Author Archives

I am entering my 21st year as a math teacher at Weston High School, the sole public high school in Weston, MA. It’s also my 44th year as a teacher altogether. In addition to my day job, I taught for 20 years at the Saturday Course in Milton, MA. I also teach at Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy each summer; 2017 was our 14th consecutive summer.

Sometimes I work on educational software. I also read, cook, and continue building my model railroad whenever I can. For some reason I'm left with less so-called free time than would be ideal. Nevertheless, I manage to devote time to my wife, Barbara, and to our excessive number of cats as well.

  • Too funny

    A parody of one of those pharmaceutical-company ads for a prescription medicine. A Japanese documentary on how to eat sushi.

  • Peers

    From Diane Greco’s fascinating December 8 post in her blog: The assumption that children of the same age constitute a true peer group only holds true for children of average development. The term peer does not, in essence, mean people… Read More ›

  • Mercury Rising

    Just finished watching Mercury Rising. Cryptology and the NSA. An autistic boy. Bruce Willis. Alec Baldwin. Generally good acting. What more could one want? Well, characterization and depth, to name two. More cryptology. More NSA. Less conspiracy theory. Generally a… Read More ›

  • No snow day

    Weston, of course, had to have school today. Having a snow day would have been too wimpy. You can’t be Lake Wobegon if you call off school. We didn’t even get dismissed at mid-day, although the forecast correctly predicted a… Read More ›

  • Critical friends

    At yesterday’s faculty meeting, a group of teachers modeled the process of participating in a Critical Friends Group (CFG) in the context of Looking at Student Work (LASW). If you can get through the jargon, the combination of CFG and… Read More ›

  • PopCo revisited

    In the past two weeks I haven’t had as much time to read as I would like. I’m woefully behind on the Globe, and it’s only today that I’ve finally finished reading PopCo. In my post of 11/23, I gave… Read More ›

  • "Units" and "unit tests"?

    The other day we were talking about “summative assessments.”. In math a summative assessment usually translates to a unit test. But what about those of us who don’t give unit tests? About seven years ago, the Weston Math Department reformed… Read More ›

  • Grading on a curve

    In her latest post on Learning Curves, Rudbeckia Hirta describes two methods of grading: Around here there are two schools of thought for grading calculus classes: straight percentages or curving the grades. I favor the former with each letter grade… Read More ›

  • Dimensional analysis

    On tonight’s All Things Considered on NPR, Congressman Mike Sodrel (Republican of Indiana) says: The information that I get is, like most of my constituents, one-dimensional: it’s flat screen, flat paper. I wanted to see it 3-D.

  • Student rights

    Students in public high schools and middle schools should know their legal rights — as well as the risks they may be taking when attempting to exercise their rights. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an excellent FAQ on the subject…. Read More ›