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Another Reason I Don’t Like FOIL In Math

Mr. Vilson 12 Comments

I recently wrote an article for Edutopia about factoring polynomials using areas and why FOIL is absolute crap: For one, I’m not a fan of FOIL (first-outside-inside-last) for a plethora of reasons. While I think it’s handy to have an acronym that reminds students of a procedure, it only works in a very special case. In this case, FOIL works …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonAnother Reason I Don’t Like FOIL In Math

So What If It’s Not Relevant Right Now? (Just Math It)

Mr. Vilson 4 Comments

This week, I’m supposed to teach my students how to solve a system of equations by elimination. It’s the hardest of the four ways  for solving systems (graphing, substitution, guess-and-checking), and I’m not entirely sure everyone in the class gets the first three. The main point of the unit is to determine exactly where two or more linear relationships meet, …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonSo What If It’s Not Relevant Right Now? (Just Math It)
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Short Notes: Back To School 2013 OMG What Have I Done? Edition

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A few notes: Hannah Nguyen bursts onto the scene with a comment at Michelle Rhee’s Teacher Town Hall last week. Check this out! [InspirEDucation] Richard Rothstein just earned himself a new fan with his dissection of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s assertion that integration should be “voluntary.” [Economic Policy Institute] Contrary to popular belief, the general public values math the …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonShort Notes: Back To School 2013 OMG What Have I Done? Edition
Grant Wiggins, What issss UBD?

Grant Wiggins and How I View Math Curriculum

Mr. Vilson 3 Comments

This week, a few of us got into a discussion, and involved Grant Wiggins. He calls himself a troublemaker, but I don’t remember seeing him at the last few meetings, and I’m the treasurer. In any case, for his 100th blog, he wrote this: Algebra is a dumb course. It survives only by unthinking habit. It cannot be justified intellectually …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonGrant Wiggins and How I View Math Curriculum
Don't Drink and Derive

Math As A Merit Badge (And Other Comments)

Mr. Vilson 2 Comments

The responses to my last post about math (who said I’m not a math blogger again?) ranged from the plauditory to the super-critical. Here’s a selection of some of my favorite comments to my last piece. First, Michael Doyle sets the record straight: Algebra II has become a badge, one of many, that pretends to separate middle class white boys from, well, …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonMath As A Merit Badge (And Other Comments)
No One Puts Baby In The Corner

No One Puts Algebra 2 In A Corner (Math For All Kids)

Mr. Vilson 21 Comments

First, let me say that this Nicholson Baker article already starts off wrong by not discussing al-Khwarizmi’s contributions to algebra, mainly NAMING it. Secondly, this conversation about math reminds me of the conversation we had about Andrew Hacker’s article last year. Here’s another guy who ostensibly doesn’t have a focus in any math-related subjects trying to reform math by limiting …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonNo One Puts Algebra 2 In A Corner (Math For All Kids)
Arundhati Roy

Short Notes: A Cautionary Tale for Edubloggers

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A few notes: The New York Daily News wants you to nominate teachers for their Hometown Heroes award. Start your engines, ladies and gentlemen. [NY Daily News] If you’re sick of the “disruption” talk surrounding technology, specifically education, then read this paper by Audrey Watters. Another hit. [Hack Education] Peter DeWitt writes an interview, and the press secretary for the …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonShort Notes: A Cautionary Tale for Edubloggers

My Philosophy On Math Pedagogy, And Other Tidbits [Edutopia]

Mr. Vilson 1 Comment

Here’s an excerpt from my latest at Edutopia (including a diss on Robert Marzano and the like). It’s about engaging math teachers: Keep This Rule of Thumb: Complete, Consistent, Correct By “complete, consistent, correct,” I mean we should allow multiple pathways to a correct answer that a) allow for full understanding of a given procedure, b) can be used time …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonMy Philosophy On Math Pedagogy, And Other Tidbits [Edutopia]

Why Learning Math Is Political

Jose 7 Comments

For my own professional development, I picked up the book Radical Equations: Math Literacy and Civil Rights by Robert Moses. The book equates the struggles Moses had with developing voter representations amongst the most underrepresented in the South with developing math knowledge / pedagogy into the curriculum in America’s classrooms. Observe: So algebra, once solely in place as the gatekeeper …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonWhy Learning Math Is Political
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Teaching Exponents In Eighth Grade, Part 1: [Old To The Now]

Mr. Vilson 2 Comments

Every so often, I’m inserting some posts on pedagogy, especially for those of us who aren’t as math-inclined. If you find this helpful, just let me know in the comments. Today, I’m differentiating between the old way I used to prepare the students for a lesson on exponents and the way I do it now. Old Way 1. Ask “What’s …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonTeaching Exponents In Eighth Grade, Part 1: [Old To The Now]