Carl's Teaching Blog

A place to talk about teaching and learning

Category: This week (Page 1 of 3)

This week: Let’s pretend it’s Monday again!

This is the post I was supposed to put out on Monday, but my face was attacked by pillow and I had no choice but to take a nap and then stumble from the couch the bed shortly after. I jotted down some ideas for this post, so I am going to carry it out now.

What I’m Teaching This Week

This week we are going to be reviewing standard deviation and working on a survey we are going to give to the school. (I have actually already wrote about his, here). Following this we will talk about how to avoid writing biased questions and we will talk about procedures for identifying outliers and also looking at the spread of data. It would also be good to plant the seed for a talk about looking at correlation and causation as that will be an issue next week.

What I’m Blogging This Week

Last week I made a post about the Shadowcon Calls to Action that I worked on. This week I wanted to look at Kaneka Turner’s talk, but I haven’t got very far (aside from a really awkward conversation with one student that left me filled with a lot of respect for how clearly Kaneka explained the concept). The concept of an “invitation” to be good at math is hard for me to get, because I don’t really know when I got the invitiation, or whether it remains in my posssession. If I can’t think of anything, I may just end up with a post explaining my largely ticket-less math history.

What I’m Thinking This Week

This week I feel really behind on a lot of things. Unfortunately, this feeling is not new for this year. If this chapter of my life had a title, the front runners would be either “Overwhelmed”, “Time-Managment Breakdowns”, or “New Wife, New House, New Baby, New Job.” So it hasn’t been good, however, it is getting better. Getting organized has been as illusive as finding a four-leaf clover, but I think I am more effective than I was a year ago, and I am probaly going to get a lot better. I usually figure things out at the end of the year, only to forget it all over the summer. Hopefully this won’t be the case this year, and writing can help with that.

This Week: Instant Gratification Monkey Takes The Wheel

What I’m teaching this week

S  P  R  E  A  D. We started our first two classes wondering about what it means for a number to represent the central tendency of a set. Now we will explore ways to see why those kinds of numbers can’t be trusted. I have a group work task that I did last year which I could roll out early next week. The idea of outliers has been easy for kids to understand, and we talked about it briefly before break. so I will do a little review with that tomorrow. Then work through a parallel exploration of standard deviation and the IQR before a reflection on Thursday.

What I’m blogging this week

This is the first Monday of #MTBoS30, and with that I am going to bring back my Monday “This Week” posts. These posts provide a brief synopsis of what I’m teaching, blogging, and thinking this week. I also have a number of posts ideas lined up that will help me keep from hitting writers block this week and through out this month. This week I plan to get in to some of the things I’ve learned from NCTM conferences in San Francisco and Minnesota. I also want to talk do some class logs from the classes I teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and also write up the project that I taught last cycle.

What I’m thinking this week

This week I have so much stuff to do, I’m basically just seeing if I can survive and be productive. NYC schools just returned from break. All the teachers, and some of the kids returned today, but it feels like my brain is still out on vacation. Over the break I watched the most entertaining TED talk I’ve seen in some time and now I keep thiking about it. In Tim Urban’s talk “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” he describes exactly what has been going on in my brain since mid-April. Hopefully my rational decision-maker will keep the monkey off the wheel, before I get behind and end up dealing with the panic monster! Definitely watch the video if you have time (and aren’t procrastinating).


This week: 14 days ’til kids

Hmm. Seems pretty quiet around here…

This had certainly been a memorable summer in all facets of my life. First wedding anniversary, first project where I used desmos, and I had a baby! (of course by “had” I mean I torrented episodes of scandal while my wife was laboring). So much going on, and yet I have nothing logged here on my little corner of the web. Kinda sad I guess.

The point of my blogging is to talk about my teaching, not to talk about my success teaching. When it’s time to blog, the little success guy sits on my shoulder and tells me “Don’t write a post, you don’t have anything good to write about yet. Go on reddit and do it tomorrow.” Trying to project success as a teacher makes me shelf posts about my scattered ideas, my non-traditional school, or how I feel unclear about my teaching/working situation. If blogging is going to be a useful practice, it’s should be just that: a practice. I should write about I’m doing, and hope that the success shines through. So with that over-thinking, and this tweet as inspiration, let’s use it!

What I’m teaching this week year


I don’t know! So this year is going to see a big change in my career. I’ll head into school to get the details on Wednesday, but it looks like I’ll be teaching one class, and I think it will be different than the algebra I’ve taught the past few years. My goal for the year was to help kids become better problem solvers and help myself become better at facilitating conversations. This will have to be a blog for later in the week.

What I’m blogging this week

In addition to figuring out what I’m teaching this year, I’m lucky enough to edit the Global Math Department Newsletter. I’ve also been able to help out the website which had a few notable things coming before the school year starts.

  • “Projects” a collection of the various projects that people from around the #MTBoS create, contribute to, and depend on.
  • “Newsletters” will house all of the letters that her sent out each week.
  • More interaction, including a form will let people give feedback about the presentations suggest speakers, and another one that will suggest other things to include on the site.

I’m really  looking forward to the upcoming year and working with everyone to make GMD great this year.

What I’m thinking this week

This is going to be a long hard year. It is intimidating to think about being able to grow as an educator and a father this year, but it will is possible. Before having a kid, the one thing I could offer to my kid would be passion. Hopefully demonstrating a pursuit of being really good at my craft will help my think daughter think she should pursue her dreams. My daughter, who was napping on me while I wrote this, see below, is probably not going to give much time to write. I’ll have to start writing more posts on my phone, or in whatever other time I have. Oops, look like I brought her up again, now I’m mandated to take a picture.

This Week: Re-Resolving, and Explaining What I Do In The Classroom

This week I am going to get start posting about my New Years Resolutions.  Now you may be thinking:

Hold up Carl, weren’t you supposed to start on those on…umm, you know…NEW YEARS!!!

How about you hold off on the judgement there Mr. or Mrs. High-Horse.  I’ve been actually been doing my New Years resolutions since before the actual beginning of the year, but I wanted to wait until I followed through on them for a while before talking about them. Studies have shown that when you tell people about your goals you may lose motivation, so I figured I would take them on a test drive first.  This year I resolved to re-resolve about a month into the New Year with all the goals I wanted to reach.  One of my many resolutions is to use this blog more, so with this post I am going to start my first weekly post detailing what I plan to get done this week, as I have done in the past.

What I’m teaching this week

This week is the last week of the cycle, we have about 4 days of class left and all of them are going to be students writing papers, with some nice activities in between.  I am going to come up with a feedback survey, and perhaps some other end of class activity, but most of this week I will be grading students’ writing.

How closely should math teachers grade writing?  I struggle with finding the line between critiquing a student’s grammar and critiquing a student’s voice.  Also, does the kind of writing direction that I give on final written assignments contradict the instruction that the English teachers give?

What I’m blogging this week

Most of my students are finishing my “Road Trip Project”, which has been in my rotation for linear equations for a long time.  Over the past 4 years A number of teachers have sat on my presentations, or heard about the project and it is kind of popular aroudn the school. So it was no surprise that when one of the teachers had to go on leave for a few weeks that they suggested sub teach the students my “Road Trip Project.”  As flattered as I was, I panicked when realizing that I had to take the instruction component of this project, which currently lives only in my head, and detail it for a substitute teacher.  I actually couldn’t explain to a sub what all to do in order to maximize student learning through the project, and didn’t want to see the project trivialized into a bunch of “answer getting”, so I ended up teaching both his and my first period class as a combined group, and using my prep to teach his afternoon section.

That made me think that maybe it would be a good exercise to go through a project that I teach and really detail all the little things I do along the way in order to make the most of it.  I wanted to try and write up this project and detail all the different things that are involved in the teaching the project both to get feedback, but to also practice this idea of taking what I do in the classroom and explaining it. We’ll see if I have time for it, as it’s already a short week.

What I’m Thinking this week

It’s Martin Luther King day, and I think my thoughts for this week are better stated by him. I often think the message of MLK day seems to be stop at integration, and falls short of the goals for equality that MLK fought for.  This is from a post that I found through another post as Harry Belafonte remembers talking with MLK:

I remember the last time we were together, at my home, shortly before he was murdered. He seemed quite agitated and preoccupied, and I asked him what the problem was. “I’ve come upon something that disturbs me deeply,” he said. “We have fought hard and long for integration, as I believe we should have, and I know that we will win. But I’ve come to believe we’re integrating into a burning house.”

That statement took me aback. It was the last thing I would have expected to hear, considering the nature of our struggle, and I asked him what he meant. “I’m afraid that America may be losing what moral vision she may have had,” he answered. “And I’m afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be deeply concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. Until we commit ourselves to ensuring that the underclass is given justice and opportunity, we will continue to perpetuate the anger and violence that tears at the soul of this nation.”

This Week: CLASSES!!!

In the first four weeks of the school I have been doing anything but teaching.  This cycle I am waiting for the final group of late admits to enroll in our school so I have not been teaching any regular classes, except for a class that has only 10 students which will soon be merged with the new admits.  Even my teaching hasn’t felt like real teaching.  It all comes to an end this Wednesday when I start my first regular day of classes here.  I’ve been feeling an itch to return back to the classroom since the beginning of the year, but it’s definitely gotten stronger in the last day or so.  I feel like the retired teachers coming back to visit in the fall who is way more excited to talk about what is going on with the kids than that new RV they bought.

What I’m teaching this week

So I have a hefty task for our this first week, let alone the next six.  Students need to learn about our portfolio based curriculum and get adjusted to approaching math in a different way than their old school.  Material needs to be crazy differentiated, as some students will transfer here expecting calculus, others were hoping to get through a 2nd run at geometry, and all of them are going to be in my class.  The biggest task to figure out for this week is how to explain to kids that they need to complete an appropriate portfolio project, based on their ability, by the end of the cycle.  New students who aren’t used to having a non-test based math class are going to go through some growing pains, and adjustment.  Let’s hope they get on board quickly (by ‘on board’ I mean viewing math as something that have ownership of, not merely a set of things to memorize before regurgitating it on an assessment later).  Let’s see how this goes…

What I’m blogging this week

I’ll probably blog about the diagnostic that I use with my new class and what I think the results of the diagnostic tell me about my plans for this cycle.  After my conversation with Michael Pershan, I want to look into reflective practices that can inform my blogging, and other people’s blogging as well, so I will see what I can find about that. Given the uptick in workload, that will probably be all I can have time to write

What I’m thinking this week

This week I’m wondering if someone will take the time to notice that I posted a full 6 days after it says I did.  Better late than never, right?

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén