Open Letter To Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Others on The Idea of Assessment

Jose 2 Comments

To Chancellor Dennis Walcott, David Coleman, Merryl Tisch, and McGraw-Hill Publishers: First, I’ll mention that, since the discussions of the Common Core Learning Standards came to the fore, I’ve had a plethora of chances to immerse myself in the new vision for a quasi-nationalized education paradigm. In NYC, as usual, education policy makers feel the need to set the standard …

Allow More Mistakes, And Other Advice for Getting Kids Into Math [Edutopia]

Mr. Vilson

An excerpt from my latest (highly shared) Edutopia article: 1) Allow More Mistakes I would suggest this to just about every teacher, but specifically math teachers, especially those of us who use the word “wrong” a lot. We should strike a balance between using direct instruction and exploration, leaning more on the exploration piece. Once we allow more mistakes, we …

corporategoof

A Future Too Big To Fail: Using Corporate Thinking Corrupts The Classroom

Jose 8 Comments

A few years ago, I read an article in Wired Magazine detailing the events that led up to the Market Crash of 2008-2009, wherein they pin down much of the blame on an elegant and seemingly infallible formula created by world renown mathematician David X. Li. Recounting the events that led up to the crash, the Wired article reads similar …

Because the difference between six and five can be very damned important

The Real Purpose of Math Is …

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Anyone who’s ever had to fill in this blank understands my pain: “The real purpose of learning math is _____” I have a variety of answers, but usually, it’s straight-forward: much of the math you learn is applied to real-life situations, and the ability to do it yourself with no need for a calculator makes sure you’re independent of technological …

Blogging Requires Passion and Authority

Whenever You Get Those Moments, You Blog About Them

Jose 8 Comments

This morning, Bill Ferriter on Twitter ranted a bit about an e-mail from a disgruntled hater who called his blogging an exercise in self-fellaciating (if that’s even a word). Naturally, Bill was quick to distinguish between those who believe that their blogging not only becomes a central part of the reflective process for their practice and those who simply use …

David Bowie Wins Any Argument

Time May Change Me, But I Can’t Trace Time [An Explanation of Slope]

Jose 5 Comments

For those who’d like a very fundamental and rudimentary explanation for slope and how to understand it as a function of two given variables, (and naturally, a correlation between that and real life), imagine the following: Start walking for a good minute. Pick up the pace for another minute. Stop for a minute. Walk backwards for a couple more minutes. …

Abstracting the Concrete

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, teacher competency, school preparedness, and demographic success rates. Unfortunately, only …