Homework Should Support the SMP’s While all homework is up for discussion these days, and many argue it impinges on time for more worthy activities, I am a firm believer, for reasons Daniel Willingham (2009) describes, that most students need a considerable amount of practice outside the school day to develop and retain basic math … More Completion grading: a terrible idea
There is a huge push in educator Twitter toward replacing zeros with 50% so that a student’s grades are not irreparably harmed by a student’s organizational skills or immature sense of responsibility. What disturbs me most that this push is (inadvertently?) sending the message that teachers who assign zeros are not progressive, rather, punitive in … More Why zeros on student work are important
Educational writers and researchers seem to enjoy hacking on each others’ ideas. I love a good debate because I learn so much and often change what I think and do based on a new insight. Some controversies, though, are a nit-picking waste of time. I have often discovered after a lengthy discussion that clarifying definitions … More Why students can-can’t think like mathematicians and scientists
Anyone reading ed news has run into articles questioning the practice of assigning homework and I address those questions here. I want to explain what I see as a high school math teacher and then explain how I meet the need. I teach a few classes of “Algebra 3,” for disaffected upperclassmen that did poorly in … More I do-don’t grade homework: here’s why
The intro to a statistics lesson in my textbook is a problem about an anthropologist who discovered an early hominoid ulna in Europe. Ugh. I wanted to quit teaching. How could I totally alienate my students with this huge yawn? When would they ever… But wait! Data analytics is a whole world full of exciting … More A Stats lesson I dreaded until….
I’ve been pondering the reflections of my colleagues who l-o-v-e math. They love to play math games, be the first to solve a puzzle, and repeat the algorithms. I appreciate their writings because they remind me of how important that is to convey in the classroom. My experiences with math are mainly from a struggle … More When Math Isn’t Beautiful in the Eyes of our Beholders
Having prior experience teaching in colleges and having numerous recent conversations with college instructors, my conclusion is that little has changed yet at the college level with the Common Core math standards (CCSS-M) in place. Far too many students still enroll in their first college math course (whatever that may be) lacking many of the … More The Scrambled Math Mess for College Freshmen