Why am I busting my ass to make you smarter, and you can't even do your homework?!"

    There's a point at which trying to heal the world takes an unhealthy toll on you, and perhaps that's the point where we need to step back and...take a break. Put the thing down for a bit, remember that the world will continue to spin.

    Sometimes when I'm particularly stressed, I'll look at the stars and remind myself that they've been there for billions of years and will be there for billions more. And if the stars don't really care about whether Mathalicious (in my case) makes it or not, how important can it be? And, as usual, the stars are right.

    A friend's father says, "If you want to make the world better, do what makes you happy. Because what the world really needs is happy people." It may be a bit more complicated than that -- though maybe not; who knows? -- but surely there's a nugget in there. Relax. Breathe.

    And with that...I'm taking the day off. I can feel the stress in my shoulders, so I'm going to go to the National Gallery, look at the Impressionists. I love the Impressionists. So...colorful.

    1. Thanks for the contribution Karim. You have a great way with words... those stars have amazing powers from such a distance. And you are lucky to have a friend with such a wise father. The world does need happy people. Hope your day at the gallery was what you needed. It truly is an enjoyable experience to see art and view the world through the eyes of others. Go Mathalicious!