Using Technology Effectively in Math Classes

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

In a blog post published last week on EdWeek's Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo, I discussed ways that teachers can use technology effectively in math classes, including foster collaboration, encouraging independent work (with tools like DeltaMath), promoting guided discovery (with tools like Desmos), quickly checking student understanding, and promoting accuracy.

The complete blog post is here: . I also discussed some of these ideas in a podcast available on the BAM! Radio Network at .

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Effective Ways Students Can Teach Their Classmates

Published: Saturday, November 17, 2018

Today, my response to a question on Larry Ferlazzo's EdWeek blog about peer instruction was posted. In my response, I noted that if teachers don't create the proper classroom environment, then any cooperative learning venture will fall flat. I discussed the importance of learning students' strengths and weaknesses and starting small.

The full response is here: . A podcast on the same topic featuring me and other teachers is located here: .

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How to Handle a Class that Has Gotten Out of Control

Published: Saturday, October 27, 2018

I recently wrote a response for Larry Ferlazzo's Classroom Q&A blog at Edweek on the question "How do you turn around a class that you've let get out of control?" In my response, I highligted four questions I often ask myself in these situations: What else are students going through? Which students act out the most? Is the level of work appropriate? Is the work predictable? I also advised not taking student misbehavior too personally. I've had students curse at me one day and give me a friendly greeting the next day as if nothing had happened!

My full response is at . A podcast on the same topic featuring me and other teachers is at .

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How Fair Is the SHSAT?

Published: Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is the standardized test used as the sole criteria for admission to the eight specialized high schools in New York City, including Stuyvesant High School, the Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School. Today's Wall Street Journal had an interesting article that points out that Mayor de Blasio's plan to admit the top 7% of performers in each middle school would allow students who didn't pass state seventh grade tests to be admitted into these schools.

As I said in my quote in the article, it's hard to imagine that students who failed state tests could succeed in a specialized high school where coursework is more rigorous. However, that doesn't mean that those students don't have other skills that would enable them to do well.

Besides, replacing one controversial test with another controversial test doesn't seem to address the serious inequity in the specialized schools, where the proportion of black and Hispanic students is far below the citywide proportion.

The full article is here:

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Think Inside the Box (Part 2): Using the Box with Polynomials

Published: Sunday, August 12, 2018

The “box” or tabular method of multiplication is a great way for elementary, middle, and high school students to make mathematical connections. In this second of two articles, I discuss how the box method can be used to multiply and divide polynomials.

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