Protect the Slow!

Protect the Slow!

Speed is essential, but some curricula value it too much. The core of every mathematics classroom should be problem solving. Ponderous problem solvers need to be protected. I am not making the case against memorizing basic facts. Students absolutely need to memorize...
Beauty and Mathematics are Inseparable!

Beauty and Mathematics are Inseparable!

Many students, especially girls, are motivated by beauty. Make sure that both the mathematics and the puzzle-sheets are beautiful. The type of beauty I’m talking about is more minimalistic than the art of Renoir or van Gogh – more like graphic design where...
Add a Nasty Story!

Add a Nasty Story!

Add a two sentence story to your puzzles. Many children don’t need them, but the half of your class with too much testosterone will appreciate a Klingon attack on Earth or a shark attack in the local swimming pool 😉 My perception is that girls are neither more or less...
Create Classroom Chaos!

Create Classroom Chaos!

Keep enough chaos in your classroom so that the slow kids don’t know they’re slow and the fast students don’t know they’re fast. One easy way to do this is through multiple puzzle-sheets and avoiding a linear progression through them. Let’s say you have puzzle...
Be Wrong.

Be Wrong.

Nothing liberates a classroom more than having a teacher who is willing to be wrong. Celebrate the errors. Fake them if you’re perfect!