The holidays are always a great time- I mean, there are just so many tasty treats, fun events, and friends and family to spend time with. And did I mention the treats?! In years past, we’ve really enjoyed baking in our house and making a range of cookies, candies, chocolate dipped pretzels, the works. But, with a two year old and seven week old, life can get crazy. So, this year called for simplicity and the rounds of baking were replaced with Chex mix- easy to make and oh so delicious. So, while reading great ideas and thoughts about education on the interwebs, I’ve been enjoying Churro inspired Chex mix, yum!

The Curse of Knowledge by Chris Reddy @ Edutopia- A really fascinating read. Mr. Reddy digs in to the assumptions and mistakes we are all prone to as educators because:

- We do not remember what it is like to
*not*know what we are trying to teach. - We cannot relive the difficult and lengthy process that learning our content originally took.

Thankfully, he also shares seven approaches that can help lift this curse.#3 Spacing and #6 Novelty were two that really stood out to me. A great read that highlights how sometimes we are our own worst enemies as teachers. But the good news is, once we recognize that we can do something about it.

Minecraft and Math @ MattCoaty.com– Intriguing and fun approach of using Minecraft to get students working with math. He used the MinecraftEdu version to create a world where students worked with fractions, then area and perimeter. Something worth checking out, indeed!

Plastic Plate Activities for Math Class @ Math Giraffe– Another innovative way to repurpose something to help students conceptualize math concepts. Here she shows how to use plastic plates to create interactive models for students working with functions, rotations, triangle theorems, and operations with positive and negative integers. I can’t wait to try these out!

How do we know what they know? @Crazy Math Teacher Lady– I’ve always thought my grading approach was a little, shall we say, untraditional. I just don’t buy many of the commonly held teacher beliefs on grades (i.e. all students are motivated by grades- they’re really not; grades always reflect learning- um, no, they often reflect completion and compliance, etc.) So, I really enjoyed hearing her take on grades, and some of the ways she’s found to emphasize feedback over grades. I especially appreciated her discussion of two-round quizzes- a great approach that I think should be seriously considered.