Phil Daro goes into detail on the problems of “Answer-getting,” one of the practices that the new Common Core Standards intend to greatly reduce.


So, the year is underway, I wanted to post a short update to the (new) blog. I will be teaching five courses this year, a Pre-Algebra section, two Algebra courses and two for Geometry. In Pre-Algebra, we are going to begin the year with some problem solving techniques and an emphasis on sharing ideas and setting out relevant detail. Perhaps you’ve heard mention of the Donkey and the Mule?

In Algebra, we will also be working to develop our problem solving techniques and will be getting used to our texts this week. Algebra students are required to have a graphing calculator. Most Portland area high schools require some form of graphing calculator, Riverdale High School does as well. A safe bet for any school (and most colleges) is a Ti-83 or Ti-84 (plus versions included). These models are nearly identical and are commonly used in many classrooms. More advanced calculators such as the N-Spire or other models are probably better for students who are naturally comfortable figuring out the technology more on their own. If you have any questions about which calculator you should buy, don’t hesitate to ask!

Finally, our Geometry students are going to begin with an in-depth review of Algebra material including some new material. This will hopefully help build on essential skills from last year and help students deal with more difficult problems as the year continues. They will enjoy the weight of their textbooks this week as well, but will not begin using them until after our Algebra wraps up, so probably not before the end of the next week.

My room is 231 in the grade school, if we haven’t met please feel free to drop in and say hi, and if we’ve worked together before, I look forward to continuing to support your students this year.