Category: Uncategorized

My Use of Moore Method and IBL
I just read the following online article: Why Use IBL? and wanted to note the link for later use. This is a great summary of the history, use and effects of Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) in the classroom, and its undergraduatelevel cousin, the Modified Moore Method. My approach to teaching has evolved along with the use…

Should you cite Wikipedia?
The short answer is no, but I think that Wikipedia is an excellent first stop on your way to find better sources. Move towards the source: Ideally you should cite primary and secondary sources in your work, but Wikipedia might be considered tertiary or even more remote. However, most Wikipedia entries are compiled by knowledgeable…

How to Have a Conversation
One of my favorite sketches in the Monty Python film, The Meaning of Life, is of a middleaged couple (completely lacking any intellectual curiosity) who have an awkward and scripted conversation. The waiter tries to interest them in conversations about minorities, football, baseball, and finally manages to start them on a conversation about philosophy. You…

Welcome to the Bard MAT Neighborhood
One of the many special things about the Bard MAT Program is just how much time students spend out in the schools, allowing for a gentle development of their skills and understandings as teachers. Now that September is nearing an end, the MAT students will soon scatter around the neighborhood, to the nearby classrooms at…

Fall 2011 Math Teaching Lab
I’m preparing for the fall math teaching lab, which starts on Wednesday, September 7th. Last year, I cotaught this class with my colleague Ben BlumSmith, and we planned the course on the belief that mathematical problem solving is the heart of mathematics. The guiding questions we used were What’s Motivating about doing Mathematics? How do…

The Math Babe and the Science Babe
Two interesting blogs that I follow are called, respectively, The Science Babe and mathbabe. No, neither of these blogs are prurient websites that are weak on content. Instead, they both seek to reclaim the terms from websites that are. The Math Babe is none other than Cathy O’Neil, a Ph.D. Number Theorist who left academia…

Do Not Litter And Feed The Birds
A sentence in natural language can often be interpreted in two ways, but in mathematics, we must be precise in our use of language and avoid ambiguity. This often least to humorous interpretations of street signs and the results can be adorable. Take this street sign example, which I photographed in September of 2010 at…

Magic Cubes
Last weekend was the last meeting this semester of the Bard Math Circle at the Kingston Library, and we made magic cubes. A magic cube is a large cube made up of eight smaller cubes that are hinged together in such a way that they rotate through themselves magically, revealing many surfaces. This activity is…

The Job Market is HOT this week!
The job market in NYC for teachers and schools has reached a new level of irrationality this year with unreasonable threats of a massive teacher layoff (yet again), and a seemingly eternal (yet porous) hiring freeze that separates a pool of talented but anxietyridden teaching applicants from ever more desperate public school principals in need…

Math Circles and Safety
The Bard Math Circle is growing rapidly this year. Perhaps this started because the wonderful Kingston Library director, Margie Menard, sent out a press release that was picked up by the local media, or that we’ve worked hard to develop a consistent and predictable schedule. But the fact is that the Bard Math Circle has…