This was the title of Saturday's post by G.V. Ramanathan
in The Washington Post,
and it reminded me of the best one-liner I ever delivered in the classroom. One of my students—in an effort to derail the lesson into a more interesting side discussion—asked the perennial question, but with one significant change to the … Continue Reading ››
One word comes to mind when I think about data and statistics: FEAR.
My own educational experience with data and statistics is not exactly stellar. I don’t remember learning it in high school (apart from mean-median-mode), and in college I took calculus-based statistics before finishing calculus. When I did come across statistics in school, it was … Continue Reading ››
I love Sandy’s metaphor of the waves of educational reform:
As a teacher of mathematics since the mid-seventies, I have seen a lot of “waves” of reform come and go. All promise increased student performance with the implementation of the latest bells and whistles…. The latest “wave” of reform is the Common Core State Standards.
I was … Continue Reading ››
Do you remember your high school geometry class? I sure do—and I remember it fondly.
Mr. Brooks was in his first year at my high school, and we thought he was kinda cool with his full red beard and professorial glasses. In the first five minutes of our first class with Mr. Brooks, he told us … Continue Reading ››
“Don’t just do something, stand there.” That’s a line Dr. Bill McCallum, one of the writers of the Common Core State Standards, used in his presentation at the California Algebra Forum in San Jose, CA, which I attended last week.
Dr. Bill McCallum, one of the writers of the standards, used the line, “Don’t just do something, stand there,” when introducing the Standards for Mathematical Practice. He described a how he uses this line frequently in his teaching and it immediately struck a chord with me.
Several weeks ago, I spent a lot of time reviewing the grades 3–6 Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and identifying Sketchpad activities that addressed these standards. Through this immersion, I noted some themes that were quite different in the CCSS than the many other state standards I’ve reviewed in my time.
One of the things that … Continue Reading ››
As I recently worked on correlating our materials to the newly released Common Core State Standards
, I was surprised to find many of the topics we commonly associate with a high school geometry course placed throughout the standards for elementary grades.
I was surprised, but not shocked. In fact, I've believed for a long … Continue Reading ››
As a teacher of mathematics since the mid-seventies, I have seen a lot of “waves” of reform come and go. All promise increased student performance with the implementation of the latest bells and whistles. Being a Floridian, I know that both the size of the “wave” and the impact it has depends on the distance … Continue Reading ››
I regularly tell my colleagues that teaching AP Calculus made me a much better pre-algebra teacher. Why? It's not like 17-year-old calculus students and 17-year-old pre-algebra students have similar learning styles and needs. A calculus course takes pre-algebra skills for granted. So I can’t point to a great deal of content overlap.
The reason is simple: … Continue Reading ››