Risky Business

It is very risky to choose not to take risks. Thought 1. You can’t look at averages when everyone isn’t moving. When some people are doing amazing things and others have done nothing new, measuring the average tells us absolutely nothing. Everyone needs to be moving in the right direction, and when someone is standing still, […]

Standards and Standardization

This image was inspired by Janet Abercrombie’s post Are We Confusing Standards with Standardization? Specifically the section: Clarification 3 If we agree that instructional standardization is unnecessary, we can maintain creativity and passion in a standards-based classroom. But we need to make a few paradigm shifts. Specifically, Look at the standards before we look textbooks or think […]

Broken or Transforming?

Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I […]


I question the value of most homework. Example: A math teacher teaches a concept to 30 students, then assigns 40 questions in the text. Here is a typical breakdown of student experiences… Group A+: These 3 students knew the concept before it was even taught, not a single of the 40 questions are remotely helpful […]

“Chasing the A”

86% That’s an ‘A’ for us here in my district. But what does it mean? As a Math teacher I’ve boosted an 84% up two points to hand out the often elusive ‘A’, and I’ve also adamantly refused to move an 85% up to that plateau. Because to me the mark should represent a level of comprehension […]

Students Today

This was written on a scrap piece of paper while doing some ‘big thinking’ with Heidi Hass Gable. I’m sharing it exactly as it was written, but adding links to some of my other posts to liven it up a bit… Feedback, as always, is appreciated. – – – – – Students Today -> relate […]

November Learning

After my last post I went to hear Alan November speak at an afternoon Pro-D session. I then read Brian Kuhn‘s blog post and added a comment, which I have edited slightly and included below. In the process of writing this comment I realized a valuable lesson, which I will discuss below the comment: The […]

bRinging tools to class

Today during a Math lesson on Surface Area and Volume: Mr. Truss, I forgot my calculator, can I borrow one? Do you have your cell phone? Yes? Then you have a calculator. Really? I can use my cell phone? Really! Cell phones and mp3 players in the classroom: Not Obstacles but Opportunities “Kids are going […]

How to Prevent Another Leonardo da Vinci

… continue teaching school like it is 1890. “Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!” -LEONARDO DA VINCI Here it is from Kris, a 15 year-old former student, “How to Prevent Another Leonardo da Vinci“. I think this post should be mandatory for every student teacher to read before they graduate. […]