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January 2009

Remediation Curricula (Help!)

So. I’m supposed to come up with a curriculum to address in school remediation1 for our low performing students. I’m not even sure where to start with this. These kids have already been through the classes once. I don’t think throwing the same stuff at them, with the same teachers, is going to improve them. […]


Student Connections, or the Lack Thereof.

Some of my students are taking an AVID class that happens to occur during my conference period, so occasionally I stop by. Now, linear equations can be written in a lot of different forms, but we only focus on three. These students were working on equations in point slope form: $$(y-y_0) = \frac{rise}{run}(x-x_0)$$ There was […]

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Dan’s Design Contest.

Dan is running his annual design contest again. It’s being repeated, in part, because of an argument of form vs. function. I’m going to side with Don Norman, and say that In a proper design, both are important. Though, if there is some imperfection, I think that having beautifully laid out information that is incomprehensible […]


Stupid Teacher Tricks, Video Edition

Dan throws down the gauntlet. I’ll finally have to resort to video. Please excuse my novice efforts. First – a reprise of the original text. Then, to up the cognitive load, a solution of a 3 step problem. I probably should have done a second take, but screwing up that two is part of being […]


Stupid Teacher Tricks

When I tutor kids one on one, I’m usually sitting across from them, rather than next to them. Somewhere, about three or four years ago, I got tired of spinning the paper around, and started goofing with my kids, trying to write upside down. They’d have great fun poking me when I got my characters […]

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??? 1.2

Our geometry textbook covers the distance formula on page 19. The pythagorean theorem shows up on on page 535.


How much is your time in class worth?

I’ve had this discussion too often1: Mr K: Part of the purpose of school is to get you ready for a job. Student: But I don’t get paid for going to school. Now, supposedly we all know that going to school is important, and good for you, and will lead to success later in life. […]


Identifying perfect squares

I’ve been doing the distance formula in Geometry this week. I started it off with an accelerated version of my 7th grade pythagorean lesson. Basically, a quick discussion of this applet, followed by the second worksheet from this post, and finally the application to to the coordinate plane. It was a great lesson. There were […]

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The Factoring Puzzle

Jason put up a very cool puzzle that is equivalent to solving a quadratic equation. Somewhat spurred by a comment on that post, and partly out of my own confusion as to what was going on, I tried to make up my own variation1: Some of my students, once the understand the relationships between the […]

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Math Doesn’t Suck: A Review

Over christmas break, I did a bit of light reading. I am definitely not the target market for this book. I am not a 13 year old girl. But, 13 year old girls have been on the wrong end of Barbie’s “Math is hard” message for too many years. This book does an admirable job […]

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