Bill Throws It Down

Bill Fitzgerald on aggregating lesson content:

If a critical mass of teachers (lets say, for the sake of pulling an arbitrary number, 40) start creating lesson plans on a sufficiently regular basis, I’ll commit to setting up and hosting a site that collects and republishes the content. Heck, I’ll even commit to writing up some best practices to make sure your lessons can be peeled off and aggregated separately from your other content.

And, at the risk of stating the obvious, this site will be ad-free, and yes, it will run on open source code.

Thirty-nine more hands. Get ’em in the air, people.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I’m down. I’m a blogging neophyte but I’m working on that. I’ve already cannibalized some of your work in my classes already Dan (Graphing Stories, How Math Must Assess), so I’m ready to give back to the community. Count me in.


  2. I already stood up.

    But, as the discussion on your previous post pointed out, how do we keep it from becoming just another junk pile to dig through? I find some horrendous lesson plans out there. Using aluminum foil to teach multiplication of binomials? I’d rather chew on it.

    The only thing I’ve found that works (so far only in person, but it seems like it should work virtually) is to have a group of people you trust, who can leave egos out of it, willing to throw ideas out to be chewed up and spit back at each other until they’ve become digestible for the kids. It is a process that can be dispiriting at times, and it takes support along with the criticism to improve the lessons.

    It seems like just putting up lessons would be like only accepting the rough drafts from our students – it wouldn’t do justice to anyone. Eventually, the tool should be able to improve our product through collaboration.

  3. I have to second Mr. K’s concerns about lesson plans being worthwhile. If the bar is set with Dan’s work, it would be a tough challenge to meet but a site worth visiting.

    I teach elementary so I don’t know if my participation makes sense. But I work with a host of phenomenal teachers and I know I could ‘steal’ ideas from them.

  4. ooh…the cool kids are doing this, aren’t they.

    ::raises hand to participate::

    I’d pitch a peer review process. Rubrics. Commitment to team with two other participating teachers electronically (one same content, one out of content). Share it, review it, revise it, publish it. This will already make the content ten times more viable than the junk out there on the ‘net now.

    Plus, some kind of entry filter. As in, please submit lessons that have ACTUALLY been implemented. And a place to document this anecdotally/quantitatively.

  5. Hello, all,

    Glad to see this is moving forward! This is awesome!

    I’ll be collecting up and organizing some ideas over the next few hours in response to the questions/ideas raised here —



  6. Deal me in. And although it’s going on a year old now, you can use the truncated tetrahedron/icosahedron lesson that Dan and I bounced around. For all of those times that you just wish that you could construct not one but TWO of the five platonic solids in one class!

    It’s definitely not my original work so I can’t claim credit, but I still enjoy using this one each year.

  7. I’ll raise a tentative hand. But I want to use the narrative model you reference in another post. And I reserve the right to remind folks, in the middle of a lesson narrative (chock full o’ lessony goodness, of course) that what worked/will work/may have never been tried with actual students – might not work with their students. Or teachers. Or classrooms. Whatever.

  8. I’d love to be involved. So you can count me in, hands down, if we aren’t expected to have to put up lessons daily. As a first year, my lessons are rough, and teach to the book more than I’d like. But having a site like this out there where I would have even more motivation to create and implement one or two potentially amazing lessons each month would keep me thinking, fresh, and inspired.

    I also think it’s hard to find good lessons for my calculus class — there seems to be an inverse relationship between higher level classes and lesson plans out there.