Excel Example of filtering at work
EducationPedagogySecondary EducationTechnologyUncategorized

Use Microsoft Excel to be More Data Driven (Part I)

As a teacher, one of my tasks is to assess how well students are comprehending the material I am teaching. There are many ways to assess student comprehension, but this post will focus on using Microsoft Excel to extract meaningful information from formal assessment data.  I am defining a formal …

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EducationPedagogy

Keeping high standards when you are a sucker for a sob story

Yesterday Apostrophobia wrote about one of her regular courses that is designed to be challenging and build problem solving skills.  She talked about the journey students take as they go through the course particularly one student who saw the value of the course and went the extra mile to not …

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An open book and its reflection
EducationPedagogy

Building Knowledge From Facts

Every year my students write down some version of this definition: “Period: a row on the periodic table.  The atoms of elements in the same period have the same number of electron energy levels.”  They memorize it and can spew it out on a test or quiz, but they don’t …

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EducationPedagogyTechnology

Technology blues

So I have spent the last several weeks convincing myself my hard drive wasn’t really failing, and then of course it did.  My computer’s in the shop and this blogging platform doesn’t like tablets too much.  I haven’t even been able to congratulate Dan on his recent achievement, so yay …

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Dorchester High School Science
Critical ThinkingEducationHigher EducationPedagogy

Active learning as get-out-of-teaching?

A recent article in the Chronicle highlighted the growing shift toward student- or learner-centered teaching in higher education.  The idea is that rather than a professor lecture to a passive audience who soak up the wisdom of the sage on the stage, the class is structured around activities and discussion …

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EducationHigher EducationPedagogySecondary EducationTechnologyUncategorized

MOOCs, A High School Teacher’s Perspective

If you haven’t heard of MOOCs yet, welcome to the education blogosphere, it’s nice to have you here!  The New Yorker recently wrote an article challenging the mission and execution of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) offered at places like Coursera, Udacity, EdX, and Khan Academy.  It so happens that …

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Critical ThinkingEducationLesson PlansPedagogy

Teaching the nuance of “wrong”

I teach children aged 12-15.  This borderland between childhood and adulthood is filled with both physical and mental upheavals. Mentally it is a transition from thinking in a concrete manner to thinking in a more abstract and nuanced manner.  Into this quagmire I step boldly and try to teach science …

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EducationHigher EducationPedagogyPop QuizScience

Pop Quiz: The Horror of Math

The bulk of the classes I teach are general science courses that are not math heavy. Even though these courses do not rely on math like a Physics class would there is still a small math component to each course. I am really not sure how to do science without …

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Dorchester High School Science
Higher EducationPedagogyPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Is there a difference between teaching and having an impact?

I just finished doing a guest lecture in a class on animal behavior. It went well. The class was attentive and I got through all my planned material clearly, with enough humor tossed in to keep people from falling asleep. The format, however, was very “old school”. Indeed, looking more …

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by Everaldo Coelho
EducationPedagogyPop QuizTechnology

Pop Quiz: Python in the Classroom

*Ha!  Not the snake! This whole post is about computer programming. This past weekend I went to PyOhio the Python programming language conference held in Columbus, Ohio. The conference serves the needs of both beginner and experienced programmers. So there were an array of different types of talks from introductory (“Hello …

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