Dry Spell I’ve hardly written anything for the last half of 2016. Up until July, I had been highly prolific. Though my brain has been running in hyperdrive these past six months, few thoughts have […]
My sister-in-law called in a panic the other day:
Come help me with math! Now!!!
Good thing we are a family of math nerds. Between my husband and myself, we got her covered all the way from long division to calculus and perhaps even differential equations if the need should arise.
No sweat, Mary! We’re on the way!
We immediately donned our superhero capes and raced across town in the Batmobile.
Let me give you descriptions of two typical students and see if you can relate.
The first is an 8th grade boy in my math class. Veteran teachers know that classroom behavior is critically dependent on seating placement — where and next-to-whom a student sits is often an accurate predictor of how much learning will sink in. But with this kid, it doesn’t matter in the least. Front / back / side / middle / friends / no friends, he will not learn. Even if he brings paper and pencil, he won’t use them. [He showed up empty-handed to the last test.]
I Hate Math!
Math is hard for middle school students. Too many young minds believe they will never be good at math because numbers and logical thought processes are simply too complex to grasp at first glance. [They may have even heard an adult or two say: It’s okay. I’m not good at math either.]
Plant An Idea
It all started innocently enough. I said to my 7th grade math class:
Please don’t crumple your papers when you put them in the recycling bucket. More can fit if you leave them flat.
Several of these students had participated in the Towers of Power challenge and had learned the properties of paper compression.
Dear Students —
I want you to know how glad I am to be your math teacher and how happy I am that you are in my class. #Truth. For real. No lies.
Onward, Brave Voyager!
At #NeverSummer, we are about growth as much as success. Perhaps they are one in the same. But it is a disservice to lump them together. They are each powerful in their own right.
Growth requires setback. It requires failure. Setback and failure are of course not the goal, but they are necessary nonetheless. Without them growth moves at a snail’s pace.
So Little to Do… So Much Time
Strike that… Reverse it. On we go!
Classic Willy Wonka… and so opposite of what this time of year is all about. Public school teachers and administrators maxed out trying to get ready for students to reappear for another year.
It may seem like odd timing to dive in and learn new tools for the classroom now with so much professional development looming in the coming days before students arrive, but this is a perfect time. JumpStart: DT Primer just launched for busy educators like you.
What does it mean to be educated?
A recent report by TNTP — The New Teacher Project — asked the question:
Do we know how to help teachers get better?
Their report titled The Mirage has caught the attention and focus of many educators on Twitter. There is much to consider in their findings about how to make professional development for teachers better and more effective.
Perhaps an underlying question that all educators must ask first is this: What does it mean to be truly educated in the 21st century?
I Bet You Can’t
Did your parents ever play this game with you? They would say “I bet you can’t… run to the refrigerator and get me a soda in less than 10 seconds.” You got into your best trackster stance and waited until they said On-Your-Mark-Get-Set-Go! Away you sprinted to the fridge while they pretended to count.
Almost every kid has done this… and if you didn’t learn it from your parents, then chances are good an older brother or sister tried it out on you. It probably worked a few times, maybe more, until you wised up and said something like “Go get your own soda!”