ThinkThankThunk

Dealing with the fear of being a boring teacher.

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Half Days Rule

I asked a student to write a guest post for me. He’s currently crafting it right now.  I’m going to post it, totally unedited as soon as he’s done. I also asked my kids what they were going to do today with their half day off. They said, “Go to the mall, maybe see Iron…

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Can O’ Worms: Eat It, Salary Schedule

For those of you who are not teachers, allow me to explain how I take the dolla’ bills to the bank (all five!): I have a salary schedule. That means that every year I move up one level. If I’ve managed to gain enough continuing education/graduate school credits, I get to move to a new…

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How I Teach Calculus: A Comedy (Natural Exponent)

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 that ensues: Ah,…

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Surreality: Cornally.profDev(you);

No one knowing the answer is a motivation stronger than any grade or monetary reward We live in an era of surreal. By that I mean that I can listen to music literally as it is published. By surreal I mean that a lactose intolerant fellow like myself can enjoy a soy-coconut ice cream approximation…

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Inquiry Stylee: Acceleration (Wiimotes!)

My secret objective is for them to think of an idea and follow it to fruition in a scientifically meaningful way. That’s it. I’ve introduced Energy Conservation already by this time in the course, and the next towering giant to be seen is Newton’s Second Law. I know some of you will find this approach…

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How I Teach Calculus: A Comedy (Natural Logarithm)

They start to see the need to invent these kinds of functions. The idea that ln(x) is a human invention necessary for the solution of a peculiar little problem gives them some ownership where there was once only mysticism. I like that. The journey through calculus has taken us through the basics of integration. We…

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Standards-Based Grading: Feedback

If you’re scream­ing the word “FORMATIVE” at your screen, you’re right. Buzz buzz my lit­tle jargon-bee! Welcome aboard the Standards-Based Grading Express! I am your conductor with a ferocious tenacity for breaking the status quo of boring classrooms and disaffected students. In other words, happy Sunday morning! Actually, I’m in no way the conductor; there…

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