Favorite Technology

My Favorite Technology With the invention of the radio came claims that, “This will revolutionize education, forever.” Then came television, and more claims that, “This will revolutionize education, forever.” Then came the VHS player.  You guessed it, more, “This will revolutionize education, forever.” Then the internet came along, and louder than ever were the claims … Read more


Let’s talk about THE question in a teacher’s life … the baleful, “When am I going to use this in my real life?” Yeah, that one. The honest answer is probably, never… and they know it.  Why else ask, if not to subvert and diminish your role and purpose?  They don’t really want an answer.  … Read more

Confuse Them So They Learn

I recently did a lesson on the basics of reading and writing in Geometry.  You know, dry, dull stuff…what’s a point, line, ray, segment, how do you write an angle, what types of angles are there, and so on. While preparing all of this information I was thinking: How can I expose misconceptions about such … Read more

The Most Important Component of Quality Teaching is …

What do you think the single most important part of effective teaching, in high school, is? Breaking down classroom management and teaching into a lock and step routine is impossible.  People are too variable.  And, especially in high school, we are talking about the interactions of 150 – plus people a day! It is because … Read more

What Do Grades Really Mean?

What Do Grades Mean The following is highly contentious.  Many of the situations discussed here should ultimately be considered on an individual basis.  The purpose of this is not to create a rubber-stamp solution to all problems that arise with grade assignment and student ability and or performance, but is to provide a general framework … Read more

Exponents Part 2

two Exponents Part 2 Division In the previous section we learned that exponents are repeated multiplication, which on its own is not tricky. What makes exponents tricky is determining what is a base and what is not for a given exponent. It is imperative that you really understand the material from the previous section before … Read more

The Smallest Things Can Cause Huge Problems for Students

preemptive Pre-Emptive Explanation It is often the case, for the mathematically-insecure, that the slightest point of confusion can completely undermine their determination. Consider a beginning Algebra student that is learning how to evaluate functions like: f( x )=3x− x 2 +1 f( 2 ) MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aqatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGceaqabeaacaWGMb WaaeWaaeaacaWG4baacaGLOaGaayzkaaGaeyypa0JaaG4maiaadIha cqGHsislcaWG4bWaaWbaaSqabeaacaaIYaaaaOGaey4kaSIaaGymaa qaaiaadAgadaqadaqaaiaaikdaaiaawIcacaGLPaaaaaaa@43D9@ A confident … Read more

How to Save Time Grading

  How to Grade Efficiently and Promote Assignment Completion   Grading papers is one of the most time-consuming responsibilities of teaching.  Hours upon hours can be, I argue, wasted, pouring over daily homework assignments.  This article will discuss how to integrate awarding credit for daily assignments in a way that saves hours of time while … Read more

Things NOT Taught in Teaching College

What College Should Teach You About Teaching As a salty veteran teacher it is almost sweet seeing the hopeful expectation in the eyes of new teachers.  They’ve just graduated college and they are ready to fix education.  Thing is, there is much to learn that’s not covered in college.  I’d like to share some of … Read more

How to Limit Tardiness Without Losing Your Mind

How to Limit Tardies Without Losing Your Mind Mr. Goodie-Two-Shoes here…sorry…but I might have just a handful of tardies a month.  I teach 4 honors classes now, but switching from the “regular” classes to honors classes didn’t impact the number of tardy students I have. I’d like to share with you a few things that … Read more