• Uncategorized


    Last night I went to go see our school’s spring theatre show (two one-act plays). It’s awesome to see how our school celebrates the arts rather than pushing them aside to prep for better MCAS scores or rankings in U.S. News & World Report. It makes me think that I probably won’t even look at that type of ranking when picking a school for my own child. I love that one theatre teacher posed a math problem to the audience afterward: can you guess how many individually painted blue squares there were in The Girl Who Refused to Turn Blue? 13/30.

  • Uncategorized

    the manshower

    My fiance’s work did a wedding party (or “manshower”) for us tonight. Part of it was a Trivial Pursuit game in which each table had to come up with answers to trivia questions about us. We found the trivia worksheets scattered on the tables afterwards. Here are a few: Geography – What town was he born in? Ethan wasn’t born, he was gifted to the world – How old was Ethan the first time he left New Hampshire? Trick question, he hasn’t left. History – What would Ethan’s name have been if he had been born female? Surprisingly, the same. – What were his first words? So can you get…

  • instruction

    car buying

    Tardy to the party today…will post again in the evening. Talked to a coworker about buying cars yesterday. He expressed a lot of frustration with the way dealers manipulate financing to make more money off you: 1) making low offers for trade-in (or increasing sticker price of the car with a trade-in) 2) changing the APR 3) changing the length of the loan 4) upselling expensive cars Could be a good real-world problem for financial math, especially since some 12th graders are interested in saving up for cars. 11/30.

  • instruction


    Doing #MtBos30 is surprisingly harder to do than starting to run more consistently. But I’m doing it, so I’m happy. My post for today is a shoutout to two cool educators I met at EdCamp Boston. They wrote excellent recaps of the event…great reading for those who want to learn more about EdCamps! 1) Heather Kohn 2) Steve Guditus 9/30.

  • instruction


    I bought some plants from our SAR science class (which is growing them for a fundraiser).   My first foray into gardening was to repot some of these plants into bigger pots.   Math Problem Ideas 1) Convert the weight of potting soil (which comes in 35.39 L bags) into pounds. 2) Estimate the appropriate pot diameter to buy for plants and explain rationale for choosing them. 3) Estimate how many of the small basil plants to buy if you want to make a caprese salad for your class. 8/30.

  • instruction

    Genius Hour + IB = ?

    Today at EdCamp Boston, I learned about Genius Hour from Daniel Welty (who led a lunch session about it). Genius Hour is inspired by Google’s “20% time” for employees to pursue projects that they are passionate about. For the classroom, students are challenged to explore a project, work on it in a set amount of time, and share it with the class or school. This enables students to take ownership of their learning and encourages a positive approach to learning, rather than the students trying to cheat their way through questions or teachers trying to catch students cheating their way through questions. For example, rather than a student simply Googling…

  • musings

    random oddities from the week + the backpack problem

    Student Oddities From the Week Student: I want our school to have yellow hoodies. I’m already black! I want people to be able to see me. Student: You shouldn’t honeymoon in Africa. You really don’t know how to run fast from the lions. Student: When I have kids we’re going to play with LEGOs every month. And I’ll frame them so we can look at them. [after hearing that they are only allowed to have bottled water in the room for IB exams] Student 1: I need three bottles of water. Me: [Student 1] must be really thirsty. Me: [immediately realize the slang usage of “wanting someone really bad”] Students:…

  • productivity

    on “lesson planning” a meeting

    In addition to my math teaching, I also co-lead grade team meetings. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make meetings more interactive and more useful for fellow staff. I sometimes feel awkward when meetings become talking “at” staff rather than active, working time where staff are engaged. When I’m in a really good group exercise class, I sometimes think about the lesson planning that must have gone into it. In those really good group exercise classes, we’re spectators in that we are not conversing or verbally sharing ideas, but we are working our butts off. I think we’ve all had classes where we know we can…


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