Why I Always Fail at Everything

As I have mentioned before, I took a year off of teaching to move to California and be a stay-at-home dad. It has been great and now I am starting to apply for jobs for next school year. It’s causing me to think about all the things that I would like to accomplish as a teacher. Basically, I want to work at a local public school, start doing some crazy projects, and eventually change the whole entire system. Continue reading


Bare Bones Lessons: Stochastic Painting

I have always been interested in the notion that much of art is created by chance. A lot of people seem to think that they can’t do art because they don’t have the necessary skills or the time to learn them. We know those are excuses, that if anyone wanted to do art they would. But how much skill is involved in a particular piece and how much occurs due to chance is debatable. “Chance” here could be related to subconscious manifestations of our deepest fears, or it could be that your two-year-old knocked over your bottle of paint on an otherwise immaculate fruit-bowl portrait. I read this article called Chance in Art by Kristin Brenneman, a former Dartmouth student, and modified her instructions for a Stochastic Painting to be something better suited to a 7th grade art-infused math class (or math-infused art class). Here is what I came up with: Continue reading

Bare Bones Lesson: Marionettes!

This was apparently a math problem given to a third-grade class either for test-prep or an actual test. It came up on a Facebook group that I belong to:

Jessica has a 45-inch-long piece of yarn. She cuts it into a number of 4-inch pieces. She has 13 inches of yarn left. How many 4-inch pieces does she cut?

Which equation can be used to solve the problem?

a) 45 – 13xn = 4     b) 45xn – 13 = 4     c) 45 + 13×4 = n     d) 45 – nx4 = 13 Continue reading