Tin Foil Rex

Tearing the House Down pt. 1: No (Limiting) Math Gimmicks!

Jose Vilson Jose 12 Comments

I could have easily declared the following as a math teacher, but I’m being more demonstrative now: No. More. FOIL. Anyone who’s followed these posting in the last couple of years knows that I’m all for finding efficient ways of remembering how one works through different elements of math. I’m …






I Need Your Full Cooperation and Total Attention

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

Just a few things I’d like to mention. I came into my classroom ready to breeze through the last few standards before the NYS Math Test (probability, permutations, and the like). I came in with a vengeance, remembering the things I needed to cover before those two dreaded words: Test. …






Open Thread: What Makes a Good Math Teacher?

Jose Vilson Jose 9 Comments

Here are a few good questions for everyone. At the behest of brran, I’ve decided to start an open thread about math teachers. As the title says, what makes a good math teacher? As someone who considers himself a good math teacher, I often wonder what takes a teacher from …






A Life’s Perspective on Ratios

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

You know you’re a math teacher when even I’m even starting to make the small parts of life mathematical. A few instances: Friend Quality vs. Quantity Ratio I had a long conversation with a friend of mine who was looking at someone’s profile on Facebook and mentioning how many friends …






Ace of Bases

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

This week, I’ve taken Greg Tang’s advice from the NCTM Conference and started working with the kids on different bases. And by different bases, I mean different ways of looking at the number systems we use. One of the biggest reasons why kids don’t get math in general is because …






Abstracting the Concrete

Jose Vilson 5 Comments

Last week in the classroom, I started dreading the idea of the two worst words for any regular teacher in this country: test prep. I hate it because it’s a contrived barometer of what they’ve truly learned, and en masse, becomes the data for metrics used to evaluate student progress, …






The Message

Jose Vilson 5 Comments

Part 2 of The Hip-Hop in the Classroom Series: The mainstream rap of today continues to perpetuate the same themes of sex, drugs, and violence we’ve heard almost ad nauseam since the ealy ’90s. Yet, the gems that often redeem and exalt rap into the hood’s champion comes from the …






Penny Harvest Math

Jose Vilson 5 Comments

Ah, I’m taking a breather from politics. Not that I don’t like duking it out with different individuals on my beliefs, but because I like going over a variety of topics that find I find interesting. It was good to see how many of you responded to the last 2 …






The Common Factor

Jose Vilson 6 Comments

“The mediocre teachers tell. The good teachers explain. The superior teachers demonstrate. The great teachers inspire.” – my good friend Indira, who quoted someone else, but thought about me when she read the quote I’ve grown more excited about the possibilities I have to nurture and inspire the kids I …






Crazy Eights

Jose Vilson Jose 4 Comments

Borrowed from J. Dakar: The Rules: 1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts. 2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules. 4. At the end …