The issue here is that most assessment of students is inbred. Having just spent my first (and last) visit at the r/education sub-reddit, I was left with a tinny taste in my mouth; it’s a lot of complaining. I suppose the Internet was built for complaining, and cats, and, oh, maybe communicating. What really got… Read more What I Learned at ACT
I started with optimization this year. Namely, Dan’s taco cart problem. Why? Because if you have to cut off learning when the semester ends, then you’ve got to present the most important stuff first. Why? So they have time to actually processes it. No one cares until it’s a story, and the text-book order is… Read more How I Teach Calculus: A Comedy (L’amuse Bouche)
I was sitting in my office at BIG grading the 3-4 page papers from a cookie cutter assignment on the history of Isaac Newton and planning out which stickers to use in my next toy-economy sticker chart, when I realized I was having a nightmare. Har Har. Actually, I was in a 1:1 session with… Read more How I *Know* Things Aren’t Alright – A Hack-a-Thon Story
I was in Missouri this week working with an amazing group of teachers just outside of St. Louis. They were interested in grading, and you could tell their administration had really raked the coals on some smoldering issues with assessment (like my favorite question) And that’s all this is, isn’t it? I mean, I got… Read more Standards-Based Grading: Why Now?
I’ve been really watching out for ways to tell when my students are using the abstraction smokescreen. That’s a term I just made up, so let me define it: the head-nodding affirmation that a student does when you’re talking too many rungs above their current abstraction level and they don’t want to “look stupid.” Obviously,… Read more Is this ‘u’? Is this ‘u’ too?
I’m not going to say I told you so, but… It begins: the inevitable backlash against SBG now that it has gone from a grass-roots, classroom-by-classroom implementation for the good of the students to district-wide initiatives with all of the mass communication pitfalls therein. This is really personal for me. My emergence into what I… Read more Standards-Based Grading: And It Begins
There are some problems that just grab you. I’m not sure why, but they end up operating in the background sapping processing power away from your daily tasks. I don’t mean predicting primes or finding inverted eigenstates, I mean silly little things akin to the triangle-in-a-box from A Mathematician’s Lament. Recently, I was sitting at… Read more Examples of Abstration in Math Education (with Failures)
Turns out that the unflappable Matt Townsley already wrote this post… mine has Keanu? Jargon jargon jargon. I used to malign the use of education jargon, that is until one of my students at BIG started a project in immuno-oncology; oh my, the medical field is jargonified. All asides aside, we have a serious problem… Read more Whoa, Whoa, Whoa: Competency-Based Education is NOT Standards-Based Grading
I didn’t want to be a teacher. Not even a little bit. Education as an institution is predominantly lame, filled with motivational posters that have never motivated anyone, and littered with people repeating patterns that don’t actually result in meaningful student products. But I love helping people who want to learn and do something. That’s… Read more Norms (Cheers, Assessment, Otherwise)
I’m spending this weekend with Sean Wheeler and Ken Kozar in Cleveland, OH talking about the Maker/Competency-based school they’re looking to start. The interest in creating education options within public school systems is heartening on a lot of levels. Selfishly, it proves that BIG isn’t a vanity project, but a real national movement. For students,… Read more The Quanta of Design Thinking