ThinkThankThunk

Dealing with the fear of being a boring teacher.

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How I Teach Calculus: A Comedy (Area)

This post is a part a larger series documenting the changes I am making to my calculus course. My goals are to implement standards-based grading and to introduce genuine applications of the concepts being taught. I’m not suffering any delusions that any of this is all that ground-breaking, I just want to log the comedy…

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How I Teach Calculus: A Comedy (Logistics)

This post is a part a larger series documenting the changes I am making to my calculus course. My goals are to implement standards-based grading and to introduce genuine applications of the concepts being taught. I’m not suffering any delusions that any of this is all that ground-breaking, I just want to log the comedy…

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How I Teach Calculus: A Comedy (Concavity)

This post is a part a larger series documenting the changes I am making to my calculus course. My goals are to implement standards-based grading and to introduce genuine applications of the concepts being taught. I’m not suffering any delusions that any of this is all that ground-breaking, I just want to log the comedy…

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How I Teach Calculus: A Comedy (Optimization)

This post is a part a larger series documenting the changes I am making to my calculus course. My goals are to implement standards-based grading and to introduce genuine applications of the concepts being taught. I’m not suffering any delusions that any of this is all that ground-breaking, I just want to log the comedy…

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How I Teach Calculus: A Comedy (Related Rates)

This post is a part a larger series documenting the changes I am making to my calculus course. My goals are to implement standards-based grading and to introduce genuine applications of the concepts being taught. I’m not suffering any delusions that any of this is all that ground-breaking, I just want to log the comedy…

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What Do Grades Imply?

My argument is this: punishing only produces changes in behavior when the punished is in the presence of the punisher I am a part of a guerrilla professional development study group (thanks for the term, Kate) that has brought together a considerable portion of my building’s staff to discuss formative assessment and standards-based grading. It’s…

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How I Teach Calculus: A Comedy (Implicit Differentiation)

This post is a part a larger series documenting the changes I am making to my calculus course. My goals are to implement standards-based grading and to introduce genuine applications of the concepts being taught. I’m not suffering any delusions that any of this is all that ground-breaking, I just want to log the comedy…

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Sorting M&M’s

Kids get taught so much about parabo­las you’ve got to won­der if the parabola blushes for the lack of pri­vacy. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (since February 2010!) you probably already know that at the end of my first year I had one of those moments. The kind of moment that…

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The Power of Story Time

Guess the four-letter word! The stan­dard stu­dent response to story prob­lems, and for a physics teacher this has a par­tic­u­lar wooden-stake-to-the-heart effect. I am back from the cold mistress that is Florida’s gulf coast (highs in the 60’s, Tampa? c’mon!) and ready to get back to school. Before I get back into the swing of things —…

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Circle = Triangle?

Put another notch in the Cornally-is-showing-us-something-we’ve-probably-already-seen belt, but I found this buried in a vague reference in my textbook. Thought it was pretty awesome. Sorry if you’ve already seen it. Here are the questions: What will students think of that? What could you do with this in class? Should students derive this somehow? Would taking…

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