Among other guiding principles for this Internet timesuck I call dy/dan, this has been the enduring hope: that if I’m as transparent as possible, as honest as possible, and if I upload as many supplemental materials as possible, then you and I can turn losses into wins.
So yesterday I posted my entire Geometry curriculum online: geometry.mrmeyer.com.
The whole year. 1.94 gigabytes. Every lesson plan. Every handout. 2,144 slides – flavored in Keynote, PowerPoint, and PDF.
I hope you can use this or, at least, that you know someone who can use this, in which case, please pass it along.
Mr. KSeptember 2, 2008 - 4:25 am -
You’re a lifesaver.
I won’t use everything wholesale, and what I do use will probably be unrecognizable to you when I’m done with it, but at first blush your curriculum looks so much better than anything I’ve seen in a textbook.
One of my preps just got a lot easier.
SarahSeptember 2, 2008 - 4:33 am -
And my comment’s not posting. For now I’ll say thanks. Thanks. And Thanks again.
If the rest of what I tried to say is not up/covered by everyone else by the time I return home this evening I’ll try again.
IanSeptember 2, 2008 - 5:06 am -
I feel as if you’d just taken things to a whole new level w/ this. I’ve heard of people who actually look to SELL their entire curriculum. You are one selfless teacher whose true to his purpose.
In case I haven’t stroked your ego enough by now: Last year, I taught 5 periods of Geometry. Our CST success (though, by no means a ‘be all end all’ indicator of student performance) nearly doubled, meaning we went from 6% proficiency in 06-07 to 11% proficiency in 07-08. Know that I feel a large part of this can be attributed to you, helping me find ways to be clear w/ explanation & engaging w/ slides. THANKS.
Tarmo ToikkanenSeptember 2, 2008 - 5:55 am -
Dan, you make me wish I were a math teacher! :)
It’s good to see that the material you’ve used reflects the personality I’ve seen also in your blog and in the summer vodcast. And it’s even better to see a fresh breeze of pedagogical thought in your material.
I added your excellent resource as a reference to LeMill: http://lemill.net/content/references/geometry-the-supplement/view
Feel free to edit the details if you wish (it’s a wiki).
Jason DyerSeptember 2, 2008 - 6:26 am -
‘course you have to post this the year I stop teaching Geometry.
(But there’s someone I know who is getting no resources from their school, not even any books, so I’ll forward this on.)
KymSeptember 2, 2008 - 8:40 am -
Bless You. :) Now I’ll work on mine. :)
JovanSeptember 2, 2008 - 8:55 am -
You know, I don’t even teach a geometry course but you’ve just inspired me to map out my entire year for the coming school year.
You just made my entire planning period so much better!
Great post and great gift.
H.September 2, 2008 - 10:50 am -
Fantastic. I don’t teach Geometry, but hoorays and waves and cheers anyway. Now on the one hand the sheer quality of your work can be intimidating, so that putting more home-made looking stuff out there can feel awkward. On the other hand, the sheer quality of your work suggests that if you share your stuff freely, the rest of us have no business withholding ours. Anyway, thanks in all kinds of ways. May open source teaching become the norm.
Darren DraperSeptember 2, 2008 - 10:53 am -
Wow, did I ever read you wrong. Sorry.
I found an error, however, on one of your slides. You said that no one likes SSA. After seven years of teaching Geometry, I’ve learned that everybody loves SSA!
I always liked throwing it out there, “Sorry kids, but there’s no such thing as Angle Side Side, although we all wish there was!”
It was in that moment that I would find out which of my students really were the smart ones – those that chuckled had a leg up on those that looked dumb-founded.
Alec CourosSeptember 2, 2008 - 11:40 am -
Thanks for sharing, Dan. I have shared this with all of our MathEd undergraduate students. So very useful!
Matt CroninSeptember 2, 2008 - 2:04 pm -
This is one of those ideas that makes so much sense you wonder why we haven’t seen more of this sooner. Dan, I hope you are on good terms with your web hosting company. I think you might get slammed.
Jackie BallariniSeptember 2, 2008 - 4:03 pm -
*sigh* I almost wish I were teaching a traditional Geometry course.
Darren, I’ve written A-S-S in a circle with a line though it. That or “There is no A-S-S in this class”.
NickSeptember 2, 2008 - 4:05 pm -
Amazing. Thanks Dan, this is such a great resource, and even such a better example for folks to share. This will be my first year teaching Geometry, and I’m thrilled to have a resource this solid to check in with as I adapt my plans.
SarahSeptember 2, 2008 - 4:57 pm -
Repeating my excited thanks. Getting this at breakfast made going to school much more hopeful today. I’m transitioning to Key Geometry this year and was thinking I’d start pestering you soon.
Is there a place where you want feedback as I go through and use it? I know Dan Greene and H are sharing lots this year for Algebra 2 and in turn asking for discussion, and know you’ve asked for comments in the past. I’m fine not pushing back, but also figure it’s the chance to take open-source teaching to the next level.
Christian LongSeptember 2, 2008 - 5:54 pm -
Besides being deeply impressed/appreciative of the trend you’ll undoubtedly inspire, I loved the way you wrap up the offerings:
Impressive move, fella, although the good-natured wiki-heads might feel their feathers a bit ruffled that collaboration can occur uni-directionally in web-land.
Enjoy the feedback from both camps. And kudos, too.
Now, would you mind taking on Eng 10 (“Brit Lit”) next?
SarahSeptember 2, 2008 - 6:44 pm -
Caught the fineprint now. Thanks for highlighting it for me Christian. After I hit submit, I realized, Dan’s not teaching this course this year, what’s he going to do with the feedback right now anyway?
sam shahSeptember 2, 2008 - 7:00 pm -
I’ve been thinking that I wanted to create some pretty consistently decent and reusable SmartBoard presentations this year for my Algebra II and non-AP Calculus classes.
You’ve definitely pushed me in the direction of posting them each week, so by the end of the year, not only will I have an archive, but maybe someone else will get some use out of them.
That website that was considered for teacher resources never got started, but maybe if enough of us are inspired to start doing this (dot dot dot)
jfSeptember 3, 2008 - 1:33 am -
Excellent! I just went back to middle school math this year (7th & 8th, pre-algebra, and algebra) and feel inspired! I also teach a basic 7th grade math and a 6th grade religion, so I have 5 different preps, but this is how I want to have my curriculum layed out eventually. You rock, Dan, but everyone knows that.
Bill FitzgeraldSeptember 3, 2008 - 5:04 am -
Dan — this rocks.
Very nice move.
Darren DraperSeptember 3, 2008 - 6:00 am -
I thought you were retired.
All it takes is a comment here, a little feedback there… and then wham! You’re back blogging again.
H.September 3, 2008 - 6:43 am -
As for this not being a wiki – what if someone reposted the stuff on a wiki and everyone could add their stuff? (Since I’m not teaching Geometry I’m not volunteering…)
Chris LehmannSeptember 3, 2008 - 7:30 am -
H. — given the CC license, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Dan — Shared with the SLA math faculty today. Way to set the bar high. Well done!
danSeptember 3, 2008 - 7:50 am -
I’m just not familiar with wiki software capable of editing and previewing Keynote or PowerPoint slides on the fly, especially without stripping off a lot of essential formatting and especially not on this multi-gigabyte order of magnitude. But if someone can prove me wrong, I’ll make the process as easy as I can.
Please e-mail me any corrections or ideas. The last time I tried this sort of thing (on a small scale) I felt an expectation that I make corrections and re-upload all the files pronto, like this was some kind of paid position. I just can’t promise that kind of expediency but I can promise I’ll value the commentary.
Bill FitzgeraldSeptember 3, 2008 - 8:07 am -
To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t wiki software that generates ppt or keynote on the fly — the pdfs/handouts could definitely be managed via a wiki, or within a drupal site (which would actually be my preference, for the balance between group editing and easy distribution).
A document management system (like Fedora/DSpace/OWL) would allow checkouts and edits, but these systems also require time and energy to set up and maintain. The advantage of these systems is that they would allow for some type of version management of the actual ppt/keynote files.
WRT you maintaining changes/updates/suggestions: that’s not realistic. To be blunt: you have a job, a wife, a blog, and a budding career as an ed tech videographer to maintain :) You shouldn’t try to be a copy editor.
In thinking through the easiest way to maintain these over time (and, for example, to swap out references to textbooks for user-generated problems/examples, thus eliminating *any* need for a textbook) the easiest way I see is either via a mediawiki or a Drupal site. Either would work — my preference would (surprise, surprise) probably lean towards drupal.
kenSeptember 3, 2008 - 8:55 am -
I am currently on Lesson #2 with my children.
The stuff looks so good that I feel obligated to use it.
danSeptember 3, 2008 - 11:11 am -
Ah yes. A Drupal install. I’m halfway through, actually. Just needs some polishing. Should have that one pushed out somewhere mid-2018, 2020-ish.
H.September 3, 2008 - 1:25 pm -
If someone posted this to a wiki, I don’t see why Dan should feel ANY responsibility for further work with it. Users could download powerpoints, make changes, and upload them again with the filename extended with the update date. After a year of that kind of tinkering and add-ons the site might be a bit of a mess, but a team of users could clean up over the summer, leaving a larger collection of materials organized by topic for a new year (and the original work at geometry.mrmeyer.com would remain intact). Instead of corrections or commentary being e-mailed to Dan, such comments could be added to a public place so that users could integrate the suggestions themselves.
kernSeptember 3, 2008 - 4:13 pm -
danSeptember 3, 2008 - 4:40 pm -
The 10MB upload limit disqualifies the majority of my ‘decks, which are thick with image & video.
Vincent BaxterSeptember 3, 2008 - 6:33 pm -
I passed this on to our new teachers, and gave you props.
ps: watching season 5 on dvd one.episode.at.a.time.
Vincent BaxterSeptember 3, 2008 - 6:34 pm -
sorry, gave you credit here: http://thedeputyhead.com
danSeptember 3, 2008 - 7:23 pm -
Thanks for the link, Vincent. This project could use more press.
And season five, man. Savor those last episodes. Won’t find another one like The Wire for some time, I’m afraid.
Ben ChunSeptember 3, 2008 - 7:25 pm -
Props. It looks great.
PerSeptember 4, 2008 - 10:17 am -
I will try and answer in kind and since I don’t even have my own blog I will post a comment here.
I just made a Google site for my students to download from and why not try and spread the word a bit wider.
Most of the content is for the Swedish high school (and in Swedish) but I guess math & physics is international enough that you can get the idea… and who knows, you might have more Swedish readers than me.
I just started teaching IB but the IB content will grow in time.
Take a look if you like, use what you like… warning, most pictures are from the net and without asking for copyright…
CorySeptember 4, 2008 - 12:57 pm -
Do you hand out the notes preprinted or have them copy them into their notes from the PPT slides?
danSeptember 4, 2008 - 1:39 pm -
Option #2. They don’t copy down everything, though. More preferably, we have conversations engaging enough that the overarching principles stick and the formulas follow through practice.
On a perfect day.
SarahSeptember 4, 2008 - 5:21 pm -
Per I chose to be late for the first volleyball game because I had to show my roommate your slides. I couldn’t understand the words, but could figure out exactly what you were teaching all the same. Thanks for putting it out there.
Darren DraperSeptember 5, 2008 - 8:09 am -
Finally had a few minutes to look into your shtuff more.
Wondering: Do you have enough time to cover Trig in one week? I see that Law of Sines and Cosines follow, but one week on solids (volume/area) might not be enough, either.
I’ve struggled with finding the time to teach these three topics for years. It just seems like the students need more time for them to sink in.
danSeptember 5, 2008 - 8:58 am -
In order to fit in the Feltron Project, we rushed Trig and Volume, which, not coincidentally, were my class’ worst two strands on our state exams. Can’t have everything, I guess.
Mr. K.September 6, 2008 - 7:15 am -
Poking through your decks, i noticed a lot of the diagrams are images eather that keynote shapes.
What do you use to generate those?
MattSeptember 6, 2008 - 1:35 pm -
I’d love to use these in my geometry classroom, but I can only open the ppt slides with Powerpoint viewer, not regular Powerpoint. I’m running Office 2007 on Vista. Can anyone help me out?
danSeptember 12, 2008 - 8:45 am -
@Matt, got that PowerPoint issue fixed, I think.
MattSeptember 21, 2008 - 6:13 pm -
thanks Dan! I’m going to start using these as soon as we have power again!
KilianOctober 10, 2008 - 2:18 pm -
Hey, do you have one of these for Algebra I?
danOctober 10, 2008 - 3:14 pm -
But of course! http://algebra.mrmeyer.com/
SarahOctober 11, 2008 - 8:07 am -
I was wondering why you’d have the unveiling hidden in the comments. The wedding news took so long to catch when you announced it here…
Multiple people have suggested I send you cookies as a thank you. (Apparently I’m close enough to college that cookies are still a primary method of bartering/thanking people.) E-mail me (cannonsfis@gmail) your favorite baked goods and an address to send them to.