Teaching Strategies

  1. Whiteboarding

  2. The Growth Mindset

  3. Using Data and Modeling

  4. Evergreen Lesson Structures

  5. Standards Based Grading

  6. Stealing from Physics Teachers



Frank Noschese’s class post The $2 Whiteboard, which contrasts fancy, expensive SMART boards that don’t encourage collaboration, and simple, cheap, whiteboards that do. Includes instructions on how to make your own.

My overview of the pros and cons of math whiteboarding.

Kelly O’Shea’s Guide to the Mistake Game, a whiteboarding mode where students purposely introduce a mistake while presenting a problem to classmates.

A treasure trove of theoretical reasons to use whiteboards and an overview of the positives and nev

Jason Buell posts about whiteboarding round robins, where one student from each group stays behind their group’s whiteboard and teaches other groups as they rotate.

My 3 favorite whiteboarding modes, and some experimental ideas for math whiteboarding.


The Growth Mindset

Cal Newport’s post describing how a growth mindset student who react to a C on a test.

John Golden’s succinct explanation of the Growth Mindset with a survey he gives to his students. I then adapted it for my first few days Growth Mindset survey getting students to ponder whether math “ability” is fixed or not, which John Burk turned into a data collection project on Growth Mindset (results).

John Burk’s responses from former students about how helpful learning about the Growth Mindset was.

Kate Nowak’s post about how making mistakes is a core value in her classroom.

A fake science article by Carol Dweck about how your brain can grow bigger with practice and work.


Using Data and Modeling

My memory and forgetting modeling experiment.

My calculus project based on country population data and the shape of a graph.

My list of data sources, with lots more in the comments. Glenn Waddell has a great list of data sources too.


Evergreen Lesson Structures

My idea of Math Taboo and James Cleveland’s cards.

My mathematical folding stories.

Kate Nowak’s Row GamesSpeed Dating and Add ‘Em Up.

Elissa Miller’s Balloon Pop Game (I did a similar thing but called it Battleship! instead and had them sinking fake ships).


Standards Based Grading

How I introduce SBG to student by comparing it to how Angry Birds “grades.”

Shawn Cornally’s collection of posts on SBG, dealing with almost every single issue surrounding the topic.

Sam Shah’s Original SBG Rubric (scale of 1-4 with a 3.5, and no other half points). I use this scale in my class. Here is Elissa Miller’s similar version that has great language for what the teacher and the student should be thinking. Others, like Kelly O’Shea, use smaller scales and instead of converting scores to percentages, assign grades based on how many standards they have mastered.

Frank Noschese’s post on this nuts and bolts of keeping track of a complicated new system like this. Here is how Kelly O’Shea keeps track of all her extra tests, and her idea of how to manage if she had more students than her small, private school class numbers.

John Burk’s SBG Gala, which has dozens of awesome blog posts about SBG categorized and clearly labeled.

Sam Shah’s method of incorporating review standards into bootcamps before each unit.

How I grade test with Excel spreadsheets to quickly mine learning data.


Stealing from Physics Teachers

Kelly O’Shea’s Goal-less Problems, a brilliant open-ended way of having students do problems that focuses on the more important aspects of Physics than a computational answer.

Frank Noschese’s page on Modeling Instruction, a good overview of a philosophy of teaching that values student construction of concepts and students modeling their physical world.

Shawn Cornally’s post on how he begins the year, which is a great account of how he implements SBG and begins the scientific process with his students.

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