Classroom 2.0 Live

I’m the guest on Classroom 2.0’s webcast tomorrow, 11/6, at 9:00AM Pacific / 12:00PM Eastern. I’ll be running through a lot of new material, including a new WCYDWT problem I’m really proud of, and all of the above could benefit from your criticism. So bring the heat. I hope to see you there.

BTW: If you’d like to watch it online, Blip.TV has you covered. If you’d like to watch it on your iThing, iTunes has you covered.

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 just came across your blog recently. Well done! Perhaps you are well aware of this video about the education system I’m going to share with you, but I watched it a few minutes ago and thought you might be interested.

  2. I love this stuff, but have had difficulty making it work in my classroom. How do you scaffold the patience required to tackle the tickets problem or the airport parking problem at the beginning of the year? My students tend to freak out anytime a problem (a) does not have an immediately obvious solution strategy, or (b) takes more than 5 minutes to complete.

    Their fallback is to shut down completely and claim confusion once I get around to them and they have nothing even started.

  3. @mattp I love it too. Why not build up to it – start small, then get slightly longer problems and so on. Let them experience the satisfaction of solving it and perhaps want more. I haven’t seen the Classroom2.0 talk yet, waiting for my spare period (shoving marking to one side), but I really liked the way Dan didn’t ask the questions in his TED talk, but got the kids to ask the questions. The water bottle filling was a great example. I think it’s hard to make every mathematics problem satisfying for kids. For me that’s a huge stretch. I like to tell kids we are learning a language and it takes practice. Once we speak and write mathematics a little more fluently we can do all sorts of things. Show them the TED Talk with Rober Lang and origami – simple beautiful mathematics that has led to amazing advances including keeping my dad’s arteries open and massive lenses in space looking at the universe. I’ve been trying to show my kids one cool video with mathematics each week. My hope is that they begin to share some cool mathematics they have come across. And check out Professor Marcus du Sautoy and all the amazing things he is doing with mathematics bringing it to the world. Take it out of the textbook like Dan does and make it come alive. That is what I am really trying to do.

  4. Enjoyed the session. Curious, which WCYDWT were you referring to that you were really proud of? The beans or the travel/google maps?

  5. I wanted to print out a few images from your talk — the CA map for your mom, the equation with your comment about ‘wow, math in real life ;-)’, and the graph. Of course I can create these to some degree on my own–I’m not as savvy as you so the map won’t be as cool. Anyway I attempted a few different ways to do this–printing to SmartNotes seemed to work, but when I closed the file and re-opened the graphics disappeared. Point is, any chance this will appear in your blog or has it and I’m just not finding it? Thanks mucho! Kris K

  6. Ok, so I’ve looked though all the wcydwt on the site and must have missed the bean one you were referring to. Can I be a pain and ask for a link please?

  7. Congrats Dan. I really enjoyed how you turned the standard questions into meaningful exercises which adds to students’ mental attitude and acuity.

  8. THANKS!!! My class is tonight (studying to be a 6-12 math teacher) and these slides will be quite useful in my sample lesson — with props going out to you, of course ;-)

  9. In the midst of watching this great video/talk. Couple of questions so far:

    1. How do you “celebrate student errors?” You mention this in regards to the document camera. I see errors as a necessary way to learn, but wonder how students take it when their errors are shared with the rest of the class. Do they feel “stupid?” We may know that it’s not stupid to make errors, but rather part of the process. I’m just wondering in a young person in front of their peers would feel the same way.

    2. Any particular google reader feeds you recommend? (Of course, I already have your blog there :-))


  10. Thanks for the session on Saturday, Dan. Is there any way you could post your link to the Little Big League clip? The ones on YouTube are either of poor quality, or they have a teacher explaining exactly how to do the question.

  11. @Kris w/r/t #1, I watched a Deborah Ball video case yesterday. A student was struggling with a particular error and some kids were getting impatient. She made sure to point out to the kid with the error “I think what you’re bringing up here is very important.” It comes down, I think, to the core belief that error is a fertile bed for learning.

    w/r/t #2, for random interesting miscellany that sometimes turns into a math problem, I recommend kottke, devour, waxy, and of course a twitter search for “#wcydwt” just so you don’t miss anything.

    @thescamdog, here you go.

  12. Hey, I’m watching this video on the itunes podcast, and you show a 2 minute video (at about 34:20 in the podcast) to watch, but there is no link visible in the podcast. What’s the link you gave? Thanks!


  13. I just watched your Classroom 2.0 lecture (“watch this”), and I really love it.

    I love what you do with Algebra 1, because when I use a similar approach (or some of the great problems and lessons that you have designed) my students are engaged, excited and thinking hard about the material. I’m only in my first year of teaching, but I see the gap between the lessons when I my students are figuring out whether it’s cheaper to buy Harry Potter stateside or in Europe, when they’re figuring out how much money they’d save on an iPod bought in Montana (no Sales Tax) or when I turn a coin problem into a football/fieldgoal problem, etc, and their restlessness when I show them how to multiply binomials, followed by 25 minutes of practice work.

    Now, I have no idea what I’m talking about, since I’m new at this thing. But the “take everyday stuff and bring it into the classroom” shtick just doesn’t work for me when I’m preparing Algebra II lessons. And I think it’s because by the time we get to Algebra II we’ve reached a new point in the education of our students. We’ve exhausted the material that we think everybody out on the street ought to know, and we’ve started introducing specialized mathematics that not everyone needs to know. That is, our broader goal in Algebra II isn’t to provide people with the math they need to be average working folks, but rather to make more specialized education in the maths and sciences both attractive and feasible. That is, we teach it so that we attract kids to more math and science, and also so that it’s possible for kids to be prepared for more math and science.

    So we need to think about the best way to do Algebra II. I think where we end up is what so many teachers are already doing: integrating scientific material into our Algebra II courses. But this is difficult for me, since I don’t have a great physics background beyond mechanics. But I think that this is the direction where I’m heading, and I’m curious how you’ve handled it when teaching Algebra II.

  14. The short answer is that I’ve never taught Algebra II and, the good lord willing, I never will. The long answer is too long for my finals schedule. I’d love to hear other responses, though.