David Wees's blog

What does your online assessment actually measure?

What exactly does our assessment measure? I watched my 7 year old son complete an online assessment of his fluency with addition facts last week, and I noticed a few things the assessment measured unintentionally, at least to some degree.

Benny's Conception of Rules and Answers in IPI Mathematics

My colleagues and I have formed a journal study group where we intend to share pieces of research which are interesting, and have some compelling story to tell about understanding research. I've chosen Benny's Conception of Rules and Answers in IPI Mathematics by Stanley Erlwanger. In order to support our discussion of the research, I've created a few slides which I have shared below. I recommend opening up the speaker's notes in order to understand the presentation better.

Ten rules for living

  1. Life isn't fair. Do something about it.
  2. The world may not care about your self-esteem, but having a healthy self-image is more likely to lead to positive relationships with the people to whom you are close and having healthy relationships is the key to having a happy life.
  3. Don't focus on the money. Focus on improving yourself and doing good work. Both of these are more valuable than money.

Hacking the webinar format

How screen space is allocated in webinars

I've recently been tinkering with the format of an online webinar in an effort to make what happens in a webinar more engaging and "minds-on" for teachers.

Explaining subtracting negative numbers to my wife

Tonight my wife asked me why 4 - (-3) = 7. Apparently my son had "explained" it to her earlier tonight, but she hadn't really understood his explanation. So I gave it a shot.

First I tried the same explanation that seemed to work for my son when he asked me what 4 - (-3) would be earlier today.

Designing open-ended tasks - Part 2

This is continued from here.



Imagine a scale for the open-endedness of a mathematical task.

Open-endedness scale from not open-ended to very open-ended.

The Reform Symposium - Free online professional development for educators

Tomorrow, thousands of educators from various different countries are expected to attend a free 3 day virtual conference, The Reform Symposium, #RSCON4. RSCON will be held October 11th to 13th in conjunction with Connected Educator Month. The entire conference will be held online using the Blackboard Collaborate webinar platform. Participants can attend this online conference from the comfort of their homes or anywhere that has Internet access.

As I was travelling to St. Ives...

As I was travelling to St. Ives, I met a man who'd lived seven lives,
In each life he'd learned seven lessons,
Within each lesson he'd had seven chances,
With each chance he'd made seven mistakes,
With each mistake he'd found seven connections,
How many connections, mistakes, chances, and lessons are missed by those who fear to live?

I am not smart

I grew up in a household that read all the time, talked about the world as we thought it exists and imagined possible worlds, and had conversations all the time about anything that interested us. I had my first computer at age 8, and had the freedom to use it as I pleased, which turns out involved programming it. My world was rich with numbers. My toys were mostly things that I could build things with. My house had a hallway full of many thousands of books, and so I never ran out of something to read.

Math in the Real World workshop


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