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{ Yearly Archives } 2008


Sometimes, the most effective ideas are ones that seem like they should be completely obvious. Even by the time they get to algebra, some kids never quite get the hang of graphing. Forget understanding, they can’t even get a hold of the mechanics. Finally, I managed to get a breakthrough so that even the most […]

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I don’t discuss politics much in class. I did on Wednesday (after the elections), but more with the intent of modeling polite civil discourse than persuasive argument. Today’s quiz was a bit short, so I grabbed a couple of images from zefrank’s latest project and threw them up in a slide deck. It’s not quite […]


Politics at school

Apparently the teachers union supports Barrack Obama. I know this because our union rep was handing out Obama stickers for us to wear in class. Don’t we want our kids to think? Don’t we have an obligation to remove the advertising and name recognition bullshit from this one part of their environment and replace it […]

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Radio Silence

Unlike a lot of other bloggers, my not posting doesn’t mean my life is going horribly. It’s not going great – I’m persistently tired. Having two preps that I’ve never taught before means that I’m putting in long hours just to come up with fundamental, first try, nothing innovative lesson plans. Every once in a […]

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How Math Must Assess: A Review

I’m implementing Dan’s grading program, with some minor variations. I’m finding it to be almost all positive: Even after 5 years, I’d still have grading guilt. That has gone away, because I know that my kids are going to have a chance to prove themselves again. Stretching the assessment out over weeks, rather than on […]


An experiment I’m not ready to try

A bit of a livejournal post I ran by mentioned a teacher how put up a “Do not eat the kleenex” sign as a lark, and the inevitable result. If nothing else, it should make us very aware of the potential for a huge gap between our intent and effectiveness in developing our classroom environment, […]

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Algebra Stumbling Block

I’m doing a bad thing. Some of my algebra kids are stumbling over fractions. They’ve been befuddled by them for 4 years, and freak out when they see them. So, I’m teaching them some very basics. 1) Multiplying a fraction and a whole number: Divide by the denominator, times the top. Aka !\frac{\times}{\div}!. 90% of […]

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Warm Up Question 4

This is a bad idea, but I’m going with it anyway. On what date is “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” celebrated?

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Teaching Proofs – My Plan

I’m teaching geometry this year. It’s my first time since student teaching to do this, so I don’t have a whole lot of experience with it yet. Proofs are introduced in geometry. There are two whole chapters on it in our book. It seems that, because of the way that standards are written, that they’re […]

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Political Pain

I like our new principal. I like the ideals of our partnership. I like the stuff they promised us. But, they’re finding that they can’t deliver. The district has taken a “You want to show us how to make it succeed, go ahead, but we’re not doing your work for you” attitude, and the mayoral […]