I am now 3-1/2 months into the 2017-18 school year and I can finally say I am seeing significant results from the move toward Common Core State Standards for math (CCSS-M) in my Algebra I students. When Missouri voted out CCSS, the math standards were mostly preserved, but we have been relatively slow in implementing … More Emerging Effects from CCSS
Good teachers put tons of effort into preparing and presenting their lessons. When the test results are low, it can be crushing. I think I remember gaining three pounds in one day grading my last bad batch. After all these years, one would think I could just roll with it, but a list of self-accusations … More After a bad test: keys to responses
For 14 years I have been reinventing 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 … More 5 Concerns for Inquiry-Based Instruction
This year I am piloting an inquiry-based algebra ebook with an expectation that students are in teams of four with assigned roles. It made sense to try it because the few explorations I had written on my own had improved retention, and that ultimately seems to be what’s lacking in terms of college readiness. The … More Unexpected benefits of inquiry learning
According to a public status report about my district last week, I see that while 80% of our students enroll in a 2- or 4-year college, only 56% of those students finish within 6 years. The fact that 56% is significantly above the state average brings little comfort to concerned parents and educators like me. … More Will my students thrive?
Why Dan Meyer will always be a math family favorite. Dan Meyer’s famous Graphing Stories continue to be useful to me as a high school algebra teacher as I move more into inquiry based learning to engage my students. Here’s an example of how students can develop Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for algebra while … More Meyer-Graphing Stories in Algebra 1
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: unintended consequences