Author Archives: Geoff

Counting Idling Cars

I’m sitting in my car, waiting to pick up my son from school. It’s too cold to wait outside  this time of year so I keep the heat on, the engine running, and continue listening to the Dunc’d On Basketball … Continue reading

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Why we teach the “other stuff”

“I don’t know what to say.” “I don’t know how to talk to him.”   I’m sitting in a coffee shop with my back facing a mentor and her mentee, a college student who is apparently struggling through her semester. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Vivienne Malone-Mayes and Waco, Texas

Vivienne Malone-Mayes grew up in Waco, TX, a highly segregated community in a highly segregated state. She attended a highly segregated high school where she graduated two years early at the age of 16 so she could pursue Mathematics at … Continue reading

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You are the Name Rememberer

I’m just not good with names: It takes me a long time to remember them and even then I sometimes forget.  Not anymore. For you are the Name Rememberer. The One Who Remembers Names. It’s difficult with so many students. … Continue reading

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Find, Adapt, Create: A Path Towards More Agreeable Task Design Time

In the past I consistently struggled with making the turn from the excitement toward problem-based learning (PrBL) to the actual design of complex, engaging problems. Typically I would spend the morning building the buy-in (the “why”), another part of the … Continue reading

Posted in task design, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2017 New Tech Network PBL Chopped Recap

I had the honor of co-designing and MC’ing the first ever PBL Chopped competition at the New Tech Annual Conference in July. While this is typically a blog about math instruction, this experience welcomed all content areas and all grade levels, … Continue reading

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Active Caring, or, “Give a Crap”

I’m in awe of my son’s 3rd grade team. Last year, when he was in 3rd grade, he had two teachers, a counselor, a GT specialist, a principal, and three specials teachers that cared for him. Not in a passive … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Safety, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Post-It Problem: Grades 2-3

If imitation is the purest form of flattery, then Graham should be pretty darned flattered. I imitated (read: stole) his The Big Pad problem for slightly younger grades. Graham’s task necessitates fractions, which was a bit further down the line for my … Continue reading

Posted in elementary, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Systems of Linear Inequalities: Paleontological Dig

(Editor’s note: the original post and activity mistook Paleontology for Archaeology. Archaeology is the study of human made fossils; paleontology is the study of dinosaur remains. The terminology has since been corrected and updated. Thanks to the commenters for the … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, linear functions, linear inequalities, problem based learning, systems of equations, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Is bad context worse than no context?

In elementary classes we consider it a good thing to be able to move from the abstract to the concrete. We ask students to count and perform arithmetic on objects, even contrived ones. We ask students to group socks, slice … Continue reading

Posted in commentary, problem based learning, Uncategorized | 7 Comments