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Week 4: All The Students [World Teachers Day]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

On Friday, EduShyster visited my classroom, the last leg of her NYC tour. Anyone reads this blog knows I have a profound respect for her writing and her approach to talking about education, so much so that, when she asked if she could visit my classroom, I enthusiastically said “Yes!” Or something. Anyone who knows me gets that I believe in open classroom door policies (except during change of period), …

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What You Gonna Do When The Common Core Runs Wild On You?

Jose Vilson Jose 3 Comments

“Are you ready for the Common Core?” “Survey says teachers aren’t ready for the Common Core.” “Districts haven’t been ready for the Common Core.” Most of the discussion that I’ve seen around the Common Core lately is whether our country has sufficiently prepared the nation’s teachers for the Common Core State Standards. Even in places that profess to have dropped the Common Core (and replaced them with Common Core-like standards), …

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On Writing Like A Monster

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of moderating a non-fiction panel for Las Comadres and Compadres organization featuring former Colorlines editor Daisy Hernandez and writer Alina Garcia-Lapuerta. The panel was uproarious and chock full of information for the burgeoning writers in the audience, some of whom already have their own works in the audience. Even though I was there mainly to let the other panelists shine, I also had the …

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Derek Jeter

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

My first real introduction to baseball was my cousin Richie’s autographed Don Mattingly placard. He put it on his shelf after meeting him thanks to the Miliken Boys’ Club in 1991. I didn’t understand the sport, and didn’t care for it since I already had Patrick Ewing and the Madison Square Bullies playing at their peak. My interest in baseball grew because I too became a member of the Boys …

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A Love Supreme

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

For the last week or so, I’ve had NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter’s words ring in my head in his response to the current consternation about NFL running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. His quote “My mom did the best job she could do. My mom was wrong” juxtaposed with “You know what? Take em off the daggone field because, you know what, as a man, that’s the …

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Week 2: The Best Laid Lesson Plans

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson Leave a Comment

Last week, I found myself as restless as the first day of school. In fact, I got to school at 7:10am every day, when school usually starts at 8am. I racked my brain around what the next logical step is in my curriculum. Negative exponents are especially difficult if students don’t get a lot of practice with the concept, and if they can’t make a seamless connection between negative and …

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Join The EduColor Movement, Part 1 of Many

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

It’s been a few years since Arvind Grover, ed-tech specialist in NYC, and I looked around boutique education conferences and said, “Wow, these spaces need a lot more diversity.” When a few of us sat there and said we’d create a clearinghouse to rate the diversity of any conference we came across, I didn’t think we’d have much impact. How many people of color were willing to jump into spaces …

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Week 1: I Belong Here (On Starting Exponents)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 7 Comments

I’ve started my unit on exponents the same exact way for the last five years. I’d give my students the definition of exponent and base, and give them examples of how each of them work. From there, we’d see what happens as I made tables to show growth patterns. What happens as the exponent increases? What happens as the exponent decreases? What if the exponent is zero? Negative? What’s the …

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Listen To The Controversial Panel Featuring Dana Goldstein, Motoko Rich, and Me Right Here

Jose Vilson Jose Leave a Comment

Hey everyone, Last night, I had the pleasure of being invited by Dana Goldstein, author of the must-read education history book of the year The Teacher Wars, and New York Times education writer Motoko Rich to speak at the New America NYC panel on Goldstein’s aforementioned book. We did a good job parsing some of the education issues of today. Glad the place was sold out, and there might be …

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My Contribution To #FergusonSyllabus [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 2 Comments

Hey everyone, I wrote up a resource on how to teach about and beyond the events of Ferguson, and included examples of how some teachers are already doing it. Please read and let me know what you think. 3. Bring it back to the individual. We don’t often get the chance to reflect about our misgivings or perceptions of each other. Especially in diverse communities (and I do mean diverse …