Tag Archives: Standards for Mathematical Practice

Eat Your Vegetables! Do Your Math!

I was not a picky eater as a child. My parents had no trouble convincing me to eat my peas, artichokes, and even spinach (in the form of my dad’s delicious Thanksgiving stuffing). But I drew the line at Brussels sprouts. There was just no way for me to get over that cabbagy smell. [caption id="" … Continue Reading ››

The Basis for Life on Earth

Schools should use open-source textbooks rather than traditional textbooks. That’s the case David Thornburg makes in a recent blog post on Edutopia. Dr. Thornburg bases his reasoning on last month’s discovery by NASA that a microorganism living in Mono Lake uses arsenic rather than phosphorous to construct its DNA. He is entirely right … Continue Reading ››

Walk Like a Mathematician

Over the weekend, I attended the CMC-North conference at the Asilomar conference grounds. It's my favorite math teacher event of the year.
Photo by Captain Albert E. Theberge, NOAA Corps (retired)
When I was a teacher, the combination of the beautiful, … Continue Reading ››

Teaching to Standards and Teaching to a Test: What’s the Difference?

I’ve engaged in discussions trying to answer this question ever since I started teaching AP calculus in 1995. Since 2001, when the No Child Left Behind assessments and high school graduation exams were implemented, this question has become even more relevant. In fact, it has raised more questions than answers. For instance: Continue Reading ››

Mathematics > Computation

I enjoy browsing the TED video collection, which includes a series of talks by “thinkers and doers” in the areas of technology, entertainment, and design (hence the acronym “TED”). Similar to the five-minute Ignite talks that Key Curriculum Press hosts at various math conferences, TED presentations challenge their speakers to give the “talk … 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 ››

“Never Give Up!” Really? Do You Mean It?

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. Continue Reading ››