5 Concerns for Inquiry-Based Instruction

For 14 years I reinvented my instructional wheel each summer to build student achievement.  I’ve used creative images and rhymes (anchors), interactive games (engagement), 3-Acts, Notice & Wonder, Front Loading, and constant review. However, I am not happy with just high scores on state exams. What I teach, too often, doesn’t stick in the long-term…regardless … More 5 Concerns for Inquiry-Based Instruction

Adventures in Angles of Elevation/Depression*

I learned about Clinometers from a CPM Geometry textbook. Now I am teaching in a school that is using a free online curriculum. As I look at the investigative task (for which my students likely have no background), I have found myself rethinking the usefulness of homemade clinometers to build motivation, efficiency, and “color” into … More Adventures in Angles of Elevation/Depression*

Dyscalculia: a condensed plan for teachers

This year past year I taught at a school for students within normal ranges of IQ but had various forms of “learning differences.” My large “toolbox” of strategies from 20 years of teaching students who struggle with mathematics was very helpful, but I was unsuccessful helping two eleventh graders to understand how to use inverse … More Dyscalculia: a condensed plan for teachers

Domain, Range, Intervals: when students can’t “see” them

When students can’t relate a curve to an axis, (F-IF.b.5), there is a simple visualization that, so far, every one of my students has been able to wrap their minds around and tends to stick very well. It starts off with putting holes from my hole punch onto a curve, representing an infinite number of … More Domain, Range, Intervals: when students can’t “see” them

When Students “Can’t solve a two-step equation.”

Before the pandemic, I was always able to remediate issues with two-step equations with a British app called Equation Buster hosted HERE. In more recent years, however, I have noticed some students will zone out and just click until the end of the hour without actually fixing anything. So I’ve had to put some accountability … More When Students “Can’t solve a two-step equation.”

Rethinking “Which one doesn’t belong”

I really enjoy being positive and encouraging and don’t like to be critical of someone else’s work…especially when I think it’s clever and cute. But lately I have been developing a nagging feeling that “WODB” could have an unintended consequence. Can I raise the concern, and then maybe you can assure me I’m wrong so … More Rethinking “Which one doesn’t belong”

The Power of a Two-Word Question

                One of my neighbors recently posted a question on the Home Owners’ Association webpage, “Does anyone have any recommendations for new windows?”  Several neighbors suggested various contractors.  I replied, “I use Windows 10.”  Undoubtedly there are some who would see that as silly or childish, but that sort of thing is one way I … More The Power of a Two-Word Question