Tackling Problem Solving with Consistent Warm Ups and Problems of the Week

Last year, I found myself at a hurdle with my students that I didn’t know how to overcome. We would often Notice and Wonder about various scenarios as we worked through various geometric topics. My students loved making observations and coming up with questions, but I had trouble instilling a love for solving those questions,…

Standards Based Grading in AP Statistics: standards and grading

At the end of last year, I was reflecting on what went well and what could have gone better. It was my first year teaching AP Statistics. A lot went well – the class is now a class that challenges students (not just seen as the easy A), we did year-long portfolio projects in which…

Be Intentional Not Perfect: What cancer taught me about my plans

This summer, I had big plans for my classroom. I spent the vast majority of my summer preparing for a new year with big new ideas. I was given the opportunity to attend a Desmos Fellowship as well as a robotics training at Carnegie Melon and with the new expertise and tools I acquired, I…

R-squared can be negative – Desmos Fellowship 2017

This year, I applied and was mind-bogglingly accepted into Cohort 2 of the Desmos Fellowship. This entailed going to the San Francisco based Desmos head quarters, meeting up with some of the leading minds in math education, and soaking it all in over the course of a single weekend. When I arrived, there sitting in…

“I’m Sorry” – A Letter of Lament

Dear descendants of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, My heart is burdened with the seemingly endless atrocities that have been committed against you. Day after day, I cannot believe how imbalanced my education was and that the white church has turned a blind eye to these injustices even since Martin Luther King Jr spoke directly to…

Desmos for Homework Update: “meh”

A few weeks ago I wrote about trying out Desmos for homework. Essentially, after some reflection and assessment, the results were that it wasn’t easy to pick back up the next day to revise, students didn’t learn what I intended them to, and I think it would have been incredibly more successful as classwork. After looking…

Lesson Plans : Promoting Persistent Problem Solving… for the Fun of It

Is it possible to outline every lesson so that it provides structure to evoking and developing student curiosity AND leads to a deep ability to problem solve? In the past, I have have created objectives for each of my lessons such that they are transformed from “students will be able to…” to “students will be…

Desmos for Homework

I tried something new today. Desmos is a staple resource in my class, but this week I tried giving a Desmos activity for homework. I have been rethinking the purpose and efficacy of homework over the course of this year. That has resulted in me either giving no homework, very little homework, trying to be…

Be Impressive or Be Known

I have a confession. I like to be impressive. Unfortunately it never works out that great. I trip over my own ego on a regular basis and it leaves me flat on my face wondering how in the world I thought of myself so well. My pastor once told me that you can either be…

Design Lab – a rough draft

Over the past few years, I have been tossing around ideas for a space in which I could combine what I have come to think of as my 4 priorities of authentic learning: 1. real-world problem solving, 2. rigorous content, 3.community involvement and 4. student-centeredness (not necessarily in that order). What would it look like…

Zome Tool 120-Cell Hyperdodecahedron

At the end of this past year in my geometry class we decided to tackle the goal of building a 120-Cell Hyperdodecahedron. My best interpretation of descriptions I’ve read and heard about is that this is essentially the 3-D shadow of 120 dodecahedrons that have been sent into the 4th dimension. At the beginning of this…

A 4 year not-so-hiatus

Since my last post, 4 years ago, I have moved to Nashville, joined the most amazing church family, married the love of my life, graduated with my masters degree, found a dog, bought a house, worked in both public and private school and now I’m in the process of becoming a foster mother. It’s been a…