• 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…

  • appetite

    crab rangoon grilled cheese

    Nothing to do with math here, except for the context of “what does a math teacher make when struck with impromptu urges to cook but not the urge to follow a detailed gourmet recipe?” It’s that time of year…planning IB exams, prom, graduation, and my own wedding. All that added together equals an enormous need for comfort food. After finding Phillips lump crab meat and Kerrygold butter at Costco, I decided to make crab rangoon grilled cheese. I am a Food Blog has a great recipe for it, so I followed that (making extra to use as dip for Popchips). I mixed the following things in a bowl: lump crab…

  • Uncategorized

    overachieve @ TEDxTJHSST

    TEDx is “designed to help communities, organizations and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences. At TEDx events, a screening of TED Talks videos — or a combination of live presenters and TED Talks videos — sparks deep conversation and connections at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, under a free license granted by TED.” I had a great time speaking at Overachieve: TEDxTJHSST last Friday at my alma mater. It was an honor to be selected, and I am so grateful that I could share my experiences and ideas with TJ students. Below is the written version of my talk (the actual…

  • Uncategorized

    rules for requests

    Cyrus Stoller’s Rules for Requests are these: If you need something to be done in: 30 minutes: call two hours: text today: IM a day or later: email Teacher schedules don’t fit that. I’d like to propose an adapted set of rules for teachers, which will totally depend on the teacher’s attachment to his/her cell phone and quickness to respond to emails. For example: I usually wear dresses when teaching, so I don’t keep my cell phone nearby at all times. However, I have more opportunities to check email because my leadership responsibilities allow for a reduced teaching load and more planning periods (most of which are taken up by…

  • instruction

    The RunKeeper Mystery

    Today I went for a run with my friend Jess. We ran side by side and both used RunKeeper on our iPhones (both with Verizon service). At the end of our run, I ended up with 5.03 miles and she ended up with 5.22 miles. A friend asked if I’d used anything else to map it out, so I tried MapMyRun, which gave me 5.06 miles (using the out-and-back route setting). The Math Problem: Using the stats of your choice (explain why you chose them): 1) What is the absolute error? 2) What is the percent error? 3) Explain how we could get such different results. 1/30.


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