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I taught high school math for six years and shared much of my curriculum online. My most popular lessons included Graphing Stories, Stacking Cups, Will It Hit The Hoop?, and The Feltron Project. I created a format of lesson plan called Three-Act Math and built a website clubhouse for sharing those lessons. I was very skeptical about the value of homework and I assessed students using a process that is known as Standards-Based Grading.
During my last year in the classroom, two events transformed my career. First, I was laid off from classroom teaching. Second, I gave a talk about math education that went online and has been viewed a couple of million times. (You can watch other talks I’ve given also.) Those events put me on a path to a) speak publicly about instructional change in math education in fifty states and four continents, and b) earn a doctorate studying with some of the best math education researchers around.
I now work at a math edtech startup called Desmos where we try to help students learn math and love learning math. I have opinions about math education technology, most of which are pessimistic, though occasionally I’m exuberant about its possibilities.
- I broke a Guinness World Record a decade ago. Math made it possible.
- I stood in line at a grocery store this one time and collected data about shoppers. Then I was on television, radio, and newspapers a bunch to talk about.
- My pedagogical mission lately is to help students develop a question before answering it and to create a headache before offering them aspirin.
- Some people think I’m too interested in real world mathematics. The fact is I don’t think adjectives like “real-world” are all that meaningful. Instead, I try to make sure students are doing real work.