Yearly Archives: 2015

What is Ambitious Teaching?

A recent analysis by David Blazar has stirred up some interest about Ambitious Teaching. But what exactly is Ambitious Teaching?   According to Elham Kazemi, Megan Franke, and Magdalene Lampert: “Ambitious teaching requires that teachers teach in response to what students do as they engage in problem solving performances, all while holding students accountable to […]

Participation in math class

Nothing you can do can guarantee that every child actively participates in your math class but there are some things you can do to increase the odds. In a typical classroom a teacher asks a question, a student responds, the teacher indicates whether the response is incorrect or correct, and this is repeated until the […]

Why is it important for students to talk to each other in math class?

Why should students talk to each other in math class anyway? I was asked this question recently and I’m trying to avoid a tautological answer (eg. it’s important because it’s important). In a classroom where students speak to each other about mathematics, the ideas of those students are valued instead of ignored or potentially marginalized. […]

Coherent conversations about teaching

Imagine four teachers each of whom teaches in different schools in a different context. Even if they all teach the same course, their individual teaching looks different. If these four people come to talk together, they will find it challenging to have a conversation since the way they are teaching is so different from each […]

Apps for the math classroom

Here is an incomplete list of companies making apps for the math classroom. As far as I know, every application made by these people is fantastic. The NY Hall of Science has recently published a series of science and math apps for the iPad. Motion Math has some great low-cost math apps. DragonBox has 4 […]

Working differently

This summer I’ve been doing a lot of task-based curriculum development on a series of fairly short activities. We are trying to develop resources for use with an instructional activity created by Grace Kelemanik and Amy Lucenta called Contemplate then Calculate. A key part of this instructional activity is surfacing the kinds of things people […]

Four blog posts about using student ideas

I wrote four blog posts for NCTM’s Mathematics in the Middle School blog on using student work to understand and plan around student ideas. Each post is about using student work to make inferences about how they understand mathematical ideas and then using those inferences to help you plan. Note that these posts are actually […]

Learning at Conferences

This year when I attended the NCSM and NCTM annual conferences, I had a much different experience than in previous years. I thought it would be worth sharing some ideas I have about how to make it more likely that you learn from a conference experience. If you want to walk away from the conference […]

From Mistake-Makers to Sense-Makers

Here is a video of a short talk I gave on my journey from primarily viewing students as mistake makers to viewing them as sense-makers.      

Teaching Demonstration

This video is a brief demonstration, about 15 minutes, of some teaching I did at the 2015 New Jersey Association of Mathematics Teacher Educator meeting.   Unfortunately, the video tracking is not great so much of the annotation I was doing of the participant ideas is not easy to see as I am doing it. […]