David Wees's blog

What has changed?

In "A School Master for a Great City", Angelo Patri writes:

I realised then that the child must move and not sit still : that he must make mistakes and not merely repeat perfect forms: that he must be himself and not a miniature reproduction of the teacher. The sacredness of the child's individuality must be the moving passion of the teacher.

Edcamp Vancouver - "The Best Professional Development of My Life"

When I heard Gino Bondi (@gmbondi) and Tammy Dewar (@teachingtammy) indicate that they thought Edcamp Vancouver was the best professional development session they've attended, and the most engaged they've been in a professional development session, I knew we had hit a homerun.

The Case Against 21st Century Schools

Paul W Bennett, a former Headmaster of the Halifax Grammar school, and director of Schoolhouse Consulting, has a pretty serious critique of 21st century learning. You can read his argument here.

Make electrical circuits... out of play dough

This is an awesome idea, and I'm going to try it with my son. It certainly makes making complicated circuits much easier, and much safer. As an added bonus, you also get to easily talk about how topology (mathematics of shapes) affects a circuit (or doesn't affect it).

Most livable city

We had Daanish Ali, the producer of the video below, come to our school and share his film with us (embedded below). I strongly recommend that if you live in an urban centre, you should watch this video. While it talks about water issues in the downtown East Side of Vancouver, I'm sure that similar issues exist in every major city in the world.

It is a great starting place for a discussion about urban water use, and very accessible for your students. Our kids finished watching the video and had some great questions.

Free tools for math education

Here are some tools which I've either used (or explored) for mathematics education. They aren't all open source, but they are all extremely useful, and they are all free to use (free as in free beer, some of them are also free as in free speech).

 

Geogebra

Geogebra image

How to build an apathetic student body

Here are some of the ways you can ensure your student body is apathetic.

Space in the classroom

I watched this video a while ago (recommend watching it, it's amazing) and was amazed at how you could find spaces in the home where each word was learned. Today I wondered, what would a similar analysis of our classrooms show?

Exploring algebraic complexity

Here is an idea I am exploring.

I'd like some feedback on this idea. If anyone can point me at research already done in this area, that would be appreciated. My objective is to use this to justify the use of technology in mathematics as a way of reducing algorithmic complexity so that deeper concepts can be more readily understood.

Bad calculations

Question: If you didn't know the procedure for addition or multiplication, and lacked numeracy skills, could you catch the errors in the calculations shown here?

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