The Grand March in the Quad: Linear vs. Angular Velocity, Part II

So my students had done a magnificent job the previous day. And I hadn’t done too badly my own self. The original Sammy problem is, I submit, a masterpiece that integrates three different concepts without tipping its hand. But the students’ skepticism came through loud and clear. They understood the math. They grasped the significance…

Classroom Alchemy

“Hey, how was Philadelphia?” asked Darius*, as I checked his work (“Sketch a parabola in which b=0”). “Pittsburgh,” I said, pleased and taken aback. It was Wednesday, first day back after our 4-day Veterans Day weekend. Sometime on the previous Thursday, I’d mentioned casually I was going back east for my uncle’s 70th birthday. Six…

On Sarcasm, Irony, and Teaching

Recently, Grant Wiggins posted a heartfelt post by his daughter who was totally gobsmacked by spending two days shadowing students. Apparently, they lead a life filled with boredom and pain, tortured by constant immobility and sarcastic teachers. I was unmoved. It was, clearly, a minority opinion; Wiggins’ post went everywhere, and all sorts of teachers…

The Panda Problem

Our school was having visitors that week, and I needed a show-off problem in case they dropped by my room. The circle square problem caught my interest. As posted by Dan Meyer, Given an arbitrary point P on a line segment AB, let AP form the perimeter of a square and PB form the circumference…

Halloween Candy

One notable gap in my curricular resume is any sort of performance work based on real-life data. Like most math teachers who work with struggling populations, I think performance task projects waste hours of time for limited learning outcomes. So how could I create a performance-based task that didn’t waste time, had a number of…

Ambiguous Factoring

Fun with factoring, part I–Difference of Cubes I wish I could remember the teacher’s blog that alerted me to this. I can see the page in my memory, but I can’t find it. I will happily include a link if anyone can tell me the blog. It was written in February, I think, a year…