Algebra Champion Crowned

2015-16 Champ bests a field of 35, wins iPad

Planet Numeracy’s first-ever iPad giveaway winner has been crowned. Veronica Johnson won the grand prize. Although, several students were nipping at her heels, she topped the field of 35 students in finishing the year with the highest overall final grade in all my algebra classes.

Are You Always Late?

Three-point Thursday

I read a report just this morning suggesting that chronic lateness is a mental disorder. What!? How can that be? I guess this just goes to show that you can clinicalize anything. But in the spirit of not making excuses for annoying behavior, I am going to focus on three legitimate reasons why people run late. Love being on summer time…

How Much Should Homework Count?

Here's what education expert Rick Wormeli has to say about it

Homework should probably count zero percent. But 5% or less is acceptable. According to Rick Wormeli, the grade report should be an indication of what a student has learned against the standards. By counting homework practice, he contends that the grade report is in essence falsified, perhaps even unethical.


The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary (Random House Audio, 2006)

Fred FactorThe Fred Factor is a short book by Mark Sanborn about a mail carrier named Fred. The author relates anecdotal stories about his postman, a man named Fred. Fred is no ordinary mail carrier. He consistently performed his job better than he had to for no other reason other than he wanted to provide exceptional service to his customers. And so the term “Fred” is coined.

Sanborn goes on to explain what a “Fred” looks like in an organization and why people like Fred do what they do. He also explains how to find Freds, hire Freds, and encourage Fredness throughout the organization.

Of course, I try to relate everything I read in some way, shape, or form to the classroom. While I lead by example, I am always looking for ways to encourage Fredness in my classroom. Fred 2.0 is now in my “to read” stack, and my goal is to create a Fred Oasis, as Sanborn calls it.

If you ever find yourself in a place where you are feeling disenfranchised then read this book. The audio book is just two and a half hours — faster if you speed it up. It may help restore your faith in what you do. Exceptionalism does still exist. We have to know where (and how) to look and be able to recognize it when we see it.

Do you know anyone like Fred?