Author Archives: Fawn

A New Position

I just accepted a math TOSA position (grades 5-8) with the Rio School District. I’d spent the last 30 years in the classroom – my school as my second home, my colleagues as my family, my work as my life and identity, but most of all, my students as my children, my babies, my heart. […]

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , | 17 Responses

Jelly Beans or No Jelly Beans

What’s not to love about Would You Rather; I use it with my students and always recommend it as one of the great warm-up routines. This one caught my attention last week. Each entry always includes this statement: Whichever option you choose, justify your reasoning with mathematics. This statement is important, especially the word “mathematics,” because […]

Posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math), Course 2 (7th Grade Math), Teaching | Tagged , , , | 7 Responses

2019 Is an Odd Number

The arrival of 2019 means I have to scroll down even farther to find my age year when I fill out an online form. Ugh… 1985… 1975… 1970… 1967… Here it is… 1965! I just came back from a short trip — via long-ass flights — to Melbourne for my niece’s wedding. I did a […]

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , | 2 Responses

Mrs. Quiggle

I didn’t know they made teachers so old, but Mrs. Quiggle was that old when she was my 8th grade Home Economics teacher. She perched on a high stool in the corner of the classroom, leaning over a wooden podium that she used as her desk. Home Ec was my favorite class, along with math — […]

Posted in General, Shallow Thoughts | Tagged , , | 2 Responses

St. Cloud, Minnesota

I don’t remember the landing. It’s been a very long flight. Nor do I remember walking through the airport. We have no luggage anyway, like none. My first memory of America is sitting in the back seat of TuAnh’s uncle’s car — an Oldsmobile wagon with wood panel trim. I’m almost eleven and a half […]

Posted in Shallow Thoughts | Tagged | 44 Responses

Another Round

Exhausted and hungry, I walk to the restaurant a hundred feet from the hotel’s lobby. The hostess greets me and asks how my day has been. I tell her it’s been a long day, that I just came in from LA on a 5-hour-plus flight. She asks about my reason for being in Philadelphia. I […]

Posted in Teaching | 15 Responses

House Cleaning and Lesson Planning

I posted this on Facebook: There is something else that I do way better than teaching mathematics, even though teaching has been a 25-year plus career. That something is house cleaning. Then, a friend asked for advice on this, adding, “Will desperately be awaiting your response.” I responded with: Thought no one would ever ask. […]

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , | 6 Responses

Broken Straps

Robert Kaplinsky drops me off at the front of the district building. I make my way to the room where I’d be presenting. I set up. I go out to the hallway, walk around, long enough to get lost. I’m looking for something. I don’t know where my backpack is. Where did I leave my […]

Posted in General | Tagged , | 3 Responses

Maybe Less Tech in Math and School?

I’m sipping hot sake while waiting for my food. I scan the restaurant, about half full already for an early Friday evening. Two kids are on their smartphones at the table with their parents. They don’t even look up as the waiter arrives to take their orders; I guess the parents already know what to order for […]

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , | 15 Responses

Scoring an Ordered List

My 7th graders have a question on their exam that asks them to put eight numbers (integers and fractions) in order of their distance from 0 on the number line, starting with the smallest distance. These types of questions are tricky for me to grade, and because there are eight numbers in this sequence, the task […]

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , | 26 Responses