Student Skills and Tools

The biggest hurdle in transitioning from Middle School to High School is the lacking set of student skills possessed by incoming Freshmen.  Students come in failing to appreciate the importance of homework, struggle to think independently, cannot communicate mathematical thinking, and are easily frustrated to the point of quitting. This observation is not a knock … Read more

Our Youth Deserve Better – Computer Based Learning

There has been a push for computer-based learning in public education for about a decade or so now.  The thinking is that students can go at their own pace, have optimally focused and differentiated remediation and instruction, and thus, students will perform better.  That’s the sales pitch, anyway. I teach remedial math courses part time … Read more

Math is Hard

Math is Hard A typical conversation with a failing math student, with a failing math student’s parents, or with a counselor or administrator about a failing math student either directly sites this, or is pulled in a direction like driftwood in a tide by the fact that math is hard. A common conference would go … Read more

Why Remediation Fails

Why Remediation Fails Students that struggle unwittingly do two things that ensure they continue to struggle with concepts and procedures.  Students can go to tutoring over and again, and sometimes it works, but it’s a long and frustrating journey. I’ve fallen victim to these two habits myself, we all have.  How students learn in school … Read more

The Toaster Problem in Education

It’s easy to talk about shifting education towards a more concept based approach.  But it’s hard to see what that really means in practice.  I’m not a betting man, but would be willing to bet that upon inspection there are many things you think you understand conceptually in your topic, but you just feel that … Read more

Why Good Lessons Fail

Ever had a lesson you were THRILLED about?  You loved it, it was fantastic, interesting, crisp, approachable and … wonderful in every possible fashion.  And yet, when you delivered that lesson, it flopped! What gives?  What was wrong with the lesson? In reality, there was probably nothing wrong with the lesson.  Sure, all can be … Read more

The Problem with PEMDAS

The problem with PEMDAS This problem has really stirred a lot of interest and created a buzz on the internet. I can see why, it’s an easy one to miss.  And yet, PEMDAS is such an easy thing to remember, the mnemonic devices offered make for a strong memory.  So people passionately defend their answers. … Read more

Wrongful Punishment was the Best Thing

When I was in 1st grade I suffered punished from a wrongful accusation, well, kind of.  And the punishment would land people in jail today.  In front of the entire 1st grade class I was spanked, but not spontaneously.  I was paraded to the front of the room and quite a spectacle was made of … Read more