Monthly Archives: June 2013

[Bad math] Polling

I hope no one takes the results of this poll by the Conservative party very seriously. Before they even collect results, I know that those results will have significant bias. They promoted their own political party in large bold font just before their survey question. This is equivalent to saying "Chocolate is AWESOME!! Do you […]

Lego and Minecraft in Math

This article originally appeared in my school’s monthly magazine, and was co-written with Chelsea Todd, a 4th grade teacher at my school. Note that the lesson idea presented below is Chelsea’s idea.   The 4th grade math classes were recently completely engaged with a challenging but slightly unusual mathematical task. Students had been studying area […]

I will miss you

Yesterday was my last day working with students as a classroom teacher, at least for the foreseeable future. Next Tuesday is my last day of work in my current school, and on Wednesday I will be flying to New York to start a new job. I will miss hearing piano music drifting into my office […]

DIY Catapults!

One of my jobs at my current school is work on mathematics enrichment projects with three 4th grade students. For the past couple of weeks, in between their camps, my camp, and other end of year events, we have been working on looking into a mathematics modelling task, specifically, a fork catapult. The 4th grade […]

Bias in assessment

Every form of assessment of learning has bias. This bias may be hidden, or it may be quite obvious. As Cathy O’Neil points out, assessment is a proxy for what we want to measure – learning. We cannot measure the building of connections between neurons that is happening in the brain directly (or even potentially […]

Access to computers

President Obama recently unveiled a plan to have broadband Internet access in every school across the United States by 2018. There’s only one huge problem with that plan; according to the US government’s own research, as of 2006, there was only one computer for every four students, and many of those computers are old. Outfitting […]

What did you learn in school today?

I’m grateful that I work in a school where I do not believe that any of these (updated) lyrics by Pikku Myy apply. Via the Blue Skunk blog.   What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine? What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine? I learned […]

A Haiku About Behaviour

You sit there sullen, Others determine your fate, In you, I see me.

Things I did not learn in teacher college

  These are some things I wish I learned in my teacher training: The goal is not classroom management, the goal is effective student learning. It may be that a well-behaved class is an excellent environment for learning, but the means by which you end up with that well-behaved class matter.   Most of your […]

How first aid training is like mathematics education

(Image credit: drewleavy) I talked to someone recently about first aid training, and they expressed their frustration at how ineffective first aid training usually is. Unfortunately, according to my friend, many people who teach first aid actually have very little practical experience using first aid. As a result, the agencies that are responsible for first […]