Why Math Is A Social Justice Issue [Edutopia]

Jose Vilson Jose

Read my latest entry at Edutopia, my posit that math is a social justice issue: Even though Americans generally believe that math is the most important subject in school, students tend to drop out at higher rates when introduced to harder math and sciences. It seems the desire is there, …

A System of Ninety Equations

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

I barely know what week I’m in right now. We just finished the second marking period and we’re just starting to get into systems of equations. I went through a few moments of “I can’t believe this is what they turned in” to “Yes, exactly, this this this!” and everything …


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 …


Another Reason I Don’t Like FOIL In Math

Jose Vilson 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 …


Short Notes: Back To School 2013 OMG What Have I Done? Edition

Jose Vilson Short Notes 0 Comments

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] …

Grant Wiggins, What issss UBD?

Grant Wiggins and How I View Math Curriculum

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 4 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 …

Don't Drink and Derive

Math As A Merit Badge (And Other Comments)

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 3 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, …

No One Puts Baby In The Corner

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

Jose Vilson Mr. Vilson 23 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 …

Arundhati Roy

Short Notes: A Cautionary Tale for Edubloggers

Jose Vilson Short Notes 0 Comments

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 …

Why Learning Math Is Political

Jose Vilson 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. …