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February 2008


I need a word. Kind of like Schadenfreude, but the opposite. Instead of happiness at someone else’s misfortune, I need to describe guilty relief. I had three kids leave my classes this week. They were transferred, for behavior reasons1. These are kids that somedays I thought were hard as nails, and other days I felt […]

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Badass Teachers

I wrote the following a while back about being a badass teacher. I’ve known a couple in my life, badass teachers. Teachers I want to be like. Teachers that the kids love, whose kids do orders of magnitude better on standardized tests than everyone else’s, whose student work shows the highest levels of critical thinking, […]

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Teaching Gap?

Ms Kudu responds to TMAO’s post on cultural differences in education success: I will go one step further to say that I don’t believe there are all that many external factors which make the education of any group as difficult as it may seem. I come to believe, more and more each day, that arguments […]

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Forwarded Letter

I don’t agree with Chris on everything, but this letter comes right when I’m hitting that 4 year mark. I don’t think I’m in any danger of quitting any time soon. I do exhibit some of that hubris, though (and I know I’m not alone). It’s probably worth remembering that, as much as one would […]

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Learning != Doing

I’m going to try to draw together a couple of threads here. It could come out woven beautifully, it could end up in a huge snarl… Shaving A couple of months ago, I was at a local district math development, and ended up discussing the use of technology with the head math coach. I made […]

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I stole another idea from my math coach1. After the quiz today, I gave the kids a bit of relief, and used the built in camera on my new laptop to set up a recording area, and had those kids who wanted to show off walk forwards & backwards (with big arrow signs pointing in […]

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Today I gave a quiz on adding & subtracting negative numbers. It went quite horribly – I obviously dropped the ball again somewhere. The only time I ever had kids get it easily and quickly was when I likened positive numbers to people, and negative numbers to raptors1. The raptors eat a person, take a […]

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Coordinate Plane

Here’s an intro to the coordinate plane: You may want to change the language from the original site a bit, but it seems that having kids make their own version of this would help develop the concept how we visually relate two different things.

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How I want to Teach Ratios

I first saw this in 1991, but after Dave’s thing on teaching ratios, and struggling with how I’d make it interesting for my kids, I realized that I want this in my classroom: Here’s a video of it in action. The way it works is this: Every audience member gets a stick. One side is […]

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How to use Tech

I’m giving a quiz on adding & subtracting negative numbers. There are 4 interesting cases for adding, 6 for subtracting. Provide two problems for each case, makes for a nice 20 question quiz. Thing is, I hate trying to come up with random enough numbers. So, I wrote a perl script to generate my problems. […]