All posts by Sandy Berger

Sandy Berger no longer works with Key Curriculum Press. Her posts and biography have been preserved for the archives. I have always had a passion for looking at how students think about mathematics and how we can give teachers the tools needed to analyze more than just answers. For over thirty years this passion has been fueled by teaching mathematics in low socio-economic high schools, teaching math education courses, designing and delivering professional development, both nationally and internationally, and working as the Managing Editor of School Journals for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. I am currently a Mathematics Curriculum Specialist for Key Curriculum Press. I have a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education from Florida State University, a master’s degree in Mathematics Education from Florida A&M University and an earned doctorate in Mathematics Education from Florida State University.

Modeling: A Mathematical Practice and a Content Standard?

Have you ever thought about the fact that “modeling” in the Common Core is not only in the Standards for Mathematical Practice, but also is a content standard? I have to admit that I hadn’t really thought much about it until a colleague asked me how the two things differed. I immediately started researching to … Continue Reading ››

Are We Insane?

Thirty years after NCTM’s publication of An Agenda for Action (1980), and ten years after the release of Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000), the Common Core State Standards have been published by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The Common Core State Standards … Continue Reading ››

Professional Development the Singapore Way

For years we have heard how the American school system does not measure up to the Singapore school system in student achievement. Singapore's 4th and 8th grade students scored top place for Mathematics in 1995, 1999 and 2003 on the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study - the earlier acronym was Third International … Continue Reading ››

Real-World Problems: Whose World Is It, Anyway?

At a meeting of mathematics supervisors this week there was much discussion about how to meet the needs of struggling learners. I thought of the students I’d worked with over twenty years in the classroom, and of how my kids caused me to rethink my teaching. They asked me a lot of surprising questions. Take this … Continue Reading ››

Waiting for the Assessment: Why the Standards Need to Be Adopted Now

Jim Ryan recently asked, "What is the difference in teaching to the standards and teaching to the test?" I, too, have heard this question raised again and again over the years, and now that many states are adopting the Common Core State Standards, the differences between teaching to standards and teaching to a test are … Continue Reading ››

Influencing the Jury

I was flipping through TV channels recently when I came upon The Defenders, a courtroom drama. The show was new to me, but one courtroom scene—and one line in particular—resonated with my experience as an educator. In this scene, the defense attorney (and star of the show) gave a very short opening statement to the jury. … Continue Reading ››

Issuing a Recall

I was recently in a school where an Algebra 2 teacher was lamenting how painful it was to allow his students to use calculators in class and on tests. His diatribe reminded me of my stand on calculators in the classroom when NCTM first recommended their use in the late 1980s. I questioned why I … Continue Reading ››