Month: August 2017

A portal for parents

There’s an excellent article in last week’s New York Times on the downside of checking kids’ grades constantly through an electronic portal for parents. Here are a couple of excerpts: The reality, at least in high-pressure school districts, is that some parents… Read More ›

I Know a Secret

Don’t read Tess Gerritsen’s newest Rizzoli and Isles novel, I Know a Secret, if you (like someone I know) are prone to having nightmares based on books and movies. The rest of us will find it fascinating and suspenseful. To a large… Read More ›

New furniture!

Arrived yesterday to find new furniture for students to use in our Math Office. As you can see, the chairs have wheels and the tables are modular (eight of them, though not all are visible in this photo). This combination… Read More ›

Coding in middle school math

Google Blockly? What’s that? And should we say coding or computer programming? We’ll deal with that terminological question in the last paragraph, but let me first tell you about Blockly and about the workshop we had yesterday. A group of… Read More ›


This psychological thriller by Kanye Minato is not a typical book, at least not in my universe. Some say that it’s a lot like Gone Girl — but I wouldn’t know, since I’m apparently the only person on Earth who hasn’t read Gone… Read More ›


If you’ve never read any of Lisa Scottoline’s South-Philadelphia-based Rosato & DiNunzio thrillers, Damaged would not be a bad place to start. (Note: I really like all the Rosato & DiNunzio books, though I don’t particularly recommend Scottoline’s so-called emotional thrillers. But maybe… Read More ›

Standards-based grading?

What’s wrong with grading on a curve? Or what’s wrong with grading by straight percentages? Twelve years ago I wrote a post about why grading on a curve is destructive and counterproductive — and why grading by straight percentages isn’t actually… Read More ›