So one of my major challenges this year is attempting to overhaul my Big Picture on assessment to include our “curricular competencies”. For those outside of this province, the cc’s are a sort of orthogonal set of skills we want students to demonstrate that are, for the most part, content-independent. Here’s my summary version of […]

# A New Year

Time to play blog-post catchup now that my summer server migration woes are finally mostly resolved! This year I’m teaching full-time at an ‘Integrated Arts’ high school, covering Math classes from grades 10-12 as well as a Science 9 (later) and Photography 11 / 12. I GET TO MAKE MATH ARTSY ANY TIME I WANT […]

# A thought about the past

Those of us who care about math education and making it more engaging generally have strong opinions about “math drills” and the over-emphasis on standard algorithms (ie. doing pencil-and-paper arithmetic the way that one’s parents were taught to.) The progressive view is generally that while students *do* need to learn basic facts, they should also […]

# My Pedagogy

I needed to write up a statement of my teaching philosophy for a job application I’m submitting shortly, and it just seemed like the sort of thing worth sharing. So here you go. Constructive comments welcome. My teaching philosophy centers on my core values. I highly value practicing compassion and empathy for students; I […]

# Inform: A brief note on encapsulation

I need to recap earlier chapters, but I’m currently reading the chapter on Advanced Actions and this bit just grabbed me in that “just blog this immediately” sort of way. 12.10. Action variables And we will want the photographing action to have the player use the best-quality camera which comes to hand. We will give […]

# Inform: Things, Kinds, and other Words Of Very Definite Meaning

Inform’s definitions make me pause. I want to write a short post summarizing some main ideas: Things, which are sort of like objects; Kinds, which are sort of like classes; Actions, which are sort of like, well, functions with side effects; Values, which I guess are also like objects? Or instances? Or just values? If […]

# Learning Inform

I’ve been a tagalong in parts of the Interactive Fiction community for quite a few years, and so learning to use Inform 7 has been on my backburner since it first arrived. I’ve dabbled with it enough to contribute a few Very Small things, and attempted a proper game for the first ShuffleComp a few […]

# Brief update to paper trig calculator

If we’re going to focus on special triangles, might as well really focus on special triangles, right? Rather than having kids label the “special” angles (multiples of 30 and 45 degrees) on a unit circle, I made up cardstock special triangles that matched the protractor-grid trig reference sheets. Students labelled the side lengths with a hypotenuse […]

# A paper trig calculator

Do you teach trig? Do you wish your students had a solid understanding of how to relate trig ratios beyond 90 degrees to the unit circle? Are you tired of kids asking which button to press? Well … I can’t say for sure if this solves your problem, because I haven’t used it in my […]

# Games, Play, and Atrocity

Yesterday, a particularly racially-insensitive game about the slave trade started catching the attention of @mdawriter and other people who care about race and education. The clips passed around showed that the core gameplay used Tetris mechanics, but with black bodies being loaded onto a slave ship. There were also shots of stereotypical dialog (“I pity […]