Category Archives: Teaching

Serenity Prayer (and Teaching)

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference. Some things teachers cannot change or have little say in: The adults who work at our school The students who show up for class Their parents and home life The […]

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , | 1 Response

An Update

The young nurse asks how my day is going as she wraps the blood pressure cuff around my arm. I pretend to be relaxing on a yacht to yield low numbers, and the machine beeps 124/74. Dammit, I’ve never been above 120 — the yacht is sinking and death is near. She tells me that […]

Also posted in Coaching | 2 Responses

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. […]

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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 […]

Also posted in Course 1 (6th Grade Math), Course 2 (7th Grade Math) | 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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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

Send Doughnuts

I had a wonderful time working with a roomful of teachers over two days at my Grassroots Workshops last week. During a morning break, I talked with a teacher who was concerned about not being able to reach all her kids, that there was a handful of students who were failing the course, and that she’d […]

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