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
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