I do what I want! (and what Anne recommends)

So Anne put up a challenge and I thought ‘why not?’

Last Saturday marked the end of a project that had been haunting my steps for a while and being free of those shackles makes the whole world seem just a little bit brighter.  This next month will be a time of significant information consumption as I work through a bunch of NCTM books (Principles to Actions, Visible Learning, 5 Practices, Fostering Algebraic Thinking), read lots of blog posts, learn how to use an iPad (hello, dark side!), prep for PCMI, and develop some PD sessions for middle grades and the NCTM HS Interactive Institute.

So for the next month I’m going to try to dedicate time every day to something small and interesting that I have read/found/am playing with.

Today: Henri Picciotto’s Acceleration Posts (1/30)

I’ll start out with stating I am not a fan of separate honors classes in school and that acceleration makes me twitchy. I was accelerated along the honors math track and I developed some great rote learning skills that completely failed me in Calc 1 in college as my most excellent prof would have none of that (Thank goodness for Russ Gordon). I became a math major not because of my high school classes but rather because of an amazing 6th grade math experience and Russ Gordon’s class.

Henri lays out some discussion-worthy ideas around acceleration and honors. Tradition and parents who want sparkly transcripts are a huge challenge here. Colleges that only look at transcripts and not the actual kids are also a problem. Had a I math department, I would be interested in having some group discussions around these ideas. As it stands, I’m going to bring these to PCMI and try and get a conversation going to help further my own understanding and get others thinking about what acceleration means.

So go read Henri’s 4 posts on acceleration (I also recommend the rest of his blog). I love posts that pose questions that would shake up tradition and status quo. If we can’t defend what we have, perhaps we shouldn’t keep it? And not keeping something means working to figure out a replacement that is better, not just ‘something else’.

One thought on “I do what I want! (and what Anne recommends)

  1. I followed this conversation a little on Twitter as it was happening. Having taught elementary school, this isn’t something I’ve had to think a lot about, but it ended up being really interesting to “hear” the conversation. One thing I appreciate about Twitter and blogs is that it opens me up to topics like this I wouldn’t have really been exposed to within the walls of my elementary school, but it gives me a better appreciation for the larger educational landscape I’m a part of.


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