Wednesday, May 30, 2007

math-mathed conference

I kept meaning to mention that I was going to another conference. Well, here I am, in Berkeley, sitting in my room, about to fall asleep (and it's only 9:50, but I guess really 12:50, so I feel little better for being exhausted). The title of the conference is Teaching Teachers Mathematics, and it is being held at MSRI. We had a short day today: 2 big talks and several little ones that could hardly be really called talks. There are two days ahead, and multiple parallel sessions most of the time. I am little worried that it will all turn into "us vs. them", since we got some whiffs of it already. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I'm wrong.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Feel good story

Some feel good stories leave me feeling little queezy. You know, when things are just too good to be true. This one, although with a predictable ending, made me happy, then sad. It would read completely differently if the kids in question were from MIT. In fact, it probably wouldn't be much of a story at all.

Friday, May 4, 2007

No time

I haven't written in a while. One reason is that I've been too preoccupied with making various decisions. And thinking about the courses I'll be teaching next semester. I'll teach two and neither I taught before, and I sort of have books for them. I definitely have a book for one, which is the math for elementary teachers course. But the second, which is the methods for secondary teachers, they have used Principles and Standards for years, supplemented with various other texts and articles. I don't actually know what they've done and how they've done it, so I've been thinking what to do and how to do it. I'm almost panicking. Luckily there is lots of time left, but also a move and three trips and a three week workshop, and then another workshop. Lots to do. But first things first: a trip to Hawaii. It will be fun!

As for the pledge: they recited it in a middle school I visited as well. And I talked to a friend's mom who is a second grade teacher. She says that she makes her students stand. She gave three reasons: to keep them form making noise and fuss during, to teach them that they should be grateful for living in the us (as opposed to unlucky kids without freedom that we enjoy here) and, if I remember correctly, to teach them respect. I am fairly certain that all of those things could be done without standing and reciting the pledge of allegiance. I am surprised that this is still going on and that people are not complaining.