During the past 20 years of working in and visiting schools, the most common slogan I have seen in classrooms is “Never Give Up!” The poster below is just one example of the many that we have all seen hanging on classroom walls, encouraging students to persevere when learning becomes difficult.
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At this year's CMC-South conference, Dan Teague gave a thought-provoking presentation about "The Residue of Mathematics," which he defines as "what students take with them from class into their futures."
Watching Dan's presentation prompted a few thoughts:
1) Wow, I really wish I could take a math course from Dan Teague!
2) What is the residue from the … Continue Reading ››
I was taken aback when I saw that a theater was showing the Michael J. Fox movie, Back to the Future
, in celebration of its 25th anniversary.
My first thought was, “Darn, am I that old?” After taking my Gingko Biloba, my memory was successfully jogged … Continue Reading ››
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 ››