I’ve written at length about assessment — the assessment of students by teachers. Today, I turn around and focus on how to maximize the benefits of student feedback in course evaluations. Early in my high school teaching career, I was given a form that my students were supposed to fill out. It had a long… Continue reading Course Evaluations

# Author: hpicciotto

## Classroom Basics

Last January, I addressed a blog post to a “young teacher”. Actually, it applied to beginners — whether young or not so young. The post was largely about big-picture thoughts on becoming a math teacher. It generated a thoughtful and heartfelt response from another veteran educator. If you’re a beginner, I encourage you to check… Continue reading Classroom Basics

## For Algebra

The Atlantic published an excerpt from Temple Grandin’s latest book (Visual Thinking). They titled it “Against Algebra”, which puts it in a tradition of anti-algebra pieces in various magazines and radio programs (!). Alas, anti-algebra ideas are also present among some math educators. I have written about this repeatedly: Technology in Math Education (2022) My… Continue reading For Algebra

## Technology in Math Education

Technology influences both the content and the methods of math education, but the impact is slow and gradual, not sudden and dramatic. This is in part because it takes time for technology to reach the classroom, but it is especially because school and societal culture develops unevenly. In this post, I think about some specific… Continue reading Technology in Math Education

## We need to review!

It is a serious mistake to present important concepts only once, and move on. Most students need extended and repeated exposure to challenging ideas before those sink in. As I became more and more aware of this in the course of my decades in the classroom, I started to think in terms of a “preview… Continue reading We need to review!

## Polyarcs in the Classroom

You may be familiar with polyominoes, the figures that can be made by connecting unit squares, edge to edge. For example, these are the tetrominoes, each one made of four unit squares: Polyominoes are an example of polyforms. I discussed polyforms in this article: Geometric Puzzles in the Classroom. In particular, this is where I… Continue reading Polyarcs in the Classroom

## Making a GeoGebra Slide Show

I’m a long-time user of interactive geometry software, of which the dominant instance these days is GeoGebra. Here are some ways it’s enhanced my teaching over the years. Most obviously, it provides an environment for students to explore geometry and geometric construction. I’ve written much about it on this blog, and shared some curriculum on… Continue reading Making a GeoGebra Slide Show

## No Best Way

In 2020, I wrote No One Way, a blog post which I used to explain my website’s motto (“There is no one way.”) I argued that it is the math itself that demands that we approach important topics in multiple ways. As it turns out, this is a favorite topic of mine: in 2016, I… Continue reading No Best Way

## Mentoring Young Teachers

In a recent post I addressed young teachers. Today I write to their mentors. (If you’re a mentor, you should probably read both posts.) I chaired the math department in a small private school for almost 30 years. When we had an opening for a math teacher, the head of school made the final decision, but I was asked to… Continue reading Mentoring Young Teachers

## Lab Gear, the Great Connector

I had the good fortune of mentoring Liz Caffrey for five years, at the very beginning of her teaching career, when she worked at the high school where I chaired the math department. She is now a veteran and talented middle school teacher in the Boston area, but we’ve stayed in touch. In this guest… Continue reading Lab Gear, the Great Connector