Monthly Archives: October 2011

Math in the real world: Marshmallow constructions

This is another post in my series of posts on math in the real world. My wife, son, and I  went to a kids science event at SFU today, and at one table they had some marshmallow diagrams set up to demonstrate molecules. They let the kids play with the marshmallows and toothpicks, so my […]

BC’s personalized education plan

At 1:53 of this video, the BC Ministry of Education shares a need to give more flexibility into the current system for how, when, and where they learn, but they’ve forgotten an important option: what they learn. In a world where total knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate, it is impossible to determine what […]

Nowhere Was Home: The Street Kids and Their Truth

In 1993, my father interviewed street kids to find out what living on the streets was really like, and how kids could end up on the street. He self-published his work, but unfortunately, I don’t feel like his book got the audience it deserved (or needed). Two and a half years ago, my father passed […]

Grading is a compression algorithm

The objective of traditional grading is to compress information teachers have gathered about a student down into a single score to make understanding the information easier. One of the original reasons for this compression was the limitation on how much information could be shared on a single piece of paper. One of the purposes of […]

300 kids is 300 too many

Rick Mercer is right, we need to do more.   This is not a problem that we can expect schools (and parents) to solve alone. We will never end bullying in our schools while we continue to accept it in our society.

Workplace mathematics

Here are some videos on mathematics in the workplace I’d like to watch later, when I get a chance. Thanks to Gary Davies and Lorri Carroll for sharing them with me.

I flipped my math classroom

I’ve normally started my classes with a description of what math we will be learning, and a class discussion about what the math means.  When I first started teaching, I would lecture for 30 minutes, and students would work for 60 minutes (I started in with a double block of math) during double block math […]

It’s time to redesign the report card

The typical report card looks like this (click to embiggen): image credit: rutlo image credit: Richard Giles image credit: clintjcl   A problem with these reports is they do not share with parents information that can be used to help their children improve their learning. What they share is information that is helpful to rank […]

Lessons Learned While NOT Teaching

At the keynote talk on Friday at the BCAMT conference, Dr. Peter Liljedahl shared three very interesting pieces of his research from the past ten years as an observer of classroom practice, in his lecture entitled "Lessons Learned while NOT Teaching." Given a choice between a sitting at a desk working on paper, sitting at […]

Alan Lishness – Indigenous Innovation: How Small Places can Change the World

I’ve read about this information about the Finnish schools before, but it is nice to have it all collected into one talk. My thanks to Adam Burk for sharing it. How does Finland do so much better than the US in education? They do everything differently. Almost no standardized testing, well prepared teachers, huge respect for […]