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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Going Around the Corner for Coffee

I went to Ottawa during Thanksgiving to visit my dad. Mainly just to visit. To spend time. I wasn’t much help doing anything other than putting dishes in the dishwasher and carrying stuff out to the car from where they had been staying. But there was one day when my dad and I went to have [...]

What the Disembodied Head Said

Perhaps you have heard about this Apple ad from 1984 (even if you weren’t watching the Super Bowl halftime on TV that year). The ad never played again, but it was a watershed event, the dawn of a new age. But even if you know the ad, have you paid attention to exactly what the disembodied [...]

A Week As Sleep Sponge

I visited my dad and Khadija last week. The school district had the entire week off, and it’s not often I have the luxury to travel to the Great White North. And it was indeed white there, and cold. But I was prepared, with boots and mittens and a warm hat and a scarf and [...]

Lethargy

The second Pyracantha gave up the ghost this summer. The first one died years ago. Neither of them was in a good place, planted under the eves where even when it rained they probably got no water. The passing of the first one never bothered me, and the demise of the second was neither a [...]

Old, Bad Habits

In the mornings in his room, you’ll find boxes of donuts. They are available free for the taking, although you have to buy a napkin. One morning last week, I walked into his room to fill out a form. Some kids were sitting at a lab table, huddled around a 3D printer. They were eating [...]

Driving Into the Darkness

Tonite I drove into the darkness. Under the overpass. Around the turn. Past the corner where the street lamp shines. Up the ramp. Into the darkness. The city was shining in the distance. Skyscrapers punctuating the black along the river. Over the bridge. My exit approached. In no time, I was speeding back thru the [...]

Group Work

We did nothing but work quadratic formula problems on Friday. I let the students self-organize. Some chose to work alone. Others worked in groups. I gave each group a different problem. It was a smashing success. The students were mostly engaged and focused non-stop for fifty minutes. The room was noisy. But the talk was [...]

On Reading

I was observing another teacher’s classroom a few weeks ago. They were studying forms of government — anarchy, theocracy, monarchy, democracy, … The discussions that flowed in that class were nothing like what we get in mine. After all, how excited can students get discussing how the discriminant in the quadratic formula determines the number [...]

Noticing the Pens

“Mister, where do you get your pens?” someone asked. Later that day, another student asked the same thing. They’ve seen me using these for some time, now. When I’m at the document camera writing guided notes, I use colors to emphasize where things come from — to show what’s being substituted where. And I use them [...]

Turning in the Extra Credit Problems

A student of mine had been struggling. He knew it, and he would come in for help during tutorials. He asked good questions. He tried hard. I sent some links to Khan Academy to give him additional background and practice. Since then, he’s been more comfortable with the material, and his grades have been inching [...]