[Wk 4 - Reflection] Reflect in Small Groups


This week we’d like for you to reflect in small groups, connecting to other members of the LCL community.

  1. Reach out to one or more people in the LCL community

    • It can be people you have interacted with in the forum, people you share interests with, or people who live nearby or far away!
  2. Discuss together, online or offline

    • You can organize a Skype/Hangout/Unhangout call or meet in person if you live nearby
    • What does peer-learning look like in your practice? What are the challenges and opportunities? What can you learn from each other’s experience?
  3. Share something about your interaction and your reflections in the forum

    • Who did you connect with and how? What did you discuss? How was the experience for you?

Enjoy connecting with the LCL community!

This post is also available in 日本語, Italiano, Português BR, Español.

Week 4 in the Community!


Peer learning looks like my Kindergarten painting class yesterday.
They shared paint cakes of yellow, blue and red, rinse water, and had their own brush and slippery paper (finger paint paper but after my last batch of finger painting was hell to wash off hands, I’m not soooo excited to go back there!)
The room was full of bubbling declaration and inquiries… I made purple! How do you make green? Full on exploration with the only instruction being a demonstration about water and paint quantities for softer or darker colours and that yellow is a quiet colour that can get lost in the loud colours.
I loved the exchange of ideas and discoveries. The shout of I made a rainbow and my reply did any one make a mud puddle? Red, yellow and blue mixed up makes mud puddles.
It was such a nice lesson. I had said at the beginning that in Miss Shelly’s art class, you are allowed to make a beautiful mess.
Everyone put their papers on the drying rack, put away the paint cakes, put brushes in the tub, wiped down their hands and the tables and the room was ready to invite the next group of explorers.

For my own exploration, I would love to call on the help of lcl’ers. I have started a series called mathmutations, about mathematicians who have transformed our world through their discoveries and practice. My list is short, and the works are image transfers of copyright free images. I am looking for help with ideas, in the form of some brain storming or insights to help me find areas in which to expand my focus.

My list is by no means complete or exclusive, rather a beginning. I used to love math and did a 180 away from it after failing calculus in university, my first big failure. Only when I took my teaching degree did one of my profs help me to realized I’d developed some severe math anxiety. This is a bit therapeutic, to return to a place of love for the beauty of math, for the finesse of thought.

Euler is where I am really stuck. With Euclid I am thinking of playing with geometrical relationships he laid out in his textbook. Not sure about the how yet… as I have a variety of acrylic skins… probably on 2 plexiglass sheets.
I am a little hast y in posting as they are a bit further along than this, but I will edit when I have more time and energy.

I hope this project resonates with someone! I’d love some input!


A. These painting are beautiful wow and your use of acrylic skins is rich and layered (literally!)
B. Have you considered including female mathematicians? “You gotta see it to be it” is a fave expression of mine :eyeglasses:


Super suggestion. I have one tableau of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace. The biography I read really focused on how he refused her offer of help and how sexist reponses to her written introduction to his work caused it to be marginalized.
But that just ampliphies the absence of female mathematicians in the public eye, rather than change it. Do you have some favorite women mathematicians?

Around 1999, I read a really interesting series of essays, On Scotoma and the Science of Forgetting, about the dynamics of regression in scientific knowlege, through conventional attitude, ego, and academic discord. It makes me think of how our receptivity to thinking is so bound by what we have already begun to believe and know.

Thank you for the feedback.


Female mathematician and scientist for you … Emilie du Châtelet. She is the mother of modern Thermodynamics. Amazing woman. She also translated Newton’s Principia into French, a translation that stands today. Like many women of her time, she died due to complications from childbirth.

My daughter and her best friend competed in an event called “Keep the Heat” in middle school. Not only did they have to build a device from natural materials that retained heat, there was also a test on thermodynamics history and principles. One of their test strategies that spoke volumes was that whenever they had a difficult “who is …” multiple choice question they would immediately narrow the answers to “titled French or English men, including high ranking military officers.”


Shelly, the acrylic pieces look so cool! Did you layer thin paper over them with some kind of finish? How did you get the textures?

RE: women mathematicians, in addition to Ada Lovelace, my friends recommend reading about: Maryam Mirzakhani, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Emmy Noether.


PEERS. Why, How, and Roles

I’ve had a lot of great discussions right here in LCL discuss about WHY and HOW to facilitate peer-ness in the classroom.

WHY Connect Peers
We are having an interesting conversation over in the tech crit topic on how to respond to the “bad” qualities of tech through our teaching. A common criticism of tech is that it makes us feel isolated. THUS, some of us in our teaching feel compelled to counter this tendency toward isolation by nurturing connection among peers in the classroom.

HOW to Facilitate Connection (some examples - feel free to add)
from the discussion thread: A few examples of teaching practices or assignments that help us facilitate connection are:

  • a remix project, especially when you are in contact with the author of the original
  • an assignment that requires small group discussion
  • a project that has an inherently social/placed based theme (shelter, city, etc)
  • a project that requires story writing and telling
  • a project made for someone else (empathy)
  • a project with a theme that resonates, like musical loops or musical paintings or world hunger or …
  • cohort-based courses like this one
  • “ask 3 then me” rule (too prescriptive?)
  • inclusion. techniques for helping soft spoken people be heard
  • mindfulness of self and others

@mres offers super useful terms toward the end of the peer chapter that can help us as educators be even more conscious of the roles we play in specific situations. My take on his definitions below. BTW, if there is more in-depth writing on each of these roles, I would like to read it

  • CATALYST - educators can accelerate the learning process by asking questions (not lecturing)
  • CONSULTANT - this term is slightly confusing for me bc I’ve done a little NSF iCorps mentoring and they make a big deal of distinguishing consulting from coaching. In the iCorps lingo, consulting is prescriptive and coaching+ is more descriptive and Socratic…
  • CONNECTOR - connecting students with the resources they need, especially human connections, is an important role in this Too Big to Know landscape. In addition to connecting, modeling for students how to find resources on their own is important.
  • COLLABORATOR - creating a project that students can join in on at different levels of commitment is a wonderful way to get students engaged and collaborating

QUESTION: WHY and HOW do you facilitate connection among your students?

+for Coaching techniques, I LOVE this book:

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

Week 4 in the Community!

Hey colegas!
Na minha prática a aprendizagem por pares é uma constante! Em meus atendimentos com os estudantes superdotados, estamos trabalhando diariamente com a troca de aprendizagem. Minha sala também tem uma mesa central onde nos ouvimos, discutimos e trocamos ideias e experiencias, e uma outra mesa com dois computadores e duas cadeiras com rodinhas em que criamos a programação de nossos projetos. Meu maior desafio neste momento é ter uma internet de qualidade em nossa sala para podermos trocar com o mundo nossas experiencias e aprendermos com o que está acontecendo fora das paredes de nossa sala. Contudo, observando as experiencias dos outros colegas, percebo que isto deve ser um obstáculo a ser superado, não um empecilho para que nosso trabalho aconteça!


Six members of Fabriano Library Makerspace :it:( Italy) and two teachers working in Fabriano, have virtually met using the opensource Jitsi videoconferencing platform, twice Friday and Sunday, at different times and with some issues (I was in train :train2: , and we preferred audio conferencing) .

Virtually because we live far from each other (in my case in Sweden).

At the begining we discussed how to apply the 4P’s principles and the making activities in a school context. Teachers have express concerns that time and space can not be enough. We discussed how to wide walls and how to integrate peers activities.

Another question was how Scratch could be considered more as an approach than a tools. Scratch can prepare and train teachers and students in a variety of peers activities. We realize how important some Scratch peers activities are as preparation for the opensource world, which does not necessarily mean in the Software field.

Our Makerspace is an intergenerational group and involve people with different skills and preofessionalism. The makerspace has recently experimented complementarity in the Papertronik project, where art and technology meet together.

The library makerspace and local schools are also involved in a commun project where creativity in learning will be a milestone, so we discussed how to "take two peasons with one faba" :grinning: and how to integrate what we are learning here.

@Azzeccagarbugli @feroda @Angela_Biocco

First meeting

Week 4 in the Community!

On meeting

I’ll try to join you all at 4.

I’m curious to hear how many people met IRL or video this past week. Funny things can happen when you ask techies to do social things!I’m super guilty of not trying harder to connect via video. That said, this gave me a lot of empathy for my students and how they resist reaching out to the study groups I’ve assigned them. I sense they dont reach out because they are afraid of being seen as uncool or are afraid of the rejection.



Peer learning as described in our reading and the video that prompts our week of activities proves challenging when it comes to teacher development. In the project that I currently coordinate we have the opportunity for the teachers to work together although reflecting on what we explored in our readings we do to teachers exactly what teachers do to students in their class. Tell them what they are going to learn and how they are going to learn it. In our project we recognized the need for teachers to collaborate more and to learn and work on things that have meaning during the year (our project has teachers come to the university for two weeks during the summer. During this time the teachers used some of their time to design lessons based on active learning frameworks. The teachers favorite part was to collaborate with each other, we suggested they could connect using a social media text app (they actually choose which app to use for that). We have noticed that the teachers ask questions, show their student work, and answer each other based on what they are experiencing on the field. It is a promising feature we have not explored or exploited but it is something that is organically happening and it is providing some good insight for future efforts in teacher development.


oo. that papertronik project is very nice! and so is the documentation. well done!


Hace como 10 meses casi, cuando recién inicie el tema de enseñanza le escribí a un grupo en Mexico, llamado Edukretivos, entre los que me respondieron estuvo la señora Verónica Estrada, justo me había recomendado participar en LCL, aunque ya yo conocía del taller debido a otra persona que considero como guía en este tipo trabajo que desarrollamos.
Le volví a escribir , contarle todo lo bueno había pasado en este tiempo, lo extraído de los talleres, ella maneja los grupos en Español.
Como siempre muy animadora la experiencia, manera que da animo y te enseña como trasmitirlo a los chicos es excelente.
Seguiré en contacto con ella para retroalimentar todo lo que se refiera a la enseñanza creativa.


Hi Lily, thank you for the mathematician recommendations!

Here’s the technique I used to transfer from paper print (not ink jet, but laser or photocopy… carbon needs to be heat fused to paper)

It’s basically gluing down the carbon with the acrylic medium then rubbing all the paper off.

For the textures, I used gloss gel medium through a stencil for the big rounds, then with the criss-cross, had a 2 ml (roughly) coat of medium into which I pressed and lifted the pattern.

I love texture so much, I struggle to have some contrasting areas that are both visually and physically flat.

I had a quick peek at the women you recommended and am really excited too that some are current and some from the not too distant past. I’m going to have to go check to my favourite dumpster to get some more acrylic panels!

(super hack: the panels were all advertisements printed with acrylic which is soluble in alcohol, so I just squirted on some disinfectant hand gel and wrapped it in plastic and left it overnight and it scraped off pretty easily without too many scratches. The math suits me just fine: the panels would cost me about $30-$40 at the art store.)


What a great share smithdcrk! Thank you.
Definitely an amazing woman!
To quote from the article you shared,

“At that time, a pregnancy at such an old age was extremely dangerous. Knowing she would likely die, she began working 18 hours a day to complete her biggest project, a French translation of Newton’s Principia, before she died.”

made my stomach contract. I love that she financed her lab and library with gambling winnings, facilitated by her mathematical prowess. (I am extremely adverse to gambling, I just love that it created access to learning for her, because of her application of mathematical knowledge and abilities.)


For some other women, you can look at Mary Somerville who tutored Ada Lovelice https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Somerville and Emmy Noether who did work with Abstract Algebra https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmy_Noether