Three Strategies to Help Improve Students’ Conception of Math – Part 3: Do Math With Students (Not at Students)

You know how teachers are supposed to join in when they do “Drop Everything and Read”? We should have the same attitude in math. My third recommendation to help students reconcieve of math as a discipline that goes beyond calculation is to do math with students. Most teaching time is spent with the teacher doing … Continue reading Three Strategies to Help Improve Students’ Conception of Math – Part 3: Do Math With Students (Not at Students)

Three Strategies to Help Improve Students’ Conception of Math – Part 2: Do Useful Math

In my previous post, I discussed one way to provide tasks that help students reimagine the discipline of mathematics: doing creative math. This post discusses the second of three strategies: doing useful math. To me, the interesting thing about math is that it is at once a plaything with seemingly no utility and an immensely … Continue reading Three Strategies to Help Improve Students’ Conception of Math – Part 2: Do Useful Math

Delightful Data Visualization: Polypad and Young Statisticians

We all acknowledge that data analysis and representation is a key part of our math curricula in the 21st century. But while it’s baked into Common Core and other state standards, it can be a bit unwieldy at lower grades. One of the barriers between students and sophisticated data analysis has been (until recently) lack … Continue reading Delightful Data Visualization: Polypad and Young Statisticians

HB 1557 and lines in the sand: Understanding and communicating the purpose of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill

(This website is about math and math education. While I don't normally write about Topics of the Day, it's crucial that parents and educators understand the text and purpose of Florida's House Bill 1557, which specifically targets teachers and students.) I’ve never been much of a proponent of fleeing a state because you disagree with … Continue reading HB 1557 and lines in the sand: Understanding and communicating the purpose of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill

What’s the “of” in a percentage grade? A percentage of what, exactly?

In my Numbers, Operations, and Patterns course that I’m teaching, we discuss rational numbers a lot. We’re working through Teaching Fractions and Ratios for Understanding by Susan Lamon. It’s an indispensable book for the deep dive into rational numbers as well as the inherent glimpse into the development of elementary-to-junior-high mathematical thinking.  Anyway, we often … Continue reading What’s the “of” in a percentage grade? A percentage of what, exactly?

Academic Safety for Pre-Service Teachers and Other Reflections from the Semester

This has been a unique semester in that I took two courses and taught a course. The course I taught is a one-hour seminar course, “Math for Elementary Teachers,” not to be confused with their “actual” math course, nor their math teaching methods course. This course is a small part of pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) teacher … Continue reading Academic Safety for Pre-Service Teachers and Other Reflections from the Semester