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Tangible Parting Gifts

I can’t believe the year has gone by so quickly!  It’s already the end of May and there’s only one week left for final exams.  While my time at Salesianum School was short, it will be remembered.  I have memories that will last me a lifetime.

My memories are those that made me laugh, yell, admire, love, and befriend!  Any high school math teacher can relate to the mixed emotions that are experienced in (and out) of the classroom!  It’s not new.  Maybe some day I will share some specifics about those emotions and experiences.

Today, I want to share two tangible gifts I received this year.

1. A t-shirt with my name on the back.  The significance of the t-shirt is that the students labeled me as a teacher who “Keeps it real.”  I gave it to my students straight, no chaser, and they appreciated that.  If they asked questions, I did not sugar coat the answers (whether the questions were about math, friendship, dating, or life).  One of the parents purchased the t-shirts for the entire class (Thank you Mrs. R.).

T-shirt designed by 414-2.

Keepin’ it Real T-shirt designed by 414-2

2. A”K” shaped crepe.  One of my students hosted a French exchange student this year.  Toward the end of the 4th quarter my student earned a 92.2.  He needed a 92.5 to get an “A.”  The exchange student asked me to boost the student’s grade.  I told him I would if he would make me some food using an authentic french recipe.  So they made crepes (the french exchange student used his mother’s recipe – or so he said he did).  It was delicious, so I will deliver on my word.  He was a good student so I would have bumped him .3 points anyway (especially since he missed a few days of school while he was away at France as an American exchange student).

K-shaped crepe made by French Exchange student and his host

K-shaped crepe made by French Exchange student and his host

These are two of the tangible gifts I received this year.  The intangible gifts are too many to name here.  But to name a few I gained friendships, respect, knowledge, love, life-lessons, memories, and so much more.  I will miss my students, but they will always be close in my memories.


Back to School… Again

Back to SchoolIt’s that time of year again. Somehow it seems like this year will be busier than last.  Do you feel that way or is it just me? The summer is almost over, I am preparing my syllabi for two universities, and I have yet to make my way to an amusement park.  Where has the time gone?

How are you preparing for this upcoming school year? Do you have any advice for new teachers, professors, or instructors?


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Boosting Creative Thinking in Math Class

Here’s a great article by Lana Gundy.  She shares ideas for incorporating creative thinking in your math lessons.

Boosting Creative Thinking in Math Class.

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How To Use Math Stations In The Classroom

Reblogged from

How To Use Math Stations In The Classroom


Ethnomathematics… in the Classroom

On many occasions I thought about math in art, music, history, and all aspects of life, but it didn’t occur to me to think of math as a cultural experience.  As I reflect on my experiences with math, I remember looking at Native American arts and crafts and thinking about the math that went into creating such beauty.  I thought about the Egyptians and the pyramids they built and wondered about the math they used to add such precise amazement to the world.  I even tell my students, when they question its relevance, that they do math all day every day, but never thought to share their heritage in math.

Ethnomathematics…  Who would have thought you could put culture and math together, formally, that is.  As long as I had been learning and loving math, I had not thought of math as a multicultural subject.  Then I read an article by Ubiratan D’Ambrosio, credited for formulating the word that connects mathematics and culture.

As I read the article I received clarity about my own ideas about teaching and learning mathematics.  In order to really accept a concept or acknowledge its importance, some students must have a connection to it.  In my experience with teaching mathematics to African American urban youth, I’ve learned that many of them are disconnected from math and therefore, do not feel an allegiance to learning it.  Incorporating ethnomathematics into the math curriculum can help connect students to math and encourage them to open up to accepting its importance in our world, beyond the classroom.  When incorporating ethnomathematics it’s important to connect the students to their own culture as it relates to math.  The student will then gain a better appreciation for math and hopefully become more interested in learning math.

I believe ethnomathematics is a key to making math relevant to my students!

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