• teaching

    Make Mathematical Thinking Visible – 10 Featured Teachers?

    I have been working in at the Josiah Quincy Upper School (in Boston Public Schools) since 2008. Ten years of teaching comprises most of my adult working life, but it’s barely a blip in the 107 year history of our school building. JQUS when it was the Abraham Lincoln School (source: City of Boston Archives) Over the years, I’ve made some changes to my classroom (which still has many original fixtures). After Math in 2018 is no longer just about solving problems on individual worksheets. Students in my classroom are working to build their teamwork and communication skills as they work to solve open-ended problems like building Barbie ziplines, designing…

  • parenting

    Smilo Baby

    Smilo is a new local company founded by parents with backgrounds in medicine, science, and engineering. Smilo makes baby and toddler products such as bottles, pacifiers, and dishes. I received a newborn bundle and toddler accessories for review. My toddler son (born July 2015) and infant daughter (born April 2018) are enjoying the products so far! The newborn bundle (in blue), came with a 3-pack of small bottles with Stage 0 and Stage 1 nipples, two bottle brushes, a 3-pack of newborn pacifiers, a 3-pack of pacifiers, a fabric clip and pacifier, and a baby blanket. Bottles & Brushes: Before we had our son, I registered for a set of…

  • appetite

    citrus: cranberry-lemon Morning Glory muffins

    One of our favorite gifts is shipments of lemons and grapefruits from my aunt- and uncle-in-law (who live in Indio, California). These enormous citrus shipments bring a touch of brightness to our cold Boston winters. Even the lemons themselves are enormous. I brought a few to school once when I was on an infused-water kick. My students were so fascinated by them that they drew faces on them and gave them names (beginning with L, of course). I saw this recipe for Morning Glory muffins on Sally’s Baking Addiction and decided to make them with the lemons from our latest shipment and use produce from our our Red Fire Farm Deep…

  • instruction,  math in real life

    Rational Functions and Jewelry Production

    Math SL is a Diploma Programme (DP) course for grades 11 and 12, yet I’m unit planning in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) style since it’s consistent with our grades 6-10. MYP math has four criteria: A – Knowing and Understanding, B – Investigating Patterns, C – Communicating, and D – Applying Math in a Real-Life Context. I’ve been racking my brain to come up with an authentic assessment (not a test) for my Rational Functions Unit. In this unit, we are focusing on the following objectives from the IB Math SL syllabus: 2.5 The reciprocal function x → 1/x, x ≠ 0, its graph and self-inverse nature. The…

  • appetite

    Snoop-Approved Meals: Bean & Hominy Chili

    My toddler (nicknamed snoop) loves to eat and now help me cook! He seems to prefer vegetarian meals (e.g., black bean soup, macaroni and cheese, chana masala) so I was happy that he enjoyed this Good Cheap Eats chili with ground beef. I figured that he enjoyed the flavors, so I used the recipe as a base to make a vegetarian version with hominy instead of beef. I also changed some of the spices and swapped black beans for kidney beans. Snoop liked helping me cook by dumping the canned ingredients and pre-measured spices into the slow cooker, then pushing the button to start the slow cooker. Ingredients ½ onion, chopped 6 cloves garlic,…

  • Uncategorized

    Fat Sheep Farm & Cabins

    The last time I came to the Woodstock, Vermont area was to run the 2010 Covered Bridges Half Marathon. My husband Ethan has also run this race several times (before it started to sell out within minutes), making it a racecation with a big group from Cambridge Running Club (CRC). Seven years later, we both came back with a big CRC group. But instead of chasing half marathon PR’s, we all chased our kids around Fat Sheep Farm & Cabins in nearby Hartland, Vermont. The CRC connection continues: Fat Sheep Farm was founded by Todd, one of our oldest CRC friends, and his fiancee Suzy. Both of them live there…

  • instruction,  musings

    summer reflection: on habits and the teaching-family connection

    The 2016-2017 school year is finally over (as of June 28), and I’m now in the Brandeis teacher leadership program summer component for most of July. This year has been incredibly rewarding in terms of growth as a teacher and as a leader, but I haven’t quite figured out how to reflect on that growth or figure out how to just sit down and write! Changing habits is an interesting beast. The “run at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays” habit finally gelled for me this year, when I tricked myself into running before work so that I could hang out with my husband and son after work. That habit wasn’t as…

  • Uncategorized

    iPhone Data Analysis

    Got inspired by the MTBoS when I saw a tweet from Tina: I need to do histograms, box plots and frequency tables. I’d like to use interesting data. I like this from IM: https://t.co/TTAzzKbKzI — Tina Cardone 🏳️‍🌈 (@crstn85) May 19, 2017 It made me think of an activity that I did for data analysis this year, focusing on the statement of inquiry: “How quantities are represented can establish underlying trends or relationships in a population.” We had learned measures of central tendency, stem-and-leaf plots, box plots, bar graphs, and histograms, so I was curious how they would apply these types of data analysis when given this statement of inquiry.…

  • instruction

    what is the “right” way?

    Today a friend emailed this math problem to me. What *is* the “right” way for math anyway? Is technology inherently less “right” than algebra? Solving it graphically by Desmos (or by TI-84) still solves the problem, but maybe that doesn’t feel as elegant or satisfying. I did want to share the joy of Desmos (since my non-math teacher peers aged mid- to late-thirties did not grow up with it), so I sent the following screenshot (before I eventually solved it algebraically). The response: “Ha ha, neat toy. Since I forgot all the tricks to resolve mixes of square roots and variables, I looked at it as, it must be an integer since…

  • instruction,  parenting

    on this day

    As much as I dislike Facebook, I do find value in the “On this Day” feature. From April 21, 2011, I wrote this note. Six years later, 3) through 6) are still so important for teaching (and now parenting). Six years later, we have Google Classroom, SeeSaw, Workplace, ClassDojo, Khan Academy and countless other technologies that increase our ability to access content or transmit content to our colleagues or students. Six years later, we have Amazon PrimeNow to get whatever baby product we need within two hours. We have similar access to “wisdom” via countless online mommy/baby forums, sleep consultants, and ScaryMommy/Pregnant Chicken-esque blogs. We can also transmit our content in those…