Author: Matthew

Cultural Differences

I’ve been feeling a bit exasperated lately when considering the difference in levels between my American students compared to my Chinese students.  Overall I feel that, as I read in an article recently, the best American schools develop creativity and individual identity in students who become active and responsible citizens, whereas the best Chinese schools Read More …

Sidekick Topics

The sidekick supports the superhero behind the scenes and doesn’t generally get too much recognition.  But the sidekick is SO important; the superhero is nothing without him/her.  There are some topics when I started teaching that I just never really saw much importance for in the standard K-12 curriculum until I realized they were super Read More …

Thanks.

I have to be honest that I have often felt like an inadequate teacher even though I’m a pretty confident guy, have always been growth-focused, and am open to new ideas & accept them if they make sense.  I think that possibly the feelings of inadequacy stem from the fact that there is so much I Read More …

Finally Feeling Good About Week 1

Since the beginning of my career six years ago I’ve always felt awkward about what I do in Week 1.  I started with the usual boring stuff:  course outlines, review assignments, and/or some sort of other diagnostic to see where student understanding was to start out the school year.  I soon realized that there were Read More …

New Year Resolution 1: Encouraging Statements

My first “new year resolution” for this upcoming school year (starting Monday, yikes!) is to be direct and outright with my encouragement of students.  I resolve to regularly use statements such as “I believe in you,” “you can do it,” “keep up the hard work,” and “you are good at math” purposefully with students every Read More …

On Writing

So I don’t claim to have figured this out yet, but I have solidified a lot more of my thoughts about how language should work in the math classroom that I would like to implement.  I’ve shared my thinking about the progression of language learning:  speaking → reading → writing.  Each helps you become more Read More …

Classroom Changes – Post PCMI

So I didn’t have this blog up when PCMI Round 1 came about last summer, but as I am in the midst of Round 2 as I write I thought I’d write on the experience now since I’ve had the chance to go through a year and reflect.  First of all, if you haven’t heard of Read More …

Student Reflections

So one of my major goals this year was to make a push to help students realize different mathematical strengths and figure out where theirs lie.  I really wanted them to begin to see that mathematics is so much more than just being quick at calculations and seeing formulas, which was how most of them Read More …

The Newspaper Problem

DISCLAIMER:  I procrastinate on something until I feel like it’s “perfect.”  Then I eventually realize it will never be perfect and either (a) concede and move on with it anyway since it’s too good to pass up, or (b) toss it aside if it wasn’t a worthwhile venture.  In the realm of my blog, I’ve Read More …