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November 2008

Mr. K’s Big Fail

I’ve spent the past 3 days in a training called Capturing Kids Hearts. As professional development goes, it was pretty good1. There are some areas of teaching I’m pretty good at, but that I think I could be really good at. This covered a lot of those. One thing I’m really bad at, though, may […]


Understanding Learning

Dan talks about oblivious teachers, wondering whether awareness is learned, or inherent. I hope that I’m living proof that it can be learned. This year, I inherited a room that had a 3 foot hole kicked into the wall last year. When I cleaned it out, there were several dozen books that had wedged into […]

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Warm Up Question 5

How many James Bond movies have been made? Which of course requires a discussion first of whether one should include the ’67 “Casino Royal” in the list.


Unconventional Construction

So I threw the triangle congruency rules at my kids. Being smart kids, they dutifully memorized them, and some even figured out what they meant. Kind of. But they didn’t get it. It’s the sort of thing you want to use construction for – to let them dig in and experiment and try for themselves […]

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Copying Lines

For all of their hatred of numbers in their various forms, kids really struggle with graphing. Something I tried this year, and will expand on next year, is to just have them copy graphed lines off of my slide onto their xeroxed worksheet of grids. As I went around, I gave a running count of […]

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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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