Today was the first day of regular classes with the 11th and 12th grades at VPA. Description of Today’s Formative Assessment Today’s formative assessment went like this: students were direct to a page on the class web site where they read this passage from the beginning of The Art and Craft of Problem Solving, by Paul […]

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 […]

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 […]

The NYC iZone at Validus Preparatory Academy When I last wrote, nearly a month ago, I posted some pictures of the chalkboard we were using to plan classes for the upcoming school year.  Now, from this mid-summer vantage point, I’ll take this opportunity to step back and provide a summary of our plans and how […]

As we continue to build democratic structures at my school, we’re supported by some big, “Year One Ideas” that we’ve developed in collaboration with the NYC DOE iZone.  One of those ideas is: “We are going to group students by interest, strengths and needs and not by age.”   

Ending one school year means transitioning to thinking about the next one and to summer reading – two activities that are not always mutually exclusive.  I’m starting with a book I picked up at the NCTM Annual Meeting: Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice: Conversations with Educators.  The first chapter is an introduction written by the […]

In eight years, my school has done a great job cultivating celebration among students.  In an era of new, small high schools that often serve to weaken ties between schools and the neighborhood communities that surround them, we’re doing our best to build a community school.  We understand that this is paramount to building any […]