Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Question: When a student encounters a novel problem, whose voice does she hear in her head?

Possible sources of discussion: This post by Grace and comment by Brian. This teaching video and article sent to me by @mpershan. Google giving my district two million dollars for Explicit Direct Instruction. Chapter 4 in the book Jenny and I are reading. Khan Academy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More to Share

1. I've got two posts for my paid gig at ASCD up:

The first is about defining specific criteria for what argument in the class would look like:

Defining Your Own Best Practices

I liked this session more than I thought I would. Pete Hall had a good mindset about the term "best practices" as something informed by research but defined at the local level. I also liked his thoughts about defining them in "meticulous detail." I don't know how many staff meetings I've sat through where we talk about "formative assessment" and everyone has a different idea of what that looks like.

The second is a routine for using metaphors in the classroom:

Linking Prior Knowledge with New Content with Metaphors

I like Rick Wormeli's books. They're worth reading. However I found this presentation to be too broad and I didn't like his presentation style (think genie in Aladdin). There were a lot of good ideas but I would definitely recommend his books over going to see him live.

2. Jenny Orr, who blogs at Elementary, My Dear, Or Far From It, is one of my very favorite elementary teacher bloggers. We're both reading the Peter H. Johnston books this summer. We're going to read and discuss the books on her blog. Please please please join us. The first book is Choice Words. We're doing the first two chapters this Saturday and then the next 3 each week until we're done.

We're going to read Opening Minds after that. So again, join us! Both books are quick reads and well worth your Amazon gift card dollars.

3. Math Mistakes is a nice project from @mpershan. From the site:
Teachers need to be able to quickly look at mathematical work and identify the assumptions behind the work, and what actions to take in response to the work. That's hard. But practice can help us get better at this.
I love this idea. Go contribute.

(Yet another update: The very wonderful Kelly O'Shea has started Physics Mistakes.)

4. Math Munch is a weekly collection of fun math related things from around the web.

5. Finally, just to remind you that I actually do teach science, the sublime XKCD has started What If? which answers such wonderful questions as, "What would happen if you hit at baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?"


6. I forgot to include the whole reason I started this post. This Is What A Scientist Looks Like is "a project developed to challenge the the stereotypical perception of a scientist." This is the beauty of living in a connected world.

[updated again]

7. #Made4Math is a blog meme going around where teachers make different stuff to use for their class, like storage containers out of pringle cans. It's the exact opposite of anything I'd ever do but I'm impressed and maybe a little jealous.