When we got a Trader Joe's in our humble little burg of Fort Collins there was much rejoicing. Now we have a place to get all sorts of goodies, which I'll describe in more detail in a moment. Sadly, due to some byzantine Colorado laws they cannot carry Two-Buck Chuck. Nevertheless, I hit up TJ's … Continue reading What teacher training and PD can learn from Trader Joe’s

## I’m not sure what the second step is, but the first to understand

Recently I had a conversation with a special education coordinator. He was struggling to keep his kids in their classes. They kept getting sent out for disruptive behavior, being off task, or not playing well with others. He talked about parents who would leave IEPs in tears. These meetings - and other informal meetings - … Continue reading I’m not sure what the second step is, but the first to understand

## Active Caring, a how-to

I've given the book talk (by other names) a few times now, and I'm noticing some patterns of what's really resonating. One small, but significant piece that's fostering conversation is a section around Active Caring vs. Passive Caring. I've blogged a bit about this in the past, so feel free to check out those posts. There appears … Continue reading Active Caring, a how-to

## Mathematical play, but, like, for older kids

Chris and Melissa gave a great talk on the importance of mathematical play at NCTM-Seattle last week. You can see their Math-on-a-Stick work on their website. There you can see pictures and examples and of children enjoying and playing with math in interesting and delightful ways. One of my many takeaways from their keynote was … Continue reading Mathematical play, but, like, for older kids

## Active Caring (and Epilogue): the essential ingredient

This is a post in the ongoing Emergent Math mini-series: Routines, Lessons, Problems, and Projects. As we stand on the balcony and gaze out at our own version of the MCU (Math Class Universe) that consists of Routines, Lessons, Problems, and Projects, we must be sure we're not missing the crucial ingredient that stitches it … Continue reading Active Caring (and Epilogue): the essential ingredient

## Projects: what they’ll remember in 20 years

This is a post in the ongoing Emergent Math mini-series: Routines, Lessons, Problems, and Projects. I graduated high school twenty years ago this year. What's remarkable is how little I actually remember about my classes. I remember certain feelings I had towards particular teachers or classes, but not the actual classroom action itself. There are three exceptions. … Continue reading Projects: what they’ll remember in 20 years

## Working while sad

Until recently, I would have classified myself as a "happy" person. Now I'm not so sure. Every day when I or my wife picks up my son at school there's a 50/50 chance he's in the counselor's or principal's office because he hates himself for something he did or didn't do. When something - anything … Continue reading Working while sad

## When 1/25 ≠ 2/50: team teaching

My son attends an "open concept" school, a term that belittles the potential for such learning space. Before he started attending that school, I had heard of "open concept" as a fad that passed through schools in the 1970's and fell out of fashion due to their unwieldiness. I had an image of two hundred … Continue reading When 1/25 ≠ 2/50: team teaching

## Stop Thief!, The Fugitive and introducing equations of circles

When I was a kid, we had this super high-tech board game called Stop Thief!. The gist was this: someone committed a crime somewhere on the game board, which was rife with jewelry displays, unattended cash registers and safes. Your job as the detective was to identify where the thief was. The location of the thief … Continue reading Stop Thief!, The Fugitive and introducing equations of circles

## Necessary conditions: understanding groupwork with a three-legged pedagogical framework

At some point this year (2018), I'll have a book for you to read from Stenhouse that proposes a framework for effective math classrooms. These are the three broad ingredients that create a successful math classroom as well as how a student experiences math. They are: Academic Safety - the social/emotional state of a student … Continue reading Necessary conditions: understanding groupwork with a three-legged pedagogical framework