Hot Vacation Links

I’m easing back off a family vacation, during which time you were all posting some fantastic stuff at a fantastic rate:

  • The Motion Math team posted a thoughtful behind-the-scenes expo on their latest game, Hungry Guppy.
  • New to me: Justin Reich’s Advice for New PhD Students. Huge: “You need to decide early on if you want to keep an academic option open. If you do, you need to devote yourself more or less entirely to academic publishing.”
  • PayPal-cofounder Peter Thiel ran a seminar at Stanford last quarter called “Startups,” which I couldn’t find room for in my schedule. Blake Masters summarized each class, though, and not in the usual disjointed live-tweeting style, but with well-edited narratives.
  • Chris Hill’s Guide for a Mentor Teacher. Thirty great points.
  • This does it. I’m putting a timer on Kate Nowak’s career as a classroom teacher. “I’m just temperamentally someone who enjoys a challenge and quickly tires of an insufficient level of difficulty. I am not that interested in administration, so. Either I will keep comfortably doing the same thing, or I will do otherwise.”
  • Chris Lehmann, no Luddite, wrote The Seductive Allure of Edu-Tech Reform. Tom Hoffman, in an uncharacteristic moment of optimism, seems convinced this bubble will burst. “Let’s take for granted that what ed-tech entrepreneurs are shooting for educationally are test score gains. If they’re getting them at any scale, for real, consistently, with at-risk kids, we’d frickin’ know about it, and truly, sales growth would be unstoppable.”
  • Scott McLeod has likely seen more reactionary stances against Internet access in schools than anybody, which makes his 26 Internet Safety Talking Points the authoritative piece.
  • Patrick Honner uses a New York Regents exam question to illustrate the ways we obscure the ladder of abstraction from our students. “Math teachers end up spending a lot of time training students to make these assumptions, probably without ever really talking explicitly about them. It’s not necessarily bad that we make such assumptions: refining and simplifying problems so they can be more easily analyzed is a crucial part of mathematical modeling and problem solving.”
  • I subscribed to Jeff Brenneman as part of Sam Shah’s freshman class of math ed bloggers and was rewarded with his list of advice For the Interns and the First-Years. I’ll sign off on each item, especially in hindsight of having broken each of them.
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 whole-heartedly agree with your timer comment (Kate N) I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years (mostly 8th grade math, new to 5th grade math and science this year) and EVERY year I made sure that not only were my students challenged, so was I. I’ve been around teachers who could stand at the copy machine and run off their entire year’s worth of worksheets and lesson plans because they did the same thing year after year after year. It would bore me to tears!!!!

  2. So I just saw that I got like 400 views on my blog today and was all like “HOLY CRAP HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?” And now I see the reason. Thanks for the mention! :-)