Last Thursday at The Marine Mammal Center
, where I do volunteer care for sick animals, I attended a scientific presentation called “Not All Blooms Are Beautiful—Some Are Downright Deadly!” Much to my surprise, I arrived at an “aha” math moment, but not before learning about how sea lions may lose their sense of smell … Continue Reading ››
Chaos. That's the way I would describe my first attempt at having my students try cooperative learning. Utter, complete chaos. Which came as a complete surprise to me at the time, because, after all, I had attended the training on cooperative learning and had done everything just the way I'd heard it explained!
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I'll admit it: I had to struggle to watch the documentary film Waiting for
“Superman” with an open mind.
I’ve had the privilege of working with many dedicated and intelligent educators, and if the systemic challenges of public education could be solved in a … Continue Reading ››
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 ››
Last week Andres referenced the Washington Post op-ed, How much math do we really need? This is an important question, particularly since more states are requiring students to take advanced algebra to graduate from high school. But, I am more interested in the question:
Does taking math matter if students can’t use it?
The Common Core State Standards that came out in June 2010 include standards for each of grades K through 8, then one set of standards for grades 9–12. Not surprisingly, many adopters wanted guidance on how to implement the 9–12 standards. Achieve put together a team to map out suggested “traditional” and “integrated” … Continue Reading ››
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 ››