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Chris Luzniak is a mathematics educator who doubles as a speech and debate coach. His passions were sparked in high school in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. His high school English teacher and debate coach sowed a love for public speaking and debates, while his high school Calculus teacher sparked an interest in mathematics. Chris entered college intending to major in the arts, but the math department at Baldwin-Wallace College furthered that spark for mathematics. Through engaging, student-centered classes at the undergraduate level, Chris was inspired to pursue a degree in mathematics and changed his major to math.
While earning his graduate degree in theoretical mathematics at the University of Connecticut, Chris discovered an interest in the teaching and learning of mathematics, and, with the support of Math for America New York, he became a secondary math teacher. His 15 years (so far!) of teaching mathematics in grades 6-12 began in New York City public schools. During his nine years in New York, Chris also founded and coached the Speech and Debate team at his school. Through this combination of teaching and coaching, Chris saw many connections, and as a result, he has worked to develop debate routines that bring student voice and discussion into the math classroom.
Chris is currently a math teacher and department chair at The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles. He enjoys teaching mathematics and exploring new ways to incorporate debate activities into math lessons at all levels. Chris is also an instructional coach, working with teachers in both math and science to develop real-world debate routines and activities for students. Some of his work can be seen on his websiteor his blog. Still an avid fan of the arts, Chris can be found spending his free time taking in some theater or playing with his adorable dog. He also enjoys an exciting road trip with a good podcast.
In Up for Debate!: Exploring Math Through Argument, high school math teacher and debate coach Chris Luzniak shares stories, examples, and step-by-step routines that will help you build a classroom culture where students do the talking, explain their thinking, and critique each other’s reasoning, all in the context of the math content you're expected to teach. Inside, you’ll find:
Inspirational stories of students debating math in real classrooms
Concrete structures and routines that will get your students talking, listening, and debating
Specific techniques you can use to transform existing math problems into debatable ones
You'll begin with short speaking and listening routines that take just a few minutes to introduce. When you and your students are ready, you can layer on additional debate routines, until your class is engaged in full-class debates using mathematical reasoning. With this easy-to-read guide, you don't need to wait any longer. You will be able to start debating in your classroom, tomorrow.
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