Great work in math education (through blogs and Star Wars)

I keep emailing these links to friends, so I might as well put them in an update-able post instead.

I got hooked by this line:

You say “looks like somebody has too much time on their hands” but all I hear is “I’m sad because I don’t know what creativity feels like.”

I love this mentality and followed it down the path to an excellent community of high school math/physics teachers, all blogging about how they try to keep students engaged, motivate the topics they teach, make grades meaningful, etc. Two of my favorites are Shawn Cornally and Dan Meyer:

Shawn Cornally‘s all about formative assessment, standards-based grading, learning through inquiry, etc. Definitely watch his TEDx talk (with Star Wars references, as promised; I love the part about “Tayh D Be”) and check out the formative assessment / feedback / grading tool he’s built.

Dan Meyer takes a love of storytelling (compare the narrative of Star Wars to a typical math problem) and sets up some badass perplexing math questions, using good hooks to get students engaged AND using the real world as an answer key (vs. just “Oh that’s what the back of the book says”).

Also recommended is another TEDx talk by physics teacher / skateboarder Dr Tae.

Here is an overview of some other discussions in this math-teacher blogosphere. That includes some back-and-forth on Khan Academy, which I think is doing great work but I agree with the criticism that his videos can come across as “This is a required class, so let me help you pass the quiz,” instead of “This is an awesome subject, so let me get you hooked on it.” It’s much better than nothing, but there’s room for even more goodness…

Plenty of other great great blogs to share, but that’s a start for now.

One Response to Great work in math education (through blogs and Star Wars)

  1. Jeremy Millington

    Khan Academy has a lot of other plan other than videos and exercises going for it. Check out http://www.khanacademy.org/about/discovery-lab and http://www.khanacademy.org/labs/explorations

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