Should students use pencil or pen when doing math work?

## What A Parent Wants From A School

As a parent, I look for two categories of attributes when choosing a school for my child: - Ones which benefit my child directly - Ones which benefit my child indirectly, by helping others (teachers, parents) do their jobs more effectivelySchools that satisfy more of the attributes in both categories are likely to have happier …

## Short Assessment Grading: Add or Average?

Long assessments can waste precious class time unless there is much material to be assessed, but shorter assessments (with few questions) can cause small errors to have too big an impact on a student's grade. For example, consider the following assessment lengths where each question is worth 4 points, and the student has a total …

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## Unintended Consequences of a 0 – 100 Grading System

Grading using a "percentage of points received" approach can be very discouraging for students and may not fairly reflect a student's abilities. Assigning either a letter grade or a 4.0 scale grade to each problem, then averaging seems more fair and less discouraging to students who have yet to master topics.

## Flipped Classroom: It’s About Timely Formative Feedback

The phrase "Flipped Classroom" is appearing with increasing frequency in publications and blog postings. Yet, it seems to mean different things to different people. Many of the references I see to flipped classrooms are made by people or organizations who have a vested interest in selling goods or services, which probably affects their view of …

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## Grant Wiggins on Mathematics Education

Grant Wiggins was the keynote speaker last night at the annual "Anja S. Greer Conference on Mathematics, Science and Technology" hosted by Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. The focus of his talk was mathematics education, and the points that were noteworthy to me included the following: Increasingly, schools and standards bodies are setting their …

## Ten Skills Every Student Should Learn

A recent eSchool News article by Meris Stansbury lists ten skills cited by its readers as being most important for today's students to acquire: Read Type Write Communicate effectively, and with respect Question Be resourceful Be accountable Know how to learn Think critically Be happy The list is interesting to ponder. I would not argue that any …

## Advice from Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs spoke at the Stanford Commencement ceremonies in 2005. While his speech lasted only 15 minutes, it contains some wonderful advice - so I encourage you to click on this link to watch it. He will be sorely missed.

## Cost effective adult education: might it influence secondary education?

An article in The Washington Monthly titled "The College For-profits Should Fear" describes the founding and growth of Western Governors University. It uses an on-line model with some twists: Course credits based on assessments completed. If you pass the final assessment, you get credit for the course... even if you just took the initial course …

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## “Teacher” is an inaccurate title

People, both as children and adults, are constantly learning new things. The more actively engaged in the learning process they are, the more likely they are to learn something well and retain that knowledge. So what exactly is the person "teaching" a course doing? Their title implies that they are somehow loading knowledge into student brains. …

## Scheduling for Curricular Depth and Challenge

An idea for scheduling changes that could make it easier to add greater depth to curriculum. By offering a series of "challenges" to students in a planned way, can we keep the work load sane while improving student outcomes?

## Lecturing: There Are Better Ways ToTeach

Many widely used math textbooks seem written for a traditional "lecture-style" teacher. They can be challenging to teach from if you are trying to reduce time spent "talking at" the class.Some of the NSF-funded mathematics texts published over the past decade make it much easier for a teacher to avoid lecture mode, but:- from a …

## Integrating Mathematics With Other Subjects

Mathematics does not need to be taught in isolation, but can be taught in conjunction with other subjects. What might such an approach look like?

## The Purpose of High School Mathematics

The 2011 Anja S. Greer Conference on Secondary School Mathematics at Phillips Exeter Academy provided many opportunities to hears others' ideas about the purpose of our High School Mathematics Curriculum. Some of the statements I noted were (with apologies that none are exact quotes, and my lack of attribution on some): In life, not to mention just …

## Re-thinking Our High School Math Curriculum

Nils Ahbel of Deerfield Academy gave a thought provoking presentation at the 2011 Anja S. Greer Conference on Secondary School Mathematics (held at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH) on the history and potential future of the American High School mathematics curriculum. The Prezi that he used to illustrate his talk can be found here. As I recall, …

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