Category Archives: Teaching

Roads Up Mountains

I was mountain biking up the 2060 switchbacks when I glanced up to the left.  The edge of my road loomed steeply.  “Wow, that’s high” I said to myself, imaging how hard it would be to scramble up the 120 … Continue reading

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Slide and Divide

One of our student tutors sent me this link, Slide and Divide , to a method of factoring trinomials.  It is essentially the one I explained extensively in https://jrh794.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/the-best-way-to-factor-trinomials/   I just argue to keep the fractions in the factored form since it is … Continue reading

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Non-conscious Deep Work

I enjoy visiting the Study Hacks blog.  Its author, Cal Newport, writes about organizing one’s tasks with emphasis on doing the deep work required of a college professor, in his case, proving theorems and writing papers.  His latest book is, … Continue reading

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The “I” and the “You” of It All

Somewhere in my teaching career, now 35 years of it, “I” and “You” as grammatical subjects disappeared from my classroom vocabulary.  For instance, “I” don’t need you (the student) to understand this particular concept. “You” (the student) (in my opinion) … Continue reading

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What to Ask

A student you know is having difficulties in a class.  Before giving advice, gather some facts.  Ask these questions. Did you go to every single class? If not, what did you do during those hours? If not, how did learn … Continue reading

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They Do What I Say

I am grading written out  “word” problems this morning.  Many of my students are using the steps I gave in class and explaining them well.  They are doing what I said.  For a moment I felt overwhelmed by the responsibility. … Continue reading

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FOIL is Verboten

My students and I have a habit of referring to the act of multiplying two binomial forms as FOILing, recalling the acronym FOIL (First, Outer, Inner, Last) for remembering the process.  My excuse for using the term  is that they use … Continue reading

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