Category Teaching

Quizzes can be hard

One of the consequences of my implementation of mastery-based grading is that “% right” and “score” or “grade” on a quiz are now almost completely detached from each other.  There’s little relation between the two anymore – on a quiz with eight or so problems, two students might each get a different score for getting […]

Current Work: SBG Rubric for CCSMP

There are many unknowns surrounding the Common Core Standards, but the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice are not among them.  I buy into them, and I am excited to continue to build a classroom that emphasizes these habits in balanced concert with whatever the mathematical content of a particular course. I am teaching three different math […]

A New Kind of Rocket Science

Somewhere in the wee hours between Sunday night and Monday morning, the rover Curiosity landed successfully on Mars to much fanfare.  It’s impossible not be thrilled and awed at this accomplishment, and depending on your point of view, it proves that US scores on PISA etc. either matter very little (we rank near the bottom […]

For Some People, This is Easy

I’m reading Paul Bogush’s post and I know that he’s out there and that people like him are taking this teaching thing very seriously — because they’re really teaching.  Teaching to kids things that matter, that they’ll remember. I’m reading the AMAPS pacing guide for Algebra 2 and Trig, with all of its daily AIMS […]

Opportunity! (#4, or the one that counts)

Background Until last year, I always taught 9th grade algebra and the occasional 11th grade remedial algebra/problem solving strategies course. I learned a lot about how to teach, but most often to students who were either adjusting to high school, extremely math-phobic, or both.  Last year, I moved solely to the 11th grade team. I […]

Opportunity! (#’s 1 thru 3)

Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah arrived in the same week this year, resulting in a one-day-long first week of classes.  Contrary to our projections, attendance was solid yesterday.  I saw 14 out of 17 of my Crew (they’re SENIORS – more on that later!) and 27 of 32 in the only junior class I saw. […]

“I think, therefore I am,” or The Age of Independence

We’re going to make a pop star out of Rene Descartes.  Let me see if this makes sense. I work at an Outward Bound Expeditionary Learning school, where we plan in grade-level teams in an effort to provide students with a unified interdisciplinary learning experience, called an Expedition.  We’ve informally deemed our school a kindergartener; […]