Hey ya'all, Meg Craig over at Insert Clever Math Pun Here followed her tweep at https://mathbythemountain.wordpress.com/ who blogged about FOOD prep. So I thought I would play along because, ya know, we are talking about FOOD!

Just a disclaimer, I am from Sebastopol, California. Our former mayor owned the first dispensary, we have not one, not two, but three Waldorf inspired schools in our town, and the HS t-shirt is a blue and white tie-dye that says, "Just because I go to Analy, doesn't mean I am a hippie."

We have great soil and an agreeable climate and we grow amazing food.

That being said, eating healthy, even VEGAN, can be easy and delicious. (not a vegetarian, not a vegan, but because so many of our friends are, I have had to adapt). Oh yeah, and gluten free too.

I am NEVER without the following ingredients:
--Kosher Salt
--White Pepper
--Roasted Chili Paste
--Dark Sesame Oil
--Rice Vinegar
--Lemon or Lime
--Box of Soup Stock

So here are my two offerings, both easy, gluten and dairy free.

Black Bean Veracruzano with Salad
Black Bean Veracruzano Served with brown rice and salad:

½ onion diced small
2 stalks celery sliced and diced
2” pasilla pepper diced
2TBSP olive oil—saute above for 5-7 minutes

Add 2 chopped tomatoes or equivalent amount of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
½ cup 1” chopped green beans
1/3 cup pitted and chopped green olives
Saute another 3-5 minutes

Add 1 zucchini quartered and diced
2 handfuls of chopped swiss chard
1 flat tsp kosher salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 flat tsp cumin
Saute 5-7 min

3 TBSP lime juice
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup black beans
Cook on low flame for 5 minutes

Serve with Brown Rice

Mom’s Ramen

1 small onion chopped
Sauted in

2 TBSP grated ginger
2 medium or 3 small cloves of garlic peeled and smashed, but whole
And 1 large grated carrot
Saute for 3-5 minutes more

1-2 tsp Dark Sesame (Roasted) oil
And 2 cups chopped swiss chard
6-8 inches lemongrass stalk sliced
½ chopped red pepper
Saute for 1-2 minutes

2 TBSP Tamari
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp roasted chili paste (mixed with ¼ cup hot water)
And 1 cup 1” chopped green beans or french green beans

Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, Bring a pot of water to
boil for ramen noodles.

Cook Brown Rice/Seaweed Noodles in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Immediately
submerge in ice water.
Drain and return to cooking pot with 1 tsp sesame oil.

Roast ½ cup cashew pieces on 300 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

Serve by starting with noodles in bowl, then broth and veggies, then sprinkle with roasted cashews.

Serve with fresh ground pepper.

I have found a lot of comfort in the beauty of the novelists and cinematographers of 2017. I treasure the creative spirit that allow me to suspend myself in an alternate universe every now and again.
Here are some of the highlights:

Screen Shout Outs:

This year's Jewish Film Festival:

The Women's Balcony


The Wedding Plan

In the Big House:

The Big Sick


Super Quirky Movies That Made Us Laugh:

The Little Hours

Los Malcriados

And of course: Stranger Things Season 2

The Beauty and Power of the Words I Have Read This Year:

Into the Beautiful North* (I recommend EVERY teacher read this book)

My Year of Meats

The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Glass Castle

A Man Named Ove

We went to see Rachel Price and Chance the Rapper and listened to Jim Doherty's (@mrdardy) play lists and listened to a lot of Choro music. I took a lot of Ukelele lessons and played a lot of the easier Beatle's tunes. I drowned out my fear by listening to Pod Save America and Pod Save the People whom had a lot of smart guests who give me hope. I marched, I wrote a zillion postcards, we started giving regularly to the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, along with NPR and a long list of environmental groups. (the planet has a hard time protecting itself).

I ran, I rode, I hiked, I walked, and due to a foot injury in October, I have gotten back in the water and have been swimming and swimming. Now to get back on my feet, to do what I love most, run and hike, and add in yoga. (More than my morning sun salutations)

I re-read my end of the school year post from 2016-2017, and I still struggle with finding ways to capture the imagination and interest of ALL my students, I am still a terrible police woman getting better with monitoring the headphone plugging in and texting in my classroom. The BEST thing I did all year, so far, was to ask my students, "what do you need from me?" I have had 3 boys that I know of hospitalized for depression, and at least a few others students adjusting to anti-anxietal medicines. (This really scares me.)

My favorite new poster is a quote from Grace Chen (@graceachen), "We are influenced, but not wholly determined by our environment."

Maybe starting a new semester is a good time to ask that question again, "What do you need from me so that you can focus on learning?"  And, What can Ms. Z keep doing that supports you as a math learner, and what is something different Ms. Z can do support you as a math learner?

Happy New Year you all. May your year be healthy and delightfully adventurous!

PS I just finished reading "The Importance of Academic Courage," on Edutopia. I like the idea A LOT, so now I am thinking of changing the questions I ask upon the return of the students, "What do you need math courage in? and What do you have math courage in?" (or something like that!)

We teach Integrated CPM Math 2. We struggle to get through the material that is skillfully articulated and struggle to keep our creativity while being true to the curriculum.

Sometimes you need to give your students more exposure and time than the curriculum has laid out. (As evidenced by the number of groups who got the same problem wrong on the test) Or your colleague is unhappy with the lesson described for tomorrow and it is 4:30 pm and she's been there since 6:30 am and can't stare at her screen for another second.

Like my friend, Brian http://www.mrmillermath.com/ said once, "sometimes you just need a worksheet." Here are two very different, quick ways my colleague and I handled facilitating learning in our CPM Math 2 classes that added to the curriculum provided.

Review of a concept: It took about two minutes of hunting for images before I gave up and instead decided to use a notebook warm-up instead. I hoped that as students copied the notes, they would observe what they needed.

Directions: In your notebooks for Day (27), Draw 6 squares, copy the images, what conclusions can you make about the pairs of triangles? (We first recalled the triangle congruence and triangle similarity theorems) Take 3 minutes by yourself and see what you observe, then open the discussion to your table group. What can you conclude given only the pictures and no other information?

Oops should say "Triangle" pair. 

Introducing a topic:

This teacher was uncomfortable with the guided lesson for discovering "slope triangles give the same slope angles in our CPM text." She needed something more to inspire her students to "discover" the lesson's goal.

After some running between rooms, here is what she came up with. Nothing short of brilliant!


Danielle's Tweak:
Give the students some index cards with the same slope in equivalent fraction form. Have students graph them on horizontal, first quadrant graph paper. Have students use protractors to discover the slope angles. Go find the other people with the same slope angle as you have. What do you notice and wonder?

I am one of the luckiest teachers alive. We are certainly better together.
This summer at Twitter Math Camp my morning session was Talk Less, Smile More hosted by
Mattie B and Chris Luz. Our learning was about engaging students in debate style conversations to get them thinking and sharing ideas. The notion of course is to start low entry and let the student's thinker uppers go wild.

We had a sharing morning for the faculty last week of anything that is new and useful to know about kids, programs and curriculum. (I teach high school, there are 96 teachers) I was so excited to share what I had learned. I was given 10 minutes. (and it turns out I gave the only interactive presentation, really?)

I did a lovely activity I learned about at this session that starts with an Estimation 180.
How many people can fit in this elevator?
I asked the audience to think silently and write their number down (no cheater pants). I then cold called teachers (come on they are teachers) (and I got to rat out a history teacher who said "I don't do math," "Oh yes you do, I said, Everyone is mathematical, you wear a fit bit, you know how many students you have, you know how long it takes you to get to through your lessons etc...) to give me their estimates while I typed them into Desmos.  Everyone loves the visual median line! Thanks Nicole Paris (@solvingforx) for showing me how Chris and Mattie did this on Desmos!

I then called the teachers onto the stage (we met in the theater) to take a stand on either side of the median. Then then were asked to state their CLAIM and finish the sentence with My WARRANT is...

Let the fun begin! I ran back and forth with the microphone, one low, one high, until all the participants were heard. So much fun! One math teacher said, I noticed that the gentleman took up about a floor tile, so I counted all the floor tiles and pieces of floor tiles and estimated 30. One of the art teachers said this, "I was so overwhelmed by the news of Hurricane Harvey, that I just imagined all the babies and incubators, stacked up in the elevator, plus an attendant, that is how I got 131.

Then the big reveal:

That was Wednesday morning and even Friday on my way out for the long weekend, an English teacher stopped me and said how cool that lesson was. (and science teachers, and art teachers and special ed teachers have been telling how much fun they had and much they wanted to try it in their classrooms. )

I talk to and work with at least 80 teenagers everyday (we are on block schedule so we only have half our kids per day--didn't want you think we get to have reasonable class sizes or anything) and my knees shook for 3 hours afterwards.

Let me know if you use this lesson and how it goes!

A big topic at TMC this summer was Social Justice and Equity. We looked at who we are, fairly white, and wrestled with how do WE represent our students. Grace A. Chen and Carl Oliver gave us platforms to express ourselves in honest and fresh ways.

How do we become Allies? The most popular solutions were to "push in" observations about where stereotypes come from to grow awareness and compassion and to be meaningful about our "whys" and our speech if we teach in mostly white schools and "push out" observations about stereotypes and be meaningful in our intentions and speech if we teach in diverse schools. (please let me know if I have this correct TMCers)

As I was sitting with this information and getting ready for school, I was listening to Pod Save the People with @deray interview @Common. It was a very moving conversation about change. Deray asked Common what advice he could give to young artists to use their voices to make change. "Ask folks what they need." Deray echoed, that sometimes well meaning people think they know what folks need, but that is not what they want or need. So now he always asks, "what do you need?" Common said it is "empowering" for people to listened to be part of the solution. Both agreed that asking was the key to becoming an Ally.

With all this in mind, on Monday it was time to ask for Question 2 on my student's name tents. I scrapped, "What question do you have for me?" and changed it to "What do you need from me?"

Ernesto says, " I am friendly, but slow at math, I just need patience."

Donnie says, "I need help if I don't understand something."

Serah says, "I need you to be understanding about my struggle with anxiety and depression."

Christina says, "I need you to be organized."

Lorraina says, "I need to be valid victorian." Wow. There is a challenge!

These are teenagers speaking their truths. And I get to be fortunate enough to let them know through my words and actions that I am their Ally.

 Carlos let me know how important this question is:

Just when I think I am the giver, I get so much more.

How would you spread this message with your school, colleagues, and parents?