Carl's Teaching Blog

A place to talk about teaching and learning

This Week: MTBoS30, Sports, And The First Day of Class

I’m picking up where I left off yesterday on my MTBoS30 quest with the third post in a row!

As this is the first Monday post of this blog, I thought a good Monday tradition might be a good plan to lay out the week ahead.  I’ll call this little feature “This Week” and I plan to layout the teaching and blogging I have lined up for the week, as well as whatever else is on my mind for that monday.

What I’m Teaching this week:

SPORTS!!! The first three days of this week are what we at our school call “Intensives.”  It’s a time for kids to really immerse themselves in an exciting learning activity.  In the past we helped create a documentary, taught kids to DJ, and last year we a trip to DC.  This year I am getting physical, and focusing on playing sports with kids.  Today we played baseball, football, and soccer, and have Basketball, Table Tennis and Kinect Dance Central on deck for tomorrow. I’m pretty excited.  I wish I knew more basic games that any kids can play that don’t require equipments or put unknowledgable kids at a huge disadvantage.  It was really sad watching two kids kick around a soccer ball because they didn’t know how to play American football with all the other kids.  Perhaps we’ll play a giant game of Sharks and Minnows or Freeze Tag or some other game.

The last half of the week I am launching 4th quarter classes with my usual start of the class routine:

  1. Kids come and are greeted with a index cards for filling out personal contact information and one or two questions.  The questions will probably be “What do you think of math on a scale of 1-10” and “Use the word ‘Probability’ in a sentence about your life”
  2. After about 5-10 minutes it’s time for the ‘Syllabus and the Shpiel’ where I run down the rules of the class, how we should treat each other, and the grading plan (which I’ll talk about later this week).
  3. We’ll go around and get to know each other by sharing one of the questions from above, and if there is time we will do a diagnostic activity.

What I’m Blogging this week:

I’m not sure how the MTBoS30 deal works, but if there is a prompt I’ll answer it. If not I might dip into the ‘Blogging 101‘ posts at the Daily Post

On my own I need to set up a Standards Based Grading system, so I’ll probably lay out what that is going to look like.

(I’m also going to stop firing off a post after midnight and changing the time so it looks like I posted the day before…)


What I’m thinking this week:

I can’t stop thinking about the horribly racist comments that were made by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  While that’s bad, and the outcry against it has been amazing, it saddens me that our racial conversation still circles around the misguided actions of individual people but ignores misguided policies and structures that affect certain racial groups disproportionately like the recent Supreme Court ruling about University of Michigan’s right to create a racially diverse student body.




30 for 30 Starts Now (Well Actually Yesterday)


EQP: Last Year’s Final Project


  1. There are totally no prompts but if you need one just tweet at me @sophgermain and I will come up with one. It will be ridiculous though, so prepare yourself! Welcome friend!

  2. Redlight/greenlight is fun at all ages 🙂

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