Johnny Math Teacher

Digital Collaboration & Distance Learning in Middle School

Digital Collaboration & Distance Learning in Middle School

The first two weeks of this school year, I have been teaching a Geometry course for 8th graders in a face-to-face/distance learning hybrid. My students were spread across several campuses. I would physically teach from a different campus each day, which students from other campuses would join us via teleconference. My biggest concern as the first day of school approached… Read more →

Establishing a Growth Mindset in an Advanced Middle School Math Course

Establishing a Growth Mindset in an Advanced Middle School Math Course

We just completed the first week of school, and I taught a middle school Geometry course in a distance learning/face-to-face hybrid environment. My students were spread across several campuses and I physically taught the class from a different campus each day. This allowed the students to have face-to-face class time with their teacher on the days I visited their campus,… Read more →

Richard Skemp's Ambiguity of Understanding

Richard Skemp’s Ambiguity of Understanding

My oldest brother earned his undergraduate degree in astronomy. He puts it to good use. He studies space weather and helps design components for satellites. Sometimes we end up in remote locations with great views of the night sky. He enjoys pointing out some highlights: “The International Space Station should be visible near the horizon in view minutes over that… Read more →

The MS Proportionality Strand

The MS Proportionality Strand

Here’s the latest installment in my efforts to understand our students’ development of math concepts in the middle grades (based on the Texas curriculum laid out in the TEKS). My previous video looked at the Geometry strand, and I found the research eye-opening (and useful when working with students). As a long-time 8th grade math teacher, the take-away for me… Read more →

Filling the Gaps

Filling the Gaps

Recently, as I worked with some struggling math students, we spent a fair amount of time addressing gaps in prior learning. They were open to our classroom activities, so so it was interesting to challenge their thinking and observe their growth. For example, it was clear most of their previous discussions of relations and functions had focused on tables to the exclusion of… Read more →

The MS Geometry Strand

The MS Geometry Strand

Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy) creates a great series of short videos showing the development of early math skills throughout the elementary grades. These Progression Videos not only show the importance of each part of the instructional sequence, but they also help you reflect on math pedagogy and how the brain makes connections and develops fluency. I felt it would be useful… Read more →

Growth Mindset and High Expectations for All

Growth Mindset and High Expectations for All

In most job interviews, I believe the interviewers have the one question. They will ask lots of things, look at resumes and transcripts, but there is one question that he or she really cares about, that makes the difference in his or her final decision. The question may be different for each person on an interview panel, but I believe it’s there. When I… Read more →

Pencils or Sharpies in Math Class?

Pencils or Sharpies in Math Class?

For years, I was a victim of the way I was taught. Each year, the school supply list required black and blue pens, a red pen for trading-and-grading, and pencils for math. As I did my math homework, I remember my aunt fussing at me if I wasn’t using a pencil. So when I set up my own classroom, I allowed… Read more →

Shading your DESMOS triangle

Shading your DESMOS triangle

In a recent post I showed how I created movable triangles of fixed dimensions on a Desmos graph. It’s nice to have an outlined triangle, but nicer to shade in that triangle and make it easier to see. That is accomplished through clever application of Desmos’ ability to shade inequalities. This is actually a simpler application than others. I have… Read more →