Real-World Math

Real-World Math

The Texas Education Agency posted “released tests” from last Spring’s STAAR administration this week.  I was surprised by this question from the 6th grade assessment: Does that diagram really help students better understand the question?  Are 6th graders looking at that picture and thinking, “Ooooh!  I got it!  It’s leaking water!”?  Better yet, we haven’t stored water in barrels like… Read more →

Teacher Bullies

Teacher Bullies

A recent conversation at work centered around the power of teachers.  We all know how much influence educators have on developing minds.  We all carry vivid memories of our most loved and most despised teachers.  Here’s an amusing example of this influence.  Think about your online passwords.  Think about the security questions you use to recover them.  The questions are… Read more →

Groundbreaking Work - Groundbreaking!

Groundbreaking Work – Groundbreaking!

I enjoy the Oscars, yeah, I’m one of those.  But when these actors gush about how all of them are doing “GROUNDBREAKING” work.  Well, come on! So let’s gush about some of my colleagues who are doing groundbreaking work! My campus journalism teacher who sends kids out to take campus photos, then gives them immediate feedback and sends them back… Read more →

Differentiated Instruction Presentation

Differentiated Instruction Presentation

Here is a Differentiated Instruction strategy my PLC is sharing with the campus as part of our staff development day this week.  Each PLC on campus is putting together some sort of static display describing how DI has impacted their classroom this year.  We will than have time to visit the displays and learn from our peers. The 8th-Grade Math PLC… Read more →

Algorithms

Algorithms

Here are some interesting articles on arithmetic algorithms. I’ve always been intrigued by those who argue for some sort of golden algorithm.  For example, the best, and only way to multiply two digits by two digits is to start with a leading zero on the second line of multiplication. These algorithms didn’t spring from Zeus’ head fully formed.  My elementary… Read more →

We teach Children, not Math.

We teach Children, not Math.

This came from a friend on social media.  A great blog entry about a teacher who monitors her students’ social interactions in a subtle, but effective way. There’s so much to discuss in this article. I like the perspective of a parent asking for tutoring (for the parent) even though the kid “gets it.” I love that many folks read… Read more →

Memorizing multiplication tables

Memorizing multiplication tables

There has been a running debate on our campus about the importance of memorizing multiplication tables. Pro: The state test doesn’t allow calculators, so students need to multiply without a calculator. It’s the math equivalent to English/Language Arts teachers’ alphabet: the building blocks necessary to accomplish bigger things. Automaticity increases performance on multi-step problems.  If students have to stop to… Read more →

Technology to enrich and engage

Technology to enrich and engage

A recurring theme in Dan Meyer’s blog is capturing the educational opportunities that technology brings to our classrooms.  There is a subset of American teachers who are technology reactionaries.  They point out that the classrooms of their youth functioned without computers, iPods, LCD projectors, and PowerPoint presentations.  Back then, someone turned the knob to advance the filmstrip when they heard… Read more →