The article, “Standard Algorithms in the Common Core State Standards” by Karen Fuson and Sybilla Beckmann, published in the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics journal last fall, was recommended to me this weekend.
It’s a weighty one, and relevant to conversations we have had on blogs and on Twitter in recent months, so I didn’t want to read it alone. I asked who was in for a reading group and got quite a few responses.
The article is available through Beckmann’s website (scroll way down to the “Some Other Papers” heading).
I have no experience organizing this sort of thing, but it seems that a hashtag is appropriate. I have investigated the matter and #algorithmchat is both clear on Twitter and communicates at least part of our purpose.
I considered trying to organize synchronous discussion, but it seemed too controlling and impossible to establish. So I vote we discuss by hashtag on Twitter. Anyone who ends up being moved to go long form can include include the #algorithmchat hashtag in a tweet to their post.
I have not read the article yet. It was passed along to me by a colleague with whom I was leading a professional development session. She really appreciated the comprehensive nature of the piece (again—it’s a long one).
I have respect for the work of both authors. Fuson’s clear research-based descriptions of what children have to do in order to understand “number” has been very helpful in the work I do with elementary teachers, and I used Beckmann’s Math for Elementary Teachers book for a few years in my courses, where I found it to be the best of the available formal textbooks for these courses. I no longer use a textbook for these courses, but if I needed to, I’d go back to hers for sure. I met Beckmann at a conference a few years ago and I found her thoughtful and open to conversations about learning (not always the case in mathematicians writing textbooks, I have found).
It will probably be midweek before I can carve out time to read the piece and weigh in. In the meantime, I encourage you all to dig in as you are able, say ‘hi’ on Twitter and pass along your longer tidbits in the form of blog posts, and (if you are so inclined) interpretive dance.
Oh, and invite your friends, relatives and enemies to the party. This will be fun.