As I clean out last year's planner, I thought it would be interesting to see what is in it besides my plans.

These are things I.cannot.throw.out. I need them like security blankets. Really, and I am 55 years old and have taught math for 32 years.

The items that will also go into this years planner book:


  • Health Care Clinics in Sonoma County-- a two page document with EVERY kind of low cost or free mental health and physical health clinics within 50 miles of our campus.



  • 5 Practices For Orchestrating Productive Math Discussions Cheat Sheet--Side 1: Set Goals and Select a Task. Side 2: Anticipating, Monitoring, Selecting, Sequencing, Connecting.



  • CF Icebreaker Questions--150 questions to ask kids as they high five you out the door.


  • Warm-Up Blank--I am always running out of these and needing to copy more.

  • Making Number Talks Matter Grades 4-10--a progression from Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker.

  • A Rumi Poem--Out beyond wrong doing and right doing, I will meet you there. 

  • A Quote From A History Teacher's Door--Some getting more rights does not mean you get less, it's not pie.


  • Finding the Words: Leaning the Language of Mathematics--An article by Drawing On Math on increasing equity in math through strong vocabulary. Tina gives us a road map to meet students where they are at, but not leave them there. 

  • Strategies For Students To Move Around--from I have no idea. 

Things that are in there because they gave me comfort, but won't be carried with me next year (but may get filed for handy reference).


  • CPM Lesson Plan Blanks. They are helpful to review. 
  • Lots of Scratch Papter
  • More Scratch Paper
  • A Blank Name Tent. After not seeing the students for two weeks during the fires last October, I re-introduced the name tents. First Question: What strength do you bring during challenging times?
  • An Algebra 2 Test. I picked up it up off the copier. It has 19 short answer questions on one page. It was a reminder to ask College Math Educators how they format tests. I did ask, and it wasn't like that. (This format makes my ADD brain hurt)
  • Sub Plans 
  • Natural Circle Measures--A lovely introduction to radians by The Roots of the Equation
  • Revised Assignment Sheets
  • The Binomial Theorem Jigsaw by https://mathcoachblog.com/ This a beauty. I think I will use it early in College Readiness. You know, before the SAT. 
  • Commonalities Among the Practices in Science, Math, and English Language Arts. A venn Diagram. Mostly around arguing from evidence. 
  • 2017-2018 Pacing Guide. Every day of the school year, Fall on one side, Spring on the other.
  • My Book Club Reading List. I read 3 out of 8 btw. 
  • My Favorite Guest Post from Ilana Horn's Daughter.  https://teachingmathculture.wordpress.com/category/guest-post/
  • A Swim Workout that I can no longer translate. 
What are the items in your planner that provide you a sense of well being?
Hello Friends!

I have been at a CPM workshop (Math 3) all week. I love geeking out and playing math with my colleagues. I love how we think of teacher moves the best ways we can facilitate student engagement and learning.

The trainer gave us a carousel activity where each group of teachers got a card and, using post-its on the back, we gave one or two possible answers to questions like these: 



I thought this would be an excellent way to have groups re-visit the individual team member roles of Facilitator, Task Manager, Recorder/Reporter, and Resource Manager early in the year. (Has anyone ever had their students "apply" for a role? Maybe this could be a fun way of creating groups if there was an equal distribution of 1st and 2nd job choices) 

So I started thinking about a carousel/post-it activity for the students that I would use after 3-4 classes of using and defining the roles:


One team member has gone ahead of the others.
The______________ could ask_________________.

What other questions would you like to see the students think about? 

If you use groups of 4 and have team roles that you find effective, what are they? 


Hello from Washington, D.C. Not my usual hood, but my daughter lives here and I get to visit this amazing city.

My head is swirling with history and observations from 5 weeks of traveling in Eastern Europe and then back to visit family in NY and DC before heading home to California. On this trip the hubs and I asked each other' "Why do you travel?" My response after a gigantic pause:

To Understand Time.
To Be an Ambassador of Peace and Mend Cultural Misunderstandings.
To Get Out Of My Comfort Zone.
Understand History from Place and Culture. 
Finding Beauty EVERYWHERE.




I have an earlier post < > where I contemplate my judgment of what teachers ought to bring to their students. I used to be in a state of dismay, that so many of the teachers at my large high school grew up in the same place they taught. I used to think this was unfair to the students. Our community can be fairly provincial. For example, we are 65 miles north of San Francisco and many of our students have never been to the city. Even though we are 40 minutes from the beach, some have spent very little time there. (Our students have a wide variety of experience, from traveling to Mexico each year, to a few who have been to Europe and Washington DC, to those will go as far as the lake for the summer)



Many of our teachers went to the local Junior College and Cal State Campus. Very few are from UC’s (Including myself) or from prestigious universities. I used to think our students deserved teachers who were worldlier, more academically, “high brow.”

Then I had an epiphany, that the local teachers spoke the student’s language. They show the students what IS possible. They possibly do a better job of meeting them where they are at. Maybe I was the one that made them uncomfortable, always challenging the status quo.



Some teachers relate to their students by reading YA fiction, some play country (cough) music all.the.time., some are into super 
heroes, some are into shoes and fashion, and some are so cool, they surf before school.
I am not at all hip.

I travel.

Here are some photos to go along with the reasons:

To Understand Time:

400 BCE Wailing Wall Jerusalem, Israel


To Be an Ambassador of Peace and Mend Cultural Misunderstandings:

Muslim Ladies taking their Children to the Beach, Hertzalia, Israel

Ifran, a Muslim, gave us an all day tour of Jewish Sarajevo.

Understand History from Place and Culture:

Those are shrapnel holes outside our amazing apartment in Sarajevo received during the 1992-1995 war. (up to 350 + average missiles on civilian targets daily for over 1400 days)


Finding Beauty:

 Left: Old Jaffa port manhole cover, Tel Aviv.












Below: Love is Love.



To Get Out Of My Comfort Zone:

Konjic, Bosnia. River Rafting on the Neretva River. Jump from 6 meters. (Love mostly because it turns our notion of “Bosnia” on its head) 



What did you believe that you no longer believe about what makes a teacher effective?

What hobbies and/or interests give you “creds” with your students?