A recent tweet posted by an educator raised the question as to whether standardized testing is used to support the practice of assigning the teachers who seem most highly skilled to the students with the highest performance records. This practice has been called out by the NCTM as an inequitable practice,* and it makes sense … More Standardized Testing: a summary of issues
A preservice teacher asked an interesting question in the NCTM forum this week. She cited progressive approaches to learning and asked for advice about implementing them in her new classroom. A year ago I would have cheered her on, but now is not the time. Here’s my response: NCTM is not the only one advocating … More Dear new teacher, now may not be the time…
A lament was recently posted on Twitter by a teacher I have long admired. He had been dealing with a student complaint, “Why don’t you just tell us?” The student had become quite vocal. Fortunately, he has enough support, experience, and confidence to know that easy learning is often useless. But I wonder if other … More Why make it harder than it needs to be?
We see a need to do things differently but have concerns about a parental revolt. At that point, education leaders (teachers, principals, etc….”eds”) must make a choice: devise a plan that might convince the parents do what parents think they want to see, and make it appear successful With the threat of being on the … More Who will tell the parents?
Someone recently posted a question on the NCTM Community Forum, “How do we get our high school staff to understand the shifts in (Common Core) math? They do not like the strategies taught at the elementary levels.” I’m thinking they don’t ever “notice and wonder,” use “Kagan” strategies, have blown off McREL, and never heard … More Helping Math Teachers to Shift
It is completely understandable for a teacher to wince when they think about how many students these days have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). There seems to be more and more IEPs every year. While it is great that students receive the special care they need, I have some concerns that at some point, IEPs could … More IEP for Everybody?
High school math curriculum tends to be far too dense to divert much time to off-content activities. Yet, math is the M in STEM; so it seems to me that some of the responsibility for STEM connections rests on my profession. After all, who has more access to more students than core teachers? Students who … More Three ways to integrate STEM in High School Math
Exit slips, quizzes, pre-assessment, post-assessment…we teachers have toolboxes full of ways to figure out who doesn’t get it and who forgot it. Many of us have gotten so good at assessment and remediation that a student pretty much never needs to ask a question. After all, it’s the teacher’s job to make sure each student learns before … More Do your students hide or reach?
I suspect that most teachers experiment with retakes and redo’s and change their minds throughout their careers like I have. Everything I decide upon, though, consistently aligns to my overarching goals which are to develop: Analytical skills Retentive mastery of content Self-efficacy Self-advocacy in asking questions To develop strong analytical skills, I capitalize on inquiry-based … More Redo’s for students: I do and I don’t
This photo from Lovemeow hangs prominently in my room as a visual aid to inspire transparency in learning. I hold family meetings before school begins to explain the importance of learning math in today’s economy. Often parents quietly mention to me that their student won’t ask questions. Some parents are concerned and looking for answers; others are tipping … More When students won’t ask questions